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... Read more
The job of "Comedian" has been around for a lot longer than the term "Comedian" has even existed. We see in countless literary examples, from Greek Classics to Shakespeare to Agatha Christie, there exists an irreplaceable Jester, or "Fool" character, who is often smarter than the... Read more
Hello all! As you may know, Comedy Playground has been in operation for twelve years, working tirelessly to promote stand up comedy, improv, and the art of comedy performance among youth and families. A lot of Comedy Playground regulars and alumni have spent many years working with... Read more
Improv... "How do you do that?" "I would never know what to say!" "It just makes me so nervous..." are some of the usual comments I hear when I tell people that I have been doing improv competitively and at comedy clubs since I was a teenager. I'll usually respond with, you don't... Read more
Hello fellow comedians, comedy enthusiasts, comedy playground alumni and to anyone else who happens to stumble upon this blog! My name is Andrew Walker, and I am the new media intern for Comedy Playground. I'd like to take this opportunity to introduce myself to all of you, in the... Read more
5 Ways of Finding the Funnies this summer… weather permitting!
See ahead and you’ll see how to overcome fear, befriend mother nature, laugh in the rain and more. Thanks for your support and see more articles by amazing monthly mentors http://www.theteenmentor.com
What better way to start up the school year post summer, than to keep the laughs going!!!
Comedy Playground is currently enrolling! Sessions will be at the BEAUTIFUL space at NEW COLLECTIVE LA STUDIO 6440 Santa Monica Boulevard in Hollywood, with a LIVE SHOW at THE HOLLYWOOD IMPROV!
Dates: SEPT 10 – OCT 29th!
Day/Time: Sundays 10am-1pm
IMPROV & STAND UP & INFINITE FUNNIES!
Be sure to email email@example.com
See some of our incredible performers talk about comedy, fun, funnies, and more!
Special thanks to: Walker, Drew, Hannah, and all our CP dynamos as well as the incredible Darrin Bush for his videography and editing mastermind!
Be sure to check out the monthly articles with tips, how to’s and more from Comedy Playground’s Susanna Spies! Below is the article that encompasses 5 steps on finding humor and shifting your perspective.
More info can be found at:
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!
To register for CP Combo Term, Please Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
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’s, Susanna Spies!
Rising up with HA’s – Published today, Jan 2017
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!”
Where is the HA? Article Link here:
We had such a blast with the amazing Hannah Hart and Mamrie Hart and the seniors at Hollenbeck for Have a Hart Day! Check out the video now up!
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!”
Comedy Playground Founder & President Susanna Spies was honored to be a presenter at the World Muse Conference in Bend, Oregon! Amongst some of the most amazing innovators, leaders, educators, and executives who shared, inspired, and united together towards positive change! http://musemagazine.org/?p=2815
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: email@example.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!
New 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!
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!”
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:
“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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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: email@example.com
Leading Age:(SSU program for elderly) 2010
Mill Valley Patch: 2012
Click here to read more…
July 2013 Princeton Town Topics:
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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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!
Come and learn stand up comedy and improvisation in our Combo class and start the new year laughing! This 6 week class will meet on Sundays from 11am-2pm, and will culminate into a live performance at the Hollywood Improv on June 1st at 5pm!
Please email: email@example.com to learn about how to register, location class location, and all final details!
The job of “Comedian” has been around for a lot longer than the term “Comedian” has even existed. We see in countless literary examples, from Greek Classics to Shakespeare to Agatha Christie, there exists an irreplaceable Jester, or “Fool” character, who is often smarter than the Aristocracy that he (or she) works for. The Fool, essentially the comedian, sees through the – for lack of better term – BS of the Aristocracy, and mocks it openly, but in a way that entertains the very people he is mocking (important if he wants to keep his head).
Sound familiar? Turn on the television tonight and you will see comedians like Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, and Jon Oliver playing the role of Court Jester marvellously, only now the King’s Court of old has been replaced by Global Politics.
And then the late night crew, Jay Leno, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon and the rest come onto your television and, drawing from popular culture, use social commentary as their medium to entertain.
Popular comedians and entertainers like Kevin Hart, Jerry Seinfeld, Louis C.K, Dane Cooke and Dave Chappell all delve deep into the heart of society’s strange neuroses and foolish behaviours, acting as court Jesters for us all to laugh at, well, ourselves.
These days, Comedians don’t just stand on stage and tell jokes, they also act is living breathing newspapers, with sections on politics, economics, pop culture, food, and everything in between. People relate to the way Comedians talk about Politics, Society, and the like, because Comedians do not separate themselves from Society like many elitists. Comedians are the “everyman” with a speaking voice and a microphone.
I’m Andrew Walker, and I think Comedians play a much larger role in society than just making people laugh. We have the opportunity to really deliver strong messages, convey information in a way that is accessible to everyone, and to make a difference in the Global Community.
Comedy Playground is constantly working towards cultivating the next generation of socially conscious Stand Up Comedians
Follow us on twitter @TeenComics
Check us out online @ www.comedyplayground.com
Currently Enrolling for Fall Classes Starting in September!! Enrol by August 30th and receive 20% off.
As you may know, Comedy Playground has been in operation for twelve years, working tirelessly to promote stand up comedy, improv, and the art of comedy performance among youth and families. A lot of Comedy Playground regulars and alumni have spent many years working with Susanna, and, as those of us who have worked with her know, this is a wonderful program that any teens and/or preteens wanting to get on stage in the name of comedy should take.
We are currently moving into more and more online activity, as dictated by the times, including lots of activity on twitter (@TeenComics), a brand-new youtube page, Facebook, and most recently blogging! We appreciate you following us, thank you for reading this blog, and we hope to continue connecting with all of you in the future!
Despite this recent surge of online activity, we do still need your help! If you have taken the CP classes before, or if you know of anyone interested in a class like this, please spread the word! Nothing will ever beat word of mouth advertising for a great program like this (Capping off a full semester with a live show at The Improv on Melrose, how great is that?!).
Interested in helping us out? Here’s what you can do:
– Spread the word! Tell your friends about us.
– Write a review on Yelp! http://www.yelp.com/biz/comedy-playground-los-angeles-3 (if you don’t have time to write a review, a quick rating is also hugely appreciated)
– Tweet/Follow us! @TeenComics
– “Like” us on Facebook
– Subscribe to our YouTube Channel
– Call or Email for any further information needed
Thank you so much for reading, and for supporting this program. We are nothing without the support of our community.
Stay funny, Keep Laughing, Be Yourself
I’m Andrew Walker, thanks for reading.
“How do you do that?” “I would never know what to say!” “It just makes me so nervous…”
are some of the usual comments I hear when I tell people that I have been doing improv competitively and at comedy clubs since I was a teenager. I’ll usually respond with, you don’t need to know what you’re going to say all the time…you don’t know what you are going to say to me next in this conversation, but yet you will find something, and it will likely be interesting and spark conversation. My number one lesson about improv: you are more interesting than you think, and that strange idea you get on stage or that weird comment you make during a scene, is probably a lot funnier than you give yourself credit for. So just go for it!
Improv is a large component of the Comedy Playground curriculum…and I think it is an invaluable skill, not just for actors, but for anyone. As an actor, you absolutely MUST be able to think on your toes, and that’s what improv does for you. As an average joe or every day Jane? Improv helps too! When you go into a job interview, a whole lot of it is improv because you don’t know exactly what questions you are going to be asked. When you go on a first date, you aren’t going to plan out your conversation…improv helps build the confidence to just run with it…to listen and to be present in the moment, and to trust yourself.
Improv is not just jumping on stage, acting crazy, and saying whatever comes to your mind, however. As part of the Comedy Playground program you will learn improv from one of the best teachers I have ever studied the ‘prov with…Katey Mushlin…and she will take you deep into the heart of improv; how to utilize technique, how to own your space, and how to own your voice and ideas while supporting others.
I’m Andrew Walker…and for now:
Check us out on facebook, twitter (@teencomics) and on YouTube!!
Stay funny, keep laughing
Hello fellow comedians, comedy enthusiasts, comedy playground alumni and to anyone else who happens to stumble upon this blog!
My name is Andrew Walker, and I am the new media intern for Comedy Playground. I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce myself to all of you, in the hopes that we can connect in the near future!
I am twenty six years old, originally from Canada, and I moved to Los Angeles last July to pursue a career in acting. I spent a lot of time in my youth doing improv, but I was never given the opportunity to try stand up comedy…until I met Susanna Spies in my third semester at AMDA in Hollywood, where I am currently studying acting. In mere seconds of trying stand up comedy, I was hooked. In mere weeks I had begun, with the expert guidance of Susanna, to develop and hone my own comedy voice. I now consider myself an up and coming stand up comedian with the confidence to develop, write, and voice my own material on stage in front of a crowd. So much of this is because of Susanna’s great teaching methods….she works with people to help them find their own comedy voice, to find the funny from the truth, from the things you think and know, instead of just throwing a bunch of punchlines against a wall, so to speak.
I truly wish I would have had the opportunity to take stand up comedy classes as a teenager. My biggest blockade against trying stand up was fear; fear of failure, fear of rejection…but just trying it once proved to me how NOT scary it is! If I could have conquered that fear at a younger age, I can only imaging where I would be now with my stand up comedy. I strongly feel that teenagers looking for an outlet of expression, or trying to find a stronger voice, self confidence, or awareness of self, can greatly benefit from taking a comedy class with Susanna. Stand up comedy and improvisation are vital skills that extend far beyond the realm of theatre and stand up comedy clubs. Let’s get teens involved in great programs like Comedy Playground early, so that they can build their voice!
I’m Andrew Walker, please continue reading my blogs. Please comment or post on our facebook page! Please tweet us @teencomics and please share your funny videos with us!!! We look forward to getting to know you, and hopefully you will take some time to get to know us!!
PS We are currently enrolling for our fall semester, so if you know anyone at all who would be interested, drop us a line!!!
Currently enrolling combo classes both stand up and improv at the world-famous Hollywood Improv. Promotional discount offered by August 30, 2013. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fall classes Sundays 2:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Improvisation AND Stand up
September 8, 2013 – October 27, 2013 (ending show)
Please visit our class page for more info on how to register!
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
Comedy Playground has been featured in the Education Impact Report by Variety. View article here: http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118001717?refCatId=3584
“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.”
Student 4 years, T/A
The Comedy Playground website has been updated.
“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.
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?
susanna’s workshop… priceless.”
– Father, son age 16
“Kudos to you for the important work you do.”
– Suzan, Editor Larchmont Chronicle
“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
“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!”
“Just wanted you to know that my always negative daughter came home and said she “loved it”. I’m thrilled. Thank you!”