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The top stories in the Pleasanton Times:
From the Sept. 8, 1965 Pleasanton Times:
Headline: "This East Bay College Moves and Expands"
"Construction on Chabot College (Hayward) continues as the campus plans to hold 30 buildings on 94 acres of "Prime East Bay Land." The campus is planned to host 15,000 students broken up into day and night classes --10,000 during the day and 5,000 at night."
Groceries: Safeway featured a two-pound can of MJB coffee for $1.19. Bananas were two pounds for 29 cents. Steaks -- boneless, top round USDA Choice -- were 98 cents per pound. A five-pound can of Clover honey was 99 cents.
Real Estate: John J. Amaral Realty listed a three-bedroom, three-bath home with a double fireplace in Pleasanton Heights for $23,500.
DANVILLE -- The improv comedy troupe Trapped in a Rumor will start its second consecutive year with the town of Danville starting Friday.
The shows will be held roughly once a month at the Village Theatre, 233 Front St. in downtown.
They are scheduled for 8 p.m. on Friday and Oct. 7; at 7 p.m. on Nov. 10; 8 p.m. Dec. 9 and Jan. 19; 7 p.m. Feb. 18, Mardh 7 and 8, and April 15; and at 8 p.m. on May 10 and June 8.
Tickets are $8 for students and seniors and $10 for adults. For more information go to www.villagetheatreshows.com or call 925-314-3400.
Take one improv group, add a flow of worthy charities, bring them together monthly in a historic entertainment venue, and what have you got? The answer is “Trapped in a Rumor,” perhaps one of the best-kept entertainment secrets in the East Bay.
With their distinctive style of improv - fast-paced, funny, high-energy and usually PG-13 rated – the eight members of Trapped in a Rumor (TiR) perform monthly at Danville’s Village Theatre. Scenes are unrehearsed and unpredictable and almost always involve audience participation. Fans who miss the long-running, now defunct, television show “Who’s Line is it Anyway?” will feel they’ve found a suitable replacement with TiR.
TiR troupe members bring to their craft a variety of experiences and backgrounds, which naturally lends to the frenetic on-stage energy. All have ‘day jobs’ and regular lives. Included in the bunch are a teacher, a project manager, a contractor, a merchandiser, and an advertising executive.
Troupe member Jon Cordova joined the group in 2009. A tech executive by day, he was seeking something to take him out of his comfort zone, and he found improv. “Improv challenges me in a way I don’t get in the business world,” says Cordova. “I get to use the artistic side of my brain. I’ve found that it’s helped me slow down, and even listen better.”
TiR founder and director Joe Saam has been acting since attending De La Salle High School. He was drawn to the unpredictable nature of improv, and the ‘not knowing what’s coming next’ aspect continues to inspire him. “Improv allows you to feed off of the audience reaction,” says Saam. “I love the spontaneity.”
TiR skit styles include ‘Comedy Sliders,’ creating songs on the spot and short-form improv games based on audience suggestions; ‘Improv SmackDown,’ or competitive improv; and ‘StoryForm,’ involving a narrator and story suggestions. No two shows are ever the same.
“Sometimes we nail it and the audience is roaring,” says Cordova . “And sometime s we don’t , and the audience is laughing even harder.” But all kidding aside, the philanthropic aspect of TiR’s monthly performances is no laughing matter. Last year, TiR performed all of its shows as benefits for Contra Costa County charities, raising more than $5,400 to support 12 organizations including St. Vincent de Paul, Relay For Life – American Cancer Society, Nicholas Colby Fun, Animal Rescue Foundation, and The Portia Bell Hume Behavioral Health and Training Center.
Chris Celio, staff psychologist at Concord’s Hume Center, credits the generosity of groups like TiR with the Center’s ability to expand its services to prevent mental illness. “That Trapped in a Rumor donates all of their proceeds from their share of ticket sales is a steal for the charities lucky enough to work with them,” says Celio.
It’s a win/win for all involved. As the selected recipient of proceeds from TiR’s December show, the Hume Center’s role was to get the word out, fill the theatre and take full advantage of the opportunity. Celio met with Saam several times over the months before the show to carefully craft a marketing message. The more attendees, the more the donation. Celio used the December show for three purposes: a networking event, a social event, and a fundraiser. He invited all of the community leaders, partner agencies, and other organizations with which the Hume Center regularly consults. He set-up information tables in the lobby and stationed staff members to answer questions about the Center.
“We used this wonderful opportunity as a great social event to promote the wellness and community of those who work at our many clinics,” said Celio. “I must say that I have never put on an easier fundraiser. Trapped in a Rumor is such a talented professional group that they provide a great draw and the venue is fantastic. The show itself is quite professional. As a fan of improv, I can recommend it highly to anyone looking for a night of laughter.”
Saam originated TiR in a warehouse in Concord, which the troupe quickly outgrew. In searching for a new performance venue, Saam forged a partnership in 2009 with the Town of Danville which agreed to co-sponsor TiR, providing them rehearsal space and the town’s Village Theatre to perform their monthly shows. Average attendance is about 100; tickets are $10 each and the family friendly show includes 15 to 20 skits over a two-hour period – with intermission. The next performance is Saturday, February 19th at 7pm.
TiR is currently seeking beneficiaries for its 2011 season. Participation is simple: contact TiR, bring 100 friends, and have a great night of fun. For more information, visit www.tirimprov.com.
Trapped In A Rumor, an improvisation troupe, is holding a benefit next month to benefit for the cash-strapped USS Potomac, a National Historic Landmark docked at Jack London Square in Oakland.
Earlier this year the Potomac, a nonprofit organization, announced it had lost half of its operating income during the past two years and could be in danger of closing. They still need to raise about $167,000 before the end of the year.
The improve troupe is sponsored by the city of Danville and the benefit will be held 7 p.m. May 14 at the Village Theatre, 223 Front Street, in Danville. Tickets are $10.
The troupe will perform unrehearsed live comedy based on audience suggestions and participation.
Potomac Executive Director Marti Burchell said more than 250,000 people have toured and sailed aboard the ship that was President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's presidential yacht until his death in 1945. Thousands of school children have also come aboard for educational programs.
The Potomac is struggling because of the down economy and until two years ago, the Port of Oakland kicked in about half of the annual $120,000 that goes to maintenance, insurance and other necessities, said Burchell. For more information, go to www.tirimprov.com or for tickets go to www.VillageTheatreShows.com.
-- "Ding Dong! The Kids Are Gone!" -- 7 p.m. Sept. 3. The Trapped in a Rumor Improv Company will put on the show to benefit Tony La Russa's Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF) in Walnut Creek. Village Theatre, 233 Front St., Danville. $10. 925-314-3400, www.TiRImprov.com.
-- Sing for Your Supper Concert Series -- 2:15 p.m. Sept. 5, 12, 19. A variety of well-known singers will put on concerts to benefit the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek. $14.50-$22, group tickets available. 925-943-7469, www.essesproductions.com.
-- Bikes 4 Tykes Golf Tournament -- Noon-7 p.m. Sept. 16. Benefits the Contra Costa Firefighters' Bikes for Tykes program. Proceeds will be used to purchase bikes to give away during the holidays. Diablo Creek Golf Course, 4050 Port Chicago Highway, Concord. Sponsorship opportunities include sponsoring a hole, becoming a "Bikes for Tykes" partner or donating any item to be used for the tournament dinner raffle. Paolo Braganza, 650-245-9777; Mike Frankina, 925-917-0767; Chris Toler, 707-207-1178.
-- Musicians Showcase -- 5-10 p.m. Oct. 2. The College Park Instrumental Music Program presents "Music of America." Included will be dinner, live and silent auctions, and entertainment by all six of the award-winning College Park High School music ensembles. Hilton Hotel, Concord. Tickets are $60 per person and can be purchased online at: http://auctions.readysetauction.com/cpimb- collegeparkins/home. www.cphsmusic.net.
-- California Tour 2010 -- 7:30 a.m. Sept. 19-26. A 600-mile cycling event that will start at the Marine's Memorial Hotel in San Francisco and end at Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton. Benefits the Sentinels of Freedom Scholarship Foundation, which gives scholarships to war veterans, and the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund. Mike Hudson: 925-356-1015, www.thecaliforniatour.org.
-- Mini-Maker Faire -- Oct. 24. This family-friendly celebration featuring rockets and robots, DIY science, information on urban farming and alternative energy, bicycles, unique hand-made crafts, music, local food, and educational workshops and installations. "Makers" must register by Aug. 31. Park Day School, Oakland. Proceeds will benefit the Park Day School's financial aid and community outreach programs. Sabrina: 510-325-5178 ebmakerfaire.com.
-- Charity Cars for Kids -- When you donate your car (running or not) to Charity Cars for Kids, you will be helping them supply 2,000 children with backpacks filled with new school supplies. 408-748- 0081, www.charitycarsforkids.org.
-- Donate Your Vehicle to Hospice of East Bay -- Car, truck, boat or RV donation will help Hospice Foundation of the East Bay raise money to support patients and families in hospice care. Get free pickup, lawful IRS tax deduction for the fair market value, avoid confusing Department of Motor Vehicles paperwork or smog hassles, and avoid the headaches of selling a used vehicle. 925-887-5678, www.hospiceeastbay.org.
Send items to Fundraisers, P.O. Box 8099, Walnut Creek, CA 94596- 8099.