Card 53 improv comedy group coming to CCT

by Cristin Parker
Courtesy photo
Card 53 Comedy group will take the Cherokee Civic Theatre stage Saturday. Courtesy photo
Card 53 Comedy group will take the Cherokee Civic Theatre stage Saturday.

Get ready to grab a beer, nosh some barbecue and bust a gut during the Cherokee Civic Theatre’s first Raise the Roof series presentation of 2020.

CCT presents Card 53 Comedy, a live improv comedy group, 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 18, in the Theatre Annex, 157 W. Fifth St., Rusk. Tickets are $15 in advance; $20 at the door. Reserve tickets via

“Card 53 Comedy is hitting the road in January for one night only to bring our unique brand of live improv comedy to the Cherokee Civic Theatre,” the group’s social media page states.

Katon’s Kitchen will be open at 6 p.m., right outside the theater in Rusk and serving cowboy nachos, chopped brisket sandwiches, hot link wraps and smoked turkey legs. Adult beverages and other refreshments will also be available, with purchase of a ticket to the show.

“This is sure to be a tasty, laugh-a-minute night of entertainment,” show organizer and CCT Board member Karen Hendley said. “We very pleased to present Card 53 Comedy on our stage and Katon’s Kitchen for dinner!”

Card 53 provides entertainment through improvisational comedy. Each member is unique and has numerous acting credentials, according to the group’s Facebook page.

The group’s cast members include co-founders Aaron ‘Smitty’ Smith and Jamey Whitley; Erfan Vafaie; Brad Johnson, a dadbod enthusiast; and RJ ‘Voice of Apollo’ Norman.

Improv (improvisational theater) is a form of theatre, usually comedy, that is unplanned or unscripted – mostly made up on the spot by the performers.

Card 53 Comedy will take suggestions from the audience and improv the jokes along that theme.

The Cherokee Civic Theatre’s Raise the Roof campaign is one of the CCT’s fundraising efforts to help cover the costs of repairing the roof on both the theatre and the annex buildings and other general maintenance issues.

“Both these buildings are old and in dire need of some TLC,” longtime Board member Judy Faye Garner said. “We’ve made some big repairs already to the roof and we appreciate our community’s continued support.”

Cherokee Civic Theatre is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization “dedicated to the dramatic arts.” Its mission is to provide cultural and artistic opportunities in East Texas. Memberships to the CCT start at $50. Student and junior memberships are also available.

Call the Box Office, (903) 683-2131 and leave a message; email; or visit CCT’s website, to become a member.

The theatre’s next regular production is the world premiere of Sultana, written and directed by local playwright Minette Bryant.

A synopsis of the play states, “In April of 1865, the Civil War had ended and the healing of a nation had begun. But almost completely lost to history is the story of more than 2,000 Union soldiers who boarded the steamship Sultana, dreaming of the homes they would never reach.”

Play dates are Feb. 29 and March 1 and 6-7.