Ventura Improv Company will take laughs elsewhere

The Ventura Improv Company (VIC), Ventura’s longest-running improv comedy theater troupe, will pull up stakes at its long-time home on Palm Street in mid-January 2017. Special shows, including an annual New Year’s Eve blowout, are planned.

Several factors went into the decision to give up the lease to the VIC’s space, its home since 1994. A too-packed performing schedule, personnel changes, and the company’s desire to evolve (among other things) caused the group members to vote to let the theater space go dark.

However, this does not mean the end to workshops or performances. The VIC’s popular New Year’s Eve show will happen on Saturday, December 31 at the Rubicon Theater, and the final shows at the Palm Street space are the first two weekends in January. After that, the Ventura Improv Company will go mobile, offering workshops and performances at other spaces in the area, including the Bell Arts Factory and Namba.

“This decision did not come lightly,” says Gary Best, co-founder and current Artistic Director of the VIC. “It’s great to have a dedicated performing space, but it can be a creative drain at times. We look forward to having the freedom to teach and perform with fantastic local collaborators from here on out.”

Best, along with Tom and Sally Mueller and others, founded the VIC in 1989 after taking an improv workshop and seeing the potential in the performing art form. “Little did we know we would still be around, nearly 30 years later, and that improv would be embraced as much as it has,” says Best. “We are looking forward to more years of shows and classes – all made up on the spot!”

The Ventura Improv Company will be performing at 34 North Palm Street on December 23; January 6 and 7; and January 13 and 14.

VIC’s New Year’s Eve Gala at the Rubicon is on Saturday, December 31 from 7 to 10:30 p.m. Tickets are $40/per person; $25 for military and seniors 55+. Rubicon Theater, 1006 E. Main St. Tickets purchased online at

Upcoming classes and workshops at Bell Arts Factory and Namba will be announced in early 2017.

For tickets or more information, go to

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