LUCY FEST 2012 INSTRUCTOR WINS NATIONAL AWARD

Nationally-recognized instructor to teach comedy workshops in Jamestown.

JAMESTOWN, NY – May 3, 2012 – Bill Chott, who will be teaching and performing at Lucy Fest 2012, was recently awarded a 2012 INNY Award for “Best Improv Coach” for his work at The Improv Trick, his improv theater academy in both St. Louis and Los Angeles. This national award is given annually by Improvisation News. Other award winners include Saturday Night Live for Best Comedy Video, Flight of the Conchords for Best Comedy Song, Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre for Best Venue, and Chicago’s Second City for Best Training Program.

Chott is one of three instructors launching the Lucy Desi Center’s comedic arts education program, with workshops from July 30th – August 3rd, culminating with trainees receiving stage time at the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival Aug. 1-5. Chott, who also recently received an award for “Best Featured Actor in a Musical” for his work as Fred Mertz in I Love Lucy Live on Stage and starred as the Principal Laritate in Disney’s Wizards of Waverly Place, will teach workshops in Jamestown for youth ages 11-17 and adults.

Presented in partnership with Jamestown Community College’s Center for Continuing Education, classes include intensive training in the areas of improv (Improv Intensive), sketch comedy (Sketch, Pitch & Produce) and stand-up (Stand-Up Shakedown), and will be taught by Chott, T. Faye Griffin, and Andy Engel, respectively.  Griffin is a former writer and producer for both the show In Living Color and the BET Network, as well as a personal joke writer for Steve Harvey. Engel is the founder of Manhattan Comedy School and the Director of New Talent at the Gotham Comedy Club.

All students completing a workshop will have an opportunity for stage time at Lucy Fest, and students completing the workshop led by Andy Engel will earn a six-minute guest spot on stage at The Gotham Comedy Club in New York City, named by USA Today as one of the top 10 comedy clubs in the nation.
Registration for youth and adults is now open and space is limited to 15 spots per class.  Call JCC’s Carnahan Center at (716)338-1005 to enroll today, and visit www.Lucy-Desi.com for more information. Accommodations are available.

Chott recently appeared in The Rum Diary with Johnny Depp, will appear in Disney’s Santa Pups this winter, and toured for years with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler in the Second City Comedy Troupe before writing for both SNL and The Dana Carvey Show. Visit his website at billchott.wordpress.com for more information.

About The Lucille Ball Comedy Festival

The Lucille Ball Comedy Festival, or “Lucy Fest,” embodies Ball’s vision for her hometown legacy: a celebration of the comedic arts held annually on the weekend closest to her birth date, August 6. This year’s festival runs August 1st-5th and features performances by Paula Poundstone, Lucie Arnaz, Billy Gardell from CBS’s Mike & Molly, and much more. Visit www.LucyComedyFest.com for more information and tickets.

According to an economic impact study conducted by Buffalo firm Paradigm Economics and commissioned by the Lucy Desi Center for Comedy and the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation, the 2011 five-day festival saw 13,000 in attendance and had a direct impact of $3.6 million on Chautauqua County.

The Lucille Ball Comedic Arts Education Program is the second pillar in a four-pillar Legacy of Laughter vision for the organization, including a comedy festival, comedy film festival and the establishment of the first national comedy museum and hall of fame.

The mission of the Lucy Desi Center for Comedy, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, is to preserve the legacy of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz and enrich the world through the healing powers of love and laughter through its commitment to the development of the comedic arts.