Hi! We’re Rance Rizzutto and Tara DeFrancisco, and we are opening a comedy and improvisational theatre in Columbus, Ohio!
We are so, so very happy you are interested in our movement to begin a dedicated home for improvisation. Some of you may know us – but in case you don’t, HELLO! We are professional performers and two of the most touring teachers in the world for this artform we love so much. Individually, we have played over 3000 improv shows, and over 1200 of those have been together. Between us, we have toured over 20 countries teaching and performing improv as the headliners with HERE, our acclaimed two-person musical improv play, as well as worked on staff at iO Chicago, Second City, and ComedySportz theatres.
Columbus has a unique voice and incredible community that we know well, and we’re heading home to give you a home, – all funds raised this winter/spring, with a grand opening BY THIS FALL, 2016!
Here is our measured plan to implement, as structured by our team:
1. A safe space for all Columbus members to study and perform the artform of improvisation.
2. A theatre operating with shows 4-5 nights weekly, to begin, with possibility of more programming to come.
3. A training center with classes 1 afternoon and 2 nights a week, to begin, with the immediate addition of more times 2 months after the theatre begins operation.
4. All walks of comedy being celebrated in the space; The theatre will be a home for longform improvisation of all different types, sketch shows, and stand-up events (see below for programming). In addition to this, Tara and Rance are excited to reveal they will additionally be applying for the purchase the ComedySportz(tm) licensure as long time vets, ideally bringing CSz to Columbus as well. Because we have done all four of these things (sketch, stand up, longform and shortform improvisation) and have been able to be a part of facilitating the evolution in Chicago/worldwide of comedians working together in our art to grow the artform rather than divide due to perceived differences, having all types of shows in one space and creating the culture of an inclusionary and positive home for all is of great importance.
5. A visionary theatre in a centralized location, equipped for shows, classes, and other opportunities (meetings, rehearsals, corporate applied improvisation trainings, community gatherings), hosting all sides of our artform, outlined and planned (see weekly breakdown, below).
6. In an effort to promote joy, goodwill, and celebration in Columbus improv, we will be hosting rotating teams that already exist in the city on a rotational basis weekly. This is important to us. BECAUSE it is so important to us and we want people to feel welcome, validated, and celebrated, we will give the space free of charge and schedule independent teams in two month blocks – each team can apply for slots online. Thursday late night programming (10pm) will also include a weekly jam, where anyone can get up to play together, hosted by faculty or staff of the theatre.
FROM THE PIONEERS:
We believe it is our life’s work to spread and cultivate improvisational joy everywhere we can, and though we have had incredibly successful careers in professional improv and tv work, we think our passion lies with bringing full access, inclusion, and a dedicated space and home for improv in Tara’s hometown – Columbus, Ohio.
INFO ON US SO YOU KNOW WE’RE FOR REAL:
If you’d like to know more about us, google away – or, just go here:
http://taraandrance.com or http://herethemusical.com (now touring 13 countries and 40 cities worldwide, now the highest rated improvisational show in Chicago)
http://taradefrancisco.com and http://rancerizzutto.com for background on 15 years of professional performing and 10+ years of teaching for Second City, iO Chicago, and ComedySportz theatres
http://theimprovretreat.com – the biggest improvisational slumber party camp in the United States, hosting 250 attendees a year! 4 two-hour courses, all inclusive lodging and meals, hosted jams, TEDlikeTalks, mainstage shows, crafts, games, smores, and singalongs. (All created by Tara and Rance in 2013, coming again this June 2-5, 2016.)
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
Donate! We are putting up our own capital on this build-out, but we need as much support as possible. Not only will we be purchasing or renting the space we have identified (to be announced), but we will need to purchase lights, stage materials, set materials, classroom buildout, contractors, insurance, signage, and promotional materials. THAT IS A LOT OF MONEY. We feel very assured that we have the experience to do this and the joy to do it right – we could just use a hand in more cashflow to do it the best we can.