Doug Nunn's Large Child Productions Doug Nunn's Large Child Productions Doug Nunn's Large Child Productions

 

Hit & Run Theater 1984 and 2006

Hit and Run Theater

Hit and Run Theater is an improvisational and comedy theater group headquartered in Mendocino, California. Active since 1979, the group has produced over 20 comedy revues and numerous improvisational comedy shows. From 1992 to 2006 Hit and Run Theater produced and starred in the Mendocino Comedy Festival in Mendocin, CA. Since 2008 Hit and Run Theater has been doing shows regularly with Mendocino Stories & Music. 

A History

It's origins do indeed remain shrouded in mist, but we can safely say that Hit and Run Theater was actually named in the lead up to the Christmas comedy revue, "Tis the Season" in December1979. Hit and Run veterans acknowledge that Jim Noyes, former group member and local musician made up the name. Jim even added a sound effect, the sound of a car crash and a hectic driveaway that seemed to perfectly fit the attitude of a smartaleck bunch of wannabee sketch comics.

A group of performers, notably Ellen Callas, Antonia Lamb, Kathy O'Grady, Bobby Markels, and others had been meeting on and off since "200 Years of Madness", a bicentennial celebration show in 1976. In July, 1979 they were joined by Doug Chateau, Pamela Stoneham, Richard Albright, and Laura Jean Cardinal   for "Happy Birthday Mendocino", an irreverent look at coastal history.

In the fall of 1979, Jim Noyes, Kay Rudin, and Doug Nunn joined the group for that Christmas revue, which led to the group name and identity. From that point on, rehearsals and shows came more frequently. In 1980 there were shows at the Caspar Inn, followed by "Improvaganza", "Laugh Em Down", "Winestock", and "The Fighting MOMS" in 1981. 1982 was a very productive year, which included the "Oh Velveeta", "National Velveeta", and "The Arnold Vicious Punk Opera". Tracy Burns and Steve Weingarten became group regulars, Matt Rowland supplied set designs, and Richard Feinbop, Margy Crowningshield, John Chamberlin, Louis Demitri, and Louie Callas coalesced as the group's "Orch".

In 1983 Hit and Run Theater worked at making it's rewrite of "The Arnold Vicious Punk Opera" roadworthy. The ensuing "Rockalypse" played in San Francisco and Berkeley for two months in late '83 before collapsing financially. It was quite a ride, but it   did lead to contacts with Bay Area comics, culminating in the monthly "LaffFest '84" comedy series which ran from March through September 1984. In the fall of '84, Hit and Run Theater took a new revue "Democracy in Traction" on the road through Northern California, ending in a nice run at the Julian Theater in San Francisco.

After the mid 1980s, the group came together semi-regularly even as various members spread out to work in other locations. Tracy Burns and Doug Nunn formed a double act and worked extensively in Europe and the western USA into the early 90s, Ellen Callas became production manager of the SF Mime Troupe, Harry Rothman was their Tech Director for awhile,   Pamela Stoneham worked with a variety of improv groups in the Bay Area and the Rockies, and Richard Albright, Kathy O'Grady, and Steve Weingarten continued to be involved in various theatrical and creative projects.

Since 2008 Hit and Run Theater has been performing regularly with the Mendocino Stories and Music Series at the Hill House in Mendocino. Weekend improvised shows are typically in March, June and November. In addition to old favorites Jill Jahelka, Doug Nunn, Kathy O'Grady and Steve Weingarten, Hit and Run has been boosted since 2009 by the consistently excellent play of Christine Samas, Ken Krauss and Dan Sullivan as well as musical accompanists Laura Derry and Joshua Brody (both of Bay Area Theatresports.) We thank our long time fans and friends for almost 35 years of support! Let there be laughs!

Doug Nunn's Large Child Productions