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DSI Comedy Theater Crowns Carolina’s Funniest Comic 2011

Chapel Hill Comic makes debut and wins the multi-week competition

CARRBORO, NC – Throughout April and May, DSI Comedy Theater set out to find the funniest comic in North Carolina during their fourth annual Carolina’s Funniest competition. Last Saturday, the theater found its winner in a stand-up comedy first-timer. Chapel Hill’s Brad Schnurr was crowned the winner in front of a sold-out house after the final four comics showcased their best work for 15 minutes at DSI Comedy Theater, located at 200 N. Greensboro Street in the Carr Mill Mall between Elmo’s and Southern Rail. More information can be found at

As the winner of the competition, Schnurr won $1000 and a slot in the 2012 North Carolina Comedy Arts Festival. Sherlonda Clarke, from Raleigh, finished second. Schnurr had studied theatre and played music, but had never performed stand-up comedy before the competition. Through all three rounds, he was consistently writing new material and consistently making audiences laugh.

“I was thrilled that Carolina’s Funniest Comic attracted a new comedian like Brad Schnurr,” said DSI Comedy Theater Executive Producer Zach Ward. “New. Like, brand new. Like, had never done comedy before. NEW! And Brad was very impressive, writing new material every week. Brad won because he was smart, fresh and always funny.”

Schnurr, who is self-employed, was born and raised in Iowa. He studied theater, but moved to Chapel Hill in 1996 when his wife Jeri Lynn Schulke (Artistic Director of the ArtsCenter Stage at the Arts Center) began graduate school at UNC Chapel Hill.

About DSI Comedy Theater
For the last 12 years DSI Comedy Theater has produced and presented one of the largest comedy festivals on the East Coast, the annual North Carolina Comedy Arts Festival. Each year, the festival welcomes improv, stand-up and sketch comedians to the Chapel Hill-Carrboro area. The festival features workshops and performances from talent that has been seen on the small screen on Saturday Night Live, MTV, Late Show with David Letterman, Comedy Central, and on stages at Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre and Second City. As the festival grew, DSI found itself a home and in 2005, opened the DSI Comedy Theater, an 84-seat venue in North Carolina, and the company’s new home for shows and the DSI Training Center. The festival and theatre have attracted high level instructors in improvisation and stand-up comedy including: Eddie Brill, Asaf Ronen, Jeff Griggs, Eric Hunicutt, Kevin Patrick Robbins, Anthony King and Jill Bernard. From the DSI Comedy Training Center and Theater in Carrboro, NC to its productions in Chicago, and professional Touring Company, the DSI name has spread around the country, drawing both participants and quality teaching staff to its theater and to the North Carolina Comedy Arts Festival year after year.

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