Wisconsin Badger and Fighting Illini fans are special guests October 4-6.

There’s nothing quite like a college football weekend. The game itself is great enough, but it’s the whole experience of celebrating with fellow fans and alumni before and after the game that makes it special.  So this fall, if you can’t get out of Chicago to go back to campus for the big game, we’ve got a way to keep the fever going beyond just the few hours of watching the game on TV.

Each weekend between now and November 17th we’re making a special invitation to fans of two Big Ten schools facing each other on the field to put some comedy into their sports weekend. We’ll have drink specials themed for the two teams and recognition for their fans in the show.

If you can’t make it back to campus, the next best thing is to make it to our Lakeview neighborhood, home to official sports bars for each of the Big Ten schools. Watch the game on their big screen and then catch some comedy with fellow fans – all within a few blocks.

We just finished our first Big Ten Weekend, celebrating the Wisconsin-Illinois game.In upcoming weeks, we’ll be saluting…

October 11-13: Northwestern vs. Minnesota

October 18-20: Purdue vs. Ohio State

October 25-27: Michigan vs. Nebraska

November 1-3: Michigan State vs. Indiana

November 8-10: Purdue vs. Iowa

November 15-17: Wisconsin vs. Ohio State

(Games subject to change).

Sleeping Beauty to Open Saturday, September 8th

For The ComedySportz Crew Meets Sleeping Beauty, which opens Saturday, September 8th, the crew is taking a new slant on the tale – making it a story within a story.  Director David Flora says, “It opens with a “real life” story in which two characters are at odds with each other because one was invited to a party and the other wasn’t. That conflict carries over to the story of Sleeping Beauty, where the evil fairy wasn’t invited to the birth of the princess and the two stories run parallel.  It’s a different take from the Disney version which may be familiar to many families, but people are happy when they come out of here at what we do give them.  We’re not just doing a story; we’re putting a story with it of our own. It’s a dual story that’s satisfying for kids and adults. It will definitely be fun for the kids and give them some experience to get up on stage and do stuff with us."

Flora gives a peek at some other upcoming shows as well. “For the holiday season, November to January, we are going to do The Snow Queen. And then for next season we are doing Beauty and the Beast, Arabian Nights, Robin Hood, and The Nutcracker and Winnie the pooh: Return to Pooh Corner. They are topping out at nine or ten weeks. We’re also doing a ComedySportz for kids show in between each run.”

Performances are every Saturday at 11 am from September 8 - November 3, 2012. Tickets are $10 for adults and To order, call 773-549-8080 or visit Ticketmaster.com

 

           

New Auditioning Workshop to be Held Saturday, September 8th

Auditioning 101: How to prepare for an improv audition (when you can't

prepare)

In this new workshop, called "Auditioning 101: How to prepare for an improv audition when you can't prepare," participants will have the opportunity to experience an audition step-by-step, get in the mindset of the auditors, ask questions about auditions and plan ahead for improvised auditions. Auditioning as a skill set, rather than luck of the draw or something that "happens" will be the focus.

By the end of this workshop participants will: have a specific plan of attack for upcoming auditions, focused on an area of previous auditions that have caused them difficulty, begin to create a plan to reduce the amount of anxiety for auditions.

About the instructor – Lisa Linke

Background

Lisa has been improvising for thirteen years, but performing her whole life. She moved to Chicago in 1999 and began studying at The Second City Training Center. Since then, she has completed training with Second City’s Beginning Program, Conservatory, Writing Program, iO (formerly Improv Olympic), and The Annoyance. She has studied with TJ Jagadowski, Mick Napier, Susan Messing, Norm Holly, Michael Gellman, Noah Gregoropolous, Liz Allen and Joe Bill.

Performance Experience

She has performed with Mustang Repair, a Playground Theater member team since 2001 and was on a Harold team, Cougars, at iO for six years. She performed with the former Noble Fool Theater with the long-running hit Sex In The Suburbs and The Baritones. She co-wrote 2007’s Flawed As Rain with Roger Payton, and was on the writing staff and cast of both INK and Big News Chicago at iO. She’s an ensemble member at ComedySportz, and performs weekly with the long-running hit Big Yellow Bus and Critic’s Pick Out Of Character, and ensembles Mustang Repair and MORT at The Playground Theater. Recently she performed the Highly Recommended A Woman’s Path at The Annoyance, and was in the acclaimed remount of Close Quarters at iO. In 2012 she filmed an episode of Shameless for Showtime Networks.

Expertise

Lisa teaches all levels of improvisation at iO, Sketch Comedy Writing at the Second City Training Center, and travels around the world facilitating corporate improv workshops with Second City Communications and other companies. She writes, directs, produces and performs in short films, sketch and improvised theater all around Chicago. Accomplishments include the 2011 Just For Laughs Festival and the Chicago Improv Festival, and in past years the San Francisco Improv Festival, Dccomedyfest, Sketchfest and the Del Close Marathon in NYC.

Nice Things People Say

The Close Quarters ensemble was called “awe-inspiring” by Time Out Chicago

Linke’s decent acting allows for “a unique impression: Linke is especially convincing as various insecure women bordering on crazy.”  - Ryan Hubbard, Chicago Reader

“Lisa Linke was hilarious” – Kerry Reid, Chicago Tribune

When:  Saturday, September 8th from 2-5pm

Where:  The ComedySportz Theatre (929 W. Belmont Ave.)

Cost: $25

Limited space available.  To register, contact ComedySportz Training Center Manager Jamie Campbell  by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or calling 773 549-8080 ext. 230.

Four Charities to Benefit from ComedySportz’s Donations, Volunteerism and Awareness-Building

 

ComedySportz of Chicago is concluding its three-month celebration of its 25th Anniversary with four weeks of fundraising and awareness-building partnerships with local non-profit organizations who serve the community and also have special connections to the comedy theater. ComedySportz President and CEO Matt Elwell explains how the company decided to include a month of giving back to the community in its anniversary plans. “Over our 25 years, we’ve seen how the joy, imagination, and laughter that come from improv comedy make people's lives better.  We're so grateful for the support we've received in this community, that we wanted to help other organizations that make Lakeview and the world better places to live.”

To deliver on that promise, ComedySportz is partnering with four different community organizations - one for each of the last four weekends in September.  For each partner, ComedySportz will donate $5.00 for every full-price individual ticket sold over the course of a six-performance weekend. The organizations will also present information on their missions and programs at ComedySportz shows. Beyond that, ComedySportz players will donate time volunteering to assist these partners with their ongoing work.

 

The Night Ministry is partner for weekend of September 6 – 8, 2012.

The Night Ministry is a Chicago-based organization that works to provide housing, health care and human connection to members of our community struggling with poverty or homelessness. Many people may know The Night Ministry through their outreach programs, which make regular stops in neighborhoods throughout the city, providing services to clients on the streets.  “The Night Ministry provides vital services to people in need and we're proud to support the work they do,” Elwell says.

 

Funny Bones Improv - providing laughter for hospitalized kids – will be featured in shows from Sept. 13 – 15.

It sounds like the name of a comedy club, but Funny Bones Improv is a non-profit organization that shares the gifts of laughter with sick children, their families and caretakers in hospitals across Chicago. ComedySportz players will join forces with Funny Bones Improv’s volunteers to take part in shows at Lurie Children’s Hospital on Monday, September 10th. Funny Bones Improv performers will in turn be guest players in ComedySportz’s show on Thursday, September 13th. “These people are bringing joy into the lives of some young people who could really use a laugh,” Elwell explains.  "We’re proud to support the work being done by these members of our extended family of improv performers.”


ComedySportz to partner with Lymphoma Research Foundation from September 20 – 22 in the name of an ensemble member who succumbed to the disease.

Longtime ComedySportz performer Mike Enriquez, well-known and loved in the Chicago improv community, unexpectedly passed away in January after a remission from lymphoma. The week’s activities will offer a special opportunity for the ComedySportz ensemble to both celebrate Mike’s life and raise money for the research, educational and supportive services provided to people like Mike by the Lymphoma Research Foundation. Chicago Chapter Regional Manager Heidi Thompson says, “The Lymphoma Research Foundation (LRF) is the nation's largest non-profit organization devoted to funding innovative research and providing people with lymphoma and healthcare professionals with up-to-date information about this type of cancer. Our mission is to eradicate lymphoma and serve those touched by this disease.  Chicago is proud to be home to the very first LRF volunteer chapter across the country, and as we celebrate our 10 year anniversary this year and Blood Cancer Awareness Month in September, we are thrilled to be a part of this event with ComedySportz and proud to take part in honoring the life of Mike Enriquez."

The ComedySportz show on Thursday, September 20th will include friends and associates of Mike from other clubs around the city.


The courageous brother of an ensemble member will be remembered when ComedySportz supports The Sam Thompson Foundation from September 27 -28th.

Sam Thompson, brother of longtime ensemble member Zach Thompson passed away at age 31 on June 7, 2012 following a life-long and courageous battle with Cystic Fibrosis. Though doctors predicted he wouldn’t survive beyond age 16, with the help of a double lung transplant in 2002 he beat the odds until finally succumbing to stomach cancer this year. The Sam Thompson Foundation was established to help his family defray Sam’s extensive medical expenses and ComedySportz’s donation of $5.00 per full-priced single ticket will be contributed for that purpose.

 

“We couldn’t have run for 25 years in Chicago without the dedication of our players and the support of their families,” Elwell says. “We’re grateful for the opportunity to conclude our anniversary celebration by giving back to some of the people who have made it all possible.”

 

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