The People’s Improv Theater

from our Guest Blogger, Manhattan Sideways

It was Christmas Eve of 1989 when Ali Reza Farahnakian, founder and owner of the People’s Improv Theater, had what he calls an epiphany while watching Saturday Night Live. Ali was about to graduate college, and realized that while he had been planning on becoming a doctor, he didn’t want that – what he really wanted was to play a doctor on TV. Growing up in a small town, Ali had always enjoyed playing pretend, and so the move to a career in improvisational acting felt natural. With this goal in mind, he moved to Chicago to work with the iconic Second City Theater. It took many years of hard work and cleaning toilets at Blockbuster, but he did eventually carve a space for himself in the improv world. Ten years after his Christmas epiphany Ali moved to Manhattan to be a part of the show that started it all – Saturday Night Live. He worked on the 25th Anniversary Show of SNL, and also helped to open up the now famous Upright Citizens Brigade with several other comedians. After some time at Upright Citizens Brigade, Ali decided to found his own improv theater, the PIT, which now sits in the beautiful century-old space on 24th Street. READ MORE 

People's Improv


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