The Hashtag Comedy Company just said ‘Yes, and…’ to a brand new home.
The local comedy company will open its namesake theater in downtown Columbus, Ohio, in summer 2020 to offer improv, standup, sketch shows and comedy classes.
“[Hashtag Comedy] is growing to the point now that we just need a new space to be able to accommodate all of our classes and all of our students that are now coming out of classes to form groups,” Sarah Storer, founder, co-owner and artistic director of Hashtag Comedy, said.
Hashtag Comedy’s new theater will feature a variety of shows with recurring cast members, including TBD: The Musical, a musical improv team, and You’ll Want to Sit Down for This, a storytelling show, Storer said. Each team specializes in different styles of improvised comedy with distinctive flairs.
“We’ll have all of our student showcases there, and we have a bunch of other shows there that debuted over the years that will find a home,” Storer said. “There’s several more groups we already know we’ll be working with.”
Hashtag Comedy comprises about 20 performers, instructors and administrators who currently perform primarily at Shadowbox Live, according to its website. The group was founded eight years ago by a group of friends who met in an improv class and continued to grow by performing around Central Ohio and giving corporate workshops, Storer said.
Kenny Greer, marketing director and performer for Hashtag Comedy, said the group looks forward to having more creative freedom.
“Where we’ve been performing before, we’ve been at the mercy of their venue, timing and location,” Greer said. “So with this, we can have a creative space to change the layout of the theater and do different types of shows that we might not have been able to do before.”
Storer said she looks forward to the theater being in the up-and-coming Discovery District, surrounded by Columbus College of Art and Design and Columbus Museum of Art.
“It’s really in that space, which is just growing like crazy, and it’s in the heart of this cool educational arts district, and we really feel like we found such a great home there,” Storer said.
The new theater can fit 45 to 55 patrons, but can open up for 90 for special events, according to a Hashtag Comedy press release.
“I think one of the biggest things they have to gain is really having really great quality improv, standup and sketch comedy right in the heart of the city,” Storer said. “We think that we can give Columbus audiences just this really great professional comedic experience right here in the city we love.”
Greer said the theater will feature performers from throughout Columbus, in addition to Hashtag Comedy members. And they will be getting paid.
“Comedy for the most part, especially improv, has always been a pay-to-play thing,” Greer said. “And we’re just totally against that. We believe that if you perform and you get butts in seats, you deserve to get paid.”
The Hashtag Comedy theater will open in summer 2020 at 346 E. Long St. in downtown Columbus.