The Out of Bounds Comedy Festival
The Out of Bounds Comedy Festival (formerly The Out of Bounds Improv Festival) is an annual comedy festival that occurs during and around Labor Day weekend.
While Out of Bounds began as an improv festival, it has grown to include sketch comedy, stand-up performers, and short film as well. It is the largest-scale comedy festival in Austin, with around fifty acts attending in 2008, and momentous growth since then. It takes over multiple theaters in the Austin area, and in 2012, it lasted from the Tuesday before Labor Day through the Monday afterwards.
Friday night at the festival usually includes a roast of a local improv celebrity. Saturday night usually ends with the "All-Star Maestro", a Maestro performance with some two dozen performers drawn from throughout the festival. Sunday afternoon typically includes "Rocket Surgery", wherein Jeremy Lamb interviews one of the festival headliners. The Sunday night of the festival usually features its largest headlining act in the largest festival venue. Finally, on Monday night, that same headliner performs a "lottery show", wherein a few improvisors are selected at random to perform an improv show with the headliners.
The Out of Bounds Miniature Golf Tournament
Every year as part of the festival, attendees are invited to attend a Saturday-afternoon miniature golf tournament, usually held at Peter Pan Mini-Golf. Attendees are randomly assorted into teams, and creative cheating in the tournament is keenly encouraged. The trophy for this tournament is "The Ridiculous Jacket", which is exactly what it sounds like.
This is the listed mission statement for the festival: "Out of Bounds is dedicated to seeking out and finding comedic talent in all corners of the industry. We have many goals in producing this annual festival: to expose audiences and fellow comedians to work they otherwise might not be able to see; to showcase our fair city; to enrich our local populace as well as the national improv community through open workshops and instruction from leaders in the industry; to foster a sense of community among a national network of performers; and lastly, to have a good time producing good comedic theatre."
Jeremy Lamb founded Out of Bounds in 2002, as a way to bring troupes from around Texas and beyond to the Austin comedy scene.
In 2003, after the second festival, Lamb left Austin for Chicago, leaving the festival in the hands of Mike D'Alonzo and Shannon McCormick, two longtime veterans of the Austin comedy scene. In their time in 2004 and 2005, D'Alonzo and McCormick expanded the festival to two stages, doubling the number of performers and the size of the audience. In 2006, Lamb returned to Austin and rejoined the production team. Since then, the festival has steadily grown every year; in 2008, the festival expanded to include short films and stand-up comedy.
Earlier years of the festival included The Well Hung Jury Memorial Scholarship, wherein improvisors would propose show ideas and possibly win an all-festival pass.
List of Out of Bounds Festivals
- The 2002 Out of Bounds Comedy Festival
- The 2003 Out of Bounds Comedy Festival
- The 2004 Out of Bounds Comedy Festival
- The 2005 Out of Bounds Comedy Festival
- The 2006 Out of Bounds Comedy Festival
- The 2007 Out of Bounds Comedy Festival
- The 2008 Out of Bounds Comedy Festival
- The 2009 Out of Bounds Comedy Festival
- The 2010 Out of Bounds Comedy Festival
- The 2011 Out of Bounds Comedy Festival
- The 2012 Out of Bounds Comedy Festival
- The 2013 Out of Bounds Comedy Festival
- The 2014 Out of Bounds Comedy Festival
- The 2015 Out of Bounds Comedy Festival