Live Sketch Comedy Since 1998
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Meet the TCT Team
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Nicolas DeGrazia
Creative Director/Co-Owner, Bitter Jester Creative
Writer/Director/Actor, The Comic Thread
ndegrazia@bitterjester.com
Nicolas earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Communication (focusing on motion picture/television writing and production) and his Bachelor of Science in Cultural and Physical Anthropology both from the University of Miami in Florida. He was an original member of Super-Natty (the sketch comedy and improv troupe that preceded TCT) and wrote, directed, and performed in all ten Super-Natty productions from 1998-2000. In his capacity as TCT's resident Director, Nicolas oversees all aspects of The Comic Thread, both creative and non-creative. When he's directing he's also acting and producing and writing and scheduling and coordinating and not sleeping or eating (and getting slightly stressed ... but loving it) as a result. He supervises advertising, funding, public relations, and all other business activities as well as pre-production, production, writing, and casting. Nicolas is a contact person for all international writers and potential cast members. And he's single. And, contrary to *very* popular belief, quite straight. And only 25% Italian.
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Ben Shearn
Writer/Script Editor, The Comic Thread
Former Co-Director/Actor, The Comic Thread
tct@bitterjester.com
Ben has been with the troupe since its inception - in fact, he's one of TCT's founding members (Nicolas, Charles, and Mark being the others) and, along with Nicolas, wrote, directed, and performed in all ten Super-Natty sketch comedy troupe productions between the years of 1998 and 2000. Ben is currently living in Los Angeles working as a writer's assistant. A former TCT actor and director, Ben currently helps to create story threads and submits sketches to the troupe when ever he can. While Ben's expertise comes in his writing and editing skills, he is best known for his performances as a cast member in both Super-Natty and The Comic Thread. Ben is genuinely looking forward to re-joining the cast when his schedule permits!
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Mark Sheahen
CIO & Site Administrator, Bitter Jester Creative
Booth Crew, The Comic Thread
msheahen@bitterjester.com
Mark earned his Masters Degree from Carnegie Mellon University in 2004 and currently [hopes to begin] work[ing again][s] in exciting Corporate America in downtown Chicago. Mark is the certified techie of the troupe and, contrary to the stereotype, quite possibly the most handsome male member. As Site Administrator, Mark is responsible for the upkeep and functionality of the website. In the booth he coordinates and oversees all technical aspects of TCT shows, usually running either lights or sound while calling the cues for TCT's overly-tech-heavy productions. All web/stage-related questions/concerns should be addressed to him. And ladies... don't even think about it. He's [not] taken.
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Charles Turck
Producer/Script Editor, The Comic Thread
Former Actor, The Comic Thread
cturck@bitterjester.com
Dr. Charles J Turck sings, dances, and is also a pharmacist at a prestigious healthcare institution in the prestigious city of Worcester, MA. Charles has appeared on stage in various shows over the years, most regularly with Super-Natty sketch comedy and improv troupe and The Comic Thread (he performed in seven Super-Natty productions and seven more Comic Thread productions). Although the work he puts into TCT these days is relatively scant, the troupe would have a very difficult time enduring without him. He does his best to lend a hand with story editing and other invaluable behind-the-scenes issues, working closely with Nicolas. If there was an undergarment that afforded both a tough and durable sheath that caressed and nurtured TCT since inception, allowed it to sow its comedic seeds throughout the vestiges of our crumbling, postmodern condition, and absorbed every bit of grummy exudation from the proverbial perineal pores, then that would be Charles Turck. The man has put his work in. And love grows where his rosemary goes. Charles shares Ben's sentiment of rejoining the cast when time and location permit!
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Justin Birnholz
Writer, The Comic Thread
Former Actor, The Comic Thread
Justin had a period of mania that lasted from 1994-2003 in which he thought acting was a good idea. In that time he performed in six Super-Natty productions and three Comic Thread productions. He also used to wrote good scripttz for those show's. These days, all that TCT gets out of Justin is sketch-writing for future productions (both upcoming shows and shows about the future) and the world is a happier, healthier place. Remember that one sketch where there was a lot of dialogue and very likely an offstage announcer and it was funny but not, like, Nic or Ben funny? Yeah. Justin wrote that one. What else? Well, he's getting a PhD in clinical psychology right now, so that pretty much takes up all of his waking hours. But in his spare time, he writes little comedic novelty songs and performs them in Chicago and on the Interwebs. You can check out Justin's YouTube Channel by clicking that awesome link that you just passed! Also, he has a probably-clinically-worrisome-but-let's-not-look-too-closely-at-it Batman obsession. And he likes various orange juices.
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TCT is a division of Bitter Jester Creative, Inc.