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Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre
461 Parkway (Traffic Light #3)
Gatlinburg, TN 37738



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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Einstein Simplified will be at the GIF!

we are very excited to announce that 

will be performing at the gatlinburg improv fest! 
details to come.

but for now, check out this fun deejay booth endowment game from their facebook page.

and hey, don't kids know their early 1950's christmas songs anymore?

(nice river horse work, fennell...)

Friday, December 16, 2011

a leg up

and so we begin the next leg of the gatlinburg improv fest...

the improv group application fee is now $35. please follow the links to the right under pages to apply.

thank you for all of your interest so far!

based on what i've seen so far, this is going to be a great festival of improvisation.

and not to worry, we still have room for you!


Thursday, December 15, 2011

tick tock tick tock...

for all you last minute improv groups, it won't officially be tomorrow until after i have my first cup of coffee in the morning. :)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

a quick rehash- a recipe for funny.

a quick rehash---

the gatlinburg improv festival is february 23-26, 2012.

chase padgett and his award-winning show "6 guitars" is our headliner at 8pm fri & sat, feb 24 & 25.

other improv performances will be scheduled thursday thru saturday nights.

performances will be at the 1890's music hall-style, sweet fanny adams theatre.

located in beautiful gatlinburg, tennessee.

the theatre has @160 seats.

ticket prices wil range from $8-$12.

we're looking for improvisors, groups, teachers, volunteers...

performers and teachers will be paid based on revenue sharing.

performing groups will earn 30% of their show's revenue.

teachers will earn 70% of their class revenue.

contact us at the contact info provided under contact info to the right, under where it says contact info. :)

improv groups can submit applications via the link under "pages" to the right.

importantly, the $20 app fee goes up to $35 after december 15th. that's in just a coupla days or so.

we will have info soon on a discounted room rate at the best western twin islands motel just behind the theatre.

gatlinburg is cool.

located here is the ober gatlinburg ski resort that you can ride an aerial tram to, which is within walking distance of the theatre.

and a hard rock cafe around the corner.

see what i mean?

gatlinburg rocks!

come play with us!

james newport, improv impresario

Monday, December 12, 2011

february is improvalicious!

hey, check out another improv fest in february! it's the orlando improv festival! feb. 6 & 7, 2012.

and also the north carolina comedy arts festival's improv week is feb. 14-19,  2012.


hey there, improvisors, seems like february might be a good time to plan that big little improv tour you've been thinking about...


...and there are less than 4 days left to get your early application in for the gatlinburg improv fest, feb 23-26. remember, the app fee goes up from $20 to $35 after december 15th! save that $15 for your secret ice cream binging! apply today!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

the crutch!

Hello improv blog followers. I am Laurence - the self designated 'crutch' of the Gatlinburg Improv Fest. By this I mean that all those attending and involved may lean on me at anytime for support and assistance. I would call myself Mr. James Newport's right-hand man, but apparently there is a wonderful woman currently filling that roll - so moving to the left - please feel free to contact me regarding logistics, hotel reservations, etc. call me at the theatre: 1-877-388-5784 or contact me by e-mail:
Can't wait to see you all at our charming little theatre in our charming little mountain town. It's going to be, well, charming!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

barky barky! woof woof!

"barky barky! woof woof!"

those are the sounds i imagine from this puppy who, in his excitement, has suddenly eaten a tiny little man with funny trousers.


ha! love it!

this image is my favorite refrigerator magnet and also my favorite piece of art by charles bragg.  you can check out his other wonderful art at (his parents were vaudeville performers by the way. maybe that's where he developed his keen comedic eye.)

now about this puppy... 

this picture has always been a favorite of mine. i think i've had this magnet for at least a couple of decades now. also, if you look closely, you may notice the tomato sauce stain near his tail. i'm pretty sure that, itself, is over eight years old, but i digress...

i love this magnet so much because of the wonderful absurd situation vs. those realistic puppy eyes. those are most definitely improvisor eyes. eyes that are saying to the unseen audience, "yes, yes, i just ate this little man. that is my initial offer. now, please 'yes, and...' me and create an appropriate history and story for us all to enjoy." i love the story of this drawing, whatever it may be, and i accept it all.

i've noticed working on the gatlinburg improv fest is having a similar effect on me. consistently, i've been struck by the perfect balance of some random absurdity that happens during the creative process followed by the great joy of imagining all the possibilities of what that absurdity now makes possible.

that's the power of "yes, and...", i suppose. or puppy eyes. one of those. either way, it's all very exciting! and whatever it may be, i accept it all!

oh, and remember, december 15th is the last day to send in your performer/teacher application form and application fee before the price goes up from $20 to $35! that's a whole $15 of your money you can save. heck, that's enough money for a pretty nice christmas gift for aunt clara. and you know how much she loves those weird scented candles...

so, get on that and let's make some more wonderfully absurd stories for gatlinburg improv fest 2012!!! barky barky! woof woof!

--james newport, improv impresario

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


it's been over a month since i've posted anything!


new post coming tomorrow!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

rockin' the schedule!

back in the olden days, otherwise known as the late nineties, i used to schedule all the weekend improv shows for sak theatre in orlando, florida.

on friday and saturday nights there were 3 shows, ...7:30, 9:30, & 11:30.

each show had two teams of three, a host, a piano player, and a light/sound tech. it was daunting and fun.

putting sak shows together was like skimming a pretty rock bed in a fast-moving mountain stream and stacking the most beautiful odd rocks into the perfect tower.

planning the gatlinburg improv fest is very much like that only slower and i need more rocks.


apply now for the gatlinburg improv fest!

and remember, the application fee will go up to $35 after dec. 15th.

and also, if you are selected, it's a paid gig!

performers will be paid 30% of their show revenue from ticket sales.

teachers will be paid 70% of their class revenue from paid participants.

come play! get paid!

your pal,
james newport, gifologist

Monday, October 24, 2011

gif teacher revenue sharing

i really wish i had some fireworks or balloons or confetti for the announcement but nevertheless...

here is the gatlinburg improv fest teacher revenue sharing plan!

teachers will be paid 70% of all the revenue collected from the admission price of their class/lecture/critique. the remaining 30% will be paid to sweet fanny adams theatre.

also, i may be teaching a class in how to make confetti fire balloons...

Friday, October 21, 2011

gatlinburg winter magic

you know what's great about the upcoming gatlinburg winter magic festival light displays? this:

"Gatlinburg has converted its entire winter lights program to quarter-watt LED bulbs, replacing the 5-watt incandescent bulbs and saving the City some 95 percent in energy cost and allowing the City to light the entire 120 days of the program for what it once cost for three days of electricity."

that's awesome.

and the lights will be up from november 10th through february 28th
to light up town during the gatlinburg improv fest! that is fantastic!

here's a video of some of those pretty lights. the music is kinda horrible but you probably have a volume control, so...

also, there will be more gatlinburg improv fest news coming this monday! including improv teacher revenue sharing details!

hoping you have a creative playful weekend and get to see some great fall colors,

james newport, improv impresario

Thursday, October 13, 2011

dear future audience,

i just wanted to let you know how much i am really looking forward to having you here for the gatlinburg improv festival in february 2012. i..., i..., well, i love you. no, it's true, let me finish... even though i don't know who you are or where you'll come from or what your first suggestion will be, i do love you. all of you. even that guy who spills more popcorn than he eats.

i've thought perhaps it may be that you do not know who you are yourself, but fear not, i will be here to help you see yourself as clearly as you appear in my dreams. maybe even clearer. my dreams are mostly cloudy with shadowy toast men. but nevertheless, please, know that in my heart of hearts you are ever so vivid. especially you in the third row with the funny lemur shirt.

so, audience of the future, when you look back in time and remember these early heady days of improv fest formulation, remember i have always loved you. always.

love and applause,

james newport, improv impresario

Saturday, October 8, 2011

hungry and foolish.

art has always been my path to love and happiness...

i've been inspired by steve jobs' recent passing to ask
how can we be hungry and foolish together??? 

i would like this festival of improv to build itself on the yes, and... principle. 
because last year's shutup, where's the remote? philosophy totally did not work. 

so with our new yes, and.. philosophy we are officially past the pipe dream stage! woo us! let me just say, i am very excited. ...boom. just exploded a little. 

this is the very first gatlinburg improv fest and according to the mayan people, the very last one. i however am pushing for more. i am in fact plotting the possibilities of a giant ferris wheel at the gatlinburg improv festival's 20th anniversary street party right at this very minute.

so why an improv fest?

well, i'll tell you, largest font on the drop down menu... 

even if you don't ask, i am quick to admit that i used to perform improv in my younger and less ms addled days. (yes, i have multiple sclerosis. just try to ignore it. i do.) 

i started performing in the early eighties with comedysportz, dc and then on to sak theatre's comedy lab in orlando, florida. there, i was the improvisor, managing director, artistic director, rat cleaner upper, teacher, writer, guy who did all the weekly schedules and stuff, off and on for about ten years in the mid nineties-early naughties...

and in those days of misspent evenings spent wildly improvising i had the greatest fun. and i met the greatest people, with whom i had the greatest time, and then a diagnosis and some years later i met these people who have this really great 1890's british music hall-style theater in gatlinburg, tn, called the sweet fanny adams theatre, and then my wife, the lovely miss krisha, started performing with them, and then i thought, hey, let's put on a show and then, and then, and then, ...

behold! a fest is borned...
borned? really?? okay, where were we?...

yes, so, a show... and i (who i must say, knows some great improvisors and would love to curate an improv weekend of wonderful and joyful improvisors from 'round the world.....or whatever distance they might travel for 30% of the ticket revenue from their show or shows) said let's do an improv fest!

and thus begat the gatlinburg improv fest...

so now, here we are, four and some months away, looking to add to our roster of performers and teachers. we are already very excited to have chase padgett and his award-winning show, six guitars, for friday and saturday night at 8pm, feb. 24 & 25.

so that's what we got so far. ideas and suggestions welcome. 

oh yes, come play!

come have some good life-affirming solid improv fun at the gatlinburg improv festival with me and chase padgett and the fine folks of sweet fanny adams theatre and... ???

hungry and foolish, 

james newport

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Six Guitars!

some exciting news today... i am very happy to announce that chase padgett will be bringing his award-winning show,, to the gatlinburg improv festival!

show times will be at 8 pm, friday, feb. 24 and saturday, feb. 25, 2012.

here's a description of his upcoming october show run being performed off-broadway at the roy arias cabaret theater in new york:

6 Guitars is an award-winning one-man show that is unlike anything you’ve seen before.  One performer, 6 characters, lots of music and laughs.  Chase Padgett delivers a breakthrough performance as he becomes 6 different guitar players each with their own voice, views and music while also playing standard and original songs in the styles of Blues, Jazz, Rock, Classical, Folk and Country.  The show takes the audience along each character’s first introduction to the music they love, the lessons they’ve learned through music along the way and finally what the true importance of music really is to us all. It’s sure to make you laugh, love and tap your toes the whole way through.
6 Guitars premiered at the 2010 Orlando International Fringe Festival where it won: Producer of the Year, Best in Venue, Best Musician, Best Solo Show, Best Original Play and Best Male Performer. The Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel wrote, “It’s just one guy – and one guitar – but it’s amazing!” Rochester (N.Y.) City Newspaper said, “Padgett glides effortlessly from character to character.”
6 Guitars is making it's Off Broadway Debut after a 3 month tour across North America with stops in Orlando, Fla., Atlanta, Ga., London, Ontario (winning the Impresario Venue Award and Producers Pick), Rochester N.Y., Calgary, Alberta (with a 9 Show SOLD OUT Run) and Edmonton, Alberta (with a 7 show SOLD OUT Run), San Antonio, Tx., Austin, Tx., and Houston, Tx.
Don't miss the show the Edmonton (AB) Sun called, "A storytelling masterpiece"  
"5 Suns! Six Guitars is nothing short of a storytelling masterpiece.  The play will leave you doing two things: laughing until you cry, and lifting your jaw to its proper position." - Edmonton (AB) Sun
sounds good, huh? and it doesn't mention it here, but musical improv is a big part of this show! i can't wait!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

just a-wondering...

have i mentioned that the gatlinburg improv fest is going to be a paid performer festival? one where the performers get 30% of their show ticket sales? i haven't? oh. ok. just a-wondering... (nonchalant whistle...)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Gatlinburg Improv Fest Application

okeedokee, a day later than i planned but,
here's the link to the
gatlinburg improv fest application.

also, after submitting your application 
please be sure to click the link to the paypal button
to process your $20.00 application fee.
if you do not your application will not be considered. thanks!

apply now! the application fee will go up to $35.00 on December 15, 2011.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

knock knock...

knock knock.

who's there?

a tree.

a tree who?

a magic effin tree that just walked over here on my magic effin roots and knocked on your effin door with my magic effin limbs, thats who.

wait. oops. sorry. that should be elfin not effin. beg pardon.

welcome to october!,
and the first in what may be a long series of short posts about last minute things.

first things first:

the gatlinburg improv fest is going to be ...

february 23-26, 2012!

in gatlinburg, tennessee!

at the fantastic sweet fanny adams theatre!
located at 461 parkway, gatlinburg, tn 37738!

there will be t-shirts! there will be several balloons! there will be things i have not thought of yet because this is truly an improvised improv fest put together on an iphone by a man who has ms and whose children were up coughing most of the night.
daunting as that may seem, an old improv pal once wrote about 37 minutes ago that you should "believe in yourself. there's nothing you can't tell people you accomplished."

inspired by this, i forged on to create my past. i once killed a dinosaur. also, i was a staff performer, writer, producer, teacher and the artistic and managing director of the sak theatre comedy lab in orlando, florida for several years and was very successful and somewhat liked.

these most excellent things will give me the fine foundation of improvtheaterness and dinosaur killing skills i will need to put on the very best gatlinburg improv fest ever!

feb. 23-26, 2012!

be there!

more info to come later today, including details on improv group application requirements and fees (yeah, i ain't messin' around.) but now i need to go get some more mucinex for kids...

james newport, improv impresario

Friday, September 30, 2011

30 days hath september...

thus tomorrow is october 1st and i shall officially announce the dates of the gatlinburg improv fest and other pertinent bits and impertinent chunks of information. now can i get an 8 to 15 hour long drumroll, please?...

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

view from above gatlinburg today.

after a great lunch at smokies authentic cuban cafe in pigeon forge we stopped at a scenic viewing area above gatlinburg on the bypass. it's such a beautiful day.

i'm betting it will not be this green and warm during the gatlinburg improv fest, though. that's okay, people always laugh harder in the cold.

next up today, the wife's kickboxing class followed by me teaching improv class with the sweet fanny adams theatre folks.

good day. :)

Monday, September 26, 2011

dabbled with a possible logo today.

thoughts? comments? recipes? love to hear them all.
personally, i like the swooshies in the letters. swooshies! let me know what ya think?

Saturday, September 24, 2011


welcome to the first post on the brand new gatlinburg improv fest blog!

on october 1st i'll have updates with info such as the dates, the improv group application submission process, and why i don't use capital letters.

well, that was it.
pretty tame start really, but more to come soon!

looking forward to all that "yes, and..." can do.

james newport, improv impresario