Dallas Comedy Club owners completed diversity and inclusion training before opening
Deep Ellum has been without a lot since the start of the pandemic shut down most of 2020, but one of the most notable absences in the neighborhood is comedy.
There have been open mics and showcases at places like Twilite Lounge and touring comics have stopped at Trees, but there hasn’t been a dedicated space for live comedy since the legendary Dallas Comedy House vacated its Elm Street location over a year ago.
The new Dallas Comedy Club in DCH’s latest location officially opens on Wednesday under the leadership of new owners Ian and Rosie Caruth, who offered a sneak preview last Thursday of the space and some of its star talents.
“We’ve heard over and over again how excited people are and how much people enjoy live comedy,” Rosie said. “People want human connections and that connection is not something you can get from a screen.”
The Elm Street Comedy Club has a similar layout and operation to DCH with two stages, a full bar, patio area for outdoor shows and gatherings, and classrooms for rehearsals and classes that span improvisation, sketch comedy and stand-up. There is also a recording booth for podcasts.
DCC’s preview night featured two shows on its main stage with performances by comedian Paul Varghese and improv house Jerry troupe! as well as an improvisational musical by Leslie Collins and Jeff Poteet on the patio area of the club.
The real test of launching a new theater is the vibe of the people who keep the shows going and the audience coming back, and DCC seems to have got off to a promising start.
“Performing in front of an audience for the first time in a year and a half was both surreal and so rewarding,” says Tab Parker, DCC sketch teacher, performer and director who performs in the house improv troupe. Jerry! “After the show I was moved and very grateful. I missed being on stage deeply.”
Other band members say the first show on the new stage also tested the camaraderie and partnerships that can only form naturally in front of a real audience.
“The amount of support and respect for one another is unmatched,” says Chad Cline, another Jerry! member of the troupe and improvisation instructor DCC. “I’ve been teaching and playing in Dallas for over 25 years and I’ve never experienced it like this before.”
“Each theater has a different feel, from the size of the stage to the energy of the audience,” says Jacie Hood, DCC sketch teacher, director and performer, who also stars with Jerry! “Just playing with each of the two theaters is really fun, and I was lucky enough to play in several comedy clubs in my day… but to be in a new open club.[ing] and having our first shows since the closures in 2020 is so touching and like coming home.
“They’ve really put a lot of thought into the people who work and work there and how to care for and support them,” Hood said. “Rosie, [director of education] Kimberly Alu and Ian commit to DCI [diversity, equity and inclusion] so much so that they hired a professional to train the whole team of instructors and attended it themselves. They recognize the work it takes to create a safe environment for all students, staff and performers and set the standard from the start rather than opening up the club and making it an afterthought. ”
Parker says the owners have the same enthusiasm for comedy as their performers and staff, and that these forces create momentum to ensure the operation is efficient, expressive and sustained from the stage to the bar and restaurant staff. food.
“DCC is unique because of the leadership’s enthusiasm and their genuine love for comedy of all kinds,” Parker said. “It’s been a long time since I’ve been in such a positive and supportive environment. I think the audience experience at DCC will be fantastic. They provide fun and unique shows and encourage artists to stand out. The more there is. the more comedy types out there are, the better. ”