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updated: 1/4/2012 7:36 PM

Glenview-based kids comedy team at Saturday's Sketch Fest

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  • Play On's Code Red Vines - Kids Sketch Comedy Team, this Saturday at the 11th Annual Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival

    Play On's Code Red Vines - Kids Sketch Comedy Team, this Saturday at the 11th Annual Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival
    Lisa Bany-Winters

David LaPietra

Jan. 4, 2012 - CHICAGO -- Play On, Ltd., a new educational theater company, is proud to announce that Code Red Vines, its kid's sketch comedy troupe, will be appearing this Saturday afternoon at 1:00 pm at Stage 773 as part of the 11th annual Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival, the nation's largest sketch comedy festival.

Code Red Vines is Play On's comedy team featuring kids age 9-13 from Glenview, Evanston, Chicago, Wilmette, and Plainfield.

Sketches include "Super Helpful," about a variety of less than helpful super heroes and "This is How Your Body Works," a 3-D comical demonstration of anatomy. This is Code Red Vines third year appearing at Sketch Fest.

The troupe comes out of Play On's Summer Drama Camp, a unique acting and musical theater program. This program for elementary and middle school-aged children includes an elective that teaches kids to write sketch comedy, which is developed through improvisational games and exercises.

Using the tools of improv comedy, kids learn team-building and listening skills which promote self-confidence and character development. Code Red Vines is a core group of kids who enjoyed the program so much that they wanted to form their own year-round performance group under the guidance of Play On's teachers. In addition to Sketch Fest, Code Red Vines regularly performs at the Book Market in Glenview and other venues in the north suburbs.

One parent commented: Play On was "[my] son's first acting experience and he loved it … He came home stimulated and wanted to play the games he learned in camp. His self-confidence grew, along with his sense of humor."

Play On is dedicated to creating quality theatre training programs for young people and adults implemented by professionals in a creative and nurturing environment with a focus on development of the student as individual and artist.

The company was cofounded by Lisa Bany-Winters and Josh Andrews. Lisa is a faculty member of The Second City and Improv Playhouse and the author of the best-selling On Stage: Theatre Games and Activities for Kids and several other books. Josh is a theatre artist who has taught for the Improv Playhouse, Pegasus Players and The Second City, as well as numerous schools and drama clubs in the Chicagoland area.

In addition to its popular theater camp for kids, Play On offers entertainment for children's events and corporate engagements, a variety of theater and improv workshops for adults and schools, and special writing courses.

For more information, please contact Lisa Bany-Winters, Executive Director, at (847) 337-9614 or