-Courtesy of Bryan Buttler Media Relations, LLC
Starting a new theater company in the midst of a global pandemic is no laughing matter. However, that’s exactly what Mike Marbach of Philadelphia has done. Marbach, the creator of dozens of comedy shows (STUDY HALL, NOT YET RATED) and podcast recordings (WooderCooler.com, Stark Raven Mad: A Game of Thrones Podcast, OH SNAP! An MCU Podcast), is proud to announce the launch of Crossroads Comedy Theater, an online home for comedy shows and podcasts featuring hilarious performers from the Philadelphia area and beyond. Performances begin this April via Crossroads Comedy Theater’s online stage.
Crossroads Comedy Theater offers live comedy in a safe and accessible way for performers and audiences. Their mission is to forge connections in a virtual community through entertainment and education. What makes Crossroads Comedy Theater unique is its ability to localize itself to several communities at once through the virtual sphere. As live venues reopen, the company will aim to also perform both public and private shows across the country, so audiences will be able to check them out in person, online, on the air, or in the air (if their tuning in mid-flight).
“Our performers and audiences are based all over the United States, which began out of necessity during the pandemic, but has grown into one of our greatest strengths,” notes Marback. “No matter where you’ve been, where you are, or where you’re going, Crossroads Comedy Theater has something to offer you.”
Crossroads Comedy Theater was founded in 2021 by Marbach. Previously, Mike served as Education Director (2011-2017) and Artistic Director (2017-2020) at Philly Improv Theater, where he also taught, directed, and performed. After the theater closed due to Covid-19, Mike found that many of the performers he most often worked with were interested in continuing to find ways to create. Marbach started by working with casts to bring his STUDY HALL: COMEDY INSPIRED BY LECTURES and NOT YET RATED: AN IMPROVISED MOVIE to the online world. After dozens of comedy shows and podcast recordings, each with their own websites, social media, and ticketing systems, Mike decided it was best to pull everything under one roof. Thus, Crossroads Comedy Theater was born. One ring to rule them all.
“2020 brought all of us to a crossroads ‒ a pivotal moment of decision-making,” notes Marbach. “When the pandemic forced live theater venues to shut down, Crossroads Comedy Theater chose the path of adaptation and moved with the changes by veering off into something new. We experimented, learned, and ultimately figured out how to make virtual performances succeed. Along the way we hope that, just like Britney Spears in the movie Crossroads, our audiences not only gather experiences that will change their lives, but also discover how important it is to hold onto their hearts’ desires.”
NOT YET RATED: AN IMPROVISED MOVIE: In a world filled with movies, this one is made up just for you! NOT YET RATED puts genre tropes and your suggestions into a blender to create a completely new and fully improvised show right before your eyes! Covering action, horror, sci-fi, rom-com, and beyond, you choose the type of movie you want to see and leave the rest to us. Due to the covid-19 pandemic, you can now catch our shows from the comfort and safety of your own home! Put in some popcorn, grab a large soda, and enjoy. If you see one improvised movie this year, make it this one. (4/22 at 8:30 PM EST; 4/23 at 8:30PM EST; 4/24 at 8:30PM EST; 5/1 at 8:30PM EST; 5/2 at 8:30PM EST; pay what you decide)
STUDY HALL 7TH ANNIVERSARY SHOW: Join us in our virtual classroom to celebrate seven years! We’ll be joined by guests speaking on different topics and our cast will transform their lectures into hilarious scenes on the spot. We are thrilled to celebrate seven years of educating and entertaining audiences on stage and now online! Join Drexel University Professor Michael Yudell as he leads this virtual classroom where lectures and current events inspire comedy created on the spot. Guests will present a lecture or news item from their field for discussion, after which a cast of some of Philly’s funniest performers will use what they’ve learned (or didn’t) to improvise hilarious scenes right before your eyes! Don’t be late to Study Hall! Part of 2021 Philly Theater Week. (4/24 at 7:00 PM EST; pay what you decide)
STUDY HALL: FACTS ABOUT THE VAX SPECIAL: Unsure what to believe about the various Covid-19 vaccines? Come to Study Hall and let our public health experts, including Professor Michael Yudell of Drexel University, ease your mind and give you the confidence you need to get that shot to protect yourself and others. We’ll separate fact from fiction and make you laugh along the way. Part of 2021 Philly Theater Week. (5/1 at 7PM EST; pay what you decide)
EXTREE! EXTREE! COMEDY INSPIRED BY THE NEWS: Read all about it! This comedy show discusses the news of the week and creates hilarious improvised scenes inspired by it. News articles are sent in by viewers leading up to the show and show director, Mike Marbach, will present articles to the cast who will be hearing them for the first time. Get caught up on the latest goings on of this big blue marble and laugh at the antics of the ace performers. Can’t watch live? Your pay what you can ticket includes a link to watch up to two weeks after the performance! Part of 2021 Philly Theater Week. (4/25 at 7PM EST; 5/2 at 7PM EST; pay what you decide)
OH SNAP! A MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE PODCAST LIVE!: OH SNAP! is a podcast aimed at casual fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Each week we discuss the latest offering from the MCU through discussion and lots of laughs. Join us for our first live show without even leaving your house! This week we will be discussing the finale of the Falcon and the Winter Soldier, but we’ll open it up to any Marvel questions / theories you’ve been waiting to talk about. Kids are welcome to watch though strong language may be used. (4/26 at 7:30PM EST; free)
THE FUTURE: Doing whatever it takes to make audiences laugh since 2013, this former Philly Improv Theater team has built a reputation domestically and abroad as a group of weirdos who create comedy that is always more than the sum of their parts. Give them a suggestion and watch as it gets turned into a recreation of the past, a twisted sci-fi dystopia, or possibly a feat of physical strength. The pandemic has grounded their festival performances, so don’t miss this opportunity to watch them from your couch! THE FUTURE is: Fred Brown, Caitlin Corkery, David Donnella, Rob O’Neill, Kristen Schier, and Molly Scullion. Part of 2021 Philly Theater Week. (4/30 at 9:30PM EST; pay what you decide)
Podcasts: Can be streamed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, or at xroadscomedy.com/podcasting/
BREAKING GOODMAN: A Better Call Saul podcast hosted by Mike Marbach and featuring Samantha Russell, Brian Craig, and Michael Henley. Includes episode recaps, theorizing, color commentary, and more.
EVESDROPPING: This Killing Eve podcast features a panel of Philly comedians recapping the show through a fun, lively roundtable discussion. You’ll experience various opinions and theories on what’s happened and what’s coming to VillanEve.
IN MY OPINION: THE GOOD FIGHT PODCAST: A roundtable discussion of The Good Fight, featuring fans of varying levels of experience in the Goodverse. They recap and discuss each episode and speculate on what’s to come, while trying not to spoil the Good Wife for anyone that’s not yet seen it.
OH SNAP! A MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE PODCAST: This podcast is aimed at casual fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. If you’re looking for a fun and loose podcast covering the movies and series of the MCU by people that don’t take it too seriously, you’ve come to the right place.
STARK RAVEN MAD: This podcast covered the HBO series Game of Thrones. Host Mike Marbach is joined by various guests each episode to discuss the latest goings on in Westeros in fun, but in depth way. Because what is dead may never die, Stark Raven Mad will return to cover the coming Game of Thrones spin-off series, House of the Dragon. It is known.
More on Crossroads Comedy Theater at xroadscomedy.com