Connect with us!

This week






  • The GIVE ME 500 - THE WORLDS LARGEST SOLO SKETCH COMEDY FEST - set to ROAR The Playground Aug 1st-2nd

    July 28

    The Playground Theater is proud to present The Give Me 500- The Worlds Largest solo sketch comedy fest. GM500 is a weekend long “Celebration of Solo Sketch Comedy” held at The Playground Theater Friday and Saturday August 1-2nd. The show will feature 100, 5 minute solo sketch performers competing for over $1,000 in cash prizes and the honor of being the inaugural Give Me 500 Champion.

    The Give ME 500 was inspired by the Playgrounds hit show The Give Me 5 (Wednesdays at 10PM). For over 3 years and 13 season of the show, The Give me 5 has given over 400 of Chicago's comedians / improvisers 5 minutes to do the funniest comedic set they can think of.. "The GiveMe 5 is by far one of the most popular shows with the Chicago's comedy Community, every week the audience, show producer and comedians alike are surprised, stunned and electrified by some of the sketches, songs and bits presented." says show producer and Playground President Matt Barbera. "As the show grows performers are pushing each other to higher levels not to be outdone by their comedic counterparts. The result is always interesting and on many nights spectacular"

    Show times for the Give Me 500 will be Friday August 1st at 7p,8p,9p,10p,11p,12a and 1a; and Saturday August 2nd at 1p,2p,3p,4p,5p,6pm with 2 Finales at 8 and 10pm. The preliminary rounds Friday and Saturday will feature 8 performers doing 5 minute sets. Admission to the prelims will be $5. The Finales will feature the winners of all the preliminary rounds, admission will be $15.

    SIGN UP TO PERFORM: email for signup instructions for the #GM500


    July 8

    Comedy Exposition is a 3 day standup comedy festival featuring over 70 comedians, taking place in 3 Chicago neighborhoods from July 11-13th. The Comedy Exposition of 2014 is an independent comedy festival celebrating the best in local and national standup, with headliners like Andy Kindler, Jackie Kashian, Aparna Nancherla, Brooks Wheelan, Sean Patton, Sean O'Connor, Ryan Singer, and so many more! Weekend passes and individual tickets on sale now! Check out shows at THE PLAYGROUND FRIDAY NIGHT FOR ONLY $5.

  • Improv with a Hook...UP

    June 1

    Thursday nights at 10pm The Playground Presents Quiver. An improvised show inspired by the performers OK Cupid Profiles and messages received from their potential dates. This is truly improv with a HOOK UP.


    April 26

    The Big Yellow Bus is moving to Sundays starting May 4th at 915PM. The show featuring some of the Playgrounds best performers will invite guests each week from some of the best comedy shows in town to join them. The show will be $5. SO if you are looking for a great show and have only a few bucks in your pocket then the Sunday Night BYB is where you need to be. And as always the BYB is BYOB. You can't beat that.

  • SKETCH on the ROCKS adopts Second City type formula for independent sketch comedy groups...

    April 11

    SKETCH on the ROCKS adopts Second City type formula for independent sketch comedy groups... At The Playground we think SKETCH comedy ROCKS. Most of the top sketch comedy groups in Chicago tend to be independently produced. At SKETCH on the ROCKS we want to help groups in their process of creating new shows. Sketch groups will be given 6 week show runs; 3 weeks of development focusing on improvising premises, writing the improvised scenes and re-working the scenes after putting them up in front of a live audience; and then the groups will have a 3 week show run presenting the scenes that have been developed. Current and aspiring sketch groups are welcome to apply for a run at SKETCH on the ROCKS by emailing Bill Meincke at


About us

We are the nation's only non-profit cooperative dedicated to the art of improv comedy. Over 200 artists and 13 member ensembles work on a volunteer basis to operate the theater and perform live improv, sketch, and stand-up comedy seven nights a week. The Playground is the perfect place to start your night!

The Playground is cash-only. Tickets for many shows may be purchased in advance through Brown Paper Tickets by clicking the "Buy tickets" link next to the show you're interested in seeing. Tickets are non-refundable.
You may reserve tickets by calling (773) 871-3793 or by E-mailing us at No purchase is required to reserve tickets.
BYOB Policy
The Playground Theater is BYOB. We do not provide bottle openers, glasses, or corking services. You must be 21 or older to drink alcohol in the theater, and we reserve the right to verify the age of any patron.
Age Restrictions
There are no age restrictions for attending shows at The Playground. However, our shows are generally appropriate for those aged 16 or older.
We hold auditions for our Incubator Program about every three months. Please contact for more information.
Contact Information
If you have any other questions, feel free to contact us at (773) 871-3793 or E-mail us at