The 3rd annual Summer Theatre Camp ended with a bang-up 55 minute performance by 34 kids in front of a packed house of 135 family and friends, all of whom were delighted and entertained by the original comedy scenes that were written and performed by the campers. The show began with a rap song performed by the ensemble and it ended with a group stepping number that was also performed by the ensemble. In between was 24 original, funny, thoughtful, and unique comedy skits. Congrats to everyone involved!
CIF Productions' Summer Theatre Camp is ready to perform their original sketch-comedy show, The Fresh Prince of Ridge-Park. The children collectively wrote 165 stories and from them director Jonathan Pitts chose 24 to be produced and performed. Good luck to everyone involved!
CIF Productions recently started up its 3rd annual Summer Theatre Camp at Chicago Park District's Ridge Park. There are a total of 38 south-side students, ages 7-12, in the camp. Over the next 6 weeks, they will meet 5 days a week, for 5 hours a day as they learn all about theatre and how to put together and perform their own original comedy show.
According to Theatre Camp Director, and CIF Productions Executive Director Jonathan Pitts they will learn a working vocabulary of theatre terms, as well as plenty of acting exercises, costume design, improv games, movement, set design, voice training, and a variety of writing skills in a conservatory format. Most of all the children will learn how to become a working theatre ensemble.
Of the 38 children, 17 of them are returning from last year's camp, as are two of the three CPD recreation leaders whom will assistant in the process. CIF Productions is also bringing in several guest professional theatre artists to add to the children's training.
Pitts says, "With so many children returning, it makes me very excited to see how they have progressed and get even better over the summer. It makes me happy to see our theatre program with the CPD growing better and stronger. This is the only theatre residency we do during the year and it has becomes a very important program for us and hopefully for the kids and their community."
Congratulations to the casts of CIF Productions' two touring improv shows, Storybox for Kids, and World Tales as they finished the 2007/2008 school year having performed to a collective audience of 5,867 grammar school students in the Chicagoland area.
Storybox for Kids also received an article in a suburban newspaper.
The diverse and professional cast members performing during this last school year were Kat Barker, Ravi Batista, Marla Caceres, Brittany Davis, Tusiime Jackson, Eddie Jordan, Matt Klingler, Elise Lammers, Britt Lower, Jonathan Pitts, Jeremy Schaefer, Andrea Salloum, Jonathan Wagner, and Kelly Williams.
This was the first year that World Tales started touring, and given its success, it will return again for the 2008/2009 school year.
The Illinois 2008 All-Fest Improv Team Front Row (L to R): Co-Director Matt Ewell, Robert Leahy, Megan Kunesh, Linze Griebenon, Mike Storm, Andrew Rosenblat, Colin Eastburn-Mallory, Co-Director Emily Dugan Back Row (L to R): Peter LaDage, Jessica Rundell, Dylan Doetch, Dylan Howser, Teddy Hughes, Marybeth Kram, Marina Mularz, Nick Gertonson
In January of 2007, CIF Productions Executive Director Jonathan Pitts was teaching for his first time at the Illinois High School Theatre Fest. As he walked around looking at the teen-aged actors, he noticed several of them in "All-State Musical" jackets, and he wondered why there wasn't an all-state improv team, especially since Illinois is the birthplace state of modern improvisational theatre. Thus inspired, he began to make this idea a reality. He added on the talents of CIF Productions' Teen Comedy Fest Artistic Director Emily Dugan and ComedySportz Chicago's Artistic Director Matt Ewell to persue the project. Thus with a great team, they proposed the idea to Larry Williams, chairman of the 2008 Illinois High School Theatre Fest, and he said yes.
On Friday, January 11, a total of 14 high school theatre students from all over the state of Illinois were selected to be part of the 1st annual "All-Fest Improv Team". The group of 14 students were chosen from 150 students who auditioned for the ensemble.
On that Friday night, the All-Fest Improv Team performed an hour-long show to an audience of 300, made up of teens and teachers from the festival. Illinois State University's The Improv Mafia (a final four finalist team from the 2007 College comedy Championship) were the guest headliners, and after they did their set, both teams did a improv jam together.