As PureFest 2019 quickly approaches, the slots are filling up for the second-ever Christian improv and sketch festival.
The Kingdom Players, a drama ministry team from Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee, and the teams of Decapolis, a theater ministry team, and The Unprofessionals, an improv team, both from Concordia University of Chicago, add depth and the first collegiate squads in the festival’s sophomore year.
PureFest is scheduled for Sept. 28 at Cross Point Church, Lockport.
Adding Friday night festivities was a natural expansion of the event, which was a one-day affair in 2018. Founder and Organizer Dave Ebert saw the need to move a vital part of the PureFest vision to a separate time to ensure that all get the most of their experience.
For Ebert and PureFest organizers, the addition of collegiate teams is as exciting as any other team’s additions to the lineup. It provides a wider diversity of talent, which will allow the college students to learn from professional performers.
“Adding Lee and Concordia’s teams to our lineup does three huge things for the vision of PureFest,” Ebert said in a news release.
"We add youth to give our day's events a different energy, we also
have these younger performers in a situation to glean from professional
performers, and we, as performers, young, middle and older, can all
create bonds and encourage one another in our passions."
The Kingdom Players are a traveling team that performs drama ministry skits to entertain and provoke thought in their audiences.
Their current tour schedule includes dates in Mississippi, Arkansas, Florida, South Carolina, Virginia, as well as their home state of Tennessee.
Under the direction of Michael DelBonis, The Kingdom Players typically travel to up to 20 states to minister through the art of drama.
Under the direction of David Knoell, Concordia University of Chicago’s two teams, Decopolis, the drama ministry team, and The Unprofessionals, the improv team, will bring two amazing performances to the festival.
Decapolis Theatre Ministry is a fellowship of Christian actors who meet to explore our relationship with God by creating original works of theater.
Shows are created through group discussion, improvisation and writing. They have performed at the LCMS National Youth Gathering at the Super Dome in New Orleans.
The Unprofessionals is the “improv-only” wing of the Decopolis Theatre Ministry. They have performed all around Chicago, including at the popular The Playground Theater in downtown.
In 2018, The Unprofessionals finished as runner-up for finals in the College Improv Tournament.
The three groups join the lineup of MADtrimony (Crest Hill), Well Versed Comedy (Chicago), Alan Atwood from Morning Star Productions (Milwaukee, Wisconsin), and Austin and LeB Presents (Knoxville, Tennessee.).
About Dave Ebert: Dave Ebert moved to Chicago from Beckley, West Virginia, to pursue a ministry in comedy and improv. Dave spent eight years as a pro wrestler, where he credits most of his acting and improv training.
Ebert also has trained at Second City, Westside Improv, and Gorilla Tango Theater. Dave is currently taking classes to pursue ordination in ministry.
In 2013, Ebert co-founded Well Versed Comedy (formerly HaHaMen Improv). Well Versed Comedy is a group of Christians that work hard to bring clean, family-friendly entertainment in a world desperate for an alternative.
IF YOU GO
WHEN: PureFest 2019
WHEN: 1 p.m. Sept. 28
WHERE: Cross Point Church, 17530 W. Fox Hollow Drive, Lockport
TICKETS: Suggested donation of $10 per person, which can be purchased at purefest2019.eventbrite.com.
INFORMATION: Visit PureFest.org.