Saturday, December 21, 2019

Holographic image unavailable
If you followed the QR code on the Anniversary postcard and find yourself here… Welcome!
As the new decade looms, renewed efforts are afoot at building a book, or a movie, or perhaps a holographic experience to further commemorate the blip in the continuum called Femprov. 
Working title: When Women Weren't Funny, And How These Hilarious Gals Laughed at That Notion.
To that end, I have digitized the handful of interviews completed with the lovely Linda Hill, Carol Roberts, Barbara Scott and Pat Daniels. They reside on our YouTube Channel in separate playlists for your viewing pleasure. Carol also contributed some unearthed footage of an early Army Opener and Unemployment Office sketch at Cobb's Pub, along with a Carol and Terry interview from a cable access show. 
Of course, your contributions are extremely welcome, whether it's filling in details on the Timeline, sharing your own ephemera (journals, calendars, career updates, Recollections), or arranging an interview to be added (looking at you Teresa, Susan, Debi, Sandee, Terry, and Jeannene).
Once again… Congratulations on making it to this moment in time with your memories relatively intact.

Friday, December 20, 2019

40th Anniversary • Comediennes Only (No Cover)

And now it's time to say goodbye,
as we leave the Seventies for the unknown Eighties…
Postcard sent to commemorate the beginning
40 years ago on a cold Wednesday evening in late December, 4 women of a freshly-formed improv troupe stormed onto the small stage at the Holy City Zoo as MCs or hostesses… opening act… and cheerleaders of the very first Women's Night. Pat Daniels, Susan Healy, Teresa Roberts and Terry Sand opened the show with improvisational sketches to warm up the audience for 15 minutes in preparation for the handful of women they would graciously introduce throughout the evening. There were less than a half dozen comediennes in the line-up that night, likely every woman doing stand-up in the Bay area, not a single male comic qualified for this bill. Femprov possessed the flexibility to stretch between acts to fill and lengthen the duration of entertainment, by tag-teaming through theater games they learned in workshops and pulling the funny out of thin air. Blithely ignoring the prevailing attitudes of management* all the women that night seized the opportunity for stage time in front of a live audience. Whether it was a ground-breaking magnanimous gesture by the Holy City Zoo or a way to cash in on the novelty of women performers, Femprov claimed Women's Night as their own proving ground.
*In acknowledgment of ERA, women's night is every Wednesday. According to Tony DePaul most women tend to be shy and more uneasy about standup comedy. It requires a great deal of performing confidence. He also feels it is harder for an audience to laugh at a woman. It is a different style of comedy and the club offers its own all-female improvisational group called Femprov.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

With a Name Like Femprov… It Has To Be Good

An informational booklet created to educate those less familiar with our history and accomplishments.
Distributed to attendees of the Femprov Festival’s  Femprov panel at the Tides Theatre,
San Francisco - Saturday, April 26, 2014.

Download the Enlightening Coloring Book

Monday, March 24, 2014

Jumping through all the proper hoops

 Visit the site
Visit site
The National Improv Network site curated by Nick Armstrong and Bill Binder since 2013. Their vision: Everyone knows what excellent improv is and wants to see it. Every performer has the opportunity to be treated as a professional artist.

Femprov's bio from our Troupe page 
Now eligible for instant submission to Festivals. 
Femprov, the original all female improv group based in San Francisco, trail-blazed for the better part of a decade performing innovative improv and making the way a bit easier for comediennes that were to follow. Femprov, was not a feminist group. Femprov had no political agendas. Simply a group of talented improv players willing to apply the 'trust and support' principle to its greatest extent. 
What resulted was a ten year run in comedy clubs, City events, and theatrical venues in San Francisco, the Bay Area, and LA. Femprov performed improvised musical theater paradises, lounge lizard dedications, interactive video pieces, original games, and games originating from improv history. 
The original Femprov-ets launched its' members into careers in radio, TV, motivational speaking, sports announcing for the Giants, character-based musical parody, international improv gigs, performances, and workshops, video experimentation, web-site and graphic design, teaching improvisational techniques to children and adults with special needs, and corporate team-building, not to mention, spawning two winning contestants in the first and second annual Miss Haight Ashbury Beauty Pageant sponsored by The Other Cafe. 
Femprov was honored with a special Cabaret Gold Award and the All Gold Comedy Award. They were also chosen to perform in the California Lottery Kick-Off Event in San Francisco as human lotto balls. Femprov was the first improv troupe to perform at Comedy Day In The Park. They also worked with a construction manager to design the stage and transform Cobb's Pub from a local bar to a very successful Comedy Club. Femprov often shared their stage with invited guest improvisers including Robin Williams who loved to workout with the troupe. Femprov performed most recently at the SF Improv Festival celebrating Barbara Scott's OCIC Award. 
The members of Femprov remain forever connected with precious memories that established their well-deserved place in San Francisco's comedy history.

I did not correct Terry's misspelling of parodies, as I enjoy the idea that we 'improvised musical theater paradises'.

Friday, January 20, 2012

When Women Weren't Funny…

Proposed cover for interactive book
On the heels of converting analog photographs (from original negatives), newspaper reviews and press, and all manner of Femprov ephemera into 21st century digital versions, it seems logical to  honor the collection with a new-fangled interactive iBook. The process is ongoing and this blog works as a gathering place for our dear gaggle of gals to hash out the facts, aggregate the memories, celebrate accomplishments, illuminate the times for those less fortunate to have lived through that wild and wooly frontier. The outcome from the collective Femprov-mind will inform and build the final publication… and dispel the doom of repeating the past.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Honored to be Honoring Barbara Scott

An improviser for over 25 years, Barbara Scott is a member of BATS Improv and a founding member of True Fiction Magazine. She has led master improv classes at Stanford University, BATS Improv, Full Circle Productions, the AFTRA Conservatory, SF Opera Center, Dell’Arte School of Physical Theatre, The Funny Women Fest in Chicago, and at many international improv festivals.
This exceptional career, in addition to her specialization in and work with song improvisation and her incredible skills as a performer, makes Barbara Scott the San Francisco Improv Festival’s first-ever OCIC Award recipient.
The OCIC Award is the San Francisco Improv Festival’s annual recognition for outstanding achievement in improvisational theater. OCIC awardees participate in an evening celebrating their work in improvisational theater after an awards presentation during the San Francisco Improv Festival, held every August at the Eureka Theater.  This years’ line-up included surprise guests that have worked with Barbara throughout her career including Femprov and Tonal Chaos as well as interviewer & improv aficionado William Hall (BATS Improv, Fratelli Bologna).
Backstage at the Eureka Theatre waiting to surprise Barbara and improvise our This is Your Life slideshow
left to right: Pat Daniels, Debi Durst, Sandee Althouse, Terry Sand, Jeannene Hansen

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

All Together Now

Every member of Femprov ever.
Top Row: Carol Roberts, Teresa Roberts, Barbara Scott, Terry Sand, Debi Durst, Linda Hill
Bottom Row: Sandee Althouse, Pat Daniels, Jeannene Hansen, Denise Schultz, Susan Healy
Femprov always had a revolving roster that snagged most of the best improvisational talent residing in the Bay Area. Solo careers beckoned and the group grew and shrank depending on availability for a myriad of performing dates and bookings. Starting with founding members Terry, Susan, Teresa and Pat, Carol was invited to join in the fun with the founders. Jeannene graduated from official photographer to performing member. Susan and Carol were having their successes with stand-up bookings, so Linda Hill joined the group to help out and shortly found her own solo career blossoming. Debi Durst, Barbara Scott and Denise Schultz ably filled the gaps left in the group from departures to LA and points beyond. Sandee Althouse was a staple of the line-up near the end, and some still blame her for Femprov's premature demise. Kidding!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Mirth • Music • Memories

Barbara Scott narrates a Femprov slideshow
Old friends showed up to pay respects and play
Other improvisor friends join Femprov to perform Concerto at Denise's Celebration
John Elk directs Concerto
More remembrances from friends and family @
rememberingdenise.blogspot.com


Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Her laughter always filled the room

Denise Schultz-Sharkey
9/27/1955 - 3/4/2008
There was no better sound than her knowing laugh. The one that let you know she thought whatever you were saying was funny, which coming from her was no faint praise. She knew her funny. The same laugh, which also signaled she knew where you were going with 'it', you could hear coming with her breath, just a nanosecond before the laughter left her throat and hit your ears. She always got the joke, even the feeble or unformed ones. Years of improv had trained her to anticipate it at the threshold, before it dashed through the door and caught you unawares. Actually her talent was inherent. Improv may have honed the quick wit she was blessed with, but her level of skill was certainly natural born. To put an even finer point on it, most of the time, she probably knew the punchline of my stories before I did... and had a capper ready, to plop like a cherry on top! Quite a gracious fit for an improviser, waiting politely for your delivery, so she could counter with her own perfected bon mot. What a thrill she was to work with, what a joy that she was just as giving off stage. Here's the thing, most performers are a bit self-centered & selfish. (a bit?) It's part of the job description. Denise was above all that. Not only did she have funny down cold, but she coaxed the funny out of you in that playful way of hers. She was always up for a little of the old back and forth, the wordplay, even a sarcastic remark or two. (or two?) All in the service of letting the big laughs rip and fill the room. Denise was always my best audience and I flatter myself to think I truly tickled her with my silliness from time to time. I know the music of her giggle, her throaty guffaw, and even the supportive snicker will not fade away soon. I hold them too dear.
- Jeannene Hansen, fellow improviser, friend and cohort

More remembrances from friends and family @

Saturday, May 30, 1987

Never Say Never

Noe Valley Ministry, post final show
Barbara Scott, Pat Daniels, Debi Durst, Jeannene Hansen, Terry Sand, Denise Schultz, Sandee Althouse
The very last show (or so we thought) at the Noe Valley Ministry was a very happy affair and a great show. Bittersweet, but time to hang up our mantle of 'longest running improv group in the City' at our peak. Seven years after the very beginning…