MSU to host improv comedy artist and teacher Kevin Reome

By Dani Ray | Apr 5, 2024

Kevin Reome

Murray State University will host Chicago-based improvisational comedy artist and teacher Kevin Reome for a residency from April 15-19

MURRAY, Ky. – Murray State University will host Chicago-based improvisational comedy artist and teacher Kevin Reome for a residency from April 15-19.

During his residency, Reome will teach classes and sessions on campus. He will also present two public events.

The first is an improv comedy performance with Reome and members of Paducah Improv at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, April 15 in Wrather Hall. Reome will be joined by members of Paducah Improv and Murray State student Danny Preklas, of Paducah, Kentucky, in performing live comedy improv in Murray. Audience participation will help set the scenes for this funny evening of entertainment. 

The second is a fun, interactive talk on incorporating elements of comedy and improv into daily life called, “Improv Your Life! Improving Relationships, Communication and Wellbeing Using the Tools from Improv Comedy,” at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 16 in Wrather Hall. Attendees can learn how improv can improve social connections, work relationships, how to approach projects and problem solving, enhance creativity and much more.

Both events are free and open to the public.

Improv is based on the tenet "Yes, and..." where clear communication, responding to bids of connection, empathy and mindfulness come together to create hilarious – and sometimes even movingly poignant – scenes of a play that is written in the moment. These sponsored events are funded in part by the Department of Music, Department of Theatre and Global Languages, Waterfield Library, Elizabeth College, QEP Mini-Grant and the Giving Back Endowment Faculty Innovation Initiative.  

“Two of the goals of the QEP grant are to 1) foster emotional intelligence and resilience to support success inside and outside the classroom and 2) to embrace the importance of mental health and overall well-being,” said Murray State Professor of Music Dr. Stephanie Rea. “Improv does this so beautifully through using attunement, clear communication through verbal and emotional cues and body language. It has been shown to enhance divergent thinking and creativity, reduce stress, increase confidence and empathy, allow people to access more curiosity, learn to bring out the best in themselves and collaborators, build trust, build right-brain and left-brain connections and has been proven to reduce social anxiety. It uses the whole body but is no less effective for any person with any physical limitation or disability. This is one of the things I love about improv: inclusivity is at the heart of it all. The main tenets of improv enhance mental health, promote healthy relationships and aid in overall well-being.” 

Rea met Reome at a week-long improv intensive he was teaching at The Second City Training Center in August 2023. 

“I took the class on a lark,” said Rea. “I had never done improv and have barely ever acted on a stage. I just love trying new things and challenging myself. I had never seen improv live or taken part in any way, but once the idea to do a week-long class took hold in me, I couldn’t let it go. I could see within the first hour that the tools we were using and accessing were the ones that help you be a better friend, a better teacher, a better listener, a better communicator. After having such a positive experience myself, I wanted to bring this to our students.”

During this residency, Reome will work with classes and one-off sessions with Murray State students in elementary math education, COM 161 Public Speaking, the Department of Theatre and Global Languages, the vocal a capella group EQ Blue, MUS 101 Recital Assembly, students in the honors program and students who sign up for the special session offered to Elizabeth College, as well as staff members in the Counseling Center.

Reome has been studying improv for more than 30 years, beginning at The Second City Training Center in Chicago and then at iO Chicago with Del Close. He is a founding member of the long-form improv team Inside Vladimir that performed as a house team at both iO and The Playground Theater. Reome starred in “The Real, Real World” with the Upright Citizens Brigade at the Del Close Theater in the 90s. Over the years, he has appeared on the ABC 7 talk show Windy City Live as well as Fox Chicago, NBC5 Chicago, WBBM Newsradio and WLS Talk Radio.

Since 2005, he has taught at The Second City Training Center in Chicago as a faculty member, including teaching in Osaka, Japan, in 2014 for The Second City. In addition to working with many theater and corporate groups in Chicago, he has taught improv all over North America in places such as Detroit, Atlanta, Cincinnati, San Diego, Baltimore and Mexico City, in universities including the University of Michigan, Nova Southeastern University and Murray State, as well as for sports teams including Western Michigan University football and the Detroit Tigers. 

Reome has written and starred in various shows in Chicago including “The Eulogist,” “Rahm Zombie,” “The Reome Awards of Chicago to Benefit Alzheimer’s Research” and “Lightfoot Loose.” He currently hosts and plays in The Reome Ring, an improvised monthly show, where each week different all-star caliber Chicago improvisers are invited to play. Reome holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and a teaching degree from Western Michigan University.


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