When dealing with the tough issues in life, Positively Funny sticks by the old saying “laughter is the best medicine.”
Created in 2010, Positively Funny, Inc. set out with the purpose of being the primary source of funding for its non-profit, Perform for Purpose, an organization that works with youth and teens on anti-bullying. Going into schools, they create workshops that are improv based to teach students coping skills.
“We believe in laughing while learning and using the theater as a means of teaching,” says founder David Grissom. “Our approach is a lot of laughter. When people are laughing, they are letting their guard down.”
Positively Funny uses a short form improv called social theater, which is something they are trying to grow in Birmingham, as improv is relatively new to the city as a whole.
“We try and use the arts as a way of lifting up and teaching,” Grissom says. “We take on issues such as school violence to learn how to recognize it and promote speaking up for it.”
Grissom’s goal was to start an organization that would make a difference and impact the lives of the people involved.
“There is no sitting and learning, it is all about being up and interacting,” Grissom says. “Again, its all about the laughter aspect. You are teaching the principles, but you’re still laughing about it.”
Their cast of actors is a real mix of characters bringing together PhD candidates, librarians and even postal workers. Though they are diverse, they all have the same goal when performing.
“Our ideal goal is to get further into the school system,” said Grissom. “We are trying to get into the official curriculum as the go-to for anti-bullying state wide for schools.”