Jim Bennett has the key ingredients necessary for brilliant comedy: an obsession with all things political and ADD. A graduate of iO under Del Close and Second City’s Conservatory program, he has written and performed 6 revues with GayCo Productions, and an additional revue, ‘Weddings of Mass Destruction’ produced by Second City Theatricals. Bennett has performed at countless festivals and corporate gigs. He has appeared in comedy film shorts including three, ‘Baby Time Share’, ‘Old Maid’ and ‘Summer Sex’ that screened at festivals nationwide with premieres at OUTFest. In addition to writing sketch comedy, he writes speeches, scripts and sometimes produces programs for major events in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles. And in the past, 2001 to 2005, Jim was the host of Windy City Radio, the voice of Chicago’s LGBT community, on WCKG-FM. Bennett holds an M.B.A. from the University of Illinois and a B.S. from Illinois State University and, since December 2000, has been holy unionized to the brilliant scientist, Dr. Terry Vanden Hoek, making him GayCo’s resident expert on long-term relationships. So far, so good!
Andy Eninger is a Chicago-based playwright, actor and director. He has performed as an understudy for Second City’s Mainstage, and has taught thousands of corporate clients to communicate through workshops with Second City Communications. Andy has taught improv and sketch courses for the Second City Training Center since 2000, and is a founding member of GayCo Productions and a founding member of Chicago Comedy Company. He is the After-Dark Award winning composer for “Bandgeeks: A Halftime Musical,” which he also directed. Andy’s solo improv show “Sybil” has been seen across the country, and in Europe, and was featured in the book “Shortcuts to Longform Improvisation.” He is currently at work creating a performance piece for GayCo based on the experiences of GLBT elders.
Mary Beth Burns (Founding Ensemble Member)
John Bonny (Founding Ensemble Member)
Martin Garcia (Director/Touring Performer)
(Resident Director, GayCo Productions)
1965 – 2006
Jim Zulevic, GayCo Productions Resident Director, died on January 7, 2006. Zulevic, a native Chicagoan, was an accomplished actor, director, improviser and writer. And Jim was funny…really funny. Jim Zulevic, a white, straight, irish catholic, south sider would not seem like the most likely director for a group created to promote the gay agenda. But he was perfect. As a director, he guided with an open hand; welcoming the opportunity to work with a group bringing a specific perspective. When asked in a recent interview about working with GayCo, he said “it’s probably not a bad idea to have someone like me who comes from a more objective place… having a different view on things can be good. I like doing that stuff a lot. I don’t need to do a show that’s an extension of a frat house. I like to learn new stuff as much as the next white, hetero male guy. Wait…let me rethink that last comment.”
Between 1999 – 2005, Zulevic directed two GayCo film shorts and five revues with an uncanny ability to make gay comedy universal. When cast member, Mary Beth Burns, brought in ‘Lesbian Death Bed’, a musical number featuring singing cats lamenting love without sex, Zulevic added two frat guys ‘across the street with binoculars’ shocked at the lack of action in the women’s bedroom.
GayCo, and for that matter the gay community itself, lost a great friend and leader. Jim Zulevic was a good guy that was passionate about civil rights and social justice. He knew that comedy gave underdogs a voice and that even the silliest of scenes have the potential to expand the narrowest of viewpoints.