improvMANIA owners Dave and Colleen Specht have always loved Downtown Chandler. In fact, it’s where they got married. Once a location on Arizona Avenue near Chicago Street became available, they knew this was the perfect place to start their dream of opening an improv comedy business.
That dream turned into a community staple in the heart of the Downtown and in 2019 the duo realized they were outgrowing their existing space. When an opportunity arose to take over the space directly next to them, they jumped at it and the renovations began.
“We needed more room but couldn’t imagine ourselves anywhere but the Downtown. Nothing else has the same feel,” said Colleen.
The new addition has become a larger lobby complete with concession stand, an expanded offering of canned beer and beer on tap from a few local breweries like SanTan Brewing. The extra area also allows them to host open mic nights, poetry slams, trivia and live music.
“We want to serve the entire community. Even if you aren’t here for a show and you’re just walking by, we want you to stop in and hang out. During the day it’s a great place just to work remotely, especially if your kids are in one of our youth camps,” said Dave.
Since its inception in September of 2014, improvMANIA has grown to put on corporate and team training, improv classes and, of course, comedy shows on Friday and Saturday evenings. Two years ago, they felt the need of the community to offer programing for kids, specifically comedy classes and theater camps.
“We like to challenge ourselves. We listen to our customers and if they have a great idea, we try it,” Dave explained. “We opened the first youth theater with Willy Wonka and it filled up immediately with hardly any advertising. It showed us just how much our customers want a youth camp and we want to provide that.”
Flash forward to present day, improvMANIA now offers eight full theater productions for kids and teens, including Frozen Jr., Aladdin, the Little Mermaid and Newsies. The performances take place in house and at local high schools. One of the highlights for Dave and Colleen is that this has become a family affair.
“Our kids have joined the camps and it fills my heart that they can be as big of a part of this as we are,” Dave said.
In addition to the interior updates, improvMANIA now boasts one of the largest patios on Arizona Avenue for guests to enjoy to the beautiful Arizona weather.
“We’re so excited. We love seeing the growth in Downtown Chandler and feel lucky to be a part of it,” said Colleen.
For more information, please visit http://www.improvmania.net.