The Focus Theater Opens as Rochester Fringe Festival’s Newest Official Venue


When the curtain goes up at the Rochester Fringe Festival this fall, The Focus Theater will open its doors for the first time as an official Fringe venue in a sensational, brand-new location. This new theater has a fully accessible, beautifully appointed, performance space featuring an intimate, 90-seat theatre with professional sound and lighting. The theater, originally created to support the teaching of all aspects of comedy in a classroom setting, has expanded to include weekend shows of sketch, improv and stand-up comedy performances. The theater is located on the third floor of the historic Sibley Building. There is easy access to the theater via Sibley Square’s Mercantile on Main entrance at 250 East Main Street in downtown Rochester. The Focus Theater will present multiple performances of ten distinctly different and entertaining shows at this year’s Rochester Fringe Festival. This twelve-day entertainment extravaganza begins on Tuesday, September 13, and runs daily through Saturday, September 24, 2022. 

Standup, sketch comedy, and theatrical improvisation are the hallmarks of The Focus Theater’s lineup for the 2022 Rochester Fringe Festival. Audiences can expect to enjoy fresh, fringy comedy, and become thoroughly engaged in the performances. The schedule of performances includes the following shows:  



Two Comedians, Dario Joseph, and Sara Shipley - both past winners of Funniest Person in Rochester, each perform 30-minutes of standup comedy. An opener selected by the comics will start the show.

Saturday, September 17 – 6:00 PM 

Friday, September 23 – 7:30 PM

Adult Comedy Standup

Tickets $15



Join us for an evening of improv comedy performed by improvisers from across the Rochester community. Do we know what the shows will be about? Not yet. Will we make it up as we go along? Yes, and that’s the beauty of improv!

Thursday. September 22 – 9:00 PM

Friday, September 23 – 9:00 PM

Saturday, September 24 – 9:00 PM

Adult Comedy Improv

Tickets $10



You’ve liked their memes, you’ve shared their articles, now come check out The Innerloop Blog LIVE! The creators of Rochester’s favorite fake news source, Shane Allen and Michael Colon, will host a fantastic night of comedy featuring the funniest people in Western New York. There will also be plenty of games and prizes to go along with the raunchy jokes planned in this hour-long standup show!

Thursday , September 15 - 7:30 PM

Friday, September 16 - 9:00 PM

Adult Comedy Improv

Tickets $15



The members of Left For Dead are all senior citizens. This Rochester-based improv comedy team have been walking this planet for almost half a millennium! These baby-boomer era performers are writers, scientists, bankers, craftspeople, and technicians. They’ve experienced marriage, divorce, broken bones, depression, migraines, heart attacks, the loss of loved ones as well as parenthood, grandparenthood, and even great grandparenthood. They have lived through success and failure, heartache, and great joy. Since 2011, they’ve expressed the meaning of their exceedingly long lives through comedy: improv, sketch, and standup. They have performed throughout the northeast at comedy festivals, theatres, and clubs. Left For Dead ranked as one of the best shows at previous Rochester Fringe Festivals. Catch them while you still can! 

Sunday, September 18 - 6:00 PM

Thursday September 22 - 6:00 PM

Adult Comedy Improv

Tickets $10



A sequel to Good Job, Ms. Golden Delicious’ solo debut at the 2019 Edinburgh Fringe Festival… this one-woman show asks what happens after your dreams come true? Ms. Golden Delicious has a “Perfect, Fabulous Life.” At least that’s what she wants you to believe. After creating her drag persona and taking the world by storm, Ms. Delicious is left feeling empty, with more questions about the meaning of her place in the world than ever before. Hilarious, ever-raunchy, and thought-provoking, this half lip-synched, half live-sung drag extravaganza is tailor-fit for drag fans, theatre fans, and anyone who isn’t boring! This performance is intended for audiences 18-years and older. 

Friday, September 16 - 7:30 PM 

Saturday, September 17 - 7:30 PM

Sunday September 18 - 4:00 PM 

Adult Comedy Drag Show

Tickets $15



Pork Pie Hat has been a House Team at Salt City Improv Theatre in Syracuse, New York for the past 10 years. They perform short-form improv comedy in the style of the hit TV show, “Whose Line Is It, Anyway.”

Wednesday, September 21 - 9:00 PM 

Adult Comedy Improv

Tickets $10



The Sammich is an original long-form improv structure. It was created by the improv team, SkittleFit who perform regularly at the Salt City Improv Theatre, in Syracuse, New York. The Sammich is essentially a completely improvised 5-act play! It’s multi-layered, linear storytelling.  

Wednesday, September 21 - 7:30 PM 

Adult Comedy Improv

Tickets $10



“Satire and wit abound” at Thank You Kiss sketch comedy shows. Critics have lauded the group as “laugh out-loud funny” with “hell yes’ social commentary.” Thank You Kiss blends satire, sincerity, and silliness through sketch, improvisation, and video. Members Marc D’Amico, Megan Mack, John Forrest Thompson, and Beth Winslow have studied and worked at renowned comedy theatres including iO, The Second City, and The Annoyance. The group is a winner of The Missouri Review’s prestigious Miller Audio Prize for Humor.

Saturday, September 17 - 9:00 PM 

Friday, September 23 - 6:00 PM

Saturday, September 24 - 7:30 PM

Adult Comedy Sketch, Improv and Video Showcase

Tickets - $15



Enjoy fun, fringy, unscripted theater magic when Rochester improv veterans Ty Gagnon (The UrgeTwo Fat LadiesMonstrosity) and Joanne Brokaw (The UrgeAsk Us Anything BoothEasily Amused) turn an empty stage into a new reality powered entirely by imagination - theirs and yours! What’s the show about? We’ll find out together!

Friday, September 16 - 6:00 PM 

Saturday, September 24 - 4:00 PM

Adult Comedy Improv

Tickets $12



Let’s face it.  The Rochester Fringe Festival is chock-full of amazing shows. But it’s impossible to see them all.  That’s why Unleashed! Improv will happily perform their interpretations of other people’s shows for you... live and as off-the-leash as ever! Not only that, but these interpretations will also be significantly shorter than the originals, so you can really cram way more Fringe into your life! Without any pre-planning, the troupe will base improvised pieces from the Fringe Guide descriptions of other people’s shows with some additional and probably sassy input from the audience. So, look over the guide, suggest the one you want to see most, and then watch what happens. 

Thursday September 22 - 7:30 PM

Saturday, September 24 - 6:00 PM 

Adult Comedy Improv

Tickets $10


Tickets for all Fringe shows at The Focus Theater may be purchased online at: or Free parking is available on evenings and weekends at: St. Joe’s Parking Garage located at 72 North Clinton Avenue, and the Mortimer Street Ramp Garage located at 25 North Clinton Ave. Both parking garages are attached to Sibley Square and are handicapped accessible.


The Focus Theater provides a welcoming and accessible space where individuals of diverse backgrounds can come together to learn new skills, grow as performers, and create world-class entertainment. The organization works to elevate theatrical improvisation within the community; it allows the skills and philosophies at the core of this art form to inspire individuals and teams to excel both on and off the stage. For more information contact: Roger Sutphen, Fringe Venue Manager at (585) 329-9900 or

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