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Comedy Trio ‘CPR’ to Launch Inaugural Week

Posted on February 17th, 2004

CPRA comedy trio, “CPR,” will present an evening of improvisation 8 p.m. Monday, Mar. 22, in the University Commons arena at Eastern Mennonite University.

The program will help launch a week of public events leading up to the Mar. 27 inauguration of Loren E. Swartzendruber as eighth president of EMU. Dr. Swartzendruber, who took office on Jan. 1 this year, will be installed in ceremonies at 2:30 p.m. in the Commons.

Members of CPR – Carl Crispin, Pete Vanderluis and Jeff “Ringo” Van Haitsma – specialize in personality-based sketches based on “who we are – three guys just being ourselves and sharing the joy and laughter that comes from knowing Jesus Christ.” Much of their material is made up on the spot on stage, based on ideas or themes suggested by audiences, and no two performances are alike.

CPR started in 1992 while performing drama at their home church in Grand Rapids, Mich. Today, the trio travels across North America doing more than 100 shows a year at major youth conventions, adult conferences and Christian camps. They performed to enthusiastic audiences at the Mennonite General Assembly convention in July 2003 at Atlanta, Ga.

“One of the things that makes us a little different from a lot of the comedy out there these days is that we commit to keeping our material 100 percent clean,” said group member Pete Vanderluis. “We believe that every person in the room should be having a good time, and that can’t happen if you’re wondering if we crossed the line.

“One other thing – we don’t preach. We don’t persuade people to live like us, added Carl Crispin. “We just want audiences to have a good time and to celebrate laughter and humor with us as a gift from God.”

General admission to the CPR performance is $9 or $7.50 for groups of 15 or more. Advance tickets are available from the EMU box office at 540-432-4582.

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