Want to perform in the Dramatic Improv Festival?
This your chance!

DIF has a great insta-team program, The 5 Hour Project!

The 5 Hour Project is DIF’s take on the traditional 24-hour theater project. Starting with improv actors who may never have worked together, we develop 2 improv shows from scratch, rehearse them, and perform them, all in one day! It’s a unique experience, and we hope you can join us for the day!

Join us on Saturday, October 5, 2019 to workshop/develop a brand new show, rehearse it, and perform!

The 5 Hour Project consists of three parts:

A morning show development workshop (10 AM-12:30 PM), followed by an afternoon rehearsal period (1:30-4 PM) and an evening performance (12 midnight).

The daytime portions of the 5 Hour Project will take place at Pendulum Space (1803 W. Byron St, Suite 216), beginning at 9:30 AM (check-in) on Saturday October 5, 2019. Performances will begin on the LOL Theater stage at 12 midnight.

Cost: $35

Spots are limited, so get signed up!

This time our shows will be directed by Ben St. John and Jackie Sestak of Theatre Momentum!

Every time we run this event, it’s been a complete blast, so we hope you can join us!

Performances are part of the midnight jam on Saturday, October 5th, so invite whoever you like for some great, smart improv!

Schedule is as follows:

9:30 AM — Check in
10:00 AM-12:30 PM — Show development Workshop with DIF Festival Director, Tony Rielage and directors Ben St. John and Jackie Sestak

A workshop to generate two brand new show formats. The structure of this workshop will use input from all workshop participants to create some truly unique shows. These shows will be performed a few times, polished a bit, and prepped for rehearsal. At the end of the workshop session, the participants will break into two groups, to work on one singular format.

12:30-1:30 PM — Lunch break.

1:30-4 PM — Rehearsal.
After break, the two show forms are handed off to our directors, Ben St. John and Jackie Sestak. Workshoppers will rehearse the formats they created that afternoon, tweaking, polishing, and preparing them for performance. The shows being prepared will aim for a 20 minute show length.

4 PM-11:30 PM — Break. Go see some shows or take another class!

11:30 PM — Call Time.
Actors arrive at the LOL Theater and are given the run-down on how the evening will be structured.

12 AM — First of The 5 Hour Project shows begins.
Performances will run about 20 minutes apiece, with no intermission.

Sign up here!

The 5 Hour Project Directors:

Tony Rielage (Artistic Director)

Tony Rielage is the Artistic Director and Founder of Theatre Momentum. He has been performing, directing, and producing improv theatre for over 27 years, notably with the Nothing Sacred Players, Trespassers Only, and International Stinger. He has trained at iO, the Playground, and Annoyance, and founded TM’s precursor workshop, Workshop-in-Progress. He is Theatre Momentum’s head instructor, and firmly believes that the best improv is about vulnerable human beings acting naturally, bravely, and honestly.


Ben St. John

Ben St. John got his start about 6 years ago in Hawaii theater scene performing improv and sketch comedy. He moved to Chicago about 3 years ago to further pursue this passion. He has studied improv and writing at Second City and iO and is currently studying theater at Columbia. Ben performs, directs and produces shows around Chicago. Along with his very proud involvement in Theatre Momentum He has created and directs Jane Bond and Comedy Court which are currently running at laugh Out Loud theater.

Jackie Sestak

Jackie Sestak is excited to be sharing the Theatre Momentum style; a form of improv where players can take their time and create a world based in reality. She’s performed in several Theater Momentum shows including Elements, Porch Play, Lies, Damned Lies, & Statistics, and Circle Place. Starting at the Neo-Futurists, Jackie dove into performance art which led to studying improv at The Second City, Annoyance Theatre, and ComedySportz. Jackie is also a teaching artist for Room2Improv (, where she works with veterans and students emphasizing the value of ‘Yes, and’. Jackie is looking forward to working with you in the 5 Hour Project!