About this project
Nashville Isn't Just Music City Anymore
Nashville's comedy scene has been blowing up the last few years, but the local comedians have a problem. There's no permanent venue showcasing all the local talent.
We want to fix that. Third Coast Comedy Club aims to be THE home for all local comics. Third Coast Comedy Club will feature stand-up, sketch, improv, comedic plays, variety shows, live podcasts, video content, and more! We've already received dozens of show ideas from local comedians who are ready to produce original performances on our stages.
The comedians are ready. The shows have been performed. The talent, the ideas, and the energy is there. A venue is the only thing holding everyone back.
Theater & Bar
We've secured a great spot in Marathon Village and the space is perfect. The venue will have a theater space that will seat 99 people and a separate full bar (named The Green Room) to serve as a hangout for comedians.
As you can see, we're ensuring the space will meet all the needs of the community.
Our training center will be a learning hub for improv, sketch, and stand-up. We'll have a regular schedule of courses throughout the year. In addition, we'll offer drop-in classes and workshops. Our veteran instructors have taught/performed all over the country at comedy powerhouses such as Second City (Chicago/LA), Upright Citizen's Brigade (NYC), iO (formerly Improv Olympic) (Chicago/LA), The Annoyance Theater (Chicago), Improv Boston, Dad's Garage (Atlanta), The PIT (NYC), Four Day Weekend (Fort Worth), The Dallas Comedy House, Theatre Asylum (LA), and many others!
The center will also bring in some of the best instructors from across the country to share their knowledge with our city.
Most exciting, Third Coast will have a non-profit arm, the Third Coast Project. We've got the incredible Heather Lefkowitz leading the effort who has experience with local non-profits and she's already filed our 501(c)3 paper-work. We're also in the process of adding to the Board of Directors so the mission of the organization stays strong and focused for years to come.
Speaking of, what's the mission? Third Coast Project is a Nashville-based non-profit dedicated to empowering people through the practice of improv. The Third Coast Project will bring improvisational arts to the wider Nashville community, offering classes and workshops for students, health care providers, people in recovery, and many others. In fact, it's already busy living up to its mission, producing a teacher's retreat, a place where educators from all kinds of schools, who work with all populations of students, can gather and spend time together reflecting, rejuvenating, and re-energizing. The program features a session on the philosophy of improvisation.
The Third Coast Project will help with scholarships for our training center both to increase diversity and to allow low-income individuals who otherwise would not have been able to learn from our talented teachers. In addition to contributions and grants, a percentage of all revenue from the Third Coast Comedy Club will go to the Third Coast Project.
Third Coast was started by Luke Watson and Scott Field, two comedians who have first-hand experience with all the work needed to produce quality comedy shows. They've been doing it for years. They also have experience in others cities with other theaters and are connected with comedians all over the country.
Luke performed in Atlanta, GA before moving to Nashville. He founded LOL Nashville in 2013, one of the most successful troupes in the city. They've sold out nearly every show in venues such as The Basement, 12th & Porter, and City Winery. Luke also produced the Third Coast Comedy Festival shortly after co-founding Third Coast.
Scott performed with Improv Boston before moving to Nashville in 2004. He co-founded Improv Nashville, a company that went on to produce improv and sketch shows from 2005 to 2009. In its last year, the company leased a space it built out as a comedy theater on 12th South--earning rave reviews for its Christmas sketch show and the very popular Life Interrupted improv show featuring local celebrities. He now directs and performs with Music City Improv, the longest-running improv show in Nashville.
SPECIAL THANKS to the cast, crew, and extras who helped make the video possible:
Tim Yager, Director/Writer
Sam Boyette, Director of Photography/Editor
Carter Adkins, Sound
Adam Stunkle, Lighting
Bill Hillsman, Production Assistant
Cast: Caleb Sanders, Jason Horowitz, Sean Parrott, Brad Edwards, Austin Williams, Patrick Shaffner, Allison Summers, Erica Elam, and Chandler Bolles.
Risks and challenges
Luke has put his savings in to this and Scott is using the equity in his house. Apart from this Kickstarter, there are no investors!
This has been our number one challenge, but the constraint has meant that we've been creative about every choice we've made like laying out the floor plan to use the existing plumbing and warming our way into the heart of a Disney set builder so he would build us a stage and bar at a fraction of the cost, given his talent.
Having to comply with city codes for the type of establishment we're creating has meant additional costs. We've also run into some unforeseen expenses like a new HVAC unit and a $7,000 water activation fee. If we're unable to raise the money needed for the buildout it could delay the club's opening.
Our location in Marathon Village means there's a healthy amount of tourists and locals who will know we exist, see a show, and tell their friends.
Something could happen to one or both of us. So, we've got a great team of qualified people assembled--performers, producers, and directors of comedy productions and troupes around town. They can keep things going. For instance, the director of the Main Stage Cast is Erica Elam, instructor & player with both The Second City, iO, The School at Steppenwolf, and the critically-acclaimed musical improv group, Baby Wants Candy.
Bottom-line: Scott & Luke have over 25 combined years of improv experience (over 10 of those in Nashville) and are willing to do whatever it takes to make this dream happen. We'll be the only place like this in all of Nashville! If you build it, they WILL come, and they already are! We have been getting inquiries from people asking how they can see a show, create a show, or hire someone from the theater.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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