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For over 40 years, The Groundlings School has been one of the leading improv training programs in the country, offering structured improvisation classes taught by teachers trained in the Groundlings program.
New Classes are posted every Monday!
Julia Sweeney is best known for her four hit seasons on SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE and her most popular character while on the show: "Pat," as well as her critically acclaimed one-person-shows, "God Said Ha!", "In The Family Way", and "Letting Go of God". "God Said Ha!" played on Broadway at the Lyceum theater in 1996 and was released as a Miramax film, produced by Quentin Tarantino, in 1998. "Letting Go of God" was filmed by Julia's own production company, Indefatigable, Inc. It was bought by Showtime for a cable release in 2009. Currently, the DVD of "Letting Go of God" is being sold on Amazon.com. Julia started her acting career out in Los Angeles at The Groundlings Theater, a well known improvisational and sketch comedy company. It was there that she met fellow SNL cast members Phil Hartman and Jon Lovitz, and where SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE producer, Lorne Michaels, tapped her for the late-night show. Sweeney spun one of her most popular characters into the feature film IT'S PAT, and after leaving SNL, she moved back to Los Angeles. The film was a flop at the box office, but still has some fans who like it nonetheless. After moving back to L.A. in 1994, Julia's brother, Michael, was diagnosed with cancer, and so was she. Her experiences led her to write and star in "God Said, 'Ha!" Produced by Quentin Tarantino and released theatrically by Miramax, the film version of the play earned the Golden Space Needle Award for best directing, while Sweeney's recording earned her a Grammy nomination for best comedy album. Sweeney's second monologue, "In The Family Way" chronicles the adoption of her daughter from China. This show played in New York City at the Ars Nova Theater as well as in Los Angeles at the Groundlings Theater. In the summer of 2006, Julia was asked by the Hollywood Bowl to perform "In The Family Way" with a new original score written especially for her show by Anthony Marinelli, and this was performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Sweeney's third monologue, "Letting Go of God" ran for ten months to sold out crowds at the Hudson Backstage Theater in Los Angeles, and then also played in New York City at the Ars Nova Theater. This show has earned her the best reviews she has ever gotten for her stage work. This monologue has also been made into a film, but this time by Julia's own production company, Indefatigable, Inc. In the meantime, and along the way, Julia has worked as a producing consultant on DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES and she was a consultant for three seasons on SEX & THE CITY. She has also worked as an actress in films such as PULP FICTION, CLOCKSTOPPERS, STUART LITTLE, BEETHOVEN 3 & 4, STUART SAVES HIS FAMILY, and CONEHEADS, among others. In television, she has been a series regular on GEORGE AND LEO, and MAYBE IT'S ME, as well as making guest starring appearances on 3RD ROCK FROM THE SUN, FRASIER, MAD ABOUT YOU, and SEX & THE CITY, among others.
Josh Duvendeck is thrilled to be a member of the Main Company. His TV and Film credits include PARKS AND RECREATION, MODERN FAMILY, THE MIDDLE, WORKAHOLICS, AMERICAN VANDAL, TEEN WOLF, BONES, CONAN, JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE, GAMESHAKERS, IN LIVING COLOR REBOOT, TED, ALLEGIANT: PART 1, THE FIRST TIME, BUCKY AND THE SQUIRRELS, and BACKUP BOYFRIEND. Josh is from Santa Barbara and is a graduate of the BFA acting program at USC. Talk to him about dogs or the Dodgers and he will be happy!
The Groundlings is an improvisation and sketch comedy theatre that has been entertaining LA audiences for over 40 years. We’re a non-profit organization founded by Gary Austin in 1974.
A “Groundling” is one of the 30 company members who write and perform in the theatre’s shows and teach classes at the Groundling’s School. Our school has been the foremost comedy training ground in Hollywood and the springboard for countless careers.
Well, we hate to name drop, but since you asked...Our alumni include Will Ferrell, Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Phil Hartman, Lisa Kudrow, Paul Reubens, Cheryl Hines, Jon Lovitz, Laraine Newman, Will Forte, Maya Rudolph, Michael McDonald, Kathy Griffin, Phil LaMarr, Cheri Oteri, Chris Kattan, Julia Sweeney, Chris Parnell, Ana Gasteyer and Rachael Harris...just to name twenty.