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We arranged to have Steve come to a corporate event to lead an improv workshop and I have heard only rave reviews from our participants. I know a few of them... were a bit apprehensive, but everyone came away with wonderful things to say. Our group is hard to impress, so it speaks volumes about Steve's style and expertise. He conducted a few intake calls to understand our audience and logistics went smoothly.read more
Sage C.
Sage C.
15:29 23 Feb 22
I’ve taken improv classes here, and really recommend (all of) the teachers. They’ve built a great community and have many events and classes - for a drop in,... or just to observe a show!!read more
Alex W.
Alex W.
06:10 01 Feb 23
I've never been to a improv comedy show before but it was amazing. I was so impressed with bits they did and how they were able to tie them all together in the... end. Will for sure go againread more
Kazzi K.
Kazzi K.
17:18 08 Jan 23
I went to the Wednesday class! It was a very accepting, supportive group and the teacher is so quick on her feet and knew what she was talking about. I learned... so much! Awesome first experience for stand-up😆read more
Jecelle F.
Jecelle F.
15:12 20 Nov 22
Had a great time with the team at Rise for an improv class with our group. SO good. Lots of fun and laughs. Brought us together and helped us get to know... each other. Then we enjoyed a musical comedy improv show the net night. So fun to see them in action. Very talented. We all had a great time. Not really family friendly if you know what I mean. But now you have been warned.read more
Nick M.
Nick M.
21:34 01 Oct 22
This place is extremely special to me because it helped get me through COVID from a mental health perspectives I’ve taken both 101 and 201 improv classes... there. The instructors are top notch and there’s an authentic sense of community. Lots of shows and classes almost every night of the week.Make sure to come out on Thursdays at 6pm for drop in classes (only $11 and all are welcome) and then stay for the Jam right after at 8pm (free, but please buy drinks to keep this place in business!)read more
Josh D.
Josh D.
13:00 26 Aug 22
A great class/critique session, where the moderator and the comics were all helpful and fun. Then they managed 42! comics in one night, with humor and grace... throughout! I’m visiting from California, and though there were jokes about various biases, I had a great time, thank you!read more
Scott Vickers (.
Scott Vickers (.
15:31 08 Jul 22
I've had an absolute blast taking classes at RISE. The teachers are awesome and the community is even better. Sign up if you're considering it! You'll be glad... you did.read more
Brian N.
Brian N.
08:40 08 Jul 22
Christie Buchele is such an amazing teacher for standup. She's fun, caring, encouraging, reassuring, upbeat, and authentic. She's also hilarious and has a ton... of great ideas. Thank you so much, Christie!read more
Ann C.
Ann C.
21:26 20 Jun 22
I feel super lucky that Denver has a spot like this for comedy and improv! Drop-in classes on week nights and free community jams on Thursdays. Full courses in... improv, sketch, standup or musical improv! Fantastic community of people.read more
Lauren L.
Lauren L.
12:34 12 Apr 22
I went here on a whim right after a show at Clocktower Cabaret. It was the Laugh Track at 9PM and the group there was great! It was basically like Whose Line... and the group were all hilarious. My favorite though, was Nicole and she kept me cracking up. If I lived here, I would attend every week. Thanks for making a memorable night!read more
Jay R
Jay R
18:29 28 Mar 22
My boyfriend and I were in town and super randomly stumbled across this place. There happened to be a sketch comedy show that night so we decided to go. Thank... the lord we did because it was the most fun we have had in Denver. It was super affordable and everyone was so friendly. We got some drinks from Val at the bar and she was so good at her job. I had one of the best mules I have ever had. Definitely stay after the show to hang out with the staff!read more
valerie M.
valerie M.
18:13 21 Mar 22
Exactly what we were looking for on date night. Grabbed some dinner and drinks at a nearby restaurant (Diabla Pozole, excellent), and walked over to Rise for... the Wednesday night open mic night. Great experience. No frills, cheap drinks, lively people, great crowd, and comics were certainly better than expected. Obviously some hits and misses but that's what makes it great. Will definitely be back.read more
John S.
John S.
01:11 31 Jan 22
This theater is the comeback kid. After starting with new ownership, then closing down after COVID, they’ve managed to not only keep things going, but foster... an even stronger community than before. As a performer and patron, I am proud and grateful for RISE. Keep it up, guys!read more
Margarita A.
Margarita A.
22:38 30 Nov 21
I was visiting Denver and wanted to stop in to see how the new ownership had changed things. It was amazing. I had so much fun and participated in their free... Jam. I went back the next night to watch a great night of improv for under $20. Cheap PBRs were great too! 5 starts 100%read more
James T.
James T.
01:19 19 Nov 21
Wonderful community of improvisers and talented funny people. I felt welcomed right away when I attended my first jam! They always have something going on... whether it’s a show, class, or workshop. Really excited to get more involved and learn!read more
Haley C.
Haley C.
13:46 18 Nov 21
Love this place. The shows are great and when you get a ticket you can usually stick around for a second show, so it's a great deal. I also started doing the... improv classes here. They're super fun and the staff, owners and community have been awesome.read more
Brian M.
Brian M.
15:40 16 Nov 21
I love that they offer so many options to see different improv shows, often with different performers and almost always amusing! You can make a whole evening... of it and see one, two, three or four shows in one night! Plus, you can stay and easily perform karaoke on nights that's offered too. No super-long wait like at some karaoke bars. If you think you'd love it, you could even try an inexpensive drop-in class to see.read more
shelley O.
shelley O.
17:54 12 Nov 21
I love this place. The shows are entertaining, the classes are super fun, and the community is warm and welcoming. If you have ever thought about trying out an... improv class, this is the place to go.read more
A
A
16:09 12 Nov 21
This place has great shows, and an incredibly kind, fun and welcoming community. With the variety of shows and classes, there’s something for everyone! Happy... to spend much of my free time at this place.read more
Nicholle H.
Nicholle H.
02:01 12 Nov 21
This place is an amazing community of creative humans! I like to go places where I feel safe and have fun and this is it. Fun shows, great staff, & a good... value.read more
Sunshine H.
Sunshine H.
01:34 12 Nov 21
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Welcome to RISE Comedy (formerly Voodoo Comedy), Denver’s only full-time improv comedy bar and theater!  We offer fun and unpredictable entertainment experiences in the heart of LoDo.  RISE Comedy is the place to enjoy a wide variety of intriguing, original improv comedy, sketch comedy, Denver improv classes, karaoke and more; a well-stocked bar; and a unique, affordable night out that you and your friends won’t soon forget.

We have been performing in Denver since 2008, with The Dinner Detective Murder Mystery Dinner Show and Hit and Run: Musical Improv.  Over the years, our passion for interactive, unscripted theater grew exponentially, and we realized it was time to expand our dreams and move into our own theater space.  After a lot of hard work and planning, founder Stephen Wilder opened RISE Comedy as the Voodoo Comedy Playhouse, on Wednesday, October 26th, 2011.

Our Very First Show
Our very first show on the RISE Comedy stage, way back in 2011!

Over its history, RISE Comedy has helped to raise the profile of improvisation and comedy, both in Colorado and beyond.

In 2011, the opening of the Voodoo Comedy Playhouse prompted the explosive growth of Denver’s improv community, bringing the city in line with larger improv and comedy destinations, and elevating the Denver improv community to a national audience.

In the next several years, the Voodoo hosted many nationally known improv and comedy acts, such as Kevin McDonald of Kids In The Hall, Frank Conniff & Trace Beaulieu of Mystery Science Theater 3000, Paul Brittain from Saturday Night Live, Ithamar Enriquez, Patrick Rowland, Karen Graci, Armando Diaz, Craig & Carla Cackowski, Brian Babylon of NPR’s Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, and many many more.

In 2015, the Voodoo created its own improv comedy curriculum and graduated its very first improv students, setting the standard for years to come.

In 2016, the Voodoo facilitated and hosted the first meetings of the Diversity in Colorado Improvisation group, which promoted positive changes for inclusion & diversity in the Colorado comedy scene which continue to this day.

By 2018, the Voodoo set a new record by donating $30,000+ in shows and improv classes to nonprofit groups and disadvantaged communities over the life of the theater.

In 2019, the Voodoo was pleased to add Nick Armstrong and Josh Nicols to the management team, as new partners and co-owners.

In 2020 and 2021, the Voodoo was able to weather the pandemic and return to live shows after 16 months of being shuttered.  During this period, Voodoo Comedy became RISE Comedy, in an effort to help highlight our original mission statement put forth back in 2016.

In 2022 and beyond, we are all excited to help usher in the next evolution of Denver improv and Denver comedy!

About The RISE Comedy Co-Owners & Partners

Nick Armstrong is an Actor, Improvisor, Director and Writer. On TV, Nick has been on the Emmy-Award winning shows The Office and Grey’s Anatomy. He has also made appearances on Jimmy Kimmel Live, New Girl, Stan Against Evil, Young Sheldon, Brooklyn Nine Nine and Parks and Recreation.

While in Los Angeles, Nick trained at the World-famous Groundlings Theater where he was a member of the prestigious Sunday Company who’s alumni include Will Ferrell, Heidi Gardner, Phil Hartman and many more. There he would study and teach improv and sketch comedy. He also studied at iO where he learned and taught Long Form Improvisation and performed on the critically acclaimed teams King Ten, COG and Kind Strangers. He was also former Artistic Director of M.I’s Westside Comedy Theater. where he taught and performed as well. Nick has taught workshops all over the world and has performed and headlined in over 60 festivals throughout the world.

Currently, Nick is the Co-Owner and Artistic Director of RISE Comedy in Denver, Colorado and Founder and Executive Director of Improv Utopia a Non-profit improv camp for adults held annually that gives back to the improv community and other arts related charities.

Josh Nicols is the Education Director and co-owner of RISE Comedy.  Josh has been a professional improv teacher, producer and performer for 20 years. He has studied under instructors from iO West & Chicago, The Annoyance Theater, Groundlings, UCB, and Second City.  He has performed and taught all around the country and abroad.  Josh was the improv teacher at Mater Dei High School as well as working with Long Beach Poly Highschool, He also served as the Training Center Director at the Westside Comedy Theater, prior to that he was the Artistic Director/ Co-Owner of Spectacles Improv Engine in Fullerton Ca. He created and directed 7 years of The Orange County Improv Festival and is a founder and former director of The Improv Cup. He is a member of the teams Community Theater 3000, Tapestry, Laugh Track and A Bad Play Done Terribly. He has also directed full length improvised plays, which included The Awkward Party, Post Apocalyptic Bunker Comedy and Prentendessee Williams, with the Awkward Party receiving the accolade “Best Play of the Year” from the OC Weekly.

About The Founder Of RISE Comedy & Voodoo Comedy

Steve Wilder (Stephen Wilder) is the founder and original owner of RISE Comedy in Denver, Colorado (formerly Voodoo Comedy), operating since October 26th, 2011.  He has been teaching, improvising and performing for 29 years, and he has been in service to the Denver and Colorado theater communities since 2009.

An alumnus of iO West and Second City Hollywood, Steve has performed with and studied under improv luminaries such as Michael Pollock, musical director of Second City Hollywood and the premier improv accompanist in the country; Shulie Cowen, the founder and director of Opening Night: The Improvised Musical in Hollywood; David Razowsky; Armando Diaz; Kevin McDonald; Craig Cackowski; Dave Hill; Eric Hunicutt; Karen Graci; and many many more.

On the scripted theater side, Steve studied at the Asolo Repertory Theater and New College/USF in Florida, and he has performed across the country and on both coasts, including Off-Broadway as part of the United Solo Theatre Festival.

Steve now operates as CTO and corporate/private workshops & events manager for RISE Comedy.  He has personally deployed corporate workshops and events for companies such as Apple, Adobe, Comcast Xfinity, Chipotle, DaVita, Dell, Ernst & Young, Google, Microsoft, Vail Resorts, and many others.  Steve is honored to have been chosen as the keynote speaker for the 2021 RMHA conference in Black Hawk, CO.  Steve also created and runs RISE Comedy’s musical improv training program.

In addition to RISE Comedy, Steve is co-executive producer for The Dinner Detective Murder Mystery Dinner Show®, where he manages 8 cities across the country, as well as coordinating the websites for all 80 locations.  Steve is also founder and director of Hit and Run: Musical Improv™, Colorado’s longest-running improv comedy show, which has created hundreds of fully improvised Broadway-style musicals over the past 17 years, at theaters and festivals across the country.  In 2016, Steve co-founded the Diversity in Colorado Improvisation group; this group kickstarted a change in inclusivity and diversity in the Colorado improv scene, which continues to this day.

In the virtual arena, Steve operates as Lead Digital Architect for The Virtual Detective.  Through The Virtual Detective, Steve has so far produced 8 full-scale digital productions, and has performed hundreds of shows for dozens of colleges and organizations across the country and internationally, including shows in Canada, Bahrain, Hawaii, Morocco, Italy, the UK, Switzerland, Germany, Scotland, and many other countries.

Steve’s comedy festival and improv festival performing & teaching credits include: Los Angeles Improv Festival, New York Musical Improv Festival, New York Improv Festival, Out Of Bounds Comedy Festival, Montreal Improv Festival, Duke City Improv Festival, Denver Improv Festival, Colorado Improv Festival.