Thursday, March 29, 1984

Femprov, the Bay Area's longest running improvisational comedy group, play tonight in Pleasanton.

Femprov all female all funny 

by Sally Tockey • San Ramon Valley Herald

The jokes are on them. That's what makes Femprov what they are: five funny females who stand up to laughs wherever, whenever, however.
Don't misunderstand. Femprov's hardly a quintet of feminists waiting to snatch a chuckle, a cheer or a crowing with a routine about men. "We're just funny women who are out for the laughs,” says Terry Sand spokesman for the comediennes “Someone else can burn our bras.” Femprov, instead, relies on improvisation — a think-fast act-fast extemporaneous performing art. 

It works this way. 
Someone in the audience yells out a suggestion for a scene: two people meeting at an airport and they're angry or they're depressed or they’re…
"The audience keeps throwing out more emotions and we go from there …well, it's hard to explain the game," says Terry who met her comedic counterparts at an improvisational workshop in the City.
They —Terry, Susan Healy and Teresa Roberts —became Femprov when the Holy City Zoo nightclub started offering Women's Nights for both novice and established laugh collectors.

Now four years old and two members stronger, the quintet book regularly many Wednesdays at Cobb's pub in San Francisco's Marina District. Their resume also shows performances at the Venetian room in the Fairmont Hotel, the Great American Music Hall, the Women's Building, the San Francisco Jewish Community Center, Allen's Alley at the Boarding House.
Such television credits as the KGO Channel 7 Cerebral Palsy Telethon, Cable six presentation of “Women of the 80s" and “Womanvision,” a pilot project filmed by Alan Springer Associates, also greatly please their groupies. "I call them from Femprov junkies," reports Terry. "They've got to get their laughs in.

She says the female funnies, who all live in the City, always present a family-hour show sans the four-letter words widely practiced by others.
Their props—glasses, hats and facial expressions—simply supplement the routines practiced by the five, who are all close friends as well as coworkers. 
Terry laughs when questioned about their income. 
"Oh sure, we've made enough to put several illegitimate children through college… but we also all have to supplement our income with comedy."

Choosing a comedy career has other drawbacks, too. 
Late nights, shows on the road, the constant demand to "say something funny" may slow Femprov down a titch, but not for long. And there's always something humorous in those situations.
Like the time they played in Ukiah on the promise of room and board plus money. "Well, we thought we were going to be staying at the Holiday Inn or something like that," Terry relates. "But no, they took us to a nice place with an area for meditation and we slept there on couches. 
The next morning when we walked outside we saw women and kids doing tai chi —naked. The place was a nudist colony."

Luckily, Femprov faces few worries about comedians block, when witty words disappear. They support one another with a line, and expression, something that breaks through the dreaded total blank.
"And will probably be performing till were 90 years old or 70 or 60 with people saying 'poor women! Why don't they stop!"

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