Downers Grove Native Stars in Nation's Largest Sketch Comedy Fest

Jake Dewar goes solo in the Chicago SketchFest—a giant mix of comedians and acts in its 13th year this week in Chicago.

Downers Grove's own Jake Dewar will take to the stage as one of a thousand artists performing in the Chicago SketchFest—the nation's largest festival of its kind, Sunday, Jan. 19 in Chicago. Dewar will put on his own solo set at 2 p.m. 

Comedian-tragedian Dewar channels the spirit of a little boy who creates worlds in his bedroom and never leaves home—within the body of a 6'1 twenty-something year old. His smart-but-silly characters are as wide-ranging as the musical styles he pays homage to with his dexterous guitar chops and versatile vocals, according to his bio.

It won't be Dewar's first time in the fest, as he's previously performed with a group But he's found a newer niche in solo improv. 

"I feel like I've learned to act all over again," Dewar said. 

Dewar is a graduate of North Central College, where he received his B.A. in Theatre, as well as the Second City Conservatory and Improv Olympics Training Center.

His interest in improv has grown with each performance, drawn to the "anything goes" nature. He enjoys a chance to push himself by testing new material, experimenting and re-working it.

"It's very organic, very free," he said. "It's the 'art of what is possible.'"

Dewar grew up in Downers Grove, and by 17 was crafting his own comedy CDs. By 17 he was making his own comedy CDs for friends. He also taught himself piano, followed by guitar, which he regularly weaves into his performances.

The festival began Jan. 9, and over the course of eight days, about 150 groups comprising about 1,000 artists will perform 170 shows to an average of 10,000 patrons. 

Dewar performs Jan. 19. Other performances are scheduled for Thursdays through Sundays, priced at $14–15 per ticket. The festival is set at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. For more information, contact www.Stage773.com, 773-327-5252 and www.chicagosketchfest.com/2014-schedule. For more on the comedian, visit JakeDewarComedy.com.

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