About RISE Comedy

Valerie HopeHyatt Hotels
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Improv is all about supporting one another, creating trust and safety as well as building upon the ideas and efforts of others. We not only shared lots of laughs, met new people and took creative risks, but also took some fun activities to use in the future! We all agreed we would do it all again. We’ve already recommended it to other colleagues!
Cheri SimsFDIC
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Thank you for working with me and my team on our teambuilding exercise. Many of them, me included, weren’t sure what to expect, but I heard from several of them over the last couple of days. They were extremely impressed with the event and they all took something away from it. It really resonated with them in similar ways and as I had hoped.
Chelsie KuglerCFOshare
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I was struggling to find something that would suit my team as part of our holiday party. This was seriously the best find! Steve was wonderful to work with and was incredibly flexible. We have a few introverts in our group and by the end, they participated just as much! Our experience wasn’t about getting on stage and being funny. It was more about being comfortable with each other and being goofy at the same time. After our two hours was up, we all went to dinner together and continued to laugh. It was well received all around!
Kim WilkeCO House Majority Project
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My organization booked RISE Comedy for our annual post-session fundraiser. The actors were fantastic about making sure our volunteers were comfortable and created a performance that was hilarious and tailored to our event. We received rave reviews from our members and our guests, with some saying it was the best event in recent memory. We can’t wait to come back next year!

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 Steve Wilder opened RISE Comedy as the Voodoo Comedy Playhouse, on Wednesday, October 26th, 2011.

On January 1st, 2019, RISE was pleased to welcome Nick Armstrong and Josh Nicols as new partners and co-owners.  Working with original RISE Comedy founder and co-owner Steve Wilder, Nick & Josh have brought their decades of comedy and improv experience to the table, and all 3 partners are excited to usher in the next wave of evolution in Denver improvisation!

There is an amazing level of comedic talent in our city, and we are most proud to present these shows for your approval.  We consider all of our shows to be the cream of the comedy crop, with performers who are or soon will be known on the national stage.  We’ve also 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, Ithamar Enriquez, Susan Messing, Rachael Mason, Jill Bernard, Brian Babylon of NPR’s Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, and many many more.

Our Very First Show
Our very first show on the RISE Comedy stage, way back in 2011!
Traci SchrahComcast Xfinity
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Steve, Kat and Josh did an amazing job during our all team meeting! Everyone in our group had a great experience and not only came together as a stronger team, but had a blast doing it!
Emily O'BrienKaiser Permanente
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We had our Company Christmas Party at RISE Comedy. We had an absolute blast! We were able to have our food catered and we were able to use the facility for the whole event. The show was amazing and geared toward our group. Charlie was our bartender and went above and beyond even providing us with some entertainment. This is a top notch improv group. I would highly recommend having your group activity at RISE Comedy!
Leah CaputoJA Rocky Mountain
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Our whole office went to RISE Comedy for team bonding. Steve Wilder did such an awesome job getting us to realize what we already knew about working together, but that we also had a lot to learn. The games built on each other extremely well and it was so comfortable and fun! It was so easy to forget that we there for bonding time and not just for after work fun. You can definitely tell Steve Wilder and the RISE Comedy staff want to show that improv skills can be used for so much more than the stage!!
Kevin McDonaldKids in the Hall
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I had an amazing time at RISE Comedy. The theater was full of talented and funny people, it was run and organized excellently, everyone there were the nicest people in the world and to add to everything else, they have an amazing bar! In short, it’s a wonderful place where you can go to laugh, see very funny shows and then have a lot of fun even after the show.

We offer a fully-stocked bar for your enjoyment, as well as a technologically advanced theater setup to provide the ultimate in amusement.  We are open five nights a week for shows.  The bar opens at 7:30 PM Tue – Thu, and 6:15 PM Fri & Sat.  Shows are 18+ before 10:00 PM, and 21+ after 10:00 PM.

Hit and Run: Musical Improv and our other improv comedy shows are available for private events, and the theater itself is available for private functions and rentals.

With RISE Comedy, we have made our dreams real, and we’d love to have you in for a show and a drink.  See you soon!

Meet The RISE Comedy Partners

Nick Armstrong is managing director and co-owner of RISE Comedy.  Nick is an Actor, Improvisor and Writer living in Los Angeles, CA. 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, Brooklyn Nine Nine and Parks and Recreation. He has also sold and written TV shows to numerous networks including TruTv, A&E and more. Nick has trained at The Groundlings and iO West. He is an alum of The Sunday Company at the Groundlings and currently performs at the M.I.’s Westside Comedy Theater with LA’s Critically Acclaimed Harold team King Ten and County Line. He has also taught improv at iO West, The Groundlings, The Pack Theater and has done workshops all over the world. Nick is also the Camp Director and Founder of Camp Improv Utopia a a 501(c) (3) Non Profit improv retreat for grown ups. He is also one of the founding members of the The Improv Network.

Josh Nicols Josh Nicols is artistic director and co-owner of RISE Comedy.  An LA Native, Josh has been a professional improv teacher, producer and performer for over 20 years. He has studied under instructors from iO West & Chicago, The Annoyance Theater, Groundlings, UCB, Second City & The Pack Theater. Josh is the creator of Spectacles Improv Engine’s unique focus based curriculum. He has performed and taught around the country and abroad. He is the Artistic Director/ Co-owner of RISE Comedy in Denver as well as the head counselor for Camp ImprovUtopia. Josh was the improv teacher at Mater Dei High School, 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 founder and former director of The Improv Cup.

Steve Wilder Steve Wilder is the original founder and co-owner of RISE Comedy (formerly Voodoo Comedy), operating since October 26th, 2011.  He has been teaching, improvising and performing for 27 years.  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.

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, Vail Resorts, and many others. He is also designer and webmaster for RiseComedy.com (currently in its 6th design iteration) and its sub-sites.

In addition to RISE Comedy, Steve is co-executive producer for The Dinner Detective Murder Mystery Dinner Show, where he manages 5 cities across the country, as well as coordinating the websites for all 75+ locations.  Steve is also founder and director of Hit and Run: Musical Improv™, Colorado’s longest-running longform improv show, which has created hundreds of fully improvised Broadway-style musicals over the past 15 years.

In the virtual arena, Steve produces online shows for HNR and RISE Comedy, as well as operating as Lead Digital Architect for The Virtual Detective.  Through The Virtual Detective, Steve has so far produced 7 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.