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Help DSI Comedy open new comedy theater on Franklin Street in downtown Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Read more

Chapel Hill, NC Theater
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Funded!

This project was successfully funded on May 7, 2014.

Help DSI Comedy open new comedy theater on Franklin Street in downtown Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Chapel Hill, NC Theater
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About this project

DSI was recently uprooted after 8 1/2 years in its first dedicated space in Carrboro. Our theater was offered the opportunity to be replanted just 1/2 mile away (across the Chapel Hill border) in record time. But with the lease signed, building permits processed and our move happening so quickly, we need your help.

DSI Comedy entertains audiences in North Carolina with a unique and energetic approach to the comedy scene and its critically acclaimed performance of improv, sketch and standup comedy as an artform. With regularly scheduled classes, master-level workshops and summer camps, we work to educate the next generation of comedy voices. We strive to be creative, collaborative and community focused.

We have actively supported Kidzu Children's Museum, Blue Ribbon Mentor Advocate, Sacrifical Poets, Beat Making Lab, YMCA Chapel Hill, Orange County Rape Crisis Center, Compass Center, UNC Dance Marathon, Avon Walk for Cancer, UNC Relay for Life, Community Nutrition Partnership, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and countless other local organizations over the last decade. (Note: Funds raised during this Kickstarter campaign will be used for construction and business expenses, not for charitable contributions.)

With over 90 current company members and hundreds of alumni, both in North Carolina and pursuing comedy around the country, DSI is home to an active and creative company with a range of backgrounds. We boast actors and hydrologists, graphic designers and nuclear scientists, students, 20-30 somethings, and what some of our more senior cast members prefer we call, simply, tax-paying citizens

During our yearly summer camps, DSI invites kids ages 6-17 to learn the art of improv comedy, and our instructors have proudly watched these young performers grow up to both join our company locally and represent our local scene as artistic leaders in comedy on college campuses across the country.

DSI Players (by Kevin Patrick Robbins: kevinpatrickrobbins.com/)
DSI Players (by Kevin Patrick Robbins: kevinpatrickrobbins.com/)

Our new location at 462 W Franklin St will offer new opportunities for community engagement and programming for organizations including Sacrificial Poets and Beat Making Lab and events co-presented with everyone from Muslim Life at Duke to the Triangle Air Awareness Coalition.

Each year, we also host the North Carolina Comedy Arts Festival, an internationally recognized comedy event that celebrates the best in the discipline with the help of the more than 400 improv comedians, standups and sketch writers that make the annual trek to Chapel Hill and Carrboro, NC. This coming February will mark 15 years that the festival has brought comedians from across the country (and Canada) to the Triangle, making an economic impact to the region in the hundreds of thousands of dollars and a cultural impact that cannot be measured.

To ready our new space, a theater that we will call home for the next 25 years, for maximum YES AND, we need to convert the building from an open-concept event space with a dark basement to a proper fully functional theater and comedy school.

DSI Comedy on Franklin — Draft Layout
DSI Comedy on Franklin — Draft Layout
Even @ZWJr (our youngest DSICo member) knows #Comedy #Hustle cannot do this alone.
Even @ZWJr (our youngest DSICo member) knows #Comedy #Hustle cannot do this alone.
      

Contributed funds will help:

  • Engage architects and professional builder and electrical contractors
  • Renovate the basement to create three separate spaces
  • Build out a functional box office and separate lobby space
  • Modify existing electrical systems and create new grid for house and stage lights
  • Modify existing space and systems to meet fire code for new construction
  • Purchase new hardware and design spaces to be fully accessible and compliant with current ADA standards
  • Enclose the performance space by building a sound-proof wall, entry-way and hanging theater-grade curtains for maximum sound dampening during shows
  • Design and build a functional Tech Booth and A/V control for shows
  • Mount and design setup for a camera (so that we can both capture and live stream performances), projector and screen
  • Install a stage wall with functional door and window for performer use and prop storage for sketch comedy shows
  • Subsidize purchase of new chairs, supplies, new signage, etc.
Del Close Art Print by comedian and graphic designer  Shane Smith
Del Close Art Print by comedian and graphic designer Shane Smith

Risks and challenges

New commercial construction can be delayed by permits and inspections. Regarding the timeline challenge, DSI staff are in regular communication with the Town inspector, Economic Development Officer and staff of the Downtown Partnership for Chapel Hill. The building-owner is another local business owner that has shown a significant amount of support in overcoming permit and development obstacles.

DSI expects to celebrate a Chapel Hill grand opening May 2014, with a soft opening during late April. If major delays come up, we will make every effort to communicate directly with donors and will then work to resolve the issues we've run into.

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Rewards

  • You selected
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    39 backers

    THE HIGH FIVE — Project Updates + DSI Sticker + a Real High Five!

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    Pledge $25 or more

    60 backers

    THE LEASE WE COULD DO — Two Regular Tickets (reserved seats, good for the next 25 years of the lease; reservations suggested to ensure ticket availability) + DSI Sticker + High Five + Project Updates

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    Pledge $50 or more

    62 backers Limited (188 left of 250)

    THE SHIRT OFF OUR BACK — DSI T-shirt + Two Regular Tickets (reserved seats, good for the next 25 years of the lease; reservations suggested to ensure space availability) + DSI Sticker + High Five + Project Updates

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    Pledge $75 or more

    20 backers All gone!

    MYSTERY PRIZE PACK — A custom piece of 4x6 artwork by DSI Comedian Tristan Yonce inspired by your suggestion + two mystery improv comedy-related surprises + DSI Sticker + High Five + Project Updates

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    Only ships to: United States
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    Pledge $100 or more

    14 backers Limited (86 left of 100)

    MAY FLOWERS — Unlimited Regular Tickets for one person (you OR any one person you name) redeemable for the grand opening month May 2014 (reservations suggested to ensure availability) + THE SHIRT OFF OUR BACK rewards

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    Pledge $150 or more

    10 backers Limited (40 left of 50)

    THE ART OF COMEDY — Del Close Art Print (scroll down in the description for the print image) + THE SHIRT OFF OUR BACK rewards

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $250 or more

    9 backers

    THE CREATIVE CLASS — DSI Comedy Class Tuition (reward redeemable May 2014 - May 2015; must register for class in advance to ensure space availability) + THE LEASE WE COULD DO rewards

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    Pledge $250 or more

    3 backers Limited (17 left of 20)

    THE FUNNY STORY — Be a MISTER DIPLOMAT guest (scheduled during the 2014 calendar year) + THE LEASE WE COULD DO rewards

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  • You selected
    Pledge $250 or more

    1 backer

    THE PARTY — Party Pack of 10 Tickets for Any Regular Show + Space for private pre-show festivities (reservations must be made in advance to ensure ticket and space availability) + THE HIGH FIVE rewards

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  • You selected
    Pledge $250 or more

    2 backers Limited (48 left of 50)

    THE CAMP CLOWN — DSI Comedy Camp Tuition (reward redeemable Summer 2014; must email camps@dsicomedy.com and register in advance to ensure space availability) + THE LEASE WE COULD DO rewards

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  • You selected
    Pledge $250 or more

    30 backers All gone!

    COMEDY FRIENDS — Recognition Plaque in the Lobby + THE SHIRT OFF OUR BACK rewards

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    Pledge $450 or more

    0 backers Limited (15 left of 15)

    THE IMPROV COACH — Team Consult + 2 hours of directed coaching for your group with DSI Artistic Director Zach Ward (could be in person at the theater or Skype coaching; flexible schedule, will coordinate following completion of the campaign) + HIGH FIVE rewards

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    Pledge $500 or more

    9 backers Limited (11 left of 20)

    COMEDY LOBBYIST — Recognition Plaque in the Lobby + THE PARTY rewards

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  • You selected
    Pledge $850 or more

    0 backers Limited (20 left of 20)

    THE PARTY HARD PACKAGE — Private show at the new theater for you and up to 150 of your closest friends (reservations must be made in advance to ensure availability) + THE HIGH FIVE rewards

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  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    2 backers All gone!

    NAME THAT ROOM — Sponsoring Rights to One of our Classrooms for One Year (pending name approval by theater staff, let's just be reasonable) + Recognition Plaque in the Lobby + THE SHIRT OFF OUR BACK rewards

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  • You selected
    Pledge $1,750 or more

    1 backer All gone!

    NAME THE GREENROOM — Sponsoring Rights to our performer Green Room for One Year (pending name approval by theater staff, let's just be reasonable) + Recognition Plaque in the Lobby + THE SHIRT OFF OUR BACK rewards

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  • You selected
    Pledge $2,250 or more

    0 backers Limited (12 left of 12)

    COMEDY ON THE ROAD — Host a DSI TourCo Show (within 150 miles, advance scheduling required to ensure availability) + Recognition Plaque in the Lobby + THE LEASE WE COULD DO rewards

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  • You selected
    Pledge $2,250 or more

    0 backers Limited (20 left of 20)

    DSI FAN FOR NEXT 25 YEARS — 4 Regular Tickets per month (reserved VIP seats, good for the next 25 years of the lease, reservations suggested to ensure ticket availability - estimated value: $12,000 at current prices of just $10 per ticket) + 10 Festival Tickets per year (good for the next 25 years, reservations required, some restrictions will apply) + Recognition Plaque in the Lobby + THE SHIRT OFF OUR BACK rewards

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    Pledge $2,250 or more

    1 backer Limited (19 left of 20)

    COMPANY MEMBER FOR NEXT 25 YEARS — Are you an active Company Member at DSI? Cover dues for the next 25 years with this reward + 10 FREE tickets per year to giveaway (some restrictions may apply) + Recognition Plaque in the Lobby + THE CREATIVE CLASS rewards

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  • You selected
    Pledge $3,000 or more

    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    SAY WHAT?! STAGE WHO?! — Sponsoring Rights to our Stage for One Year (pending name approval by theater staff, let's just be reasonable John Serpico) + Recognition Plaque in the Lobby + THE SHIRT OFF OUR BACK rewards

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  • You selected
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    1 backer All gone!

    SAY WHAT?! BAR WHO?! — Sponsoring Rights to our sweet new Bar for One Year (pending name approval by theater staff, let's just be reasonable drunk comedy fans) + Recognition Plaque in the Lobby + THE SHIRT OFF OUR BACK rewards

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  • You selected
    Pledge $5,000 or more

    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    THE COMEDY HERO — Marquee Sponsoring Rights for the 2015 NC Comedy Arts Festival + Host a Half-day Corporate Training or Private TourCo Show (within 150 Miles, redeemable May 2014 - May 2015, advance scheduling required to ensure availability) + Recognition Plaque in the Lobby + THE SHIRT OFF OUR BACK rewards

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  • You selected
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    0 backers Limited (2 left of 2)

    THE COMEDY HERO 2.0 — Support DSI at this amount and we will customize a platinum level sponsorship of the Theater for one year (contact zach@dsicomedy.com if you have questions) + Recognition Plaque in the Lobby + THE PARTY HARD PACKAGE rewards + THE SHIRT OFF OUR BACK rewards

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Funding period

- (35 days)