For the past 16 years, ComedySportz has been a staple of Uptown’s Calhoun Square. But this weekend, they’ll take their final bow.
According to Doug Ocar, co-owner of ComedySportz, the long-running improv comedy show isn’t saying goodbye to performing altogether; it’s looking for a change of scenery.
“We’re going to wait and see,” he says while prepping for the final shows this Thursday through Saturday. “We’re going to continue booking private parties and do events in different locations while we look for a potential new home.”
To celebrate the final farewell of its current location, this weekend will feature three super-sized ComedySportz matches with more than 30 players taking the field. In addition, they will produce their final NC-17 Show on Saturday night.
ComedySportz first opened locally back in 1989, and Ocar has been part of it nearly since its inception. The group produces improv shows (like this past December’s Christ-Ms. Carol) along with traditional competitions and classes for improvisers of all experience levels.
According to Ocar, Calhoun Square offered the group the opportunity to stay in its current location. However, increased costs and dwindling attendance ultimately led to ComedySportz’s decision not to renew its lease for the long-term.
“Calhoun Square has been great to work with,” he explains. “They had to look for a long-term tenant, and we weren’t comfortable signing a five- or seven-year lease, so they allowed us to do a few months at a time.”
Ocar believes that the increase in live performance venues in the area, both for improv and other types of comedy, have helped to grow the art but have also created greater competition. Additionally, he feels that getting people to come out for a live comedy experience is becoming harder in general.
“Now you can have a comedy experience online at home,” he explains. “I’d still argue that the live experience is far better, but there’s just more accessibility now than when we first started.”
While this might be the last goodbye for a while, the improv spirit of “yes and…” will carry on with ComedySportz.
“The plan is to keep on performing, wherever that may be, and eventually find a new long-term home. In the meantime, we’ll keep updating our website and Twitter so that our fans know where to find us.”
IF YOU GO:
ComedySportz Final Weekend Shows
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