Preview: Coalition Theater's 2nd Best Comedy Fest, June 6-8

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Starting today, local and national comedy acts will be performing in Richmond for three nights of shows, workshops and parties as part of Coalition Theater's 2nd Best Comedy Fest.

All access wristbands are available for $40 and you can check out the full schedule here.

Style emailed some questions to the Coalition's Katie Holcomb in order to fill you in a little more about this year's fest, which takes place at various venues:

Style Weekly: How is this year's fest different from last year?

Katie Holcomb: In the past, we've focused on improv and a few sketch comedy acts in the lineup, but this year we've expanded to not only include improv and sketch, but stand-up amd podcasts as well. We've got over 40 acts scheduled, more than we've ever had.

What are you most excited about with this year's fest?

This year we've got so many highlights. Here's one of my favorites: Friday night at 9 p.m. at the Coalition Theater, we're presenting Kweendom, a NYC-based LGBTQ stand-up & storytelling show, featuring a powerhouse lineup of NYC performers. It features opening act QUEERBAIT, a truly bizarre and wonderful sketch duo from Philadelphia. A portion of the proceeds from that show also benefit Diversity RVA, so it's for a good cause!

Any new news at Coalition in general?

The Coalition Theater has become such a great hub for creativity in RVA. At the moment we have approx. 120 company performers doing shows regularly, and we have shows every Wednesday-Saturday night. There's even opportunities for folks to get onstage and try it out themselves (usually on Wednesdays.)

Our Training Center has also grown this year. We offer our core improv classes, two levels of sketch comedy, an intro to standup, and recently we've added a film 101 class and higher-level improv electives. If folks are interested in our classes, they should head over to www.rvacomedy.com/classes.

Any advice for first-time attendees of the festival?

Get the all-access wristband. Seriously. It gets you into any shows you want to see, plus the afterparties. It pays for itself almost instantly.

How many people showed up last time, and will any of these likely sell out?

Last year, almost all of our shows were totally sold out! Shows are likely to sell out at our smaller venues - the Coalition Theater and The Basement Theater, so I'd urge people to either get their all-access wristband or tickets in advance. We're fortunate to have our headlining shows - Lady to Lady Podcast and the World's 2nd Best Stand-Up Showcase, at the Canal Club so that we can accommodate bigger crowds for those! My estimate is a billion people. I am also optimistic and bad at math.

Basically any other user friendly info you can give me that would help our readers navigate, etc.?

Visit www.2ndbestfest.com to see the full schedule, read about acts, buy tickets, and even register for one of our guest workshops if you're feeling bold. Tickets and all access passes will be available at the door at all venues as well.

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