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We are looking forward to a jammin’ comedy start to the year! Comedy Playground is currently enrolling our:
JANUARY 7 – FEBRUARY 18th show at The Improv!
COMBO CLASS!!!
SUNDAYS 10am-1pm
New Collective LA: 6440 Santa Monica Blvd / Hollywood
SHOW at the IMPROV!! Register by November 30th to receive HOLIDAY DISCOUNTS!
Inquire here! susanna@comedyplayground.com
LIMITED SPOTS!!

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SPRING INTO LAUGHTER! CURRENTLY ENROLLING TEENS/PRE-TEENS – SAVE YOUR SPOT!

Comedy Playground Classes – NEW LOCATION!
We are thrilled to announce our new location for our Spring term at the BEAUTIFUL ANC ENTERTAINMENT CAMPUS: 611 South Glenwood Place, Burbank CA 91506. Close to shops, theaters, tons of restaurants, Disney, Warner Brothers and more! Please see links below as we embark on our new journey in the ANC Lab Space!
http://www.ancentertainment.com

To register for CP Combo Term, Please Contact: susanna@comedyplayground.com

Be sure to see the new article within the Monthly Mentor segment of The Teen Mentor!
Published today: “Rising Up with HA’s!” is the featured article talking about the new year, and how to bring in some funnies in places you’d least suspect by Comedy Playground’s15876258_1405431526135848_5462897739916378112_n, Susanna Spies!

Rising up with HA’s – Published today, Jan 2017

https://theteenmentor.com/2017/01/13/rising-up-with-has-by-susanna-spies/

Check it out! Founder, Susanna Spies is super honored to be part of a Monthly Mentor series within The Teen Mentor http://www.theteenmentor.com providing amazing opportunities, thoughts, and experiences for teens. Alongside a list of amazing authors, speakers, teachers, facilitators and artists, Spies will provide a monthly published article of personal anecdotes and how to’s tools for teens to provide their voices within the healing world of humor. The genre of The Teen Mentor is to provide personal stories, tips, and thoughts within: “Important Stuff you Don’t Learn in School.”

You can see more about the monthly series here as well as the first Publication listed “Where’s the HA?” The next publication will be released on Friday, January 13, 2017 “Rising Up with HA’s!”

https://theteenmentor.com/your-monthly-mentors/susannaspies/

Where is the HA? Article Link here:
https://theteenmentor.com/2016/09/30/wheres-the-ha-by-susanna-spies/

Happy New Year! Our Winter Combo Session is underway! We will look forward in celebrating our amazing Comedians and YOU on Sunday, Feb 19th 4pm at The World Famous Hollywood Improv! This will be an afternoon of NON STOP funnies featuring our CP current class comedians performing Improvisation, Stand up, and will also welcome CP Grads for Special Guest Spots!
The show will be at The Improv, Sunday February 19th 4pm at The Improv: 8162 Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles.
You don’t wanna miss some of the best young comics out there! Perfect for a family outing of fun.. so come check it out, and Why sit… when you can STAND UP!”

Join us for a super fun-filled 8 weeks this Fall! Before we know it, summer will dash by,and what a better way to start off the school year, than to continue with the fun and laughs!

FALL SESSION: Improvisation AND Stand Up WITH ending show at The world famous Hollywood Improv! Dates: Sundays classes: 10am-1pm at Working Stage Theater: September 11 – October 30, 2016! Register now to save your spot by emailing: susanna@comedyplayground.com!

 

 

We are very excited to announce The Humor Activist (HA!) a Division of Comedy Playground, providing corporate connectivity, speech writing, public speaking, and team building programs. So, whether you are shy and dreading how to give that wedding  toast, present at your company’s annual retreat, or clink your glass to honor a recent graduate, HA! programs can help you find a way to deliver, find the funny,  and have FUN in the process! Turn the fear into FUN, and receive “Free Humor Tips” by signing up through our website!

Susanna_color_finalNew to a company and not sure how to fit in with your co-workers? Uncomfortable sitting at the company lunchroom table next to someone you don’t know? Tired of filling in the awkward silence talking about the teriyaki chicken, weather, or memo about casual Fridays? Unsure how to respond to someone continually pronouncing your name incorrectly? If you see yourself saying yes.. then HA! Team Building programs provide tools on how to “Free the Laughs” find ways to connect, and build bridges through humor. Based on a 13 year original curriculum, HA! programs are really beneficial to just about anyone. As I always say, humor is the glue. Laughter is ageless. The outcomes are infinite. Learn the HOW TO THE HA! See our program offerings, speaking engagements, publication info and more!  Please take a moment and visit http://www.thehumoractivist.com to learn more!

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http://losangelesca.losangelesca.awardsystem.org/PressReleaseub.aspx?cc=DEL-ZR96-8H77

Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Comedy Playground Receives 2015 Los Angeles Award

Los Angeles Award Program Honors the Achievement

LOS ANGELES March 11, 2015 — Comedy Playground has been selected for the 2015 Los Angeles Award in the Innovative Education / Comedy Programs category by the Los Angeles Award Program.

Each year, the Los Angeles Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Los Angeles area a great place to live, work and play.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2015 Los Angeles Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Los Angeles Award Program and data provided by third parties.

About Los Angeles Award Program

The Los Angeles Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Los Angeles area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.

The Los Angeles Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community’s contributions to the U.S. economy.

SOURCE: Los Angeles Award Program

Here are some more words from students themselves who have learned stand up with Instructor/Owner of Comedy Playground: Susanna Spies

“I had always had an interest in doing Stand-Up.  But it wasn’t until I met Susanna that I got the confidence and the skills to get up on stage and make a room full of people laugh out loud.” Nolan P

“I wanted to tell you that the experience I’ve had with the class has been better than outstanding if that is even a term. I have learned  the technique on how to come up with my material, and how to structure it, but it also I found how valuablemy voice and opinions is. When at the beginning you told us to write what we wanted to achieved in the class was, I did and it was all thanks to the directions and coaching you gave me.”  Pablo C

I have had such a great time being in this class! I am so ADD and when I knew it was 3 hours long I was like “here we go”.. But I do nothing except be on my toes and get butterflies… Which is something I haven’t felt since I did musicals in High School.. It’s a feeling that I love! The time ended up always escaping me/us afterwards and I wished I had more. You make the transition so nice and smooth and your support and confidence when we are trying things/bits is very accepting. You’re hilarious, I’ve loved learning and working with you,  I would SOOO love to work with you again. Let me know of ANY opportunity where that’s possible.”Chase F.

” Susanna, I first and foremost want to thank you for having me as a student and a member of your standup workshop this time around. I have learned many things about myself and the art of standup throughout this process.   I’m walking away with is just how important trusting myself and the work I put in to something is. As I battled with what I thought were nerves and this doubt of not being funny enough, I was coached by you to trust the process and the solid work we explored in class. You as a teacher really gave me all the tools I needed, but stepped back and allowed me to learn how to trust myself. I know feel confident about all the work I have done and really see an arch from where I started, to where I am now. This workshop has been an important learning lesson for me as an actor, and as a person still trying to figure out who I am. It’s amazing to think of what positive things have grown out of a comedy class, that only met once a week for a few hours. I recommend your class to anyone with a passion for creativity and maybe just need a little faith in themselves, like me! Thanks again for everything.” Trina T.

 

Over the summer, I was honored to go to the incredible International Camp: Seeds of Peace, in Otisfield Maine. There, nestled in the deep beautiful pines and amidst crystal blue waters, blanketed by delicious Maine air, were over 100 brave, strong, vibrant students from: Afghanistan, Israel, Egypt, Palestine, India, Pakistan, Jordan, UK, US and more. Upon my experience, it became clearer and clearer to me the mantra I have felt as a comedian and teacher for over 15 years, that laughter is universal.

It is the one common denominator we all share. It ignites, builds, provides and bridges humanity. I will never forget my experience there, from seeing faces with ambivalence, to radiant smiles, and witnessing friendships built, dropping all biases, forgetting all conflict, and being human as one. I am honored to have shared this time at Seeds of Peace. It was an experience I will never forget, and know now that nutella is one universal treat all love. So, to all my Seeds campers, to the staff at Seeds, and to all my fellow friends of Comedy Playground and more: go laugh, be, share, talk, and remember the bridge to positive outcomes, starts with the laughter in your hearts. We all have a voice. And I’m grateful to have heard yours.

Today, I received this quote from Leslie Lewin, the Executive Director of Seeds of Peace. And today, my heart laughs in gratitude and joy.

“It was an honor to be able to bring Susanna and her work to Seeds of Peace International Camp this past summer. She ran brilliant workshops for our campers–who represent opposing sides of conflict–and used the power of laughter to build bridges of understanding. She enabled our campers to find space outside of intense, daily dialogue to explore common ground through humor. She helped them discover basic aspects of humanity through their own funny stories. With Susanna, campers found their voice; she leads workshops brilliantly and makes sure all feel included. Our program emphasizes empowerment, and Susanna was able to maximize this in each of her workshops. She gave our campers a gift and we very much hope to be able to work with her again!”

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Hi friends!

Many of you have asked how the trip has been going, and there are so few words to even know how to find to describe this incredibly profound experience at Seeds of Peace! I had the honor of teaching comedy  programs for youth from: Afghanistan, Palestine, Pakistan, Israel, Jordan, Egypt, UK, and the US. Truly out of this world (no pun intended), and one of the most incredible experience in my years as a comedian, program facilitator and educator, and as a human being on this earth. I will add updates to share, but for now including a note below I sent to my family the first day describing some of the class experiences the first day:

Day one

“I am here. I am speechless. My face hurts from smiling and my heart beyond full. Attached are some photos from today. I’m on a break between classes but will add some of the experiences from today in working with the Peer Support Leaders from Egypt, Turkey, Palestine, US, Afghanistan, Israel and India.”

“The session started with a microphone I brought over that was given to me by the Improv years ago. I passed it around asking each to make a wish, demonstrating symbolism and unity as we each share our voice ,also sharing it’s history of where it came from. I passed around that mic and asked each to make a wish quietly to themselves. Each could not grab it fast enough. It was an offering, accepted. Each sharing, give and take and a foreshadowing to the upcoming hour and a half ahead. One of the Development Directors was smiling ear to ear while watching.”

Some quotes that stuck out:

Quote one: Student from Afghanistan: “I wish we could have a National Donkey Day – to give them a break, they don’t ever get a break and they need one too!” Roars of applause and laughter prevailed. High fives around the circle.

Quote two: Student from Palestine: “I think there are great good things to be the oldest, I am the middle and I love it, and that too is great, it is not the oldest, but the middle and both I love, both are great!” Ran onto stage to share, high fives around the circle.

Quote of the day given during line up – an all group gathering before each meal.”Love is like a fart, if you push hard enough, it’s poop.” 185 campers hysterically laughing.

I was able to teach approximately 70 students through the one universal language I have always said can transcend, the language of humor, and together we worked to help build that bridge toward unity. I learned tons from this experience.. and will forever be so honored to have been with such an INCREDIBLY courageous group of leaders for our many tomorrow’s toward peace.

More to add tomorrow… stay tuned. Goodnight.

Hugs and Ha’s, Susanna

Comedy Playground President and Founder Susanna Spies, will be going to Seeds of Peace to provide programs for international campers. Programs will be provided with the mission to bridge relationships, build communication, and find a means to embrace through the one UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE known by all: laughter.

Peace and love to all. May peace prevail!

More to come.

Comedy Playground is currently enrolling for WINTER COMEDY COMBO sessions! Limited spots!! 

WINTER Dates: October 26 – December 7th! Ending show at the world famous Hollywood Improv! This combo class incorporates BOTH Improv AND Stand up, all culminating into a live show to share with friends, family on the wold famous stage! Class location: Working Stage Theater: 1516 N. Gardner West Hollywood (just north of Sunset Blvd), Sundays 10am-1pm, and 2pm-5pm. Limited spots, register now! Email: susanna@comedyplayground.com

Promotional Discount if you register by September 15th! 

2015 SESSIONS TO BE ANNOUNCED!  Jan/Feb, April/May ding show at the world famous Hollywood Improv! This combo class incorporates BOTH Improv AND Stand up, all culminating into a live show to share with friends, family on the wold famous stage! Class location: Working Stage Theater: 1516 N. Gardner West Hollywood (just north of Sunset Blvd), Sundays 10am-1pm and 2pm-5pm. Limited spots, register now! Email: susanna@comedyplayground.com

Start the school year with laughter and smiles! Comedy Playground is currently open for registration for FALL and WINTER sessions!

Comedy Playground is currently open to enroll for our COMBO CLASS filled with comedy fun! Stand up, Improv all ending in a LIVE SHOW at the world famous Hollywood Improv!: FALL SEMESTER: September 7 – October 19, 2014! Sundays: 10am-1pm! Location:1516 N. Gardner Street, just one street of the world famous Sunset Blvd! :) Please email: susanna@comedyplayground to register! Early bird discount if you register by August 15th!

Email: susanna@comedyplayground.com to register asap!

Fall: September 7 – October 19th  Sundays 10am-1pm. Ending show at The Improv!

Winter: October 26 – December 7th Sundays 10am-1pm. Ending show at The Improv!

Combo class: $460 / Referral Discounts apply, inquire within! Limited Spots!

As I always say… why sit… when you can STAND UP! So, let’s do this! :) Save a spot and get ready for the funnies! :)

 

Ever dream of sharing the stage with one of your favorite comedians? Have you seen a live show where you have wondered what it must feel like to be on a stage and doing stand up? Well, here’s your chance! Comedy Playground has had the pleasure having several name comics guest appear on shows, come to classes for comedy talk, and support our amazing teen comedy program.

We are super excited to have our dear friend Angela Hoover from NBC’s America’s Got Talent, and Betsy Salkind (Showtime, and Leno) to join us in a special guest appearance to our “Comedy Extravaganza” show today, at the Improv at 4:30pm. You won’t wanna miss!

 

I was a student in some of the first Comedy Playground classes and now I’m thrilled to be a teaching assistant/intern and help out whenever possible (Teenagers aren’t normally the most open or expressive people and it’s so gratifying to watch/help them realize they’re free to express their opinions and feelings and learn turn those thoughts into something creative and funny.)

Comedy Playground has afforded me the opportunity of a lifetime. I truly believe that if I hadn’t found Comedy Playground as a kid, I’d be a very different person today. As a teen I was sullen and miserable (which is really unique, I know.) I felt, as many do, that nobody cared to listen to what I had to say and that I had nothing of value to offer people. Comedy Playground has changed all of that and helped me realize my creative potential (and not just in comedy either!) There were times in high school where CP classes were the only thing that made me feel truly happy, and I’m so grateful for that.

– Hana Michels

“I have been a part of comedy playground for 5 years now, and I can honestly say that this program has helped me to find my voice in stand up comedy and improv more than anything else has in those 5 years. Susanna and Kate are both amazing teachers who have a comprehensive understanding of stand up and improv comedy and really know how to convey that understanding to their students.”

Joe Wise,
Student 4 years, T/A

“So much of my life is memorizing patterns. Remember this date, this formula, this rule, this social convention… I feel like my entire education is trying to squish me into a socially acceptable mould from which creativity cannot escape. Comedy Playground allows me to throw off the shackles of decorous behavior and act freely on my instincts. The improv encourages breaking the rules, letting go, daring to experiment with different perspectives. It doesn’t merely teach you how to think outside the box, but rather how to turn the box into a rocket ship and blast off into space to visit your Martian grandmother. At the same time, the stand up provides the most perfect outlet for expressing your opinions and venting your frustrations. When something bad happens, it doesn’t suck; it’s new material. Additionally, Susanna is a wonderful and experienced teacher who can coax the humor out of anyone, and Katey is equal parts ludicrous and loving. You should seriously take this class.”
~Morgan, comedy playground student of 4 years

“Comedy Playground is an outstanding program offering both Stand-up and Improvisational comedy instruction taught by amazing, professional teachers who give 100% of themselves to the teens.

My daughter started with Comedy Playground when she was 13. She is 16 now and it has become a big part of her life. Comedy Playground provides a supportive environment to learn Stand-up, and it has given her confidence speaking in front of a large group, and this has translated into top grades for presentations at school. The improvisation portion of the class has trained her to think on her feet and work well in a group. My husband and I feel these are invaluable skills that will serve her well for whatever profession she ultimately chooses. She has also had the opportunity to perform at various charity events, and she takes real pride in being a part of something larger than herself.”
– Jodi, Santa Monica, Mother

“I am so grateful for Susanna Spies and the Comedy Playground.  As tragic as the trauma of Hurricane Katrina was, your program was a big part of the healing process for all of us. Seeing the first comedy showcase Binkki performed in after taking your workshop, creating material, and performing it brought joy and tears to my friends and family.  Laughter is medicine for the soul, and definitely makes the heart merry.  Maybe a program such as this could be used to redirect the delinquent youth in our juvenile system!  Keep up the good work!  Your workshops have truly blessed Binkki in her healing process.
Thanks”
Mother, Hurricane Katrina Survivor

“We love you and feel josh is so lucky to have you as a teacher. Josh has grown so much from your workshops. We think the experience you provide is . . . how does the commercial go?
hamburgers, $10
cheesebrugers, $5
susanna’s workshop… priceless.”
– Father, son age 16

“I can’t think of anything in any of the performing arts that is braver than standing up there alone and doing comedy,as yourself. Thanks again for providing a place for josh to learn all this,for what you’ve given josh personally, and for what you’ve give all the kids.

We are very appreciative, and we know that what you do in this world is special and unique, both in your teaching and in your own professional work. This is what shines out of those kids, the spirit you bring through your own love of the work, of the art itself.”
Father, son age 16

“Thank you again for everything and your continued support. Thanks also for being you, we love you dearly and I am grateful for the laughter, confidence joy and support you have given. He is really blessed to have someone so special to draw inspiration from.”
Mother, son age 15

“Comedy Playground has provided a secure, fun, and challenging environment for our daughter to develop her talent as a stand-up comic and to learn the technical aspects of comedy and improvisational performance.  We have watched her, over the course of several shows, grow from a shy introverted teen to an ambitious, confident and excited go getter. She has evolved as , an  in-experienced and nervous performer on stage, to a confident and very funny presence who understands the process of writing original material.

We have seen how this work, under the guidance of the talented and supportive Susanna Spies, has brought new-found self-esteem and purpose to our daughter as well as to other Comedy Playground participants.  We feel grateful to have discovered Comedy Playground”

Tony Magnemi  – Business Owner
Daughter: 13
Son: 11

“This is such a wonderful opportunity and great experience for kids, Susanna is incredible and my kids (daughter 13, and son 11), have had so much fun, have learned an incredible amount and how opened up avenues they never would have dreamed of.  My son was shy, but now has really opened up.

It has really helped them in school, giving oral reports and (they) have had much better test scores using a much faster thought process.  I could go on and on about the benefits of this program. At first you think comedy, is that really something I want my kids to start? But it is not just comedy; it’s a quick wit, improvisational thinking, public speaking and much more.”

Grand Parent Testimonial : Edwin D. Trellue, Vice President For Institutional Advancement New Orleans, Louisiana

“Thank you for your efforts with the children in the California community. Your program and “you” in particular have improved their pre-teen and teen, self-esteem, their confidence, speaking ability and their interest in the arts! Your program has unleashed their connection with their inner feelings and made them more aware or others irregardless of age! They both now seemed to be more focused on school and other people’s feelings!

As an educator and an individual who is responsible on the college level for the advancement of a solid curriculum for our student body, I applaud your program and wish you could package it for grammar school, middle school, high school and the college and university levels. Again you have created a program that is as the kids say, “awesome”. Thanks for all that you do for our children and grandchildren.”
– Production Manager, Director Chris M.

“I watched your showcase while digitizing into my system. I’m extremely impressed. You are doing such a service to those kids and the world with your project, and should feel so, so proud. I truly wish there had been a program like yours when I was 15!”