Plays and musicals are popular ways in which funds from admission prices benefit select charities. But Nicolas “Kopy” Kopatich is taking this idea to the next level with a 96-person comedy improv tournament.
Kopatich, founder of Jest Serendipity Improv, is scheduled to host a three-on-three team tournament Sundays from Feb. 12 to March 4 at the Alexis Park Resort, 375 E. Harmon Ave. Tickets to each show are $29.95 , and all proceeds will be donated to the American Cancer Society.
Kopatich said he has personal reasons for selecting the American Cancer Society as the tournament’s beneficiary.
“As a teenager, I had a brain tumor, and I had a deep enough scare as a kid with that experience,” Kopatich said.
As a hospice nurse, Kopatich’s mother often took the teenager to her patients’ homes as an example to show that not all hope is lost with critical illnesses. Kopatich said seeing what these patients had to endure is a memory that has stuck with him since, and he believes hosting a comedy improv tournament can help those with similar experiences financially.
The tournament consists of 32 three-person teams with single-elimination rounds. The first round will consist of five 90-minute shows beginning at noon, with the last one set for 8 p.m. Feb. 12. The shows will feature seven short-form improv games. Kopatich will host each show, and three judges will evaluate the performances based on entertainment, confidence and creativity.
The tournament is open to anyone ages 15 or older. Registration through Jan. 29 costs $25 per person, with an option of including friends or family or a guest for $10 per show or $15 for all shows that day. Prizes include $300 and personalized rings for the first-place winner and $100 for the team in second place.
Kopatich hopes to draw a variety of people from teams of magicians to teenagers and of all comedy improv backgrounds.
“I’m looking for 96 people who want to make a difference,” Kopatich said. “You can volunteer at a hospital or a school, but when you have an established backing (like Jest Serendipity), you can do more.”
Lisa Priestman, community relationship manager for American Cancer Society Las Vegas, said having Jest Serendipity host a tournament helps the organization reach out to a different part of the community.
“We have our Young Professionals Against Cancer and Relay for Life (organizations), but we didn’t really have a way to get information out to the theatrical community,” Priestman said. “Now we have a way to do that, and I hope people who come out (to the tournament) know they’re doing something good for other people.”
Kopatich said he has worked Relay for Life events in the past, performing shows with his cast to keep participants awake in the wee hours of the morning, and he hopes this event brings just as much awareness about cancer to participants and attendees.
“This should turn into a pretty big event,” Kopatich said. “I’ve done everything to make it as special as I can, and I hope it brings awareness to a lot of people.”
Priestman said Kopatich’s work in organizing such a large event greatly benefits the American Cancer Society.
“It’s really great when someone can come to you and ask to put on something like this,” Priestman said. “It’s fantastic he’s taking it a step further. Everyone has been affected by cancer in some way, and Kopy is doing something for everyone.”
For more information or to register for the tournament, call Kopatich at 888-599-0724 or visit jestserendipity.com/tournament.html.
Contact Paradise/Downtown View reporter Lisa Carter at firstname.lastname@example.org or 383-4686.