For more than 30 years, the improv guru Del Close of Second City urged young comedians (Tina Fey, John Belushi, and Bill Murray, to name a few) to see their craft as an art form that required intelligence, not banana peels. “Treat your audience like poets and geniuses,” he said. Since his death in 1999, top improvisers from more than a dozen cities have come together in his honor at the annual Del Close Marathon, a nonstop weekend (there are literally shows around-the-clock) of more than 150 performances at four different venues—Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, Urban Stages, Hudson Guild Theatre, and FIT. Special performers at FIT include Derrick Comedy (featuring Donald Glover of Community), Improvised Shakespeare, The Colbert Report writers, and the musical improv group Baby Wants Candy.

July 30-Aug. 1, 2010