Bissell It Now

The Oak Ridge Convention and Visitors Bureau created a new series of summer entertainment events for local families to enjoy. They scheduled two Oak Ridge After Dark events in July and two in August.

Last April, Katy Brown asked if I could meet with her. We got together over a cup of coffee after a matinee performance by the Oak Ridge Civic Ballet Association. I assumed she wanted to talk about the Secret City Festival. Instead she wanted to pitch me on Oak Ridge After Dark.

As a result of our conversation, Star 102.1 became the radio sponsor for the movie night on July 11 and Classic Hits 93.1 WNOX became the radio sponsor for comedy night on August 8. Katy booked Einstein Simplified to perform on comedy night.

July 11 turned out to be Katy’s last day on the job as Executive Director of the Oak Ridge CVB. She left for a new job but felt great that Oak Ridge After Dark got off to a great start. Samantha Brown is handling things while the ORCVB searches for a new director.

It rained during the day on Friday but the skies cleared in time for our show on the pavillion stage in A.K. Bissell Park. We played several of our favorite games, making sure to keep everything G-rated. The youngest person in the audience was only two. The next youngest was nine. For all-ages improv shows, it’s good for both the improvisers and the audience to know that. It helps prevent the crowd from shouting suggestions that are inappropriate.

In one game, Megan Jones and I played guest and host of a cable-access show while Paul Simmons played a guy who pretended to know sign language. In another game, Aaron Littleton and Megan had to read their lines from the scripts of two different plays while I ad-libbed. The final picture shows Aaron and me doing a scene while two audience members provided sound effects.


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