LGBTQ+ SPECIAL

We’re excited to announce that our 27th February match is an LGBT History Month special featuring players from across the CSz Worldwide family. UK players will be captaining teams will LGBTQ+ identifying players from CSz Chicago, CSz Indianapolis, CSz Philadelphia and CSz New York.

Never seen a ComedySportz match before? Two teams will be competing for your laughs with improvised gags and games inspired by your suggestions. Who wins? YOU decide!

As with all of our online matches, the show will be free to watch (link below). However, where we would normally ask those who can afford to do so to make a donation to help support our players, for this show will be asking audiences to donate to local charities The Proud Trust and Rainbow Noir.

The Proud Trust is a life saving and life enhancing organisation that helps LGBT+ young people empower themselves, to make a positive change for themselves, and their communities.

Rainbow Noir is a volunteer led social, peer support and community action group, which celebrates and platforms people of colour who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer and/or Intersex.

We know that the ongoing coronavirus situation means that not everyone is in a position to make a donation. This is why we have kept the show free to watch so that anyone can enjoy the show as we celebrate our LGBTQ+ players.

If you’ve ever taken a class in improv, chances are you’ve heard the phrase “Yes, And” which places acceptance of others at the heart of everything we do. In improvisation we share our ideas to communicate, collaborate and grow our scenes and games – and it’s how we like to approach life offstage as well. Our newest player Ben Hodge wanted to share a little something of his own journey into improv and saying “Yes, And…”

Hi! I’m Ben and I have been a part of CSZ Manchester since summer of 2020. I guess it’s also good to mention for this article that I am a gay, transgender man. I came out as trans when I was 16 and started testosterone at 17. I came out as a gay man at 18 and had my top surgery at 19. There was one thing that got me past the low points and the waiting times and the constant questions around my identity, and that was comedy.

I think that comedy has a lot of power when looking at identity, it has helped me to educate audiences and show them that people like me exist and we can thrive when given a safe and understanding space to do so. Joining ComedySportz, I felt that I had found that space, and that my identity wasn’t up for question or debate, as long as I ‘yes, and…’ then everything would be good!

Ben Hodge

It’s hard coming into a new space when people don’t necessarily know your past, and when talking to some members about my identity, they have been so respectable and eager to listen to what it means to be me. And I am grateful for them for taking the time to listen and understand who I am, and I think it has probably helped me put more trust into our relationship as improvisors. I even took part in an LGBT match at the online ComedySportz World Championship, where I played with all LGBT-identified players and got to interact with people who had been in this community a lot longer than me and had worked hard to make ComedySportz as inclusive as possible. It was truly a wonderful experience and I’m so glad that I had the opportunity to be a part of something so great!

I think that improvisation offers such a safe space for the LGBT community as people don’t care who you are as long as you make them laugh or create a good scene. There is so much room in improv to explore and express different parts of yourself that you never really have to ‘out’ yourself if that is something you don’t want to do. I’m currently organising an improv session for my LGBT+ support group from back home, as they invited me back as an ex-service user to talk about my identity and how comedy has supported my activism and my growth. Improv has offered me so much in supporting my own exploration of identity and expression that I think it’s something that the LGBT community should embrace and join in!

If you are reading this and you are an LGBT person currently struggling to find where you belong or you’re currently exploring what it means to be you, just know that you are not alone and there are so many safe spaces for you to do that exploration. There are several organisations in the north west as well as around the UK that offer support for LGBT people and they will always welcome you with open arms. Or come and watch one of our shows, and know that you belong and we are always happy to have you involved!

Ben’s documentary about his transition “1 Year” won the 2020 Into Film award for Best Documentary. Despite the COVID venue closures meaning Ben has only ever played online shows with us, he has quickly become an audience favourite and we are delighted to have him be part of the ComedySportz Manchester family.

You can catch Ben in our LGBT special match on Saturday 27th February. The stream will go live at 6.45pm GMT with the fun kicking off at 7pm GMT. Watch live at the link below!

 

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About The Proud Trust

About Rainbow Noir

Valentine’s Day Special this Saturday!

Whether you’re single and unable to mingle or loved up and looking for laughs, our will be players your funny Valentines this Saturday. This Valentines Day themed match will see our two teams compete for your affections with improvised gags and games. Good sense of humour a must!

Valentines Day Improv Comedy Show

Never seen a ComedySportz match before? Two teams go for comedy gold in a completely unscripted and totally unpredictable competition of quick-wits inspired by your suggestions.

And a special show deserves a special guest! We’re also delighted to be joined by Jamie Montgomery from CSz Portland, who will be our referee for the evening. As always there is the groaner foul for bad jokes (or cheesy chat up lines) and the brown bag foul for anyone who gets a bit too rude.

Our online shows are free to watch and family friendly. The stream will go live at 6.45pm GMT on Saturday 13th February. The match will kick off at 7pm GMT. Watch live here:

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New Workshop Dates

We are delighted to announce new dates for our next online courses in Improv and Stand-Up. Whether you’re looking to learn new skills or make new connections in a fun and friendly environment, our courses are great fun for everyone!

Beginning Stand-Up Comedy (4 Week Course)

First up is our next Beginning Stand-Up course. Develop your first comedy routine and hone your comedic voice in this safe and supportive workshop environment. You’ll receive feedback and guidance to help you shape your material and delivery. Great fun, whether you’re looking to break into Stand-Up comedy, sharpen your writing, or build confidence in public speaking.

The course starts Monday 8th March 2021. The full cost of the course is £75. Limited to just 5 spaces! Book Here.

Foundation Improv (6 Week Course)

Our next Foundation Improv course starts in April. Learn the core skills and principles that underpin improvised performance in this fun and friendly course. Covering fundamental areas including: “Yes, And”, Listening, Character, Storytelling and more! If you’re looking to build confidence in collaboration, communication and creativity then this is the course for you!

The course starts Thursday 8th April 2021. The full cost of the course is £75. Limited to just 10 spaces! Book Here.

We are also delighted to announce that we are committing to make another 5 spaces available on our Foundation course in collaboration with the Black Improv Alliance. Visit the workshop page to find out more.

Find Out More About Our Workshops

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Guest Players and Refs

We’re still continuing our online shows every Wednesday and Saturday to keep people laughing during lockdown. While the current restrictions may be keeping us apart right now, we’re using our online shows to stay connected with our CSz Worldwide family and audiences around the world. We have lined up guest refs and players from other ComedySportz teams to join us – with more to be confirmed in the coming weeks!

Subscribe to our youtube channel today to never miss a match. Shows are family friendly and free to watch.

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel

All Upcoming Shows

New Year. New Start.

Hello 2021! Whilst it may yet be some time before we return to live shows we’re still continuing to keep you entertained with our online shows and workshops.

Don’t miss our New Year, New Games match tonight from 7pm GMT. We have online shows every Wednesday and Saturday – subscribe to our YouTube channel today to never miss a match!

Want to try something new for 2021? Sign up to our January courses in Improv and Stand-Up Comedy. A great way to make connections, build confidence and develop communication skills. Courses are fun, friendly and a great way to learn how to play!

The 100 Black Improvisers Partnership is a joint venture among corporate sponsors, improv teachers, and improv schools/theaters around the world which are actively seeking diversity. By pledging to provide a minimum of five scholarships for Black students, each of us contributes to a common goal of getting 100 more Black people into Foundation Improv level workshops by July 2021.

We have pledged to provide five spaces on our next foundation improv course. You can sign up to this scheme by emailing us or via the Black Improv Alliance website.

If you have questions about any of our shows, workshops or getting us involved in a local project then don’t hesitate to get in touch.