Timeline

Visual Collection

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Textual Highlights • includes a sampling of venues by month and year
1979
Improvisational Comedy workshops are taught at The Old Spaghetti Factory, Boarding House, Holy City Zoo. Teachers include The Committee's Jim Cranna, Chicago's Second City's John Elk, Papaya Juice's Jose Simon, and comedy entrepreneur, John Cantu.
Papaya Juice, the Holy City Zoo's house improv group, loses their singular female member, Joanne and begin auditioning women for her slot. Auditioners are pulled from the ranks of the myriad workshops taught in the City. After several large cattle calls and some questionable audition gauntlets to deduce if the required qualifications were met, the 'finalists' are whittled down to 4 women; Susan Healy, Terry Sand, Kristen Siem and _____. These gals are asked to continue the audition process by rotating into the troupe as performers each weekend night for nearly 6 months. At the end of that half year, one would be chosen as the proper fit to join Papaya Juice. In theory, this process was meant to ease there possible full-time inclusion into Papaya Juice by acquainting them with the set pieces they would be asked to join. Despite the large earning power of the group on their regular weekends, the female hopefuls were unpaid for their on-the-job internship. At the end of 6 months, Joanne returns to PJ and the 4 are dismissed as no longer needed.
Meanwhile the numbers of women in workshops is growing and all are looking for a chance to use their new-found skills. It is apparent there is plenty of funny among them and Terry Sand, Susan Healy and Teresa Roberts decide to form the first all-woman improv troupe and dub it Femprov.

Late in December, The Holy City Zoo's puts its first Women's Night on the Wednesday night calendar. Femprov is ready to perform and prove themselves onstage.

1980
January - March
After an auspicious start in 1979, The Holy City Zoo's first Women's Night continues for 3 months into March. Every Wednesday night, the entire compliment of funny women that exist in San Francisco begin getting stage time to bloom and grow under the spotlight and in front of living, breathing audiences. Femprov hosts these nights, due in no small part to our ability to 'stretch' with fresh improvised material between the other comediennes' open mike time. We are able to develop our characters and line-up of sketches thanks to so much proving time throughout the evening. 
End of March - late April
The HCZ books Femprov for matinees between 4 and 6 on Sunday afternoons. Certainly the Zoo was dark enough to simulate a 'nightclub' environment in broad daylight, which perhaps lent itself to the playfulness of improvised comedy… perhaps we were bait for the early afternoon drinking crowd. 
March 7 & 23
Bookings at Allen's Alley downstairs at The (original) Boarding House on Bush Street. 
May

Branching out to other venues, The Hotel Utah for a 2-show weekend night, and our first booking of many at The Other Cafe. 
June
Our extended run begins at The Old Spaghetti Factory in North Beach. This becomes our home club and a chance to build a strong following every Sunday night throughout the rest of 1980 into early 1981. To kick off the run, we cleverly book complimentary Guests to share the stage each Sunday night in June: 1- Michael Pritchard, 8- Dr. Gonzo, 15- Teresa Tudury, 22- Billy Jaye, 29- Carrie Snow. 
August 28
The Other Cafe hops on the bandwagon with their own Woman in Comedy Night, booking us along with a stand-up from our ranks, Susan Healy. Joni Rodgers and Sindy McKay complete the bill.
December 14
We celebrate our 1 year anniversary at The Old Spaghetti Factory.
December 15
A prestigious gig at the The Fairmont Hotel's Venetian Room for the United Cerebral Palsy Benefit featuring The Ink Spots. We share the bill with other local comics, Mike Pritchard, Jim Giovonni and Bill Farley. 
December 31
The Old Spaghetti Factory for a New Year's Eve jam with every other improv group in the City.
Femprov Photos and listings are published in the SF Date Book (Pink Pages) throughout this banner year.

1981
January
Our first venture out of the City to the Sleeping Lady Cafe in Fairfax. 
Continuing our runs at The Old Spaghetti Factory thru February, book the Other Cafe 
March 9
Nominated for a Comedy Cabaret Gold Award
Weekend Women's Nights at the Holy City Zoo 
April
Weekend Women's Nights at the Holy City Zoo. 2 sets for $100
Honored by our first nomination for a Comedy Cabaret Gold Award in March. 
May 11 & 18

The Punchline catches improv-fever and asks Femprov to kick off their first 2 weeks of continuing improv nights. 
Throughout the summer
Terry Sand finds and consults with Ron Kakiki to help transform his small neighborhood bar into our next home club, Cobb's Pub. The Grand Opening events meet Femprov's limousine arrival with rented klieg lights. Initially Femprov performs on Friday and Saturdays for the first 3 months of the club's existence. We work these inaugeration weekends, and our improv magic to bring audiences to this unknown venue at Chestnut and Steiner in the Marina.
July
The very first year of the SF Comedy Celebration at the Bandshell in Golden Gate Park. Femprov is one of 6 female performances in the all-day, largely male event. 
December 5

Cobb's Pub for a Saturday night celebration of our 2nd Anniversary with a complimentary TV video taping of the show. 
December 6
We travel across town for another anniversary show/celebration to the place where it all began, the Holy City Zoo.
Femprov T-shirts in sequence. Sold for $7, later $8, at shows.
1982
January
T-shirts are designed and sold at shows for $7. The merchandising begins
16 - We join Nora Dunn and Paula Poundstone for a Comedy Cafe on the Stanford campus sponsored by the Women's Center.
16-17 Weekend with the Stars Telethon. We answer phones and talk to donors along with other local celebrities. 
31 - We venture further down the coast to the The Club in Monterey. 
Consistent bookings throughout this year at the Holy City Zoo, The Other Cafe and Cobb's Pub, where our monthly weekend 2-shows-nightly gig thru April included yet another TV taping. 
February - May
Meanwhile, back at our now burgeoning Cobb's Pub, we maximize our play space time by teaching improvisational workshops on Saturday afternoons to spread the skills and fun. 
Standup comedy bookings are added to the expanding Cobb's Pub comedy calendar and Femprov is enlisted to build up crowds on successive week nights. By May, Thursday has become Femprov Night at Cobb's.

Appearances at The Other Cafe and Holy City Zoo on various Sundays and Wednesdays
April
Performance at The Great American Music Hall for a SF Big Sisters benefit
July
Comedy Day Celebration and Femprov is there for the second year in a row.
October
Lunchtime performance in The Quad on the UC Davis  campus
CARAL Benefit  at the Julia Morgan Center with Will Durst, Paula Poundstone, Daryl Henriques, and our own Carol Roberts.

1983 • partial
May
City College's Theatre invited us to hold court at one of their speaker events.
July 16

Comedy Day Celebration and Femprov is there for the third year in a row.
August & September
Begin working regularly at the Baybrick during Friday's happy hour to a capacity crowd of appreciative women.
October 15
Femprov travels to LA to Showcase at The Improvisation 
September - December
More Bay Area venues feature comedy and Femprov is here and there; Concord, Pleasanton, Santa Cruz and beyond to Reno. 


1984 • partial
March

Femprov receives another nomination for  Comedy Cabaret Gold Award in the Outstanding Comedy Group category, held at the Gift Center Pavilion
Pleasanton's 3rd Annual All-Pro Comedy Show sells out 8 days in advance, due in no small part to the bill, Jim Samuels, Leland Brown, Mark Pitta and Femprov.
June
Performed on the Belvedere stage at the 7th Annual Haight Ashbury Street Fair.
October
Halloween at Cobb's Pub with the premiere of Alien Fashion Show. 

December 19-23
Femprov's Fifth Anniversary Shows at Cobb's Pub
We are bolstering every other Wednesday night at Cobb's throughout this year. 


1985
January - December
Become a year-round staple at the Baybrick's Friday happy hour, our continued success with the wonderful and appreciative crowd is rewarded by an overflowing tip jar, over and above our contractual pay. 
Cobb's gigs continue and successful owner/bookers acquire a shuttered HCZ and change its name to Ha Ha a Go Go. We continue to be booked at the re-modeled venue.
March 
Another Cabaret Gold Award nomination distinction. Along with other nominees, we perform a rousing rendition of There's No Business Like Show Business led by Charles Pierce at the Awards.
May 4
Perform at The Cole Street Fair on The Humanist Stage.
June

The year of our infamous No Prisoner's Tour. Our rented Moon Van trundles all of us all over the Bay area and beyond (Nevada) for bookings to celebrate our 6 year anniversary, capped of by an amazing 4-show weekend at Santa Cruz's Kuumbwa Jazz Center.
June - November
The Bay Area's comedy heyday is in full swing as evidenced by the plethora of clubs and our gigs at Tommy Ts, Alfredo's, FUBARS, Zapp's, OT Prices, Talk of the Town, Etalo's, Marriott Hotels and the Ha Ha a Go Go, to name a few.
We are well-paid featured performers at the Chocolate HyattFest Weekend corporate event.
July 20
Our Fifth Annual Comedy Day Celebration at the GGPark Bandshell.
November 18
Performance at "Come to the Cabaret", a Cabaret Gold Festival at Club Fugazi.


1986 • partial
February
Performance at the 7th annual Bay Area Women in Music at Wolfgangs.
April
Bimbos 365 Club with Ellen Degeneres, Marga Gomez and Monica Palacios for Lights, Camera Auction.
July & August
Several returns to Santa Cruz for gigs at OT Price's.
August 2
And of course, Comedy Day Celebration #6, still in GGPark's Bandshell, this year sponsored by The Chronicle.


1987 • partial
March
The Third Annual Awards Dinner of the San Mateo County Women's Hall of Fame. 

Received our own engraved plaque from the Council of Entertainment honoring us with the Board of Directors Award at the 9th Annual Cabaret Gold Awards held at the Galleria Design Center.
Performed at The Noe Valley Ministry for Femprov's last officially booked performance.
California State Lottery kicked off with Femprov dressed as Lotto Balls for the event in Union Square.

March 4, 2008

Denise Schultz Sharkey passes and leaves this world a little less funny…

June 14, 2008
Celebration of Life & Careers of Denise Schultz Sharkey • 9/27/1955 - 3/4/2008
Femprov convenes to perform and read her past theatre reviews, re-enact her stand-up jokes, tell fond stories, reminisce about her devotion to Femprov and speak in celebratory tones about her many contributions while we had her available to us in this world. We were joined by family members, friends and fellow performers to share their personal memories and view photos of her travels and exploits, all paying tribute by performing on the The California Club's picturesque stage, and later having a little nosh.

2009
First posts to this Femprov Blog to initiate the ongoing history project

August 17, 2010 
Barbara Scott receives the 1st Annual OCIC Award at the Eureka Theatre. Femprov performs/narrates a personalized This is Your Life type slide show (remote controlled from stage) at the ceremony. 

April 26, 2014
FemprovFest at the Tides Theatre in our own backyard. 

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