PRESS RELEASE: New Improv Theater Opens in Downtown Portland


PORTLAND, ME, 9/26/2018 – A brand new comedy club, The Fresnel Theater has hit downtown Portland, making it the only dedicated spot for comedy since The Comedy Connection closed its doors in 2012. The exciting theater creates new comedy every weekend with its flagship show, ComedySportz, on Fridays and Saturdays at 7pm. The show is competitive improv (think Whose Line Is It Anyway) and ComedySportz Maine joins a larger network of teams all over the United States and abroad. “One of the things we really like about ComedySportz is how accessible it is for audiences of all ages,” said Creative Director Matt Russell. “The shows are designed for everyone, and the sports format makes it easy to root for your favorite improv team of that night.”

Matt Russell, who moved here with his business partner and wife, Krista Simonis, has trained improvisers around the country, and is excited to bring more opportunities for classes and business training to the area. In fact, they are looking forward to celebrating the completion of their first Beginner’s Improv Class later this month. “Matt’s a really good teacher,” said one of the beginner students who had come to see a Friday night show last week. “I can’t wait to sign up for the next class.”

The Fresnel Theater is a 501(c)3 non-profit with a mission to build community through comedy. They’ve already succeeding in uniting performers from various groups in the Maine and New England Area, including members of The Focus Group (Bangor), Stranger than Fiction (Portsmouth), and Running with Scissors (Portland). Another of Portland’s improv groups, Boxed Wine, will be giving a performance at the theater October 4th, while Running with Scissors does monthly shows at the theater.

Starting Friday October 12, and running through Halloween, The Fresnel Theater will be doing an improvised Stephen King at 9:15pm. The show promises to be a mix of comedy and darker Stephen King signature elements.

Krista and Matt are available for media inquiries via phone, email and by appointment at The Fresnel Theater located at 17 Free St. Portland, Maine 04101