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Workshop Comedians Deliver Laughs At Ridgefield Playhouse

Karen Benvin Ransom, left, and Judy Edkert performed at the Comedy Workshop Graduation Showcase at the Ridgefield Playhouse. Photo Credit: Contributed
Comedienne, host and teacher Christine O'Leary led the workshop at Ridgefield Playhouse. Photo Credit: Contributed
Showcase comedians take their bows. Photo Credit: Contributed
Abby Tolan delivers her monologue. Photo Credit: Contributed
Bill Greene was among the showcase comedians. Photo Credit: Contributed
Debra Bush talks to the audience. Photo Credit: Contributed
Emily Franz delivers her monologue. Photo Credit: Contributed
Frank Murgalo. Photo Credit: Contributed
Jim Cook. Photo Credit: Contributed
Judy Edkert. Photo Credit: Contributed
Karen Benvin Ransom. Photo Credit: Contributed
Laura Isler. Photo Credit: Contributed
Matthew Somerville. Photo Credit: Contributed

RIDGEFIELD, Conn. -- The Ridgefield Playhouse hosted The Comedy Workshop Graduation Showcase last weekend.

The Showcase was the finale to Christine O’Leary’s Stand-Up Comedy Workshop. The 11 brave, funny and fabulous students had their chance to perform their comedy set that they developed over the eight-week program.

Comedienne, host and teacher O'Leary said, “Comedy is the way to tell the truth and is cheaper than therapy”, and students braved all to perform routines that were both personal and funny.

Performers were from Connecticut and the New York area and all walks of life. The talented graduates are Karen Benvin Ransom, Debra Bush, Spencer Casolo, Jim Cook, Judy Edkert, Emily Franz, Bill Greene, Laura Isler, Frank Murgaol, Matthew Somerville and Abby Tolan.

For Bush, comedy is something she has wanted to do her whole life. When she found the workshop at The Ridgefield Playhouse this spring, she signed up and says it’s “the best thing I’ve ever done in my life.”

For at least two hours in class each week for the past eight weeks, Bush has been able to, as she says, laugh her head off with classmates of all ages, and have the unique opportunity to share what she says is a life full of comedic material.

“Christine is so professional and knows her agenda. I couldn’t ask for anything better,” Bush said.

O’Leary will offer her next workshop on Mondays from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. starting Sept. 15 through Oct. 27.

The workshop culminates on stage at a Comedy Graduation Showcase at The Ridgefield Playhouse in November.

To sign up ($300 tuition), call the box office at 203-438-5795, or go online to

The Ridgefield Playhouse is a not-for-profit performing arts center located at 80 East Ridge.

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