Dad’s Garage returns to indoor shows with live audiences on July 16

Dad's Garage will reopen July 16 for the first time in more than 16 months. RODNEY HO/
Dad's Garage will reopen July 16 for the first time in more than 16 months. RODNEY HO/

Credit: RODNEY HO/

Credit: RODNEY HO/

The comedy improv theater will go live and in person for first time in 16 months.

Dad’s Garage, the city’s largest comedy improv theater, announced its first indoor shows with live audiences more than 16 months after the pandemic began.

Matt Terrell, communications director, said they are starting small: two regular improv shows on Friday and Saturday nights at 8 p.m. starting July 16. The usual 10:30 p.m. shows won’t start just yet.

The Friday show will be its long-running improv soap opera, which shifts themes annually and is currently titled “Scandal: Sealab.” The classic “TheatreSports” improv show will be available Saturdays.

Tickets go on sale Friday at 8 a.m.

Terrell said he’s not sure when more scripted offerings will resume.

The 200-seat theater in the Old Fourth Ward will open at half capacity.

“We’re taking it very cautiously,” Terrell said. “It’s always easier to loosen restrictions than to add new ones again.”

He added: “We want to see what our patrons and performers are comfortable with and work from there.”

The theater’s pre-pandemic schedule meant up to 300 shows a year, with multiple shows on Fridays and Saturdays.

Masks will still be required indoors. There is no requirement to be vaccinated.

Although the bar will accept cash, the theater will prefer cards.

In-person improv classes begin in August with masked and maskless options available. And the theater is resuming corporate training classes focused on how to deal with working in person again in offices.

The theater group quickly pivoted after the pandemic to digital shows on Twitch. It rented out its parking lot space to the Plaza Theatre for drive-in movies for several months and more recently has been holding weekly live improv shows there as well.

Terrell said they used the pandemic period to replace the roof and reorganize storage areas. Terrell himself repainted the entire space. The bathrooms are now entirely touchless and they installed filters used in medical facilities to kill all types of viruses in the air.

Dad’s Garage also has an on-demand subscription channel to view past shows for $15 a month.

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