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UCB Theatre NY  Comedy 7 days a week in Chelsea & the East Village. Founded by the Upright Citizens Brigade (Matt Besser, Amy Poehler, Ian Roberts & Matt Walsh


From UCBT Training Center Manager and longtime performer- Erik Tanouye for #byechelsea : “One of my best memories of the Chelsea theatre is this show I didn't perform in and never plugged or promoted like other shows because it it isn't open to the public and the whole audience is high school students. There's no show that is more inspiring and joyous when I think about the future of improv. We do it every year, and this summer we even had some of the high school teams perform at the Del Close Marathon. While there won't be any more high school shows at Chelsea, we are getting ready for our fifth year of high school improv shows with the NYC Department of Education. And I'm glad a bunch of high school students got to warm up in that back hallway before we move out.” #byechelsea (video by Leila Falls)

From longtime UCBT performer Charlie Todd for #byechelsea : On October 8, 2005 Reuben Williams had our very first Saturday night show at UCBT Chelsea. At some point during our second half, one of the infamous "shit bags" above the stage burst open, and dirty water covered most of stage right. Now, I don't think there was actual "shit" or sewage in this particular bag, but it was definitely gross. So of course someone immediately initiated a group game at a Slip 'N Slide birthday party. One by one we all yes-anded it slid through the nasty puddle. I don't remember who took these artsy black and white photos of the moment, but I'm so happy they exist. #ByeChelsea

From OSFUG’s Becky Chicoine for #byechelsea “One time, we all agreed that it would be funny for Michael to be holding a slice of pizza when entering a scene where he was "running late." When it came time for the actual sketch, we were all sitting on stage, waiting for Michael to enter, but he never did. We improvised some nonsense and moved on to the next sketch. FIVE MINUTES LATER(we only had a half hour show at the time) Michael came running into the theatre with a piece of pizza. He was late because he actually got a slice of pizza and there was a line. The audience thought it was part of the show! This perfectly encapsulates the organized chaos that is OSFUG. We will miss these shit halls.” #ByeChelsea

From UCBT House Manager Jon Monje for #ByeChelsea: “Working at the Chelsea theater has allowed me to get go know some of the characters of the neighborhood. This man and his three identical dogs would walk by the theater several times every night and interract with the patrons of the line. They would become a part of the Chelsea Theater experience as much as the shows"
#Repost @jonmonje (@get_repost)

11/12 Asssscat! Cast L-R: Brandon Scott Jones, Michael Kayne, Abra Tabak, Jeff Hiller, Connor Ratliff, Sue Galloway, Craig Shemin, Achilles Stamatelaky, Austin Tyler Rogers, Shannon O’Neill, Brian McCann, and Miriam Tolan

7:30: Craig Shemin (longtime Muppet writer, president of The Jim Henson Legacy)
9:30: Austin Tyler Rogers (Jeopardy! Champion, 5th highest all-time regular-season winnings record holder)

#Repost @misscarrielynne (@get_repost)
I don't like to break during scenes, especially scripted ones. But I did break once on Maude Night during this Ripley sketch by @georgiealdaco I sang a song and my backup singer/dancers were eating pie during the number. I was prepared for that. But I wasn't prepared for what that would look like. Halfway through the song as I turned around to deliver my first line of dialogue, I found @raggiemoss on the floor- she had slipped on the pie filling, @marshallstratto and @kenpbeck were similarly covered in blueberry goo, I panned across them to see @cotterpoop 's earnest face- just absolutely covered in pie, mouth open, goofy grin. I lost it. Still one of my favorite Maude moments. We made a goddamn mess of that stage every month. What monsters. #byechelsea

From Casey Wilson for #ByeChelsea “June and I wrote and performed in a two woman show called "Rode Hard and Put Away Wet" which Owen Burke saw us perform at NYU and moved over to UCBT in 2004. So just two years ago. We were of the misguided opinion that our postcard tag “sketch comedy by women who aren’t ugly” would endear us to the community. It did not.

Luckily, we took those off the shelves and made lifelong friends in that theatre- although people still made fun of us for doing theatrical vocal warm ups in the tunnels backstage next to Gristedes. We had much to learn. And learned so much there. The theatre gave us our start and will be so missed.”

From Anthony King - Former UCBT Artistic Director - for #ByeChelsea

“It started at 11pm on a Friday night. The idea was “Tony & Tina’s Wedding” except it would be the marriage of Brett Gelman & Jon Daly’s Cracked Out alter egos Rapzilla & MC Record Deal. TONS of UCB performers were in the show dressed INSANELY. The show was all over the theatre as characters interacted with audience members. It was truly stupid and amazing. And culminated in the wedding ceremony.

And then… the lights went out.

We had canceled late night shows the previous night because of a scheduled power outage by the landlord for repairs for something or other. But when the landlord said “Midnight on Friday” he did not mean Friday morning (which is what we had assumed). He meant Friday night (i.e. Saturday). Which meant we had a theatre full of audience members and crazily dressed weirdos standing in the dark.

So while festivities continued via flashlight, I took off running across the quad toward the block’s power station to see if anything could be done. As I was running I realized I also looked insane (black mascara, spiked hair, my face full of fake piercings). So I remember running and yanking piercings out of my face and tossing them on the ground as I reached this crew of blue collar guys - I still looked like an out-of-shape Cure fan - and them thinking I was drunk and insane and definitely not anyone they needed to deal with. And they literally looked at me while I talked and then went back to their conversation like I wasn’t even there.

So I laughed and walked back to the dark theatre where people had started pouring into the streets. And we all went to McManus.”

Say #ByeChelsea by checking out some of the final shows at the theatre. Up 11/8 8pm is YAZ HUNNI! A Very Gay Storytelling Show with a Bonus Very Gay Drag Show! Come listen to some very Gay stories told by the world's gayest Tilda Swinton look-alike, Mike Kelton. From a chunky closeted teen to a hunky and proud homo, Mike shares his most vulnerable/hysterical moments with you, a complete stranger. Sit back with a glass of rose, this is YAZ HUNNI! 📸: @rafaelrautha

From Nate Dern - former UCBT Artistic Director
Hurricane Sandy Harold Night for #byechelsea
On October 30th 2012, even though the power was still out to half the city and the subway wasn't working yet, we still put on Harold Night. People marched there in boots and with flash lights and we put on the show with a bunch of mash up teams (best name was HURRY, KAYNE which had Michael Kayne on it, named by Will Hines). The one quote I wrote down from the night: "Pretend we're ghosts so the bears don't eat us." It was a truly joyous night, and a celebration of this crazy family of dumbos who all found each other and just have fun making each other laugh. I walked literally 100 blocks from 125th street, where I was living at the time, to get there. People walked/biked from Brooklyn, too. After, McManus was candle lit. 📸: @bluvbot #byechelsea

11/5 Asssscat! Cast L-R: Abra Tabak, Zach Cherry, Connor Ratliff, Achilles Stamatelaky, John Levenstein, Shannon O’Neill, Katie Dippold, Ben Schwartz, and Doug Moe

Monologist: John Levenstein- writer/producer for Arrested Development, Kroll Show & Silicon Valley

In November 2002, we were forced to vacate our theatre at 161 West 22nd Street. In April 2003, we opened up our current 26th street location which we will be moving out of at the end of November. In December, we will open our next theatre in Hell's Kitchen.

Why are we moving? link in Bio

Please help us say goodbye to UCBT Chelsea during the month of November by posting your favorite memories, tagging us and using #ByeChelsea

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