Performer Profiles


Providing youth with an opportunity to see top notch adult and youth performers is one of our primary goals. This weekend we present a wide variety of acts from all over Austin performing a wide variety of comedic formats.

Teachable Moments

IMG_0630While teaching comedy is a deeply satisfying job, what we all really live for is the chance to get up on stage and make people laugh. For our first adult show of the festival, we’ve invited the talented and hilarious Excused Absence faculty to perform a long form improv set. Come see what they can do when they aren’t telling YOU what to do!




Mr. Clean

IMG_0693Coached by Ryan Darbonne, these four teen improvisers, who originally met in an improv class, developed a natural rapport. Game heavy and full of laughs.



What’s the Story Steve

19466481_1422778957803123_394573728321348424_oSteve Scott, Improv Dog, and his cast of comics present this original, interactive show every Saturday at 10 am at ColdTowne. Real dog, real comedy since 2011.



Missed Connections ATX

Missed Connections

Inspired by Austin Craigslist Missed Connections, this show explores the sentimental, fantastical, and downright hilarious nature of Austin’s most impersonal personal ads.


Alice Kleberg


Originally formed at the Excused Absence Residency at Zach Scott this summer, this short form troupe exudes energy and charm.





Girls Girls Girls


Austin, Texas’s original all-female improvisation troupe. Our specialty is creating long-form improvised musicals from a single audience suggestion. The Girls and their live musicians make up the songs, dances, characters, and stories all on the spot.

S’Nailed It


Move Your Tale’s oldest house troupe, S’Nailed it is comprised of Middle and High Schoolers who perform long form comedy. They are coached by Luke Wallens.







Twine is an improvised theater group in Austin, TX, that specializes in exploring the intricate network of relationships and events on stage.





Roundhouse has played all over Austin in multiple festivals and shows. These four teenagers will blow you away with their sharp wit and immediate support of one another. They truly are veterans of the Excused Absence program.



Empty Promises


Austin’s most troupe is back! Featuring the faces seen on stages, Empty Promises use techniques, some even taken from the very playbooks! If investing for a Mitzvah or birthing clown you can’t do worse than our nuggets!



Channel 2



Channel 2 use their storytelling and comedy expertise to deliver high-energy, totally unscripted plays with years of experience and enviable chemistry.





Bilbo Swaggins


Bilbo Swaggins have made their mark on the ColdTowne stage by creating grounded long form with a serious wit These 10-12 year olds will blow you away with their nuanced characters and dynamic physicality.





Nice Astronaut


One of Austin’s longest running comedy troupes, Nice Astronaut was the first self-formed troupe from ColdTowne Theater in 2008 and has played at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater at the Del Close Marathon, the Chicago Improv Festival, and The Out of Bounds comedy festival. Nice Astronaut regularly performs improv comedy at ColdTowne Theater in Austin, Texas, as well as The Hideout Theater and The Institution Theater.

The Back Pack


The founding members of The Back Pack grew up in Montana and went to school at the same fine arts department in Missoula. This is where we started working together on short original plays that combined movement, music, dance, and clowning. The Back Pack Artist Collective has settled into its new home in East Austin. We are home to The Back Pack Shoppe and Theatre Troupe, as well as several artists, musicians, and teachers. The warehouse serves as a workshop and rehearsal space as well as a gallery for artists in the area to work at an affordable rate. The goal is to build a community of collaborators working in the same space to discover things they couldn’t have alone. 

Popcorn Banana Pants

18175648_1501166813260698_1574434550_oCoached by Kristin Henn, PBP is comprised of four hilarious 8-10 year olds who are all great friends. They bring big characters to life onstage and are constantly growing as performers. Says Kristin, “Don’t tell anyone, but they’re pretty much my favorite.”




The OffSpring Show

The OffSpring Show is a showcase for some of Austin’s funniest parents and their even funnier progeny. Comedy runs in the family with these following acts:

Lowery Women

McNichols & McNichols

HennEvelyn Dance Party

The Salome Four

Reeds, Party of Three

Alamo Drewhouse

Lunch is served right there at the show… This improvised show explores workplace relationships at a movie theater, as a movie is improvised right there on the spot! “Movie Theater Employees” take your order and deliver real food during the show. Don’t miss this fantastic and hilarious event. From the mind of Drew Wesley.