Lee Overtree presides over one of the best improv talent incubators around — just ask any savvy kid under 12. “We’re a group of people who are truly inspired by kids’ writing,” says Overtree ’02, co-founder and artistic director of Story Pirates, a popular podcast and live show catering to the pre-tween set. “Our secret is that we don’t think of it as making comedy for kids; we think of it as making comedy for each other.” The formula works. Since its 2004 founding, Story Pirates has dazzled more than 1 million audience members with its performances of stories written and submitted by children; each podcast boasts more than 100,000 downloads. The idea for Story Pirates evolved from Overtree’s involvement in the student group Griffin’s Tale. Peter McNerney ’05 and Joanna Simmons ’05, above, are among the Northwestern alumni involved with the show.
Northwestern student groups inspire young audiences.