PureFest is excited to welcome Lee University and Concordia University Teams to Festival
Updated: Aug 17, 2019
Lockport, Ill.: 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, Tenn., and the teams of Decapolis, a theatre 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 Friday, Sept. 27, and Saturday, Sept. 28, at Cross Point Church, Lockport, Ill. 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.
“Last year, we wanted to promote the community among Christian performers, which is, overall, an underrepresented and underserved niche in theater,” said Ebert. “We added the fellowship time and improv jam at the end to help build that community, but it ended up not being what we hoped. So, the fellowship, community building, and time to be together were moved to Friday evening, so that Saturday can be about the performances.”
For Ebert and PureFest organizers, the addition of collegiate teams is as exciting as any other team’s additions to the line-up. 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 line up does three huge things for the vision of PureFest,” added Ebert. “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 theatre. Shows are created through group discussion, improvisation, and writing. We 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, Ill.), Well Versed Comedy (Chicago, Ill.), Alan Atwood from Morning Star Productions (Milwaukee, Wis.), and Austin and LeB Presents (Knoxville, Tenn.). The public is invited to PureFest, beginning at 1:00 PM, on Satuday, Sept. 28, at Cross Point Church, 17530 W. Fox Hollow Drive, Lockport, Ill. 60441. Tickets are a suggested donation of $10 per person, which can be purchased at purefest2019.eventbrite.com. More information is available at PureFest.org.
About PureFest: PureFest: Chicago’s faith-based improv and sketch festival is the brainchild of Dave Ebert. The festival takes place Friday, September 27, which is a night of fellowship for the performers. Then, the performances will be Saturday, September 28, beginning at 1 p.m. PureFest is being hosted by Cross Point Church in Lockport, Ill., and is open to the public. Admission is a suggested donation of $10, but no one will be turned away from the event. PureFest is designed to build community among Christian improvisers and sketch performers, give those performers a platform to share their gifts and passions, and also give the public a chance to see an afternoon of family friendly entertainment. Find PureFest on social media @PureFestChicago, or online at PureFest.org.
About Dave Ebert: Dave Ebert moved to Chicago from Beckley, WV, to pursue a ministry in comedy and improv. Dave spent 8 years as a pro wrestler, where he credits most of his acting and improv training. Dave has also trained at Second City, Westside Improv, and Gorilla Tango Theater. Dave is currently taking classes to pursue ordination in ministry. In 2013, Dave co-founded Well Versed Comedy. Well Versed Comedy is a group of Christians that work hard to bring clean, family friendly entertainment in a world desperate for an alternative. Well Versed is available for booking by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or visiting WellVersedComedy.com.