The Groundlings Theatre & School Set Reopening Date This Summer As Pandemic Calms

The sketch house alma mater of Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Will Ferrell, Maya Rudolph and several SNL alums, the Groundlings, is reopening its theatre and school on Melrose Ave. on July 23.

A series of improv shows are already programmed including “Groundlings Lights Up” and the return of “Black Version” on July 31 and “Groundlings Bar Fight: Round Two” in August, a popular show that premiered pre-COVID featuring a collection of sketch and improvisations.

Groundlings alumni and friends are also expected to make guest appearances throughout the season. Additional shows and schedules will be announced shortly. Tickets go on sale today at

In-person adult classes will start on Aug. 2 with open enrollment starting July 5.

“We are so excited to reopen our theatre and school. We want to thank everyone for all the support with our virtual performances and classes over the past few months and cannot wait to see everyone’s smile and laugh in person. It is true that laughter is the best medicine, and perhaps a really good vaccine, and we look forward to laughing with you in a post-pandemic world!” said Managing Director Carrie LaFerle Gergely in a statement.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, The Groundlings Theatre & School shifted their in-person shows and classes to online with webinars and panels from Allison Janney, Ben Falcone, McCarthy, Octavia Spencer, Randall Park and many others. While the Groundlings will continue to use the online format in the future, their intent is reinvigorating their live in-person events.

“We learned a lot over the past 16 months, and in many ways, the pivot to recreating our training and shows online opened up new avenues of creativity and expression,” added LaFerle Gergely. “It also brought in students and an audience from around the country, not just our zip code, which we hope to build on as we reimagine our program. But nothing replaces the thrill of live theatre, or working shoulder to shoulder with teachers and students, so we are extremely grateful for this return.”

Meanwhile, there is no word as to when sketch/improv comedy rival Upright Citizens Brigade will reopen its black box theater and school over on 5919 Franklin Ave. in Los Angeles. Due to the pandemic, UCB was forced to close its NYC location as well as its new Sunset Blvd. two-stage venue last year. UCB continues to offer online courses.

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