OCEAN GROVE, NJ - March 10, 2023 - They survived the pandemic, and that’s no joke. Tucked inside the iconic Jersey Shore Arts Center, 66 South Main Street, Ocean Grove, NJ, Shore Thing Theater is the dream that endured for president and creative director, Ria Torricelli – and the only non profit, brick-and-mortar improv training facility and performance space in the area.
ComedySportz Jersey Shore, the mainstay show for the theater, will play its Opening Season Match on April 1st, 2023 at 7:30 p.m., bringing its unique brand of all-ages improv entertainment just in time for the warmer weather. Immediately following the conclusion of the match, the team is hosting an after party for ticket-holders and the cast, complete with cake and champagne. “We just needed a way to celebrate making it to the other side of the past two years, and what better day than April Fool’s?” said Torricelli.
The opening season celebration will include a meet and greet before the show as well as a Q&A with the cast and cake reception after.
As the name implies, the improv of ComedySportz matches is played with two teams competing for laughs and points, a referee calling “fouls” and keeping the action moving, and plenty of audience participation. Shows are rated “E for Everyone.”
With a diverse cast of forty talented improvisers, “no two shows are ever the same,” said Torricelli, “so you can come back again and again and it's a different combination of players, new games and new outcomes. It's always fresh.”
Admission at the door is first come/first served and is $15/Adults, $12/Military and Seniors and $10/Children under 12. Reserved tickets are available at www.shorethingtheater.com/shows.
Winter session improv classes also just started at the theater, with more offerings to come starting in the spring. Torricelli believes that improvisation is a valuable tool for enriching all areas of one’s life. Mitchell Albala, a recent student explained “Even if you have no plans to go onstage, an improv class is a great way to have fun and meet people.”
For Torricelli, offering a judgment-free zone allows one to step back into the world of make-believe and unlock creativity. “My mantra is that you just can't pretend wrong,” she said. “Taking a class in improv can be for anyone, because it is virtually impossible not to succeed on some important level.”
As a long-time arts educator, Torricelli maintains that the skills practiced in improv and improv games carry over and can help improve basic skills in everyday life as well as careers, She cites, to name a few, active listening, communicating, cooperating and of course, public speaking.
Shore Thing Theater is dedicated to inclusiveness and welcomes all ages and backgrounds. A sliding scale fee and scholarships are available for both the classes and the shows-- no one will be turned away for lack of ability to pay.
For more information on both the classes and the shows, visit http://shorethingtheater.com.