The History of CSz Indianapolis
Welcome to CSz Indianapolis-Home of ComedySportz! Proud to bring quality improv and entertainment to the Circle City since 1993.
Wait, what? No way!
How could you possibly be in Indy for a quarter of a century, and I’m only now hearing about you?
It’s kinda crazy, right? But it’s true! Going into our 25th year in business, ComedySportz is the longest-running show in Indianapolis. Let’s bring you back to the magical time of the early ‘90s.
Neon colors and grunge fashion were all the rage, Tom Hanks was adorably Sleepless in Seattle, and America remembered who shot Alexander Hamilton…in a Got Milk? ad. And we were already underway, cutting our comedy chops. The sketch and improv group, Below the Belt included members Ed Trout, Mia Lee Roberts, and Lynn Burger. Things were chugging right along when member, Randy Smock, introduced us to an amazing show format in Chicago. The four traveled north to the wilds of Chicago to see a competitive, all-ages, improvised comedy event that was too good to be believed…called ComedySportz.
Fast forward to February of 1993. We were getting our sea legs about us, but we were up and open for business in the late hours of the night at Theatre on the Square in Fountain Square. We were a success! ComedySportz has been continuously running in Indianapolis ever since. Though our locations have changed a couple of times, once to 30th and Kessler (It’s a Boost Moblie, now.) and then to our current home on Mass Ave. We’re proud to add to the vibrant theatre district in the downtown area.
But what’s all this CSz stuff? What’s the difference between that and ComedySportz?
Glad you asked! Think of CSz Indianapolis as the production company for all of our original shows. That includes ComedySportz, but it’s also all of our Late Nite offerings (on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays), classes, professional trainings, character appearances, summer camps, and anything else you can think of that we missed. So, CSz covers basically everything we do. ComedySportz is specifically our competitive improvised comedy event for everyone.
You mentioned ComedySportz being up in Chicago, too. Are there any other cities that do ComedySportz?
Yes! Gold star for you! CSz Indianapolis is just one branch of an even bigger group of awesome people with CSz Worldwide. There are currently 23 cities across the US, plus one in Manchester, UK and one in Berlin, Germany, making our organization 25 cities strong! That’s a lot of funny people. Sometimes, we’re lucky enough to have players visit from other cities and play with us in Indy!
So, come check us out! See a ComedySportz match or take a class with us! Whatever it is, we’re looking forward to seeing you. And soon. Seriously. We’ll make popcorn.
Lynn Burger, Ed Trout, and Mia Lee Roberts working their magic at 30th and Kessler.
Character Appearances through CSz Indianapolis! Like when we hosted the ComedySportz World Championship in 2016 (pictured)
Not Your Average Comedy Experience
ComedySportz® was started in 1984 in Milwaukee, WI, by Dick Chudnow, who based it on the competitive Theatresports improvisational techniques of Keith Johnstone from Calgary, Alberta. Expansion began with the addition of Madison, WI, in 1985. The first Comedy League of America National Tournament was held in 1988, with 10 teams participating. CSz Worldwide now has grown to over 25 teams, including teams in Manchester, U.K and Berlin, Germany.
Short-form is the oldest and most common form of improvised comedy around the world. TV shows like Whose Line is it Anyway? and Nick Cannon’s Wild n’ Out are examples of this type of entertainment.
What is Short Form Improv?
The average short-form improv show consists of a series of theater games that last normally 3-6 minutes each. Common hallmarks of a short-form show are a host (in our case, a referee) who comes to the audience in between the games to ask for suggestions and/or to explain how the next game works.
Is Your Experience for Kids or Adults?
ComedySportz is comedy for everyone! Each show is improvised, or made up on the spot, based on audience suggestions. Our referees enforce the “Brown Bag Foul” for potty-mouthed players…or audience members, keeping our show friendly to families and fun for all. At our matches, our audiences have run the gamut from kids’ birthdays, bachelor/bachelorette parties, first dates, anniversaries, and just having a night off from work. Join us for a good laugh!
For those wanting an adult-focused experience, we have something for you too! Come to see any of our Friday Late Nite Series, on any Friday @ 10pm. These performances are NOT ComedySportz and are performances for audiences ages 17+. Shows rotate in this time spot based on seasonal availability. Check out our page or give us a call at 317-951-8499 for more info.