Funny Bones Improv is a non-profit organization whose mission is to perform interactive, improvised comedy shows for sick children in hospitals, currently in Chicago and New Orleans. This video captures exactly what Funny Bones is all about.
Their first performance was in April 2008, and currently, they perform 11 shows every month at 6 different hospitals.
"Our vision is to bring laughter where it is needed most, specifically in hospitals for sick children and their families. We aim to brighten their day, distract them from their surroundings and share a laugh, play a game, make a new friend, and ultimately help their healing process. Truthfully, we are the lucky ones for meeting such incredibly strong kids." - Janet Wilson
Funny Bones is a dedicated team that reaches out to sick children and their families during an extremely difficult and stressful time – while they are in the hospital. While they currently perform in hospitals across Chicago and New Orleans, it is their wish to bring their shows to hospitals across the country, especially in cities with an established improv community. Funny Bones strives to be a reminder of childhood outside of illness to patients and their parents. The performances are put on to inspire them, to remind them to laugh, and to imagine a world outside of a gloomy hospital room.
From a recent Facebook post from Funny Bones Improv founder, Jolene Fehler. Here is an experience she shared one night right after a performance:
"Tonight, I had the privilege of performing for an 18 month old boy and his parents. We were asked to visit this family's room to do a quick, in-room Funny Bones Improv performance because we were told "the family had a very hard day". When we walked in, we found the sweet 18 month old with a very big bandage on his head and a big beautiful smile on his face, sitting on his mama's lap. Both parents looked exhausted, and even though they weren't crying in that moment, it was written all over their faces that tears had poured today. I can't even comprehend what their day must have felt like. We only stayed briefly in that room, but we played an improv game of Talking Pillars, where mom and dad got to provide some of the words (like mad-libs) to our scene. Our scene was silly, and nonsensical, about a game of ketchup baseball. But those parents. They laughed. For a few brief moments, in their very hard day, they laughed. There are not words to capture how very very grateful and honored I am to be a part of those very personal moments."
An initial goal of $1,000 goes to printing The Funny Bones Playbook. These custom books would include improv games, coloring and more. They would be available in hospital rooms to help fill the hours spent waiting by kids and their families.
A secondary goal of $2,000 buys the entire company new t-shirts, as well as 3 new "Wheels of Improv", which are used during their shows to start each new game.
A final goal of $5,000 would support one show a month, in one hospital, for one year, in a BRAND NEW CITY.
In five years, Funny Bones Improv envisions their own building; a space to use for rehearsals, company-wide training (bringing in players from other cities), community performances, and improv classes for kids.