The Impro Ensemble

Impro Theatre is made up of professional actors, writers, and directors who work extensively in theatre, television and film. Impro company members have worked on four continents and in over twenty countries, and have performed Off-Broadway with the prestigious British group Improbable Theatre, been part of the famed sketch comedy group The Groundlings, and have appeared in award-winning productions at some of California’s top regional theatres, including the Old Globe, A.C.T., and A Noise Within.

Members of the company have played at:

The HBO Comedy Arts Festival, Just For Laughs (Montreal), The Melbourne Fringe and Comedy Festival, The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and Star Trek Conventions. Furthermore, Impro company members have improvised entirely new languages for the immensely popular video game The Sims and have performed motion-capture animation for director Robert Zemeckis. Some members of the ensemble have contributed to the creation of the multi award-winning show Fellowship! The Musical Parody of Fellowship of the Ring while others have walked on stilts with The San Francisco Opera and eaten fire with Penn & Teller in Las Vegas.

Television and film credits include:

Seinfeld, Desperate Housewives, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Castle, Malcolm in the Middle, Reno 911!, CSI, The Practice, Campus Ladies, Judging Amy, How I Met Your Mother, ER, Gilmore Girls, Bones, Mad About You, Californication, Jonas, Greek, My Name Is Earl, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Lie To Me, World Cup Comedy, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Kung Fu Panda, Madagascar 2, Monsters vs. Aliens, Balls Of Fury, and A Mighty Wind.

 

LA SUPPORT impro

Dan O’Connor

As co-founder and Producing Artistic Director of Impro Theatre, Dan has overseen the company’s growth from a successful short form improv troupe to a critically acclaimed, nationally recognized improvisational theatre company. For Impro, he is the director of Chekhov UnScripted and the co-director of Jane Austen UnScripted, Fairytales UnScripted, The Western UnScripted, Shakespeare UnScripted and Sondheim UnScripted. Collectively, these shows have been performed at The Broad Stage, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Laguna Playhouse, North Coast Repertory, Falcon Theatre, Carrie Hamilton Theatre at The Pasadena Playhouse, Lewis Family Playhouse, New Vic Theatre, Odyssey Theatre, Theatre Asylum and Impro Studio, among many others.

Dan’s television directing credits include the critically acclaimed ABC hybrid sitcom Sons and Daughters and Campus Ladies for the Oxygen Network. He was a writer and the improv director for The Wayne Brady Show, and he co-created the NBC television improv comedy show World Cup Comedy, which ran for two seasons on PAX. Television acting credits include Seinfeld, VEGAS, Raising Hope, Campus Ladies, Malcolm in the Middle, The Tonight Show, The Newz, Life Game, Quick Witz, Law & Order: LA and Little Britain USA. Theatre acting credits include the Improbable Theatre’s production of Keith Johnstone’s Life Game (Off-Broadway), and he has appeared in productions with American Conservatory Theatre, A Noise Within, Shakespeare Santa Cruz and Taper, Too.

Dan was an adjunct professor for USC’s BFA program, and he has taught at Duke University, Pepperdine University, UC Santa Barbara, UCLA Extension, and the MBA Program at UT Austin. He has conducted improvisation and creative workshops at Dreamworks, Disney Animation, Cirque du Soleil, and at many other corporations, theatre companies and improvisational theatre festivals around the world.

Dan is also a co-founder of Los Angeles Theatresports and BATS Improv in San Francisco. He is a graduate of the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art in London and a member of SAG-AFTRA, DGA, AEA and WGA. www.danoconnor.net

You can watch Dan’s TED Talk titled “Improvising a Better World” by clicking here.

Kari Coleman

Kari Coleman began improvising with LA Theatresports as a founding member. She was most recently seen reprising her role as Helen Stacy in The Amazing Spiderman 2, starring in the MTV series, Zach Stone is Gonna be Famous and playing Whitney on Switched at Birth. Her recent guest star appearances include Scandal, NCIS LA, Grey’s AnatomyGleeWilfredMajor Crimes and NCIS. She’s played George’s psychotic girlfriend on Seinfeld and an embittered sex-ed teacher on Veronica Mars. She’s also been a fire-eater with Penn & Teller in Las Vegas, debunked paranormal phenomena on syndicated TV and fallen off a mountain in an IMAX 3-D film T-REX.  She is married to fellow actor Kyle Secor and they have two amazing daughters. Twitter: @ItsKariColeman

Lisa Fredrickson

Lisa Fredrickson has been an ensemble member of many Improv companies including Seattle Theatresports, SAK Comedy Lab Orlando, Disney’s Comedy Warehouse, Impro Theatre, and Inflatable Betty. She is the resident improv teacher at California Lutheran University. She was an original cast member of “Fellowship: The musical” in Los Angeles, performed at the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, and performed steadily in “Boo” the improv show at New York, New York Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Her TV credits include “Greek,” “Desperate Housewives,” and “The Tick.” She has been in numerous TV commercials, usually as some sort of uptight mother. She is currently in a masters program studying Spiritual Psychology. She is married to an amazing banjo player and she loves babies…and banjos…and babies who love banjos.

Madi Goff

Madi is an actress, writer, and improviser originally from the Texas hill country. And she is the Associate Director of the Impro Theatre School. Before joining Impro Theatre Main Company in January 2017, Madi was a guest artist in Dickens UnScripted, Jane Austen UnScripted, Horror UnScripted, and Fairytales UnScripted as well as a student in the Impro LAB. At Impro Studio, she has performed in a number of shows including Nancy Drew UnSolved, Home for the HolidaysStranger Suggestions, and LA Theatresports. She directed Game of Falls and performs with Ripley, a weekly guest on the Impro Studio stage. Madi has also been the technical improviser (lights and sound) for every style that is in the Impro Theatre repertoire. She has helped to redefine and expand what it is to improvise the production aspects of a completely unscripted performance by live calling the shows, technically improvising right along with the performers.

Kelly Holden Bashar

Kelly’s credits include playing Martin Freeman’s wife in the Emmy and Golden Globe winning Fargo on FX. She has also appeared on Dog with a Blog, Parks and Recreation, Gilmore Girls, and 2 Broke Girls. She co-starred with Rita Rudner in the film Thanks and can be seen in numerous commercials. Kelly is also a writer and one of the credits she is most proud of is being the co-writer of (and portraying ‘Pippin’ in), the critically acclaimed play Fellowship! The Musical Parody of “The Fellowship of the Ring”. Kelly is a proud member of the Impro School faculty.

Brian Michael Jones

Brian Michael Jones is from North Little Rock, AR and getting to play in all the various genre styles with this company has been a joy for him since joining in 2004.  He can be seen as “Chad” on Disney XD’s A Gamer’s Guide to Pretty Much Everything. His most recent film appearance was a lovesick sailor, dancing inHail Caesar!  His past TV/Film credits include Grey’s Anatomy, WilfredCastle, Community, Bones, and NCIS: LA. His puppeteering and voice over work with the Jim Henson Company includes Unstable Fables and the improvised puppet show Puppet Up!  His work with The Muppets includes the film Muppets: Most Wanted and The Muppets on ABC.  He also teaches improv with LA Theatresports and the Pepperdine Improv Troupe. His additional theatre work includes Frodo in Fellowship! The Musical, The Diviners, King Lear, Romeo and Juliet, Much Ado about Nothing, Oliver, West Side Story, 42nd Street, and Boys Next Door. 

Stephen Kearin

STEPHEN KEARIN began his career with Bay Area Theatresports in San Francisco, where he was a company member for 14 years. He was a founding member of both Improv Theatre and True Fiction Magazine. Stephen is a current and founding member of 3 FOR ALL. His stage appearances inlcude the stilt-walking Iago in San Francisco Opera’s Otello, as Sally-Sue Weber in A Weber Family Christmas and he originated the role of Blaine Bustier in An Evening With Dirk & Blaine.  Stephen is the co-creator of “Simlish” and was the principal male voice of The Sims, Sims 2.0 and Sims Medieval. He created the Martian languages for Disney’s Mars Needs Moms. He is featured in the DreamWorks Animation films Kung Fu Panda, Kung Fu Panda 2, Madagascar 2&3, Monsters Vs. Aliens and Megamind. Stephen is a visiting instructor at Stanford University and Cirque Du Soleil

Lauren Rose Lewis

Lauren Rose Lewis started working with Impro Theatre in 2006, performing in Theatresports shows.  In 2008, she was asked to join as a guest artist for the very first run of Jane Austen UnScripted, and has been performing with Impro ever since, officially joining as a company member in 2010.  Lauren can be seen on both small and large screens this summer: first in a Supporting Lead for PixL’s original TV movie Sisters of the Groom, and secondly in the ‘thriller’ film Unforgettable, starring Katherine Heigl and Rosario Dawson.  Later in the fall, Lauren co-stars on John Ridley’s ABC pilot Presence.  In addition to starring in the indie film First Period (set in the ‘80s, huge hair and all!), she has appeared on numerous television shows, including guest starring on Showtime’s Dexter and Nickelodeon’s iCarly.  Other television credits include: Friends with Better Lives, Hit the Floor, Melissa and JoeyCSI:NYEntourageNCIS, Two and a Half MenRules of EngagementUgly BettyDays of Our Lives, the Hallmark Channel’s movie A Kiss At Midnight, and the FOX pilot Inside Jokes.  Lauren has also performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, starring in David Mamet’s The Water Engine, and John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath.

Brian Lohmann

For Impro, Brian has directed L.A. Noir UnScripted (Oregon Shakespeare Festival), Tennessee Williams UnScripted (Odyssey Theater/South Coast Rep), Dickens UnScripted (Broad Stage) and Shakespeare UnScripted. He appeared Off-Broadway in Lifegame, and hosted eight episodes of the television version. Other TV and film appearances include Jack, Thanks, He Was a Quiet Man, The Bunglers, Ask Rita and World Cup Comedy. Stage credits include ACT, The Old Globe, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Laguna Playhouse and The Magic Theater. Brian taught for the American Conservatory Theatre’s MFA program, Stanford, Pepperdine, The Guthrie Theatre, The Public Theater’s Shakespeare Lab, The Old Globe/USD, Oregon Shakespeare Festival and The Huntington Shakespeare Lab. Awards include Garland, Drama-Logue, and StageScene LA.

Nick Massouh

Nick is an actor, improviser, and sketch comedian. He is a founding company member with Impro Theatre and is head of The Impro Theatre School. Nick is also a member of the sketch comedy troupe Summer of Tears who won the award for best sketch at the HBO US Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen and filmed a sitcom pilot for Warner Brothers. He has appeared in film and television including the Oscar winning West Bank Story, Intelligence, NCIS:LA, Super Fun Night, Private Practice, ER, Bones, Californication, Without A Trace, and Dark Blue.  Nick has performed on stage at South Coast Rep, The Broad, The Falcon, and originated the role of  Tommy Marsico in Rita Rudner’s Tickled Pink at The Laguna Playhouse.  Nick is a resident of Los Angeles and has a BFA degree in acting from the University of Southern California.  Nick is also a life coach and employs the principles of improv in helping his clients take action towards more peaceful and productive lives.  He has also coached for over 5 years in the mental wellness industry and currently teaches improv as a method for healing.

Jo McGinley

Jo has been directing unscripted theatre since 1996. Passionate about a playwright, writer or film style, diving into their world, and having the great fortune of working with the most talented improvisers/actors around is what keeps Jo inspired about live theater. She co-directed Twilight Zone UnScripted at The Falcon Theatre, The Pasadena Playhouse (Carrie Hamilton Theatre) and The Odyssey Theatre. Other unscripted genres that Jo has directed in San Francisco and Los Angeles, are Mid-Century American Drama (Inge & Williams), Passion Noir, Soap Opera, Romantic Comedy, Buddy Cop, John Hughes, American Biography, Quirky English Comedy, ABC Afterschool Special, and more. Jo directed Dorothy Parker’s Laments of the Living up in San Francisco, and is currently collaborating with Impro Theatre Company Member Paul Rogan on Dorothy Parker UnScripted.

Mike McShane

Mike McShane was one of the regular cast members of “Whose Line is it Anyway” and has performed and taught improvisation for Pixar, Savannah College of Art and Design and many workshops in the United Kingdom. He is a semi-regular with The Comedy Store Players in London, and has performed on Broadway and the West End in London in “La Cage Aux Folles”, “Little Shop of Horrors”, “The Pocket Dream” and “One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest”, and recently as Louis B. Mayer in the world premiere of “The Tailor Made Man” on the West End.

He was a company member of The American Conservatory Theatre and The California Shakespeare Festival, and has been seen on television in “Seinfeld”, “ER” “Malcolm in the Middle” and “The Drew Carey Show”, as well as many other sitcoms and episodics in the U.S. In the U.K. He has guest starred as the evil Julius Grayle in “Doctor Who” and was a guest star in the pilot of “Bluestone 4-2.”

In film, he portrayed “Friar Tuck” in “Robin Hood” with Kevin Costner,as Professor Keenbean he mentored Macaulay Culkin in “Richie Rich” ; as Harold Vilmes judged Kirsten Dunst in “Drop Dead Gorgeous”, and died a hypnotic death in “Office Space”.

You can hear Mikes’ voice in “A Bug’s Life”, “Vampire Hunter D”, “Spawn- The TV series”, “King of the Hill” and many other animated films.
Along with Brian Lohmann, he devised “Pulp Playhouse” using long form improvisation with genre based styles. He also devised “Shakov” with Impro Theatre, using a single suggestion with Shakespeare and Chekov as a starting point.

He is delighted to be with Impro Theatre, and thanks you in advance for coming to see us.

Edi Patterson

Edi plays Jen Abbott on VICE PRINCIPALS on HBO. (Season 2 out later this year.) Other credits include BLACK-ISH (recurring), FX’s PARTNERS (series regular), CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM, BAJILLION DOLLAR PROPERTIES, THE LEAGUE, TWO BROKE GIRLS, WEEDS, CALIFORNICATION, indie horror comedy YOU’RE KILLING ME, guest writing for SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE, and doing voices for WE BARE BEARS and THE MIKE TYSON MYSTERIES. 

Edi is also a member of the Main Company at THE GROUNDLINGS and performs there regularly in the Main Company sketch show, every Thursday in the Cookin’ With Gas improv show, with improv duo MITCH AND EDI MAKING LOVE, and in the improvised one-person show- ONE!

Instagram: @edipattersonhi
Twitter: @edipattersonhi

Mike Rock

Mike Rock is a Wisconsin native who worked as a guest artist with Impro Theatre for over 5 years before becoming a main company member in January 2017. Most recently he was featured in the 1966 Holiday Variety Extravaganza at the Broad Stage. He has also guested in Chekhov UnScripted, Twilight Zone UnScripted, The Western UnScripted, Shakespeare UnScripted and Jane Austen UnScripted, Horror UnScripted, Dorothy Parker UnScripted, as well as performed in a number of Impro Studio shows including Campfire Stories, Nancy Drew UnSolved, Home for the Holidays, Micetro, and LA Theatresports. Mike’s extensive background includes being the former Artistic Director of Madison Wisconsin Theatre Sports and co-founded the comedy group The Bert Fershners. His TV credits include Black-ish, The Goldbergs, Modern Family, Chelsea Lately, After Lately, The Mentalist, Monk, Conan O’Brien and a bunch of commercials.

Paul Rogan

Originally from London, Paul worked with all of the UK’s major improv groups, including the Comedy Store Players (as an associate member), with “Eddie Izzard and Friends” at the Ambassadors Theatre, and in the improvising double act “The Sean Connery Brotherhood” with Patrick Marber. He has represented England at the Montreal Just For Laughs Festival three times, and internationally. He joined Impro Theatre to co-produce, co-direct and perform in “Jane Austen UnScripted,” and has since appeared in their Shakespeare, Dickens and Tennessee Williams. He has also worked in LA with Off The Wall and LA Connection. Film and TV work includes “My Name is Earl,” “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” “Sleeper Cell,” “Cory in the House,” “20 Good Years,” “Miss March,” “Thunderpants,” and “A Knight in Camelot.” Theatre work in the UK includes George in “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf,” the Emcee in “Cabaret,” and Malvolio in “Twelfth Night,” and in “LA Bill W and Dr Bob” and “A Christmas Carol” at Theatre 68. As a stand-up comedian, Paul has played the Improv in Hollywood, and in the UK he performed regularly at the Comedy Store, the Improv, the Jongleurs chain, as well as touring in Europe and on radio and TV. His show “How to be the Perfect Couple” was a hit at the Edinburgh Festival, and had a sell out run in the US.

Ryan Smith

Ryan Smith joined the company early 2015 after several years as a guest performer. Other UnScripteds he’s been in include Shakespeare, Sondheim, Dickens, Western, and Horror, which he also co-directed in October. He is a co-author and a performer in the multiple award-winning stage show Fellowship! The Musical Parody of “The Fellowship of the Ring.” Prior to that, Ryan was a writer/producer for MADtv on Fox. His sketches from that show have accumulated a combined 1.7 gagillion hits on YouTube (rough estimate). When he is not working in commercials or voiceovers, he really, REALLY likes hanging out with his girlfriend fiancée wife Snow (that is her real name) and their three insanely cute dogs, Buzby, Charlie and Oliver.

Michele Spears

Michele Spears was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky. She studied acting at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and now lives in Los Angeles. As an improviser she’s worked with Impro Theatre , Inflatable Betty, Disney’s Laughing Stock Co., Disney’s Troupe Du Jour, Acme Unplugged, and Pulp Playhouse. She’s performed at improv festivals across the country as well as the International “Improvistal” in Paris. Recent acting credits include “Malcolm In The Middle,””World Cup Comedy,” “Mystery Woman: In the Shadows,” and the award winning indie film, “Self Storage.” On stage she has performed in National and European touring companies, Off-Broadway and in regional theater across the country. She is also an award winning director/choreographer and just returned from Scotland where she directed an all improvised Sondheim musical at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Floyd VanBuskirk

Floyd started acting professionally in the 80s and worked on almost every stage in Seattle and Tacoma, including The Seattle Rep under the direction of Daniel Sullivan. He co-founded Seattle Theatresports/Unexpected Productions and was its first Artistic Director in 1983. He moved to Los Angeles in 1994 and joined LA Theatresports, where he was the Education Director from 2000 to 2002 and Artistic Director from 2002 to 2004 when the company’s name was changed to Impro Theatre. Some TV credits: Reno 911, Las Vegas, NCIS, How I Met Your MotherCurb Your Enthusiasm, Rules Of Engagement, The Middle, Hart Of Dixie and Family Guy. Films include: Reno 911/Miami, Balls Of Fury, A Mighty Wind and The Bunglers. He works extensively in voiceover and is a singer-songwriter with the band, CATAHOULA.