Lofty Aspirations came to fruition in Dayton, Ohio in 2010, when Karen Jaffe was new to stand up comedy, and fresh from her improv training at The Second City in Chicago. Many of her newfound comedy colleages had remarked on her ability to be comfortable on stage, especialy when faced with a heckler, or just an unruly audience. She realized that she could impart some basic improv knowledge to her friends, and started teaching an informal class in a small space at The Front Street Warehouse Building. Word spread among her fellow comics, and also to other friends, and soon she was making lesson plans, and formed her first couple of troupes, putting on shows at different public and private events. She moved to a few different spaces around downtown Dayton, and then moved Lofty into a much bigger space at Front Street. For a couple of years she was there, teaching more classes, and more coaching more teams. She also began teaching corporate workshops, further developing her passion for helping people get over their fear of public speaking, or just speaking in general.
While attending some workshops in Chicago in 2014, Karen met Griffin Rhyne, a generous improvisor who was eager to be a part of starting a new theater company. He was schooled in the Meisner Acting technique as well as different improv principles like The Second City, iO, The Annoyance, and The Green Shirt Theater. In early 2015, Griffin moved to Dayton, and together he and Karen searched for a small space that would work for performances as well as workshops, classes, and filming. They soon found a home not too far from Dayton’s Oregon District. Walls were torn down, and a ceiling was torn out…only to find water damage. A new roof was put on the building, but now Lofty needs your help.
We need a new ceiling. We need new flooring. We need a stage, and some lights, and some paint. We’re making a space for people to come and play, to get out of their heads for a while and just be in the moment, whether that means improvising, or stand up, or sketch, or film. We want to make a place where every artist feels supported and feels at home.
Please help us make this dream a reality. Perhaps you or someone you know wants to feel more comfortable speaking in front of a crowd. Or maybe you know a budding comedian who wants to perform, but is too nervous to jump in on an open mic, and wants some coaching first. Or maybe you just need to come forget all the stressors in your life and COME PLAY WITH US.
We’ll make it worth your while. We’ll make it fun. And we’ll even throw in some swag. Please say “Yes, And” to Lofty Aspirations!