Improv Comedy Returns to the South Side!

EMBED </>More Videos

Theater veteran John Stoops chats about the decision behind 'The Revival' of Improv comedy in Hyde Park and how the community is reacting so far. (WLS)

Improv Comedy Returns to the South Side!

Improv comedy is returning to its roots on the South Side! Theater veteran John Stoops chats about the decision behind 'The Revival' of Improv comedy in Hyde Park and how the community is reacting so far.


HISTORY OF IMPROV ON THE SOUTH SIDE:

Improvisational comedy was invented in Hyde Park. In 1955, the Compass Players opened a makeshift theater at the northeast corner of 55th Street and University Avenue. One night, the theater was performing for a capacity crowd. The bartender, Fred Wranovics, pulled director Paul Sills aside and asked him to extend the show so he could sell another round of drinks. Without any additional scripted material prepared, Sills decided to present a third act comprised entirely of improvisational games based on audience suggestions. Needless to say, it was a huge success. Soon, the Compass Players ditched scripted material altogether in favor of improvised performances that became known for pointed social satire and political commentary.

By 1958, the group splintered. Company members Mike Nichols, Elaine May and Shelly Berman went to New York where they quickly gained national acclaim. Director Paul Sills moved north and co-founded The Second City. In the subsequent 57 years, improvisational comedy has become a cornerstone of the global entertainment industry directly influencing theatre, film and television programming around the world.

The Revival is inspired by the legacy of the Compass Players and returns improvisation to its birthplace on the northeast corner of 55th St. and University Ave. in Hyde Park. The Revival presents live performances to the South Side's diverse population of residents, students, faculty/staff, neighborhood professionals and visitors in a 150-seat cabaret theater.
Related Topics:
entertainmentWindy City LIVE

Load Comments