The Nerdery - Overnight Website Challenge

Kansas City 2015, May 2-3

Seriously Playful

Seriously Playful is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization created to teach improvisation to Kansas City Metro area high school students. The organization produces "Operation: Show," a weekly competition between students from different schools, every fall and spring; in 2015, Seriously Playful will launch a summer program.

What new functionality we are looking for



Create a website for OPERATION: SHOW!, the Kansas City high school improv league, produced by the registered 501c3 non-profit organization Seriously Playful.


Make it easy for people to get involved with and support Operation: Show! and other Seriously Playful productions.

Target audiences:

--High school drama and forensics sponsors

--High school student participants and prospects

--Parents and friends of participants


--Provide the information high school sponsors and students need to make a decision to participate.

--Create an online home for registration, scheduling, and communication.

--Promote upcoming Seriously Playful events.

--Encourage volunteer and financial support for Seriously Playful.



--Friendly, playful and accessible.

--Can be mock-serious when talking about competitions (e.g. “IT IS TIME TO THROW DOWN”).

--Information about registration and participation should be simple, crystal-clear and helpful.

--Avoid: Trying to “sound like a teenager” or “be cool.” Extreme enthusiasm or lots of exclamation points—unless it’s tongue-in-cheek.

--To see what it sounds like when we write it, check @operationshow on Instagram.


--Basic colors are black and white. Open to suggestions for ways to use other colors.

--Logo uses stencil-style lettering with globe and star motifs, and “distressed” look. Website design should complement the logo, but use of the elements can be minimal/selective.

Available assets:

--Logo (with optional additional treatments)

--Photographs of teams and performances

On-site decision-makers are also copywriters willing to take instruction from the development team, UNLESS THAT MAKES IT SOUNDS LIKE WE’LL BE A HIGH MAINTENANCE NIGHTMARE, in which case forget we ever said it.


Mandatory capabilities:

--Easy-to-update “news” feed on top page.

--Easy-to-update, share-able calendar

--Online registration for sponsors and team members for any upcoming events (e.g. 12-week competition seasons in fall and spring, or monthly workshops in the summer). Registrations can be exported to Excel docs, or sorted by school/team without leaving site.

--Place for documents (permission forms, posters, etc.)

--Social media (Instagram, YouTube, Twitter) feeds on top page.

--“Behind the wall” workspace for board members to communicate, schedule shows, share documents, etc.

--Button that allows supporters to donate to Seriously Playful.

“We can dream, can’t we?” capabilities

--A way to plug in show dates, team names, dates teams are not available, and desired number of games for each team, and suggested schedules are generated as if by magic—and we can make changes to it.

--Email/text auto-generates a reminder email a specified time in advance of an event.

--Players, coaches and sponsors can choose a preferred way to receive updates (text or email), and whenever there are schedule changes, snow issues, news updates, etc., we can automatically blast all of them.

--Chat boards for kids, coaches, sponsors, and board.




--Social feeds

--Next show

--Donate now



.....Seriously Playful [redirect from]

.....Board of Directors bios [3]

.....Coaches bios [10-12]

.....ComedyCity info w/bios [Clay, Jared] and link to



PLAY WITH US! [will need to show upcoming sessions and registration deadlines for each]

.....Sponsor information, documents and registration

.....Student information, documents and registration

.....Coach information, documents and application

SHOWS AND WORKSHOPS [pages may be added or change]

.....Operation: Show! [fall and spring sessions—will only show one at a time]


..........Teams/Schools (10+)


.....Operation: Playcation! Summer Workshops




.....Chat boards

.....Games: playbook PDF and links


.....KC Troupes




.....Improv Travel


Contact info [PO box, email, phone]

BOD/Coaches only [requires log-in]

.....Text/email blasts [BOD only]

.....Scheduling [BOD only]

.....Links to Dropbox [BOD only]

.....Chat [or link to Coaches/Board/ComedyCity Facebook page]

How the new functionality will help

We communicate with high school students, faculty sponsors, parents, and our professional coaches. Currently, our communication is through a variety of platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and (mostly for students) texting.

Right now, 10 schools participate in Seriously Playful programs. We're working to serve more students and schools, attract more coaches, and involve more supporters.

As we continue to grow, we'd like to have an online home that addresses the needs of all of our users. And because we're staffed entirely by volunteers with day jobs, it would be helpful if it were easy to update by people with a variety of skill levels.

How our organization will use the technology

Who will use the technology

25 Messages from Supporters

2015-03-30 15:03:54 UTC

Hi! I co-coach a Operation Show team of improvisers from St Thomas Aquinas. At first, I loved my little team and got to know those kids very well. Gina and Mary tried out for the basketball team and made it their freshman year. Jack is interested in trying stand-up comedy so I gave him some open mics to check out (with his parent's permission). Improv comes easily to kids when they feel encouraged and supported to have fun and go for it. What I didn't expect was getting to know so many of the other kids, on other teams, as well and being very proud of them for great performances, being friendly Operation Show citizens or lifting each other up. It's been really cool to interact with all these kids who have been so bright and friendly and hilarious. I didn't have improv classes or teams or leagues growing up and what I think is really cool is that we pitch shows as competitions but really it's much, much more supportive and fun than anything that ends with one winner.

2015-03-30 15:20:04 UTC
Anne Cuddy

Hi! I'm one of the coaches for Seriously Playful's Operation: Show! Improv encourages creativity and collaboration, teaches problem-solving, and gives high school students real world experience on running a show alongside professionals. It's kind of magic. My favorite part of this organization is seeing these kids grow in confidence and ability as each season progresses. That-- and watching rival teams cheer each other on. These kids are so smart, funny, weird, and kind. I'm proud to be a part of such an awesome production and I think you would be too.

Thanks for considering us!

2015-03-30 18:07:53 UTC
Amy Cecil

I'm such a believer in this program. My son attended improv camps in junior high, and was disappointed that his high school wasn't one of the Operation: Show! participants. So with encouragement and direction from the coaches, he started a team himself. I'm proud that he took the initiative, and I'm sure he would have loved the backing of an informative, professional website for interested parents and students. Also, our family is always asking when his next show is scheduled, and being able to access that info easily on line would be super helpful. Keep up the amazing work, I've seen kids really come out of their shells up on that stage!

2015-03-30 15:01:39 UTC
Hughes Ransom


I am a student participant of this program and let me say, I love this program. I have always loved improv comedy, but this activity doesn't necessarily have the most outlets through which I may do it. Operation: Show! has provided me, and plenty of other high schoolers, this outlet, and many of my friends and family members often comment just "how wonderful it is that they [coach volunteers] do this for us." Through Operation: Show!, I have become a confident performer and a better improviser and a new website would open this opportunity up to many many more kids.

Thank you

2015-03-30 15:33:23 UTC
Will Cecil

My name is Will, and I'm a student participant in Operation: Show! Improv is really one of the most valuable things I've ever been taught because it applies to nearly every aspect of life. Over the few years that I've gotten to take part in this program I've already grown so much, and that's solely responsible to the people involved and the subject they're teaching. I feel comfortable speaking on behalf of the other members of my team, and I can assure you that they feel the same way. It's a truly amazing program that works wonders on increasing creativity, individuality, and team work. Operation: Show! is an incredible gift to everyone that gets to be a part of it.

2015-03-31 02:12:58 UTC
John Pace

Look at what Will Cecil said, but read it in a deeper voice. That's essentially what I have to say. The people involved are all incredibly informative, and the way that they teach us makes it all easily accessible and entertaining. Plus, it gives me a chance to scream very loudly. That's nice, too.

2015-03-30 23:52:28 UTC
Kenzie West

I had the pleasure of seeing Operation: Show! come to life, and I can wholeheartedly say that it changes lives. Not only do high school kids get to come together to have fun, but they learn valuable life skills such as communication, active listening, teamwork, leadership, problem-solving, and public speaking. Through Operation: Show! kids are mentored by seasoned improvisers, and the coaches are selfless people who are incredible role models. What drew me to O:S! was the fact that it was going to be a safe place for kids to grow personally and creatively; an opportunity I would've given anything for as a teenager.

O:S! is a beautiful and worthy cause that creates lifelong bonds and encourages kids to dream big.

2015-03-31 02:02:40 UTC
Gabe Maddex

Hi, my name's Gabe and I'm a student in Operation: Show! I am amazed at how many students this program is able to reach and how inclusive it is with all of us. I'm really thankful for the opportunity the program provides, not only as an improviser, but as a teenager. I've really grown as a person since joining Operation Show; it's a great creative outlet and gives kids a place to be funny. I'm really honored to be included in the Operation Show family.

2015-03-31 02:15:55 UTC

I was invited to join at the beginning of the 2014-2015 season. I've never had so much fun in 2 hours. Its a different experience anyone can enjoy! Remember to Always Throw Rock!

2015-03-30 22:16:41 UTC

I'm a long-time coach and new board member with Seriously Playful. As a day job, I work on cross-functionals; the skills I've learned improvising come into play much more often than my college degree. That's why I love Seriously Playful: We teach kids the life skills they need to create amazing things with diverse groups of people. We show them how different teams can work together towards the same objective. In every workshop and performance, they practice the art of "yes, and"...learning that more opportunities come their way when they embrace risks and new ideas.

Plus, it's just a ridiculous amount of fun.

2015-03-30 23:50:28 UTC
Clay Ingram

I was a founding board member of Seriously Playful in 2012. My personal goal was to provide students in the Kansas City area the same opportunity I received when I was their age, to share the joy improvisational comedy gave me. I quickly came to realize that Operation: Show! provided much more than the chance for kids to come and just have fun on stage. It provided them valuable social skills, confidence in their decisions, and an outlet for them to express themselves.

Even more exciting for me was watching large portions of the Kansas City professional improv community come together to support the organization. Improviser after improviser volunteered to judge, host, stage manage, coach, whatever was necessary someone was their to help. As a founding member of Seriously Playful, the saying "It takes a village to raise a child" came to mind at the time, and I was thrilled that the village was most of the time just as excited about Operation: Show! as the children involved.

In the time since I stepped down from the board in late 2014, Seriously Playful has only improved. Although I am not involved in the organization anymore, I can only hope that it is still going strong years from now when my son (who is about a month from being born) is old enough to be involved.

2015-03-31 02:23:22 UTC
Kim Harrison

I am the teacher of one of the Operation Show high school teams. I cannot even express the gratitude I have to this organization for the amazing things they are doing for the kids in the Kansas City area. My students have not only had a lot of fun, but they have improved communication skills, more confidence on, and off the stage, and an immense amount of training from professionals that will last a life time.

In addition to that, they have met other high school kids from all over the city. They have made connections. They have made friends. The people at Comedy City have created a truly unique opportunity for our youth. They conduct themselves with great professionalism, but also truly connect with the kids. I have a nine year old daughter who already wants to be a part of this program when she is in high school.

My hope for Operation Show is that it continues to grow and thrive. I think every school in the KC metro area would benefit from having students work with this organization. With their current program they have set in place, there is no doubt, this will one day be a reality. I am so thankful to have this partnership with our school. It is something unique and special to our city.

2015-03-31 15:03:42 UTC
Claire W.

Jesus, I don't even know where to start.


Who wouldn't agree that it is super cool to be involved in a program that allows you to directly engage students in a playful, imaginative, confidence building activity? I imagine we could all agree that that's pretty badass. And who wouldn't agree that as a high school student, having a platform to perform and express yourself with full praise and support (yes AND, for real) isn't literally the coolest thing you could be a part of?

As a coach of high school improvisers, my personal goal is to expose as many young minds to improv as possible and engage them in the art of playing. Push them to play smart. Encourage them to grow and expand their minds. Get them addicted to playing, so that they do it for as long as they can--potentially the rest of their lives. HOW COOL IS THAT?

Not to sound all Disney Princess, but to give Operation Show a new, fresh, user-friendly website, you're giving kids around the KC metro area the opportunity to find their best selves. You are giving them the gift of play. It becomes a tool coaches can use to reach new students, connect new minds, and grow the improv culture in Kansas City. And if that doesn't seem cool and exciting to you, then I don't know why you're still reading my silly testimonial.

Think about it. It's pretty badass.

2015-03-31 18:54:53 UTC
Clay Morgan

I am the owner of ComedyCity, the venue that hosts Operation:Show. I could go on and on about this group and the students. This organization gives these students a chance to learn a craft that most would not ever get exposed to. Watching the students perform from the first day of the semester, until the end of the year, I see them gain confidence, interact with positive adult role models, learn a ton about themselves and their peers, and hone a craft that could help them in nearly every aspect of adulthood.

Improvisation helps people communicate effectively, confidently. It fosters a sense of community while working together toward a common goal. Improvisation teaches that learning new things can be fun and pushing the limits of creativity is a good thing. It teaches that supporting people and ideas is the key to success.

These students, will fast become adults who think on their feet, solve problems and support new ideas. Isn't that what we want for our future generations?

2015-03-31 19:28:07 UTC

This club has given me the ability to just go with it in my everyday life. For instance, when told to come up with an idea or do something silly, I can answer on the spot. It is also nice to have an outlet for improv and share it with other people and make them laugh.

2015-03-31 19:33:19 UTC
Ben Trickey

Hello! I've been a student paparticipant in Operation: Show! for two years now, and it is one of my favorite things to do in my free time. It's an awesome way for some of my best friends and I make jokes and have awesome time while improving our improv performances. I'm really glad I got to spend some of my Sundays there with my friends and coaches who worked with us every step of the way.

2015-03-31 19:33:36 UTC

Seriously Playful is an amazing outlet for the creativity that builds up in high school students. When competing, performing, or practicing everyone feels like they can really come out of their shells.

If this program had a website that matches its awesomeness that would be great. The website being user friendly and well made would attract more students to this amazing program.

2015-04-01 03:19:15 UTC

Operation: Show!! is one of my favorite highschool experiences. I'm so glad we got our highschool to participate, because I have learned alot about Improv through the Operation: Show! experience. It is a great way to meet other highschool improvisers and never fails to be a good time. The volunteer coaches of Operation: Show! are really committed to developing highschool improvisers, and the entire program directly benefits local highschool improv. A crazy cool new website would, I believe, help get more participants, bigger audiences, and overall spread the joy and cheer of Operation: Show! to as many people as possible.

2015-04-01 12:40:51 UTC
Lincoln McCoy

During my Sophomore year of High school I found my passion, Improv! I was a fortunate guy because throughout high school I was able to preform with my two best friends and enjoy a passion that we all three shared. Improv was the star of my high school career and operation show has open so many impov doors that I couldn't even imagine. Operation show branched out my connections to not only other like minded performers around the area but also branched me out to Comedy City where I still perform Comedy improv. Because of Operation show I now have the opportunity to perform after college and it has pushed me to pursue improv after my college career.

2015-04-03 16:28:28 UTC
Suzanne Welch

I am recent addition to the Seriously Playful Board of Directors, and I think I might be an unusual one as I am not an improviser, nor do I have a child who participates in Operation: Show!; however, I am a believer in this program. Every Sunday during the season, I come to Comedy City to sell tickets, keep track of attendance and basically be the face of Seriously Playful in the lobby. In doing this, I get the pleasure to observe the coaches and student participants. I also get to meet the parents, grandparents, siblings and friends of the students. I rarely see the students perform, but despite this, I can see the growth of the students (or hear about it from their supporters). I see students from all over the metro coming together, becoming friends and, to be honest, becoming better people in the process. For me, that is the real value of this program: kids maturing, meeting those from backgrounds that are different than their own, gaining confidence or humility (or both), learning to think on their feet, etc. Operation: Shoe! is so much more than jut improv.

So, why should we be selected? This is a great organization, but our webpage is not so great. I've tried to update things, but as a stay-at-home mom, my time is limited (not to mention my abilities!), and my fellow board members are busy professionals—we are a bit out of our depths. Our organization is 100% volunteer, and we currently don't have a tech-savvy volunteer to help us out. We'd really benefit from a website that could help us communicate with our current participants and any potential participants.

2015-04-05 00:02:19 UTC
Lacee Stanley

My name is Lacee Stanley and I've been one of the kids who have participated in Operation: Show! for two years now. This program has helped not only myself, but my school build a small little community of kids who love improv and can work together to form our own "family", if you will. Without Operation: Show! I wouldn't have formed friendships with many of the people on other teams from other schools, and through those friendships, other schools have more audience members for their own schools to support their theatre and art departments. The website would help out so much, providing more connection and information for future students, current students, and alumni to keep up and in touch with this beautiful program.

2015-04-07 13:40:59 UTC
Cindy Ptacek

Seriously Playful was born out of a bunch of meetings with a bunch of people who wanted to do something but didn't know what that something was. Eventually, Clayton and I were ready to restart the now defunct KC High School Improv League. I got my start with improvisation in high school, and Clayton did as well. Besides satellite troupes at a few random schools, there was no organization or way to connect high schoolers with current improvisers and theaters. So we started one. It was never the intention to serve on the board forever, and after Seriously Playful was legally founded and the first season completed, it was time for me to move on.

It is amazing to see how much it has grown and become a bonafide part of the improv family in Kansas City. Now high school students have a chance to get to know professional improvisers and learn philosophies and techniques from a broad spectrum of teachers. It also gives them a chance to meet and perform with students from other high schools. I know the students love it. I also know the improvisers teaching them love it. It's basically the best thing.

A fully functioning website will make Operation:Show better.

2015-04-07 14:21:17 UTC
Mark Orr

I am a first-year coach with Operation: Show, and I am so happy I joined this wonderful organization. It has been such a pleasure to see the joy and sense of "play" in all of the students who participate. They love to learn and perform; they enjoy working together and "competing"; and they grow as performers and people. They are forming bonds with each other that will last far beyond their high school experience, and through improv, they are learning skills that will benefit them their entire lives.

Having a snazzy new and functional website will help us immediately communicate with our participants and their friends and families. And I believe it can help grow the program beyond the schools that currently participate to other schools in the area. Thanks for giving us this opportunity to share improv with more young people in the Kansas City area!

2015-04-12 23:49:27 UTC
Mark Hash

It has been inspirational entertainment to watch this league grown from small handful of teams to one of the few city-wide (bi-state spanning) bunch of youth who are heartily representative of larger metro area.
Except more hopeful. More creatively daring.
Such an energetic endorsement for risk-taking, confidence-building joyful play.
More youth need such opportunities to learn, grow, and to raise their spirits and enhance their communities.

2015-04-13 03:08:52 UTC
Trish Berrong

If there was ANY DOUBT Operation: Show! brings kids from different schools together, please watch this prom-posal from today's match:

Our Mission

Seriously Playful matches professional performers with high school performers in Kansas City to teach improvisation. Students learn collaboration, creativity and confidence through regular workshops and performances. Seriously Playful supports local schools by donating a portion of the proceeds to participating students drama or forensics teams.