Dr. Kevin Bradshaw completed his B.A. in Radio Television Broadcasting and M.A. in Theatre Arts at San Jose State University, San Jose. He completed his PhD at the University of Oregon, Eugene. He has been associated with ComedySportz since 1989 and is a founding member of the Spokane, Washington ComedySportz team. He is currently serving as Vice-Chair for playwriting (Region VII) for the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Theatre in the Communication Arts Department at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington.2004 0-7734-6317-8
ComedySportz, the Milwaukee-based competitive improvisational company, was the examination model used in this study which examines the history of the company, analyzes their beginner workshop curriculum and details their training methods. Two research questions were applied: What is the history of ComedySportz? What are the teaching methods used by ComedySportz in their beginner-level workshops? Research was based on personal interviews, company archives, questionnaires, and observations. Dick Chudnow, the company’s founder, was interviewed in order to provide a foundation for the study. Research subjects for the field investigation were selected from the instructional and artistic staff of ComedySportz and were termed “experts.” The project was descriptive in nature, relying on personal interviews, electronic mail, telephone conversations and personal observations of the ComedySportz show and workshops. The resulting investigation has revealed a rich and varied history of a company dedicated to competitive performance improvisation. The analysis of the beginner level workshop training methods of the Milwaukee, New York and San Jose ComedySportz clubs indicates a high-level of teaching expertise, a wide variety of training methods and the formation of a solid background in improvisation skills. The study provides historical documentation for a leading company and offers a model for researchers interested in pursuing similar ventures.