The Annoyance Theatre

Chicago, IL

About The Annoyance Theatre

For 25 years, The Annoyance Theatre has created some of Chicago's finest comedy.

Home of the longest running musical Co-ed Prison Sluts, The Annoyance uses improvisation to create new and original plays, musicals, sketch-comedy and more in a vibrant, uncensored atmosphere.

Under the guidance of Artistic Director

Mick Napier, The Annoyance also provides excellent quality training in improvisation.

Based on Napier's book Improvise. Scene From the Inside Out, the Annoyance philosophy focuses on the individual, giving students feedback and support to allow them to find and enhance their personal point of view and creative voice.

 From Improvise. Scene from the Inside Out

by Annoyance Artistic Director and Founder Mick Napier

“On September 10, 1987, a group of us were sitting around a table at an Italian restaurant talking about slasher films. As the discourse pursued, we got the crazy idea of producing a blood show for Halloween, which was a few weeks away. We set our goal for the opening at October 10, exactly one month ahead to the day. In the next frantic four weeks, we pulled a show out of thin air. We created makeshift beats for the show, more or less a parody of contemporary gory horror films, learned about stage blood, and created and “perfected” our effects. Through improvisation, we honed the beats and developed the characters. Borrowing from Alfred Hitchcock, our stage blood consisted of chocolate syrup, water, and red food coloring. We created different consistencies for different effects. Some of the stage effects included a nun getting drilled in the back of the head, a bimbo getting her tongue ripped out, and a policeman having his intestines removed. With a freshly painted white set, Splatter Theatre opened on October 10th, 1987. After a chilling original song performed by a night club singer character, several deaths turning the white set blood red, a real meat puppet intermezzi, and many laughs, Splatter Theater received a standing ovation. Nobody knew at the time that we were launching The Annoyance Theatre. We were just doing a show. As a matter of fact, annoyance wasn’t the name for us yet. We called ourselves Metraform. “Metra” because we were performing a long form at a theatre on the fourth floor of a great music club called The Cabaret Metro, and “form” because we were performing other various original improv forms at another venue. It wasn’t until we formally rented a space in 1989 that we came up with The Annoyance. Metraform didn’t seem like a very compelling name for a subversive comedy theatre, so a few friends and a bottle of tequila yielded The Annoyance, but at the time just as the name of the theatre itself, with Metraform being our company name. As The Annoyance became The Annoyance, Metraform went away.

The Annoyance Theatre & Bar

851 W. Belmont
FL 2
Chicago, IL 60657


Managing Staff

Artistic Director, Founder
Mick Napier

Executive Producer, President
Jennifer Estlin

Associate Director
Duke Harbison

Resident Directors
Charley Carroll
Kyle Dolan
Sam Locke
Irene Marquette
Ryan McDermott
Tim Paul
Rebecca Sohn
Rich Sohn

Production Co-Ordinator
Chelsea Rendlen

Resident Designer/Advisor
Lyn Pusztai

Chicago Director of Education
Chris Kervick

Director of Marketing and Group Sales
Denise Swindell

NY Director of Education
Philip Markle


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