The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Tuesday March 21st

Improv comedy troupe amped for marathon

Proceeds bene?t children's hospital

Improv comedy can save lives. Dirty South Improv will begin 28 straight hours of improv Friday to raise money for the North Carolina Children's Hospital. DSI's fifth annual marathon comedy event, 24LIVE, is scheduled to start at 11:30 p.m. and will run until 11:30 p.m. Saturday. The event follows two regularly scheduled DSI shows, which begin at 7:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. "A lot of people can do fundraisers, build awareness and raise money," said Zach Ward, founder and executive producer of DSI. "We're excited to be able to do that, invite an audience and make them laugh at the same time." The event will feature eight core performers, who will be awake and on-stage for almost the entirety of the time. "Everyone reacts a little differently," Ward said. "Some get really giddy - some have gotten sick - some have said some of the most surreal things." Though not a member for this event, Ward has been part of the core group of improvisers in previous years. "With four hours left, you have no idea what's happening," he said. "It either opens up this creative place that you never knew was there or it takes away all reason." 24LIVE also will include acts from numerous other DSI performers supporting the core group. "Your mind isn't in your body after the first hour or two," said Corey Brown, one of the founding members of DSI. "It's battling between excitement and exhaustion." Brown, who is a supporting cast member this year, has performed for the full marathon in the past. He listed a number of amenities essential to improv-marathon success: a change of clothes, extra socks, grains and carbs, lots of water, a toothbrush and Red Bull - which he drank about 20 of last year. "It's probably not a good thing for you body, but it gets you through," he said, referring to drinking copious amounts of the energy drink, which helped sponsor the event. Also participating in the event are several guest performers, including an improv group from Chapel Hill High School and CHiPs, UNC's improvisation organization. David Greenslade, a member of CHiPs and DSI, was an audience member last year for almost 24 hours straight, and he will be a supporting cast member this year. "It's a real test of your own endurance - your own emotional fortitude . regardless of what's going on," he said. The event raised about $2,000 last year, and Ward hopes to double that amount with the use of the new DSI Comedy Theater in Carrboro's Carr Mill Mall. Single-show tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. For the same price, you can purchase marathon bracelets, which will discount ticket prices to $10 in advance and $15 at the door. All proceeds will benefit the general fund of the North Carolina Children's Hospital. "You lose energy for a little while toward the end of the entire thing," Brown said. "Then you realize you're doing a good thing for people who need it, and the excitement helps you finish." Contact the Arts Editor at


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