April 1, 2022 | Cynthia Rosi | Photo: Cynthia Rosi
COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The Nest Theatre opened its doors right before the pandemic shut down Columbus. But in-person audiences are back, and tickets are sold-out for the comedy shows as people learn to laugh again.
The business on North High Street survived through the support of its fans, grants, virtual shows once a week and sold-out classes, explained its owners Tara DeFrancisco and Rance Rizzutto.
“Tons of tenacious work,” recalled DeFrancisco. “The community is incredible here at The Nest. And also the larger central Ohio community was so supportive and so kind to everyone here.”
The pair, who are married to each other, found each other on the Chicago comedy scene.
“We were there for 15 years-ish, doing shows at IO Chicago, Second City Chicago and a place called ComedySportz.”
They’ve also travelled internationally with their two-person musical “Here.”
The couple is grateful to see audiences in-person again as they open their doors back to the public.
(WSYX) Columbus, OH — The Nest Theatre is bouncing back as the pandemic shifts and wanes in 2022! Hosting 25+ rotational mainstage shows and teams throughout the year doing all styles of comedy! Nest Theatre is back in the building with live in-person entertainment. Since restarting shows back in February, they had nonstop, consecutive weekends of sold out shows, highlighting the pent-up demand for comedy at it’s new location in the Old North at 2643 N. High Street!
April 2, 2019 | Grant Walters | Photo: Jerry Schulman
In 2016, veteran Chicago-based improvisers Tara DeFrancisco and Rance Rizzutto established Columbus’ first dedicated improv performance and training center.
Three years later, after finding its permanent home at the edge of Downtown in Franklinton, The Nest Theatre is thriving — regularly selling out shows across its 12 rotating productions, and filling up its core curriculum classes that have attracted students at all levels of experience.
August 30th, 2017 | Lauren Sega | Photo: Lauren Sega
The Nest Theatre, originally open at 15 W. Cherry St. has reopened in Franklinton, bringing back a unique venue that creates room for comedy of all kinds. Owners Tara DeFrancisco and Rance Rizzutto went through three buildings in their search for the perfect space, ultimately landing at 894 W. Broad St.
November 29, 2016 | Doug Dangler
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Tara DeFrancisco and Rance Rizzutto are improv veterans and teachers. They’ve recently relocated to Columbus from Chicago and they’ve opened The Nest Theatre which is the first fulltime improv space in Columbus, Ohio.
“Columbus has everything we want,” [Tara] says. And now the newlyweds say they feel a town of Columbus’ size has a growing arts scene that’s encouraged them to live there. “If you can bring art to those communities then they don’t have to necessarily push out to the bigger cities,” DeFrancisco says.
February 19, 2016 | Grant Walters | Photo: Jerry Schulman
With such impressive portfolios and a seemingly relentless schedule, it seems improbable that there would be much left for Tara and Rance to accomplish. Earlier this month, however, they announced what might be their most ambitious endeavor to date: opening a first-of-its-kind improv comedy theatre and education center…in Columbus this fall.
Whether you go on your own, with a group, or your family – definitely check this place out! Rance and Tara’s comedic chemistry is palpable and their years of training can be seen through their student’s application of their instruction. It leaves you with a good feeling in your heart and a smile on your face.
October 5, 2016 | Brian Doney
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The Improv scene has been a growing community in Columbus and now it’s about to get a little bigger. Tara DeFrancisco and Rance Rizzutto are both world class improvisers from Chicago that have decided to give Columbus talent a professional home stage. Tara and Rance discuss their beliefs as instructors and improvisors and what it takes to really learn the loose art form.