Go To Search
Living in Orland ParkEnjoy Orland ParkBusiness and Development
How Do I? - Help Center
Online Services

Orland Park News

Posted on: September 11, 2018

Orland Park Theatre Veteran Named Comedy Improv Director

18 VOOP Ansinn.jpeg

After a three-year hiatus from performing, Kristie Ansinn is happy to return to what she calls “…the most freakishly talented cast this town has ever seen.”

Ansinn was recently named director of the Village of Orland Park Recreation Department’s Comedy Improv Team – No Limit Laughs --- now in its fourteenth year.

“Comedy has always been a part of my life,” Ansinn said. “A sense of humor is essential to be a parent – to keep one from going insane.” Ansinn’s 23 year old son, Colin, works as an audio/visual project manager.

“Colin is a constant source of laughter and a wonderful support system,” Ansinn said smiling. “I’m glad that he’s inherited my love of performing and has been involved with area community theater productions, both on stage and behind the scenes.”

During her break from improv, Ansinn returned to school to earn her bachelor’s degree at St. Xavier University. She has worked in early childhood education for nearly 20 years and enjoys making her students laugh to make learning fun.

“My work as a daycare director and teacher requires constant improvisation which helps me improve my skills for the stage,” Ansinn explained. “Working with children and performing improv are two of my favorite activities so anytime I can combine the two is a win.”

A native of northern New Jersey and the Philadelphia area, Ansinn has lived in Chicago’s south suburbs for 25 years.

“I didn’t catch the theater bug until I was an adult,” Ansinn recalled. “I first became involved with community theater in 2006 as part of the ensemble for the Orland Park Theatre Troupe’s production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat directed by Frann Carnivele.”

“Frann gave me my first break and it was she who created the improv team 14 years ago,” Ansinn said. “After 'Joseph,' someone suggested I audition for the improv team and the rest is history.”

Ansinn trained at The Second City Improv in Chicago and became a member of the ACME Improv Company. She served as assistant director of Orland Park’s improv team when Jimmy Mazeika was named team director in 2012. Mazeika stepped down as director this year.

“Jimmy built on the foundation that Frann created when she started the group,” Ansinn said. “He helped us to refine our skills.”

“I’m looking forward to building on what our past directors have created and continue to make Orland Park and the surrounding communities laugh until it hurts,” she said.

This year, audiences can expect more off the cuff comedy with games, skits and sketches based on audience suggestions.

“Improv performers love audience participation but no one is forced to go on stage,” Ansinn noted. “People who have not experienced an improv show may think the cast wants to embarrass them when it’s actually quite the opposite --- we are trying to embarrass ourselves!”

During Orland Park’s performances, the audience is encouraged to shout suggestions like nouns, phrases, specific locations and occupations to give the cast a topic on which to build a scene.

“The cast will occasionally ask volunteers from the audience to be a part of the fun on stage,” Ansinn explained. “But, if someone doesn’t want to, we move onto the next person.”

The Orland Park Comedy Improv Team --- No Limit Laughs’ first show of the new season is Friday, September 28 from 8 p.m. until 10 p.m. at the village’s Cultural Arts Center, 14760 Park Lane. The show is open to adults age 18 and older and tickets are $7 per person and are available at the door.

The team will also perform October 19 and November 30.

At the November show, Orland Park’s Comedy Improv Team does its part to help the Orland Township Food Pantry. Audience members are asked to bring non-perishable food items and a portion of each ticket sold goes to the food pantry.

Ansinn added, “We invite everyone to come out for an Orland Park comedy improv show --- laughing is a great way to start the weekend.”