Feature Story

Setting the Stage

September 14, 2017 – by Katie Kuckelheim ’19

Dave Winnyk ’13 (left) performs with Ohio Wesleyan University students after conducting a three-hour workshop to help the students create their own sketch comedy pieces. A theatre major, Winnyk runs ‘Dave Winnyk’s Real Good Sketch Co.’ in Chicago. (Photo by Katie Kuckelheim ’19)

Travel-Learning Course Inspires ‘Dave Winnyk’s Real Good Sketch Co.’

Ohio Wesleyan University alumnus Dave Winnyk ’13 says honesty is the key to good comedy. “No wonder politicians are so serious,” the professional sketch artist quips. 

Laughter filled Chappelear Drama Center’s Studio Theatre on Sept. 9 as students watched a political satire comedy show written and put together by their classmates – under Winnyk’s direction – in less than three hours. 

The show followed a workshop, “Dave Winnyk’s Real Good Sketch Co.,” run by Winnyk, an OWU theatre major and former Babbling Bishop currently involved with the iO Theater in Chicago. 

“The real secret, the magic of doing it all in one day, is that everyone writes and reads their own piece,” says Winnyk, who was inspired to pursue the genre, in part, by an OWU Travel-Learning Course studying political-social cabaret. 

While a student, he discussed The OWU Connection experience, noting: “This class has opened my eyes into doing political theatre as a career. I think political theatre is where I really feel my calling. If it wasn’t for this course, I wouldn’t have that. Going from theory to performance was one of the most surprising and fulfilling things I’ve ever had.” (Watch the complete interview.) 

As for current OWU students who participated in Winnyk’s Sept. 9 workshop, Ares Harper ’19 says the experience helped expand his knowledge of performing. 

“We learned things about satire and comedy that you don’t think about,” says Harper, a theatre and sociology double-major from Columbus, Ohio. “It’s just learning how to form a joke, the basic properties of a joke, and what goes into a comedic monologue. These are tools we can put in our tool belt to help us later on down the line.”