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Highwire Comedy Co. Is An Atlanta Institution On The Rise

By S. Mathur

The Highwire Comedy Co. is a club with a mission. It trains actors, writers, and other people curious about comedy using a performance-centered approach. It also entertains audiences with original scripted and improvised works. Clearly it fulfills a deeply felt need, and audiences and students have been flocking to the downtown Atlanta location ever since the club opened three years ago.

"Atlanta's entertainment industry has been experiencing rapid growth and it seemed like to perfect place to do it," Executive Producer Ian Covell said. " We're even training people how to make their own web series and other digital content. Highwire is young, but we consider ourselves an Atlanta institution on the rise."

There are now almost 150 students and 11 classes covering improv, sketch comedy writing, and stand-up comedy. Instructors are experienced professionals, having performed in theatres and clubs in addition to their teaching experience. The club also focuses on empowering its own community of artists to create comedy for stage, script and screen.

"Students can learn to find their funny with us," Covell said. "We teach adults how to write and perform comedy. It doesn't matter if you're a complete beginner or and actor or writer looking to hone their comedic chops."

In the few short years it's been around, Highwire Comedy Co. has amassed a loyal following of students and audiences. The shows change all the time, which keeps the audiences coming back. Covell says that there really isn't a typical show, and offerings vary from Thursday and Friday night Chicago-style Long Form improv to scripted satire on Saturday nights.

The long form improv is built around audience suggestions and creates scenes that appear scripted but aren't. There's also a Saturday 8PM scripted news satire show, Good Evening, Tonight. This is similar to Saturday Night Live's Weekend Update or The Daily Show, but performed live onstage. Rotating monthly shows include Dottie: Solo Sketch Comedy, The Actor's Worst Nightmare, and Rapp Battlez: Dirty Zouth Edition.

"Our classes are designed to make you smarter, faster, and funnier all while having the time of your life doing it," Covell said. "If you want to make really cool new friends, get comfortable speaking in front of groups, and find your comedy voice, then this is the most organized, structured, and supportive place in Atlanta to do it."

Club regulars would agree with him, and many say that they've never gone to Highwire and not had a great time. Clearly this was a much-needed entertainment option for the area.

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