Jonathan Pitts

Creator and Producer

Jonathan Pitts is the founder and current Executive Director of Chicago Improv Productions. He is also the Co-Founder of the Chicago Improv Festival and creator and founder of the College Improv Tournament, Teen Comedy Fest and CIP’s education outreach programs. For three years in a row he was selected by New City as one of Chicago’s “Top 50 Theatre Players”.

For seven years, he was the Theatre and Performance Arts Curator for the Around The Coyote arts festival and two years for their Winter Fest. For two years he was the Coordinator of the Bailiwick Directors Festival. While there he also Co-Founded and Co-Produced Bailiwick’s Naked i Visual Arts Festival. For two years he was the Producer of Art Attack, a performing arts festival in Three Oaks, Michigan, and for two years he also was the Co-Producer of Three Oak’s Shakespeare in the Park.

As a creator/director of spontaneous theatre, performance art, original productions, and sketch comedy, he has created/directed several shows including Storybox; Storybox’s World Tales; Double Play; Viola Spolin: Visionary Woman of Play; The Xprovisation Series; The Silent Movie; The Oracle; Chimes; The Answer; Kidz Writes; Sybil’s Playhouse; and for three years in New Mexico, Phantasmagoria Improvisational Theatre. For two years he was the Resident Improv Director at Chicago’s Navy Pier.

He’s a former Artistic Associate of Bailiwick Repertory Theatre and WNEP Theater. He’s also a former company member of Blue Rider Theatre. As an improviser he has performed in over 1,000 improvised shows with several improv ensembles across America. He was a member of iO’s first ever House Team, Stone Soup. As an actor he has appeared in over 30 productions with numerous Chicago area theatre companies.

For ten years he was a Guest Artist Faculty Member of The Second City Training Center. For five years he was an Artist-In-Residence at Richards High School. He’s also taught improv and theatre workshops forAfter School Matters, Beverly Arts Center, Brave New Workshop, Chicago Academy for the Arts, Chicago Park District, DePaul University’s Writing Program, Dirty South Improv Festival, Free Street Theater, Illinois High School Theatre Fest, Magic City, Redmoon Theater, Southwest Theatre Fest,London’s The Spontaneity Shop, and Very Special Arts.

He was a contributing writer to Anne Libera’s book The Second City’s Almanac of Improvisation. He also wrote the forward to CIF Artistic Associate Asaf Ronen’s book Directing Improv. In 1984, as a young Chicago improviser, he wrote the original version of An Improv Almanac.

Festival Organizers