Friday, October 11, 2019
Q&A courtesy of The Playground Theater’s performance and special events blogger: Lizzie Kaniecki
This Saturday, Apocalypse Comedy: A Showcase for the End of the World, will celebrate its two-year anniversary at The Playground! For two years, Apocalypse Comedy has fostered a welcoming, silly space to compete for the ultimate honor of being sacrificed! Dan Garcia, one of the show’s producers, told me all about how this show got started, what they’ve accomplished, and what makes their show so spookily special.
Q: What were your goals when you started the show?
A: At first it really was about just getting a chance as a new comic to perform. However, as we kept doing the show it started to be about putting on a great show and giving comics chances who may not see a lot of bookings. The kill and be killed segment was perfect for this because it was 3 comics doing 4-minute sets and the person being selected for the sacrifice was the favorite chosen by audience. This little mini competition served as a way to give newer people an opportunity but also reward the person who did the best rather than punish the person who did the worst.
Q: What is your best memory from this show?
A: My best memory was the end of the first show. Having the show packed out with audience and then delivering a really greatshow was incredible. Afterwards a handful of producers and comics from the show went and hung out in this cool office space with hanging plants and chromakey green walls. It felt like the beginning of something good.
Q: What are you most proud of about this show?
A: I’m proud of the level of diversity and inclusion we’ve always had in our show bookings. Having distinct voices in a show just makes for a better product. It’s a no brainer really. Also 3 of our 4 producers are POC so again to us it’s kind of a natural thing to look at our lineups and shake things up if it’s too homogenous. This is a tough question though because I’m super proud of the production team we’ve got on the show. I have so much appreciation for my co-producers Jamal Guichon, Jessica Mance, and Sarah Manning. They’re awesome people and great comics. I couldn’t be in better company.
Q: What makes your show unique and important?
A: Well not a lot of comedy shows end with a person getting murdered so that is pretty unique. It’s a super fun wrinkle that can sometimes take the audience by surprise especially when done well. The show is important because the world would have ended 2 years ago! Really though what I think is actually important about the show is we pay our performers. This aspect has always been super important to me. In fact, we’ll take a loss to pay our performers if it comes down to it. Everybody on the show or involved is very serious about comedy as a career and work very hard to hone the craft. We need to be paid for what we do but there is so much saturation it is so much easier for producers to put on shows with no compensation. We want to set a precedent. What we do is worth money.
The Playground feels truly honored to host such exciting, inventive performances by a wholesome, inclusive crew. Come check out Apocalypse this Saturday, October 12th, at 7pm!