New Leadership at DSI

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DSI Comedy Theater recently announced the departure of founder and Executive Producer Zach Ward to take the helm at ImprovBoston. This week, the comedy theater is pleased to announce its new leadership. DSI welcomes Paula Pazderka as the company’s new Artistic Director and Comedy School Manager and John Reitz as Assistant Artistic Director and Production Manager. Ward will remain Executive Producer, but starting June 13th Pazderka and Reitz assume the day to day responsibilities of running the theater.

Ward found his new leadership within the ranks of DSI.

"I am exceptionally proud of what my company has been able to do over the last decade in North Carolina," explains Founder Zach Ward. "With our comedy festival starting in 2001, our first students registering for classes in 2003 and our theater space opening in 2005, DSI knows Hustle. Awarded 'New Business of the Year' and the 'Indy Arts Award' in 2006, 'Small Business of the Year' in 2009 and finalist for 'Best Place to See Comedy' in 2011, I have incredibly high expectations. That said, I am confident that both Paula and John will deliver and, with support from DSI company, we should all look forward to the next steps and ideas from our new DSI Comedy Leadership."

Paula Pazderka, current member of MISTER DIPLOMAT and Faculty for the DSI Comedy School, moved to Carrboro in June of 2007 with her husband. Prior to moving to North Carolina, Pazderka had performed improv and sketch comedy for over a decade in Chicago at Improv Olympic and The Playground Theater, studying the art of improvisation with Mick Napier, Charna Halpern, Noah Gregoropoulos, Susan Messing, and Joe Bill. Working directly with Zach Ward in her four years at DSI, Paula has established herself as a pivotal part of the comedy community as a performer, teacher, and director. Pazderka also has Professional Project Management Certification is from the Project Management Institute and a Masters Certificate in Project Management from the George Washington School of Business.

John Reitz moved to Chapel Hill in his early teens and literally came up through the ranks of DSI Comedy Theater. He started studying with the company while at Chapel Hill High School and went on to perform and direct sketch and improv comedy with CHiPs (Chapel Hill Players) at UNC-Chapel Hill. He performs with MISTER DIPLOMAT, Harold Team Omaha 9 and is the director of IMPROV SLAM. John has a B.A. from UNC in Dramatic Arts and English and graduated this year with a Master’s in Education.

DSI Comedy Theater Leadership
Paula Pazderka - Artistic Director and Comedy School Manager
John Reitz - Assistant Artistic Director and Production Manager
Carrie Gorn - Publicist and Marketing Strategist

DSI Comedy Theater Staff
Harrison Brookie, Jeremy McDonald, Andy Lavender - Veteran Faculty
Bryan Barnes - Tech Director
Tom Keller - Standup Coordinator and Faculty
Kim Andrews - DSI COMM Corporate Improv Faculty
Amanda Scherle - Theater Crew Manager and Camp Faculty
Laura Morrison - Community Liaison
Fiona Stewart-Taylor - House Manager and Production Staff
Rick Skarbez - Social Media Master
Shane Smith - Graphics Master

New DSI Comedy School Faculty COMING SOON!

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For news about Founder Zach Ward, Follow Zach on Twitter

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