Comedy For Everyone
Big Canvas started with five people with a big dream: to help their community with comedy. Back in 2014, Doug Rothgeb, Eric Green, Tracie Mauk, Heather Jones, and Lindsey Theis took a leap of faith after performing together and sharing a value of making sure there were safe places for people of any age or background to enjoy comedy. Each brought a variety of talents and a combined passion for performing. Together, the group had decades of improv, stand up, sketch comedy, broadcasting, and theatre experience. Needless to say, it was never a dull moment. And they did this all volunteer, all on their own time.
In 2016, The Board of Directors was formally organized as Big Canvas operates under their direction. The board is responsible for setting the budget and helping Big Canvas raise the money to meet it. Members of the board also provide support for Big Canvas in many ways, and they deserve our thanks for their commitment and dedication.
For those unfamiliar with improv, the quickest way to explain it is to reference the television show Whose Line Is It Anyway? in which the actors create unrehearsed skits, games or songs, relying only on their quick wit and improvisational skills. For those familiar with Saturday Night Live, the skits are written based on improvising ideas and scenes.
Big Canvas has three pillars: performances, classes, and community outreach. From low cost to free shows around Omaha, to low cast or free classes, to individual partnerships with nonprofits around the area, they provide the tools for anyone interested in learning how to think quick on their feet, be spontaneous, be more creative, become more flexible and much more.
For experienced improvisors, Big Canvas hopes to offer the stage for performers to create their own shows, teach their own styles and to help spread creative talents and ideas.
Big Canvas sees each show, class, and workshop as an opportunity to grow, laugh, and smile. Each performer becomes another color in the Big Canvas Painting.