The long-running sketch comedy show fuses the best of academics, science, and laughs in weekly performances.
Study Hall Comedy Inspired by Lectures, one of Philadelphia’s longest-running improv comedy shows, combines lectures and laughs in one fantastic hour never seen before and never to be seen again. Drexel University’s Professor Michael Yudell and guests from all over the world provide a lecture on a wide variety of topics and the amazingly talented Study Hall cast warps each lecture into hilarious scenes on the spot. The troupe, which has performed for years at a variety of Philadelphia museums and Philly Improv Theater, is launching weekly online shows every Wednesday at 8PM EST, with several special events happening throughout the month of July.
“With live theater no longer an option for us, we adapted the show’s format to the Zoom age and moved to the internet as well as increased the frequency of shows,” said Study Hall Director Mike Marbach. “The digital format has allowed us to continue to entertain and educate our audiences while keeping ourselves and the audience safe. Additionally, the online version has allowed us to welcome guest performers and lecturers from around the world in a way the live show could not. We have every intention of performing live on stage again once the dust of the virus settles.”
Head Study Hall Lecturer Michael Yudell is the Chair of the Department of Community Health and Prevention at the Dornsife School of Public Health at Drexel University. Yudell is a researcher in the fields of ethics, genomics, and the history of public health. His work focuses on the history, risk communication and ethics of autism spectrum disorders, as well as the history of the race concept in biology.
“Michael’s involvement in the show has always been a blessing,” added Marbach. “However, as we navigate performing during the pandemic, his expertise has been particularly useful and appreciated.”
Study Hall was formed in 2011 as a segment of the Philadelphia Science Festival. In that show, Philly Improv Theater House Team “Asteroid!” was paired with Yudell. The segment featured Professor Yudell giving short lectures from the world of public health and Asteroid! improvising scenes inspired by them. The segment was a hit and was featured again at the Festival in 2011, 2012, and 2013. Study Hall was then a regular featured show at Philly Improv Theater from 2013-2020.
Through the years, Study Hall has performed at The Franklin Institute, The Academy of Natural Sciences, Drexel University, The Science History Institute, The Museum of the American Revolution, and more. The show currently features: Rob Alesiani, Gab Bottoni, Fred Brown, Sarah Clemency, Keane Cobb, Frank Farrell, Brendan Manklang-Kingston, James Knight, Lora Magaldi, Sheila Master, Robert O’Neill, Marcely Jean-Pierre, Molly Scullion, Aaron Unice, and Head Lecturer Michael Yudell.
Upcoming special shows for Study Hall include a Theatre Philadelphia Emergency Relief fundraiser on Saturday, July 11 at 7PM (tickets $10) featuring guests Tai Verley, Alice Yorke, and Liz Filios. Also, the weekly show on Wednesday, July 29 is a special Study Hall fundraiser to ensure that the troupe continues to have the resources to bring this special blend of academics and comedy to their audiences (tickets $10). Normal online ticket prices are $5. This September, Study Hall will also make an appearance with the Philadelphia Fringe Festival. Details are forthcoming.
For more information, or to book your tickets, visit studyhallshow.com.
Online Improv Comedy Inspired by Lectures
Theatre Philadelphia Emergency Relief Fundraiser: July 11 at 7PM ($10)
Regular Shows July 15, 22 at 8PM ($5)
Study Hall Fundraiser: July 29 at 8PM ($10)
Book tickets at studyhallshow.com