Peoples Improv Theater

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The Peoples Improv Theater

The Peoples Improv Theater is an award-winning training center and comedy theater in New York City, founded by Ali Farahnakian in 2002. The PIT boasts a proud history of community through comedy, and consists of three venues: Striker, Underground, and the Loft. The Striker Stage and Underground are located in Manhattan’s Flatiron District at 123 E. 24th Street. The Loft, located in Chelsea, Manhattan at 154 W. 29th Street, was the PIT’s original location. Shows performed here include improvisational comedy, sketch comedy, stand-up comedy, theater and original comedy.


The PIT is dedicated to the instruction, performance, and development of original comedy. Its mission is to entertain and educate the community about comedic arts in a safe and nurturing environment.

The PIT is composed of three elements: a school that focuses on the craft of improvisation, an eclectic variety of electives, and an unparalleled professional writing program; a theatre that presents original comedic shows seven nights a week; and a corporate and educational workshop program that offers team building, leadership, and business training.


The Peoples Improv Theater was founded by Ali Reza Farahnakian in 2002 and was originally located at 154 W29th Street. After outgrowing its original home, The PIT moved to its current location (123 E24th Street) on December 31, 2010. As of September 1, 2015 the original location of the PIT became The PIT Loft and officially became the third venue of The PIT. The PIT now consists of three theaters, the Striker Main Stage and Underground both at the Flatiron location and The Loft in the Chelsea location.


Under their motto, “Improv Your Life,” the Peoples Improv Theatre is dedicated to the development of their students as performers, writers, and human beings. The PIT strives to provide a place where aspiring actors and writers can practice their craft, become a member of their community, and pursue their comedic careers. Their core programs in improv and sketch writing, as well as a variety of electives help shape their students to become well-rounded professionals in the industry.

Current and prospective students can apply for the Workstudy Program which allows them to delve deeper into the PIT community and take classes at a discounted rate.


As the digital home of the Peoples Improv Theater, PITtv provides fun and engaging content to thousands of subscribers. PITtv creates original video content for their YouTube Channel, which has over 11-million views to date. Their videos have also been featured on Huffington Post, Funny or Die, Gizmodo, and Laughing Squid.


Best of New York – Improv Classes, Best Comedy Club - The Village Voice, Best Of Comedy - Time Out NY

Notable Alumni of the PIT[edit]

Ellie Kemper, Kristen Schaal, Hannibal Buress, Grace Helbig, Mamrie Hart

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°44′26″N 73°59′05″W / 40.74052°N 73.98474°W / 40.74052; -73.98474