Fourteen years ago John Brennan wandered into Theatre 99 and never left. Well, in spirit anyway. He relished the humor, the energy, and the ambiance so much that he wanted to create his own version of the venue when he left the Holy City for Savannah. Once he arrived, he said he realized, "I will drive 100 miles to perform and watch shows at Theatre 99 even though Savannah is still and now my home. We need to do this here, we need to do that thing here. We are local Savannahians, we can train people that want to be a part of it and/or bring them in the way Theatre 99 does."
Savannah's Improv Company, dubbed "the Theatre 99 of Savannah" by Brennan himself, opened its doors in March of 2016, becoming the first stage in the city to perform long-form improv. Much like Charleston's favorite improv venue, Savannah's Improv Company (SiC) provides locals with an intimate atmosphere in which to experience unfiltered humor. Though Theatre 99 and SiC are sister companies, they are uniquely independent in their own right, "Our styles are different the same way Charleston is different from Savannah," says Brennan, "Charleston is prom, and Savannah is after-prom."
Brennan became involved with comedy in Chicago while working with improv groups Second City and Improv Olympics before moving to Manhattan to perform in off-Broadway shows and comedies. Eventually he found his way into the city's improv scene and continued developing his craft before relocating his skills down south.
Joining the Charleston Comedy Festival this year will be six members of SiC's monthly improv group, Front Porch Improv, performing a long-form improv show. What can we expect of the show? Brennan explains, "The ensemble emphasizes comedic acting, grounded characters, and believable relationships very much like a comedic play but without a script." Sounds like a rip-roaring good time to us. But Brennan confessed what he's most excited about for this year's fest, "I'm looking forward to hanging out with The Have Nots and strengthening my relationship with them. Fingers crossed I get an invite to their Oscar party."