We know you’ve got some questions.

We have provided answers to some of the most frequently asked puzzlers here. Can’t find the answer you’re looking for? Contact Us – we don’t bite.

Where is The Improv Retreat?

TIR is slated to be nestled in The Perlman Retreat Center, a beautiful campground facility primarily used for conferences, spiritual gatherings, and reunions. Perlman is located about 1 hour and 15 minutes from downtown Chicago, across the border in Wisconsin. It’s closer than almost all Chicago/Illinois rentable grounds, which typically are closer to southern Illinois (a 5 to 6 hour drive). It was chosen because of the incredible staff that is helping us get it on it’s feet, because of all the amazing accommodations it provides, and the ease for Chicagoans and travelers in general to get there.

What are the Dates of this camp?

May 30th-June 2nd, 2019.

So it's an overnight? Like, a slumber party camp?

You got it. Several overnights. It’s camp for adults who play like kids.

When can I arrive?

Again in 2017, the camp starts THURSDAY NIGHT.

Reception and Registration will start on JUNE 1st around 7:30PM. You will follow signs to a parking lot, and walk over to the big theatre building to pick up your badge and check in.

Our mixer event starts around 9pm, so come get settled into your assigned cabin and join the activities and fun!

FRIDAY: If you hope to join us Friday instead, feel free! That is a camper’s choice, of course, however, our first formal classes begin Friday.

Ooh! You said extracurricular - What kind of extracurricular offerings?

Glad you asked. This is camp, right? So we’re going to try to be as camp-y as we possibly can. There will be a lot of improv-oriented things, but there will also be a bonfire, outdoor activities, the equivalent of TED Talks, a jam, a dance, a sing along, a late night gathering hall, yoga, hypnosis, all that.

What do I get, standard, the weekend I'm there?

Every registrant will get:

  • A BED, housed in a cabin or lodge
  • ALL 7 MEALS COVERED, starting with breakfast Friday, ending with breakfast Sunday
  • FOUR (NEW! MORE!) 2-HOUR WORKSHOPS WITH INCREDIBLE FACILITATORS THAT YOU CHOOSE, available multiple times Friday and Saturday (first come, first serve)
  • A lanyard
  • Wi-fi access
  • Climate controlled cabins and lodge area
  • Access to any TEDlikeTALK
  • Access to panel q&a of the counselors
  • Access to Fri & Sat morning rec activities (yoga, hypnosis, hacking with Uhlir, etc.)
  • Invitation to all jams, Friday & Saturday
  • Invitation to Friday & Saturday events/games/bonfires
  • Invitation to Sunday morning goodbye
  • “Tickets” to Mainstage shows (TBA)

Who are these facilitators?

World-renowned instructors gather once a year to run this magical event.

TBA! We will announce the Counselors as they are locked in!

To view some of the incredible (and likely) talent from 2016’s TIR, check out the COUNSELORS page! This information will be updated as soon as we have it for 2017!

What do I need to bring?

Definitely a sleeping bag, or a pillow/blanket, a towel, bug spray, and toiletries. All Cabins are climate controlled, so we’re all good there, but no linens are provided.

Suggested items to bring would be non-perishable snacks that you keep in your bunk in case you get hungry outside meal times, a journal, a game to share, a camera phone. Whatever else is dealer’s choice.

Can we drink there?

HERE IS THE DEAL – Yes. When you bought admission, you signed a waiver that said your safety was your responsibility and you were above 21. AWESOME.

We will have a lot of various things available for purchase. Purchasing concessions is remarkably cheap (really, ask anyone) and it helps us give scholarships each year to three campers. Although we’re fine with you bringing sealed things, you cannot KEEP unsealed things in cabins (ie, mixers, food, a blender, etc.) – the camp is usually a kosher Jewish day camp for kids. Please don’t break their rules and respect the place that loves us.

On drinking: Have fun. You’re adults. Be responsible. In three years, we’ve had zero problems with over-imbibing. PLEASE – PLEASE Don’t be the douche bag that we have to take care of all weekend – we’d like to bond in other ways.

Will there be Merch?

There will once again be shirts for sale on site at a very reasonable cost. There may be other things too!

Will there be an after-party space?

Yup. After parties will run in one location (usually the bonfire island) until about 2am on Friday and Saturday.

Is there a non-TIR staff member of the facility on-site?

Yes! Many. Trudy is our main contact, she is the Camp Head for B’nai B’rith Beber Camp. She will also have staff there each day for clean up and maintenance.

Will I have to sign anything?

Yes. You already did, most likely. When you buy the ticket online, you’ll digitally sign our terms and conditions.

You’ll also fill out a medical emergency form when you get your lanyard at the start of camp.

Can I get a refund if something comes up, all crazy like?

YES! Refunds are available through February 1, 2017, no questions asked, minus transaction fees.

February 2-March 31, we are able to “transfer” a ticket – meaning you can resell on your own to another party, and we help you transfer information over/have them sign the waiver, etc.

There are no exchanges after March 31, 2017 (one month prior to event, at the request of our host facility). We pay per head, and there are major fees to cancel, so we have to keep your cash after we lock numbers for the housing.

How do I get there?

Well, how do you get anywhere? …Probably that way. We highly encourage team car pools, any mass transit options. Travel safe and well, please.

GO TO THE IMPROV RETREAT FACEBOOK PAGE, LIKE IT, and post for carpool help. No guarantees – getting to camp is YOUR SOLE RESPONSIBILITY – but there are often lots of people offering rides from Chicago and Milwaukee airports or city.

Consider Zipcar or priceline car rentals, or ride-sharing. Posting to the FB page and introducing yourself is the second best thing to do!

What can I do for you?

Thank you for asking. Honestly, patience. Give us your patience. We are a 16-20 person crew trying to run what could be a 250 person not-for-profit camp. So, you know. Be cool.

Be cool?

Yeah. If there’s anything to take from this camp, we want you to feel like we’re all in this thing together. We’re doing this because many of us feel like there’s a little classism in our art form, and there doesn’t need to be. We’re doing this because some troupe from Iowa City or Saugatuck or Denver or Korea or Canada or Nashville or Columbus or wherever hasn’t gotten to do any kind of thing like this.

We’re doing it so Chicago troupes can be inspired and connected to other folks and are reminded why they started this journey in the first place. We’re doing it, basically, for fun. So if you’re doing it for lesser reasons, don’t come.


Cool, right? This is a well-run, bohemian joy-ride of a weekend. We absolutely adore what this thing has become.

We are super excited. You should join us in this very unique, very unusual, very exciting event!

-TIR’s Tara DeFrancisco