Phantom Sheep Productions
Frequently Asked Questions

Here you will find answers to many common useful and less useful questions regarding our troupe.
If you have any question you'd like answered.... Contact Us!


What is a Phantom Sheep!?
In recent years, the troupe has simply been known as "Phantom Sheep" without the need of clarifying "Players" or "Productions".

The original Phantom Sheep is actually...a puppet.  It is a character that was developed while working as puppeteers at Riverside (now Six Flags New England) and later became a character in the first original script sold by Eric and Kevin. He lurks in the shadows. He haunts, he taunts. He is cute, adorable, and a master of disguise (kinda).  He appeared in PuppetWorks for over 11 years, reoccurring segments on RRN, several LaughCrafters cameos, and even performed in front of a full house at Northampton's famed Academy of Music Opera House.

"Phantom Sheep" also sounds like a cool name for a band; and since improv geeks are rock stars of the theater world, we labeled our group as such.  We first officially used it as a production company name on the first episode of The New RRN although the sheep didn't appear until episode 2 (and every episode after that! We never expected it to become that popular)

We kept it as the name of the company for a few reasons:

  • It was a major character from one of our first professional jobs and has become sort of a good luck icon for us.
  • It was something that represented our creativity and ability to break the conventional molds of entertainment while still being accessible and enjoyable.
  • It's also unique and hard to forget....and so are our shows!





  • What do you Do?
    We are creators of original quality entertainment for schools & corporate events.
    Our services and talents include:

    We have worked in theater, schools, colleges, libraries, theme parks, live and recorded television, radio, and specialty venues.

    What is LaughCrafters?
    LaughCrafters is the brand name given to our original created comedy short scenes. It originally referred to our improv show, which typically was "comedy created right before your eyes, for about an hour" (LensCrafters parody).  It was then extended to our improvisation workshops and eventually show grew to include more scripted and pre-recorded sketches mixed in. Most of those sketches originated from improvised scenes. We enjoy LaughCrafters because it is our showcase of the comedy craft and a method how we create.   You can see it live on stage, clips online, compiled on DVD, and fun workshops being taught to your group.
     


    Who are the Phantom Sheep Players?
    The Phantom Sheep Players are the comedy improv writer/performers that are seen in such shows as "LaughCrafters". They are the regulars that form the core repertoire troupe and the basic inner creative team of all our shows and productions. Currently the players include Eric Boucher, Tommy Lynch, Jesse Redmond, Greg Seymour, Jeff Tingley, and featuring Devin Horan, Jessica Lamoureux, and Kevin "Zippy" Zabawa. The majority of the current cast has been together since 2005. The troupe boasts over 235 scripted sketches produced and countless improvised scenes!


    Where is your troupe based?
    We are based in the Springfield area of Western Mass in the Pioneer Valley, a haven for the Arts and talent. We mostly work throughout New England and the New York area with several performances in the Springfield, Agawam, Amherst, and Hartford area.



    What kind of workshops do you offer?


    We are proud to offer several workshops and classes to enhance your organization's skills, customer service, and sometimes just to motivate and entertain.  Professional instructors in the entertainment industry will work closely with your group for a unique and fun event sharing their experience and coaching so that everyone has a great time and learns new skills.

    Our most popular workshop is LaughCrafters:Comedy Improv.  These are excellent for ages teen to adults, both for theater and non-theater students.  Our "Laugh Out Loud at your Library" series has been very successful part of many teen programs throughout the state. We have also used exercises and games from our improv repertoire to teach workshops in Team Building, Communication, and being able to interact with co-workers and customers.


    We have proudly partnered with the Springfield JCC and offer weekly classes in improv for all age groups. Click here for more details on current classes

    Other classes and workshops we offer include: All of our workshops and classes are taught with humor and encouragement with lots of coaching and interactive participation of the students.  We pride ourselves in being able to showcase the best in everyone and often the "shy" are breakout stars amazed at their own brilliance.  We can customize a workshop to serve the goals and needs of your organization! Contact us today to see what we can do for your group!
    We also have experience as guest speakers and presenting lectures on the entertainment and comedy industry at high schools and colleges.
    .




    What's with the Puppets!?

    Who is the voice of The Sheep?
    The Phantom Sheep's voice actually became a blend at least 3 other voices for sheep characters developed by Eric and Kevin.  Over the years, the sheep has been puppeteered by almost every troupe member; but Eric, Kevin, or Jeff are the only 3 that have supplied the voice. We are still unsure what the origin of the accent is.

    The Sheep's sidekick buddy Grizz is voiced 95% of the time by Eric, who also is the voice of at least 1/2 of the other puppet characters that have appeared.  There have also been times where Eric is performing the voice live off-stage or off-camera for one or more characters while puppeteers are lip syncing.

     
    What's with the drag?
    It is true that being a troupe of mostly males, we sometimes have to wear a dress and wig in a sketch (and sometimes Jenny played a guy). Otherwise the variety of characters we could play would be too limited.    However, the joke is never "the guy is in drag" but rather focus on making each character funny no matter who is playing him or her. We're proud of the fact that we don't restrict our characters based on gender, age, or size and have the training to play many roles.  Some have even compared us to "Kids in the Hall", comedic icons we are definitely influenced by.  And since we do it very minimally, we have yet to master a gorgeous look; but our wives and girlfriends love us anyway, even if we're borrowing their clothes.


     
    Is your group suitable for kids?
    For many shows, yes. For some shows, it depends. Some of our work is political parody or social satire that may skew to teens and adults. However, we aim to never play "blue" nor rely on excessive gratuitous cursing and cheap humor.  We try to keep everything very family friendly, but will put warnings on shows that are intended for an older audience.  A show like LaughCrafters is the easiest to customize since it's based on the tone the audience sets.  We are very serious about keeping school performances at an appropriate level for the group being entertained. 

    A large portion of our "commercial" success came from our popular family shows working in the theme park industry and we also work heavily with schools and libraries.  With popular fun music, witty jokes, silly parodies, sketches, and dialogue, we never underestimate the intelligence of kids and their love for good entertainment.  Plus we aim to make our family shows equally enjoyed by the adults along with the kids! Adults and teens are often surprised with how much they love what they thought was initially just a "kids show" like "StoryTale" or "Graveyard Groove". Because of that theme park experience, we are experts on entertaining groups of all ages and keeping things very family appropriate whenever needed.





    What is the pricing of Shows and Workshops?

    How did the troupe form and how does it operate? 

    Phantom Sheep Productions started in 1996 as the creative team of WSCTV's local cablecasted "The New Rubber Room News" (RRN) and Riverside's "PuppetWorks" with co-founding members Eric Boucher and Kevin Zabawa. Many of us have met through our work with Six Flags Entertainment and in improv classes. Our members are alumni of Westfield State Communications, HCC Theater, Sleeveless Theater Power Improv & masters classes, USC, Sci-Fi Network, STCC, Salem State, Six Flags Entertainment, Red Door Theater, Silvertree Productions, and work that includes off-broadway and LA film festivals. 

    Today, as a guild we offer a wide variety of entertainment and supply shows, writing, audio production, perform, and teach workshops for theme parks, schools/colleges, libraries, clubs, churches, and other organizations.  We also fully produce our own live and recorded shows in various theaters, DVD's, cablecast, and online media. 

    The troupe may be contracted directly through co-founding member Eric Boucher who coordinates everything to ensure you end up with a complete production. Several other troupe members also act as associate producers, site liaisons, and instructors, and may be contacted at any time. We work closely with your group to make sure no detail is left out from publicity to venue layout so that you end up with a quality show and successful event.

     

    Can the talent base of your troupe freelance individually? 

    Yes! Although our troupe works together to provide great quality entertainment, they are each also individually available for hire and to serve in any role or position you need in your own productions.  For example: Greg Seymour is also owner of "Skits & Giggles Productions" and is a talented cartoonist and lighting designer for your special projects and Jeff Tingley is a comic artist who produces "Doberman" for Rare Earth comics along with being a DJ for dance clubs.  Another words....we love working together, but we're okay if someone wants to utilize our individual talents.  The benefit to you is an experienced professional who understands the importance of ensemble work and collaboration.




    How can I see a PSP show!?


    Do you have any videos posted online?
    We have posted many of our sketches and clips of live shows online and plan on continuing to add many more.  Currently, you can see videos of us on FunnyorDie.com, YouTube.com, and at our Facebook Page.  You can also visit our Media Room hub for links to these sites and more.  If you like what you see, be sure to order a copy of our LaughCrafters Show DVD's, each loaded with dozens of sketches, gag reels, and other bonus features.





    Who are some of your past clients, groups, venues that you've worked with?
    Be sure to check out our "Applause" page full of some great feedback.
    A few of our favorite groups we have repeatedly worked with include:

    We have also fully produced our own shows at various public venues (IE: rented the theater ourselves and sold tickets)
    and of course the DVD's available for sale online and at a few local stores. 


    What is the Meaning of Life?
    One of our favorite works of Monty Python. Bing!


    What about Fan-tom Sheep?
    It may've started from the crazy Davis dorm cult many years ago, but our fans have grown as our work has.   We love meeting new people and are proud to have entertained all age groups.



    What kind of cool PSP promo stuff can I get!?
    We sometimes offer DVD's or T-shirts, but the thing most of our fans love is simple 1" buttons with their favorite show logo or character on them! For only $1, you can be cool and add one to your hat, bag, or lapel. We are not in the retail business, so the small cost we ever charge covers the expenses to produce, copy, and deliver and anything left over goes right back into producing more stuff for you.  For more info, visit our Swag Shop page!


    Did you get a free PSP from Sony?
    No. All we got was a wordy form letter that said it was beyond them to help us out after stealing our initials. We asked on behalf of poor "Paint Shop Pro" fans too! We already stopped calling our troupe "Gameboys" and we're not changing it again!





    How do I audition and/or get to be part of your troupe?

  • This is one of the most common requests we get. Sadly the question is much like "How do I get to be part of 'Kids in the Hall'?", or "Can I join Bon Jovi?" (the latter is remarkably much easier than you'd think!).
  • We are luck to work with so many talented people who make our work look so good from their performances and craftsmanship; however the actual troupe itself purposely remains small as a core group of colleagues and friends who have worked together for many years.  We do not have "open call auditions" nor are we accepting applications or resumes for troupe members at this time.
  • If comedy, especially improv is something you are interested in being a part of...then please take a look at our "LaughCrafters: Classes".  Our classes have trained several people who went on to work professionally in theater, comedy, and the entertainment industry.  Troupe members Tommy Lynch, Jenny Taylor, and Devin Horan actually started off as Phantom Sheep workshop students many years ago.
  • We will also always try to post or link to job opportunities in the performing arts that relate to what we do and for shows we are producing. Keep an eye out each February and August for open call auditions at SFNE where many shows we created are performed.
  • PLEASE do not solicit resumes or otherwise beg for work (acting, comedy, voice-overs, production) through our website unless specifically directed.  Any business opportunity will be advertised with the proper audition schedule and application process as they arise. If you want to check out other helpful sites, go to our fun and related links page.

  • ...or do you really mean-" Hey, I'm into comedy too! Give me free advice or my big break!"
    Our inboxes often get flooded with these requests.  If we had the fool-proof secret to success, we'd all be rich and famous.  Most of us studied and practiced professionally for years and value the integrity of the process.  Our advice besides what's listed above is: research, be educated, have patience and passion...and if possible immerse yourself in the environment at open-mics, as an intern, whatever. Above all, do it because you love it and not to get rich and famous. 





    How can we contact you!?
    If there is one thing you should not miss on this website....it's info on how to contact us!  Please visit our Comments, Questions, Phan-mail? section for options.


    How can I get PSP shows, workshops, performers at my theater, library, school, venue, park, club, network, etc.?
    The first step is to CONTACT US by visiting our Contact page (listed all over this website)!
    We can then send you any information you need including proposals, bids, pricing guides, basic brochures, or contact you directly via e-mail or phone. If you are in charge of arranging and/or coordinating shows and/or talent... we want to meet and talk with you!


    Need further information?
    Any Questions, Comments, Love Letters?

    CONTACT US TODAY!

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