After the hype and satisfying conclusion of the ComedySportz World Championship, it is time we take a moment to recognize the many groups who provide us with endless support that helped catapult us to victory. In fact, let's take a whole month to do that. We have such a huge family it will take all of August for us to properly thank them, so join us for a month of celebration.
August 2-4: Alumni Weekend
Former ComedySportz players from across our 25 years will return to the Chicago stage for six matches. So join us as we celebrate the people who make and have made ComedySportz Chicago the home to comedy gold that it has been for the last 25 yearz.
August 9-11: ‘80s Weekend
The decade of ComedySportz Chicago’s birth and its unique cultural contributions will be celebrated in this throwback weekend. So grab your spandex and get ready to break dance the nights away with us!
August 16-18: Lakeview Weekend
Leaders from our neighborhood will join our regular players onstage for some great improv. You do not want to miss out on this chance to thank the local leaders who help make our neighborhood so great!
August 23- 25: Comedy Theater Challenge Weekend
Improv performers from other theaters around the city will challenge the ComedySportz regulars to a series of matches. Many ComedySportz Chicago ensemble members play all over the city doing what they do best: comedy. So help us celebrate the other theater opportunities around the city and recognize how lucky we are to live in the capital of live comedy!
Visit www.comedysportzchicago.com for more information!
This summer the ComedySportz Theater has six shows opening & we’re thrilled to have them in our space. A stand-up talk show, a new take on Kipling’s The Jungle Book for kids, three hyper-intelligent apes hosting a talent competition, & more! We’re already screaming, “ENDLESS SUMMER!!!!”
Fridays - But Seriously... The Late Night Stand-Up Talk Show
If you’ve ever wondered how to keep up with the nonstop energy of a toddler, the answer might be improvisation. For ComedySportz ensemble member Melissa Cathcart, mother of 2-year-old Colin, improv training applies to parenting in more ways than just creating new verses of “The Wheels on the Bus.” “I think improv has made me more adaptable which has helped me weather the ups and downs of parenthood,” says Cathcart.
Fellow ensemble member Alida Vitas-Dow, mother of 9-month-old Sofia, agrees. “At ComedySportz, you have to have the skill of thinking quickly. This has definitely helped me with my little one, especially now that she's moving around the house. I have to think quickly to divert her attention from something dangerous or to just keep her attention.”
Improvisation encourages skills like listening, playfulness and being fully aware. Not surprisingly, these translate naturally to parenting. “I definitely use my heightened listening skills around Sofia. She can only say a few words now but I watch and listen for her cues to see what she wants - just as I do onstage with whomever I'm in a scene with,” says Vitas-Dow.
But improv isn’t all about fooling around for laughs. There are also some valuable life lessons that can be learned. “I hope Colin grows up to be someone who says ‘yes and,’” says Cathcart. “There is so much more possibility and room for growth when we support and build on each other's ideas.”
Vitas-Dow says, “I want to teach Sofia that the present moment is all you have, so have fun and pay attention to what is going on right now - in this very moment - just as you would onstage.”
It’s a common saying that comedians aren’t born, they’re made. And often, that process starts at home with the family. For many ComedySportz ensemble members, their mothers have had an important role in their comedic development.
For ensemble member Rance Rizzutto, making his mom laugh was a good tactic for staying out of trouble. “My mom is always pretty good-hearted,” says Rizzutto. “Any time she might have gotten mad at me as a child I knew I would be able to make her laugh. She could never stay mad and I had plenty of practice.”
Now his mother is happy that he’s found a professional outlet for his comedy. “My mom loves ComedySportz. I think she always has a suggestion for Blind Line and 5 Things ready for each show she sees,” says Rizzutto.
Lisa Linke found that humor was key in connecting with her family. “I remember laughing a lot with my mom and my grammy - I really learned the value of laughter as a way to spend time with family.” She even picked up a few choice one-liners. “My Grammy turns 101 this June and she taught me all my jokes (that I can’t use in CSz shows).”
Other ensemble members have received plenty of encouragement from their mothers. “My mom has the best laugh. Making her laugh is the best feeling in the world,” says Ryan Williams.
Rich Baker says, “My mom loves seeing my shows. After seeing me perform with ComedySportz for the first time she said, ‘It's so impressive. And I love the jerseys.’"
Some mothers go above and beyond to see their child perform. “My mom loves ComedySportz so much, she booked us to perform at her birthday party,” says Tim Ryder. “Until I introduce her to Oprah, nothing I do professionally will make her as happy as seeing me in a ComedySportz show.”
ComedySportz says thank you to all of our moms and to moms everywhere.
Happy Mother’s Day!