Several Central Florida stand-up comedians made the trip to Port Orange to perform on The Stage at Thank You Five.
Thank You Five isn't your typical performing arts studio.
There's an instant splash of color when one walks into the room. Photocopies of New York Times Sunday ads line the walls, chess sets and chinese checkers sit at flourescent pink, blue and green tables along with a large section of the room devoted to Lin Manuel Miranda — the man co-owner Terence Van Auken calls their god.
"We just decided to do our own thing, because Port Orange doesn’t really have something like this," co-owner Carrie Van Tol said.
Port Orange's new performing arts complex is fueled by Van Tol and Van Auken, who each have over a decade of local theater experience. They operate Thank You Five as a nonprofit, and hope to integrate local schools into their performances to accentuate their love of theater with the youth of Port Orange.
The pair are currently in rehearsal for the complex's next theater performance. Thank You Five will be showing "Marjorie Prime" as their monthly performance, and there are show times from Aug. 18-Aug. 27.
As for Saturday night, it was all about stand-up comedy. Van Auken booked local comedians for an extended set in front of a modest, but appreciative, crowd. Orlando-area actor Ryan Utterback started the show with his own monologue, and was the event's host.
Several Orlando-area comics performed including Bailey Erickson and Sean Beagan. Erickson recently moved to Orlando permanently to pursue her career in stand-up comedy after living in Gainesville as a student at the University of Florida. Her jokes honed in on her struggles with mental health, her inconsistent relationships and a bizarre sexual experiment with a bowling pin.
Beagan was the final act of the show, and owned the stage with confidence. He admitted that he isn't nearly as confident without a mic in his hand, but once he holds it he becomes a social butterfly.
His comedy focused on his blindness in one eye, and how everyone seems to notice as soon as they meet him face-to-face. Beagan also touched on the wonders of Tinder and his drug experiences being a little bit different than most people's.
Thank You Five plan on hosting several stand-up comedy, Improv and open mic nights in the coming months. The studio wants to be known as a place where independent and alternative art can be cultivated and appreciated.
"No one is doing anything like this in the area," Van Auken said. "So we had to get ourselves a space so we could do what we always wanted to do."