A new home would bring smiles to Park City Improv | ParkRecord.com

A new home would bring smiles to Park City Improv

Aug. 30 gig may be last show for awhile

For the past year and a half, Park City Improv: Laugh Elevated, a local troupe of comedic actors, performed a family-friendly show at Molly Blooms on the last Wednesday of each month.

That ended abruptly in July when the group — Katrina Kmak, Nate Sears, Nichole Marcks, Tom Shannon, John Burdick and Lisa Anderson — was notified Molly Blooms was closing.

Luckily, Scott Thompson at O.P. Rockwell, stepped up and offered his stage to Park City Improv for the Aug. 30 performance.

"Scott [Thompson] was really nice to do this," Burdick said. "O.P. Rockwell was actually where we started, and we'll be able to perform a show the last Wednesday of this month."

Unfortunately, O.P. Rockwell is a bar, not a restaurant like Molly Blooms, so kids under the age of 21 aren't allowed, and after the show, Park City Improv's future is up in the air.

"We're homeless," Burdick said. "It's hard doing improv when you don't have place to do it."

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The troupe of quick-witted local residents is seeking venue options around town.

"Molly's was great for us because people knew where we would be every month," Marcks said. "But our dream is that we have always wanted to work with a black box theater, a place where people will know they can see Park City Improv on a regular schedule."

After some initial investigation, the troupe has found slim pickings.

Both the Egyptian Theatre and the Prospector Theater would seem like a nice fit on the surface, but the spaces aren't ideal for a full-fledged improvisation show.

"As much as we love the Egyptian Theatre, [manager] Randy Barton does a great job bringing in artists, musicians and performances from around the country and the state," Marcks said.

"And while the Egyptian Theatre is a smaller venue, it's not as intimate as a black box," Burdick said. "Doing improv there is difficult. It's a huge stage for what we want to do.
"The audience is also seated away from the stage, and it's hard for people to feel like they can
contribute and shout out suggestions."

The Prospector Theater is a little out of the Park City Improv's budget.

"We're looking for something that is more in our price range, even if someone would open their hearts to donate a space to us," Kmaks said. ""We would not be adverse to working with a local business or a nonprofit to share a space."

"Maybe a business will be kind enough to offer us a space after hours," Marcks added.

Burdick suggested a gallery.

"I've done improv shows in Chicago that were at art galleries at night," he said. "It worked out because the audience was exposed to improv art as well as visual art."

Marcks wondered if the proposed Bonanza Art District would also feature a new theater.

"Our dream would be for it to have a black box theater that would present local theater," she said. "We would love to be there."

Park City Improv needs little time for set up and performing, Burdick said.

"Normally a regular night for us runs from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., and includes mingling before and after the show," he said. "The show itself is about an hour and a half with a little break in between."

"Depending on the venue, we may need to set up some lights or chairs, but that would be all," Marcks said.

In the meanwhile, Park City Improv: Laugh Elevated will keep holding rehearsals at the Park City Library in preparation for some upcoming performances.

The troupe is scheduled to perform at the Red Rocks Improv Festival in Cedar City on Sept. 21.
And it is going to perform at the Wasatch Improv Festival in January.

Park City Improv: Laugh Elevated officially started two years ago at O.P. Rockwell. Since then, the actors have performed numerous corporate shows and local nonprofits.

It has also presented a handful of performances at the Park City Library and

Shannon teaches an after-school improv class at Treasure Mountain Junior High School, and he and his colleagues have worked with students at Park City High School and Salt Lake Community College.

"The nice thing about when we were performing at Molly Blooms was that there were students who Tom worked with, who would come and play a game or two with us," Kmak said. "That was great because we wanted to be a community thing. We just don't want to fizzle and die at the side of highway 224 or get eaten by a mountain lion."

"We'd even perform for mountain lions," Burdick said.

Contact Park City Improv Laugh Elevated by email at parkcityimprov@gmail.com or online at http://www.facebook.com/pg/ParkCityImprov/posts/?ref=page_internal.