courtesy of The Digger Archives.

It’s been a week since we presented a five minute sneak-peek of our film to a live audience. It was the first new material that we’ve presented in a while that shows off the depth of the material that we’ve uncovered, in addition to choice interviews, including interviews with Committee co-founder Latifah Taormina and Howard Hesseman. As we have said in the past, we are between production and post-production, editing the material that we have assembled into a rough story, while still looking forward to interviews that are outstanding and crucial to our story.

Since we are not focussed on edits that will be presented to the public online, we can now truly play with our sandbox, including the vast amounts of material that we’ve identified that we will need but for which we have not yet secured the rights. This project has been a joy from day one, but now that we’re getting into the edit, it’s getting really fun, and our subject’s broad, deep appeal is becoming more and more evident.

The clip that we showed at The San Francisco Improv Festival was edited by Jamie Wright as part of an application process that we were in the midst of. The edit focussed on The Committee’s activism and the difference between The Committee and The Second City. We chose material that was super-timely, both to issues in the culture like Black Lives Matter and a certain Presidential candidate’s shameless demonization of immigrants. The edit was edgy (trigger warning!) but well received by our audience. We will continue to shape this story and will show material regularly in the Bay Area and beyond as we identify funding sources and continue to build awareness. To keep posted on our progress, follow us on Facebook or watch this space.


The Bocce Ball


When Alan and Latifah (then Irene Riordan) arrived in San Francisco, their friend Victor DiSuvero found them a property in North Beach that was perfect for their new cabaret. It was called The Bocce Ball. Latifah, pregnant with her first child, oversaw the construction of the theater while Alan developed the show with his ensemble at the Mime Troupe’s church on Ord Street.

Austin, TX

After a long period of anticipation, the stars finally aligned to get us to Austin, TX to interview Latifah Taormina (aka Jessica Myerson), co-founder of The Committee. Latifah is an inspiring figure, and (thank you Latifah) an excellent host!

Her work in spearheading this legendary company with her then-husband Alan Myerson, her later work at The Pasadena Playhouse, and in her role as a leading light of the Austin theater community are all serve as excellent examples of what a motivation, focus, talent, and heart can do in service of theater and comedy.

Over the course of our two hour interview, Latifah broke down how she and Alan visualized The Committee and wrangled the initial investors upon their San Francisco arrival. She went on to talk about how the first cast was assembled, her dual role as company member and new mother, and the company’s method in creating new material, among many many other topics. She also passed along a pile of news clippings that we’ll be digging into for weeks.

We learned so much from this visit, including the fact that we need to schedule a return trip. Latifah is a wealth of knowledge about The Committee, and a delight to spend an afternoon with. Hope to get back to Austin soon.


Jamie Wright, Latifah Taormina, Sam Shaw. Pic by Director of Cinematography Justin Chin.


Latifah’s POV. Thanks to our Austin crew for the help out.

We also can’t resist plugging The Hideout Theatre. We caught their improvised Chekhov show Nothing and Everything and it was superb. If you’re in the area, check this theater out, they won’t disappoint. Thanks to Roy Janik and the cast for the hospitality. Austin TX has amazing improvisational theater.