The Titanic Players improvisational troupe began when Northwestern University student Mike Abdelsayed asked students in his dorm if they wanted to be in an improv troupe. They began performing short-form improvisation that year under the name Titanic Players.
The long-form improvisation piece called, "The Harold," was introduced to Titanic by the brother of one of the original cast members. Nonetheless, the Titanic Players continued to perform short-form on stage.
Titanic held their first audition for a long-form group. The group was the first to perform long-form improv on the Northwestern University campus, and they were the first to establish a national tour.
Titanic expanded to include two Titanic teams on campus: an experienced House team and a novice Incubator team.
The incubator team helped establish the system of directors and assistant directors. Directors and assistant directors are current and former improvisers who coach and teach the current teams.
Abdelsayed returned to Northwestern in 2002 to coach the Incubator team, establishing the precedent of having 4 groups perform under the Titanic name at each campus from then on.
Northwestern University's resident Titanic team Old Tom Jar competed against the best teams in the U.S. to win the nationally-televised CIF College Comedy Championship.
The Titanic Players established its first group outside of Northwestern University at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
The Titanic Players was established at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana
The Titanic Players continued growing nationally by expanding to University of Minnesota, Indiana University, University of Illinois (Chicago), University of Florida, and University of California.
The UW-Madison branch has established a loyal following, and they pack the house with ease. Their monthly shows generally attract around 200 audience members.