Starting a Team/FAQ for Theatre Educators and Advisors
Here are the basics:
The ComedySportz High School League® is the largest, most successful teen improv theatre program in the United States.
We play improvisation as a team sport, with two teams "competing" for audience laughs. The stage is covered in turf, there's a referee and the players are in uniform. It's not comedy about sports; it's comedy played as a sport. Because everyone knows what a sport is, there is immediated buy-in from the audience. People who have never been to the theatre before walk through the door because they're not intimidated. Because it's improvisational, it's always different, and you will have fans that come to every performance.
It is amazing life-skill training for your kids, but we don't tell them or none of them would sign up. They think they're just having fun, but the experience can be transforming.
• We train your kids to produce their own improv theatre production.
• We train your student managers to step up as leaders.
• An adult coach is assigned to your school all year so that your kids feel comfortable and so that you have a colleague who will work with you to help your kids grow.
• Once your show is launched, you can perform it as often or little as you would like. You keep all the box office. One of our HSL teams makes more money than the football team!
• In successive years, the returning kids will lead and teach the newer kids, and the process becomes even easier.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does it cost?
Each participant pays $15 and there is a $1200 team fee. First and second year teams receive a $500 discount so that you can get your program up and running. Many schools make thousands of dollars per year.
This fee includes:
• Two all-League game festivals called Gamecon I and II.
• 4 private workshops
• A production workshop for first-year teams
• Team leadership workshops
• Unlimited performance rights for the academic year
• Unbelievable skill training for your students
• Advisor, Manager and Player Manuals
• Discount tickets for your players when they come to the professional show in Hollywood
• Your right to keep 100% of box office
What if my school can’t afford the fee?
If you don’t have the money in your drama budget, ask your administrator about ASB funds. Or find a local business to sponsor you like a Little League team—it’s not much money to get started, they get some good promotion and your students get sponsored for the year. Remember, when your team performs at your school, you keep the money. Many schools make the team fee back in their first few performances and use the rest of their shows to raise funds. You can also pay in two installments.
If all else fails, call us! We have never turned down a school because of a financial problem.
How do the workshops work and who teaches them?
Twice a year we hold large group workshops called Gamecon at one of the League schools where all of the students will work together. In addition, we send a coach to your school for private workshops four times during the year. The coaches are ComedySportz professional team members who are skilled in their craft and bring with them a tremendous amount of talent, experience and enthusiasm.
How do performances work?
We train your students to run their own show. You can have two teams from your school play each other or invite other schools to come and play like any other varsity sport. All performances are played as "home" and "away" games in the schools. Use ComedySportz as a production itself, or add it to your existing production schedule. It can be as big or small as you want.
How many students can participate?
You will need at least 4, but your team can have as many members as it can handle. We recommend 8 - 16, but many teams are larger.
How do we get uniforms?
We provide them for $30 per set (slightly more for XXL). Each set includes two jerseys (one red, one blue) with the ComedySportz logo. You may add your team name, student names or sponsor’s name on the back. Each kid usually buys his or her own as souvenirs, or you can simply buy a few sets for your team and share them. We can also offer you personalized items: shirts, caps, sweatpants, sweatshirts and more. It’s up to you!
I’m not sure I have time to run it.
You don’t have to. Each team elects (or the advisor selects) a team manager who coordinates everything from workshops to shows. We provide leadership training and a manager’s handbook to help your student along. Many teams also recruit a Team Parent to help with organization.
How can I see a show or train myself?
Our professional team plays every weekend in Hollywood, and at several theatre festivals throughout the year. We offer a summer camp for teachers and students, and adult workshops all year. You can train at the same time as your students and have the time of your life!