Improv comedy troupe helps bring home the bacon for Chesco nonprofits

Molly Daly
January 27, 2020 - 5:00 am
From left: Bob Curran, business manager of Better than Bacon; Lauren Henry, creative director of Better Than Bacon; Hallie Romanowski, executive director of Act In Faith; April Evans, assistant director of Uptown Knauer Performing Arts Center.

Courtesy of Brett Heller

Categories: 

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A Chester County-based improv group recently presented a check for $3,000 to Act in Faith, a West Chester nonprofit that helps the jobless and under-employed. 

Giving back to the community is nothing new for Better Than Bacon Improv. Lauren Henry, creative director of the group, says they have been donating part of the take from some of their shows at Uptown Knauer Performing Arts Center and the Kennett Flash for the last three years.

"We have a program that we call Bacon Gives Back, where we work with the organization, we work with the theater, and then we take a little bit — everybody gets a little cut of the money — but we give the majority of the money to the organization that we're working for," she said.

The donations have ranged from $200 to $4,000. 

The give-back program was inspired by the group's business manager, Bob Curran, who's also the president of the Longwood Rotary Club in Kennett Square.

"We make money for the organization. The theater gets filled up for the night. We get a big crowd. Everybody goes away happy," Henry said.

The next show, Feb. 13, at the Kennett Flash, benefits a nonprofit based in Frazer.
 
"Wings for Success," Henry said, "which is an organization that collects clothes for women to go back to work."

Improv comics may look like they're working without a net, but there is a framework. The first rule is "yes, and," meaning you agree with and build on what your scene partner says, and see where it takes you. 

It's fair to say that Bacon Gives Back embodies that principle.

"'What can we do?' 'We can help people in the community.' 'Yes, and, how can we do it?' 'Well, we can do a performance.' 'Yes, and we can help out the venue as well by bringing in a lot of people,'" Henry said. "So, there's a lot of 'yes, ands' going on in this."