Zach Ward returns to full-time role at DSI Comedy Theater

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Zach Ward in Carrboro, 2010

DSI Comedy Theater’s founder, owner and executive producer Zach Ward returns to Carrboro and DSI this month. Last week, the theater announced his return, following a two-year stint at ImprovBoston in Cambridge, Mass.

In a telephone interview, Ward says that returning to North Carolina was always part of his plan when he decided to go to Boston in 2011 and cites raising his 1-year-old son as a key reason for making the move back to his hometown.

“When I left, I knew what I wanted to accomplish in five years, but it only took me two,” Ward says. He also credits his team with the success of the company.

During his time as managing director of the nonprofit ImprovBoston, the company grew from a $600,000 company to one with a budget of more than one million dollars, he says. In addition to its revenue, ImprovBoston’s programming grew.

Ward now plans to initiate some new programs at DSI, similar to that of ImprovBoston, to give back to the local community.

DSI plans to work with the town of Chapel Hill to bring improv into schools. The Boston improv company worked with children and held improv-based, anti-bullying workshops—something Ward hopes to bring to the Chapel Hill-Carrboro area.

“That’s probably the thing that’s most exciting to me. I was able to see what a theater in a nonprofit space does to give back, and it made me really proud of what DSI is already doing.”

Editor's note: The original version of this story quoted Ward as saying it only took "about" two years to achieve his goal. In fact, Ward said, "It only took me two." One further clarification: To more fully represent Ward's assessment of his success in Boston, a sentence was added to reflect the contributions of his co-workers.

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