BBIF 2007 HISTORICAL RECORD

BBIF 2007

BBIF 2007: SHOWS

WED 9/19 8:00PM
Let’s Try This! – GA Tech
Armed Farces – GCSU
This, That and the Other – Shorter College
THU 9/20 8:00PM
Best Blind Date Ever – Charleston
Gorgeous Ladies Of Comedy – Atlanta
Free Kittens – Atlanta
Laughing Matters – Atlanta
FRI 9/21 8:00PM
Charlotte Comedy Theatre – Charlotte
Einstein meets Elvis – Atlanta
3 for All – San Francisco
FRI 9/21 10:00PM
Red Letters – Clemson
Babies Mit Bearden – Atlanta
The Josh and Tamra Show – NYC
SAT 9/22 8:00PM
Theatre Strike Force – University of FL
The Robert Lowe Experience – Atlanta
The Josh and Tamra Show – NYC
SAT 9/22 10:00PM
Drum Machine – Minneapolis
Relapse – Atlanta
3 for All – San Francisco
SUN 9/23 8:00PM
Diversionary Tactics – Atlanta
Cajones – Caraboro
Troupe 93 – Nashville
Dad’s Garage – Atlanta

BBIF 2007: WORKSHOPS

FRI 9/21 1:00PM-4:00PM
WORKSHOP 1: IMPROV DIAGNOSTICS

INSTRUCTOR: Asaf Ronen
    Professional improv instruction where you decide the commitment and the price. Great for beginners who want to develop new skills and for professionals who want to keep fresh. Find out what your strengths are and where you could explore further. Learn what your patterns are and how to break them through personalized challenges. Maximized stage time guaranteed. Working scene after scene allows the most individual growth possible.

WORKSHOP 2: RELATIONSHIP COMPONENTS

INSTRUCTOR: Greg Tavares
    You hear it during every rehearsal. Improv scenes are “about the relationship.” But what is a relationship? Greg breaks the relationship between characters into 4 components (emotional response, physicality, history & status). Exercises taught during the class help students make offers based on relationship components.

WORKSHOP 3: IMPROV AS AN ART FORM

INSTRUCTOR: Bob Wood
    The philosophy behind this workshop is basic – Improv is only an art form if getting out of bed is an art form… and it is.

SAT 9/22 10:00AM-12:00PM
WORKSHOP 1: UBER-AGREEMENT

INSTRUCTOR: Jen Caldwell
    This technique is one that Jen has become know for teaching: it’s also been coined “Jen-Zen”. All about making your partner look great and vice-versa, this workshop pushes improvisers to explore character relationships on a deeper level. Steering away from arguing and immediate conflict, Jen shows players a fun and supportive way of thinking that will take your improv to a new level. This workshop is great for those starting out in long-form improv or for any improviser (long or short-form) looking to discover a new technique to put in their arsenal.

WORKSHOP 2: THE FIRST TWO LINES

INSTRUCTOR: John Sexton
    Occasionally a scene comes along that seems to play itself right from the beginning. How can we make this happen more often?Rich, rewarding scenes occur when small offers at the top of a scene—often those made unconsciously—are noticed and explored.This workshop shows you how to pick up on those tiny offers and turn them into the core of a fun, engaging scene that has a life of its own.

WORKSHOP 3: ATTACKING THE SCENE

INSTRUCTOR: Bryan Buckley
    Tired of walking out into scenes that start with, “hey, how ya doing?” If so, attacking the scene is for you. Step out with the confidence that you have something to work with.

WORKSHOP 4: HENERY LONGFORM

INSTRUCTOR: Alyssa Mander
    Learn how to bring an entire town to life. The Henry Long Form focuses on one made-up town and the people in it. Connect different locations with real meaning, real relationships, and real juicy rumors!

SAT 9/22 1:45AM-3:45PM
WORKSHOP 1: IMPROV SINGING BASICS

INSTRUCTOR: Tommy Futch
    Learn the best approach to musical improv with one of the finest musical improvisers in American improv today, Joel Abbot. He will show you different styles and ways to work with the musician, while Laughing Matters Tommy Futch helps you think outside the box when looking for rhymes, rhyme scheme and brainstorming.

WORKSHOP 2: TRUTH IN FICTION

INSTRUCTOR: Amber Nash
    Everything that we do on stage as improvisers comes from who we are, the experiences we’ve had and the things we’ve seen. This workshop will focus on using your truth as a person on stage, in storytelling and scene work.

WORKSHOP 3: FAR OUT

INSTRUCTOR: Robert Lowe
    How far do you think you are willing to extend the Improv envelope? Come to this workshop and find out for sure.

WORKSHOP 4: EXTENDED MONOLGUES/REALITY FORMAT

INSTRUCTOR: Greg Kinsey
    A workshop to focus on what some improvisers dread — monologues. Using a technique known as “buzzwords,” we will learn how to continue the monologue, even when we run out of things to say. This technique can be used in forms such as mockumentaries and can help you use things previously said as suggestions within the same monologue. This workshop is intended for intermediate to expert-level improvisers.

WORKSHOP 5: THE ESSENTIALS

INSTRUCTOR: Matthew Arisheh
    Never have a bad scene again. This workshop breaks down all the improv static to focus on what each actor needs in order make every scene an awesome scene.

SAT 9/22 4:00PM-6:00PM
WORKSHOP 1: SOLO IMPROV

INSTRUCTOR: Jill Bernard
    There are no “schools” of improv – we are each our own school, which means your solo piece is the ultimate expression of that school. Work with Jill to practice the skills that are universal to most solo pieces – character snapping, stage pictures, and aggressive choices – and also tease out what will make your solo piece unique.

WORKSHOP 2: THE SPACE OBJECT

INSTRUCTOR: Steven Kearin
    “What are you wearing?” is a provocative question, both onstage and off. Explore the fundamentals of space object work and learn to access the ‘hidden dimension’ of improvisation.

WORKSHOP 3: TRANSITIONS

INSTRUCTOR: Tim Orr
    Transitions, both within and between scenes, are one of the truly magical aspects of long-form improvisation. In this class, you will learn how to move from one scene to another through both space and time in a variety of ways.

WORKSHOP 4: ACTING IN LONGFORM

INSTRUCTOR: Rafe Chase
    What makes an audience care what happens to a character? Explore how playing for real and connecting with your fellow improviser can create a dynamic and exciting longform.

WORKSHOP 5: PHYSICAL IMPROV

INSTRUCTOR: Asaf Ronen
    Incorporate elements of clowning, mime, and environmental work and apply them to improvisation. Students will discover new characters, different approaches to creating a relationship onstage, and tools to add variety to their scene work. Minimize the reliance on dialogue and learn how to communicate through physical nuance.

SUN 9/23 12:00PM
WORKSHOP 1: LONG-FORM IMPROV, CHARACTER DEVELOPING, AND PUPPET MANIPULATION (4hr)

    Learn to develop characters using the art of long-form improvisation. Part one will focus on character development and combining human/puppet interaction in long-form improv scene work. In the second half, learn proper stage puppetry techniques and perform with your puppet to an audience using the famous Henson Muppet style of manipulation.

WORKSHOP 2: MASTER THE SCENE (3 hr)

INSTRUCTOR: Zach Ward
    Learn to disregard the limitations of reality. You will realize the moment you step on stage you have started a process that does not want to be stopped, and amazing moves in the improv world will always be possible if you have the courage to make them. Simplify relationships and attack the game; learn how to Master the Scene; you will have more fun after you start to improvise Dirty South-style.

BBIF 2007: PERFORMANCE GROUPS

Amerika
3 FOR ALL

One of the San Francisco Bay Area’s hottest improv ensembles, 3 FOR ALL, brings its own inimitable brand of high-stakes improvisation to the Black Box Improv Festival. Critically acclaimed improvisers Rafe Chase, Stephen Kearin and Tim Orr create a unique blend of intensely dramatic and outrageously funny, completely improvised scenes based on audience suggestions. Don’t miss the improv group that critics call “BRILLIANT… HILARIOUS… A MUST SEE!”…and “KILLER!” “San Francisco’s finest long-form improv troupe…single-handedly restored my faith in improv comedy. DON’T MISS!” – TIMEOUT NEW YORK

ARMED FARCES

The Armed Farces are a collection of GCSU students sharing both an interest in the creativity of improvisation, and a feverish desire to cure small-town boredom. Now in their 3rd year at Georgia College, the Farces are still going strong. In addition to weekly free performances to a packed downtown audience, the Armed Farces have also begun acting as their own production company, selecting The Complete Works of William Shakespeare as their inaugural play. All that they ask? That Milledgeville doesn’t find anything else better to do.

Armed Farces

Babies Mit Bearden
BABIES MIT BEARDEN

In the latter part of the last century, four babies were born with beards. By a series of fateful events, they came together to form one of the most intriguing and important improv groups in our time. Inspired by Schadenfreude, BmB extracts the essence of comedy from tragedy, dishes out samples to the audience in real time, and sells it in bottles after the show (side effects of essence include pee’d pants and overflexed facial contortions).

BEST BLAND DATE EVER

This two person long form improv show features Atlanta’s own Amber Nash and Greg Tavares (Cofounder of Theatre 99, Charleston, SC). At some point in the show there will be a blind date scene. Amber and Greg improvise from the heart and create realistic, relationship based scenes and oh yeah — they have never done this show before. So the show is kinda like a blind date for the audience.

Best Blind Date Ever

Cajones
CAJONES

Jeremy Griffin and Zach Ward are veterans of the comedy festival scene and celebrated improv teachers from DSI Comedy Theater. They have partnered as Cajones, performing a hilarious show that’s completely improvised for audiences across the country. You will laugh out loud at the absurd characters created by these two characters. You might cry, and some girls might pee a little (was that too far?). You need to see Cajones. Yeah, You.

CHARLOTTE COMEDY THEATRE

The Charlotte Comedy Theater is a grass roots organization made of up of Charlotte’s most notorius improvisers. Founded and directed by an 13 year chicago improv veteran, this group is skilled in all improv forms. They perform both long and short form improv as well as having developed their own versions of both. This group of incredibly committed performers has taken Extreme Improv from a back room improv group to a top level improvisational Comedy Theater. Their hard work, enthusiasm and love for the art form is present in every show they do.

Charlotte Comedy

Dad's Garage
DAD’S GARAGE

Dad’s Garage is a casual theatre in Atlanta where you can get a drink, sit with your friends, and watch award-winning Comedy Improv and never-before-seen plays. Theatre in America is often thought of as elitist and Dad’s Garage is a perfect example of artists working to change that label. We do the kind of theatre we would want to see. Our improv shows are made up on the spot, our mainstage shows are all innovative and original, and our children’s show is the only one of its kind being done. When we’re on stage, there are few boundaries and hardly any rules. We believe in taking chances. The riskier, the better.

DIVERSIONARY TACTICS

4 long time friends and equal time improvers have banded together to bring you a comedy experience that you’ll have a hard time forgetting, no matter how you try. Dabbling in sketch comedy, slowly perfecting the art of the improvised serial, occaisonally known for orchestrating public pranks, and the self proclaimed masters of so called “Medium Form,” Diversionary Tactics is more than an improv group, and even more than a comedy troupe.

Diversionary Tactics

Drum Machine
DRUM MACHINE

Drum Machine is a one-person unscripted structure featuring scenes, monologues and songs accompanied by the mad beats of the Zoom-Rhythmtrak 123 which Bernard calls, “Nature’s finest drum machine.” Typically the show opens with an improvised sing-along, and then explores a historical period suggested by the audience. From a punk persona launch pad, Bernard switches back and forth between characters with stunning virtuosity.

EINSTIEN MEETS ELVIS

Einstein meets Elvis is ROCKET FUELED improv. This award-winning, powerhouse JaCKPie touring team brings together an all-star cast to rock your socks off! (EmE not responsible for lost socks.) What do you get when Einstein meets Elvis? A team that consists of career opposites in a builder of motorcycles, an actor/musician, a computer nerd, a master of all props, a lawyer, a banker and a filmmaker. EmE features: Mike Brune, Jen Caldwell, Damian Dunn, Jim Karwisch, Brad Kloth, Chris Nik and Kasey Libby. Together these minds create a show that just cannot be missed. Einstein meets Elvis: experiments in the rock and roll and science of Long-Form Improvisation.

Einstein meets Elvis

Free Kittens
FREE KITTENS

A ragtag group of professional actors, filmmakers, musicians, puppeteers and writers, Free Kittens! is a long-form improv troupe at the JaCKPie Theatre Workshop, trained under Jim Karwisch and coached by Jen Caldwell.

GORGEOUS LADIES OF COMEDY

Let us show you what’s so fun about being female! That’s right, Atlanta’s only all-female comedy troupe is bringing you their own brand of irreverent improv. Women of wit, jezebels of jokes, harlots of humor – whatever you want to call us, we’re GLOC. Our inspiration was a chance meeting at the Funny Women’s Fest in Chicago. In Atlanta, we were located only miles apart, however it took a trip to Chicago to see how close we really were. We’ll show you that sisterhood is beautiful, sisterhood is powerful, but most of all, it’s funny!

Gorgeous Ladies of Comedy

Josh and Tamra
THE JOSH AND TAMRA SHOW

The Josh and Tamra Show is New York City’s only puppet improv comedy duo. Starring Josh Cohen, Tamra Malaga, and a cast of amazing puppets. Each show begins with a one-word suggestion. Josh and Tamra then proceed to create a feature length improv show that interweaves different scenes and characters and puppets together. The Josh and Tamra Show may contain adult situations and language.

LAUGHING MATTERS

Laughing Matters is Atlanta’s longest running improvisational comedy troupe. We’ve performed for thousands of groups since 1985 and have been voted Atlanta’s best improv troupe by Atlanta Magazine! Let us get you involved in a great time! Laughing Matters is also the leading provider of interactive corporate entertainment on the East Coast!Troupe members and alumni regularly perform on stage and screen! Laughing Matters has also developed programs that have been used in product launches, national team building exercises, and award presentations. Whether you want to come see one of our public improv shows, book a private murder mystery, or help your organization communicate more effectively, Laughing Matters is your turn key solution!

Laughing Matters

Let's Try This!
LET’S TRY THIS!

Let’s Try This! is the offical theatre improv troupe of DramaTech. The troupe was formed in the summer of 1989, inspired by workshops taught by Robert Lowe, who has remained a constant source of help and inspiration to us. As our name suggests we will try many things, from games to short scenes to long-form to that-in-the-world-was-that? We have many directors with different styles amougst ourselves making our shows quite diverse, however we all share a common belief in being in the moment and making our partners perfect.

RED LETTERS

Red Letters is a subgroup of Mock Turtle Soup at Clemson University. Bryan Buckley and Alyssa Mander formed Red Letters to experiment more in the realm of two man improv. They’ve been doing improv together for more than two years now. Of all the long forms out there, the Bruise is their favorite–and the one they will perform at BBIF 2007. To get ready for a show, the two love to dance, rap battle, and chug Dr. Peppers.

Red Letters

Relapse
RELPASE

Relapse Theatre was born out of a dream, then grew into classes, and is now a monster that will kill you all!!! As Promised! Relapse Theatre is growing by leaps and bounds. Starting from a solid foundation (aka the bottom), Artistic Director Bob Wood deflates the imposing “Rules” of comedy. A devolution from the whole world of judgment. Relapse is a harbor of welcome for every artistic expression: art, sketch comedy, improv, scripted works, storytelling, music, stand up, two guys sittin around… Be here or be nowhere.

THE ROBERT LOWE EXPERIENCE

Red Letters is a subgroup of Mock Turtle Soup at Clemson University. Bryan Buckley and Alyssa Mander formed Red Letters to experiment more in the realm of two man improv. They’ve been doing improv together for more than two years now. Of all the long forms out there, the Bruise is their favorite–and the one they will perform at BBIF 2007. To get ready for a show, the two love to dance, rap battle, and chug Dr. Peppers.

The Robert Lowe Show

Theatre Strike Force
THEATRE STRIKE FORCE

As the flagship troupe of TSF, the Sunday Group has been improvising at UF for over 10 years. Usually a group of 8 to 9, Sunday Group players practice improvisation scenes, with a focus on relationships and characters. Primarily, the Sunday Group works with extended forms such as the Harold, the Mammet, or Six Degrees. Directed by Skyler Stone, the Sunday Group also travels to improv festivals such as the Dirty South Improv Festival in North Carolina, the New Orleans Improv Festival and the Miami Improv Festival.

THIS, THAT, AND THE OTHER

This, That, and The Other is an improv group based out of Shorter College in Rome Georgia. We are a student organized troupe that is made up of students of different majors and class levels. The purpose of our troupe is to further our education in theatre while having a good time. We would like to thank all of our patrons at Shorter for continually supporting us as we continue to grow.

This, That and the Other

Improv Nasville
TROUPE 93

Formed in 2006, Troupe 93 has performed as ImprovNashville’s short form and game troupe for over a year. It’s members, who have been brought up through the ImprovNashville Comedy College, bring together their diverse talents and backgrounds into one emsemble. Alumni of Troupe 93 have gone on study improv in Chicago and New York.

BBIF 2007: INSTRUCTORS

Matthew Arisheh

MATTHEW ARISHEH
WORKSHOP: The Essentials

Matthew Arisheh is the founder and executive producer of the Black Box Improv Festival. He started doing improv in 2001 and has worked with many improv groups in and out of the Atlanta area, including serving as Production Manager of Let’s Try This! and Business Director of the Basement Theatre. He taught the Newbie Workshops for incoming freshman at GA Tech in the Fall of 2005 and 2006 and lead the Crawl Space workshops at the Basement Theatre in the Spring of 2007. He is a veteran of the Dirty South Improv Festival, Out of Bounds Improv Festival, and Miami Improv Festival and performed at the Basement Theatre weekly for three years prior to his recent departure.

Jill Bernard

JILL BENARD
WORKSHOP: Solo Improv

Jill Bernard has been performing with ComedySportz-Twin Cities since 1993. Her solo improv, Drum Machine, has been featured at the Chicago Improv Festival, the Toronto Improv Jamboree, and the Philadelphia Improv Festival, among others. She has taught improv in over twenty states and two Canadian provinces, and on an episode of MTV “Made.” She is the recipient of the 2005 Chicago Improv Festival Avery Schreiber Ambassador of Improv Award.

Bryan Buckley

BRYAN BUCKLEY

Bryan Buckley is a graduate student studying economics at Clemson University. In 2002, he co-founded Mock Turtle Soup. As a member of Mock Turtle Soup, he has traveled to Atlanta, Charleston, Chapel Hill and Chicago on several occasions to study and perform improv. He has written and performed with the sketch comedy group Ask Your Doctor. He has also written many articles for the spoof news site The Almond. He hopes one day to move to Chicago and pursue improv there after graduation.

Jen Caldwell

JEN CALDWELL
WORKSHOP: Uber-Agreement

Jen Caldwell is currently a member of the JaCKPie touring team Einstein meets Elvis and House Team Amerika and coaches JaCKPie’s newest Harold team: Free Kittens. Previous Atlanta Improv and sketch credits include the Comedy Response Unit, Gorgeous Ladies of Comedy, and numerous shows with Dad’s Garage. She has trained with the Comedy Response Unit, Improv Olympic, UCB, JaCKPie and now teaches Improv throughout the Southeast. Jen was recently appointed to the Executive Committee of the Southeastern Comedy Arts Alliance that will hold it’s second annual Southeastern Comedy Arts Festival in September. Atlanta Theatre credits include Debbie Does Dallas: The Musical, The Computer Wore Flat-Soled Pumas, Kobe Bryant: The Totally Unauthorized Autobiography, Bad Habits: Rock, Paper, Scissors, Private Lives, Bedroom Farce and thousands of other shows. She can also be seen in Films and on TV, most recently on Tyler Perry’s House of Payne as Kim Chin. She is the front (! wo) man, writer and guitar/bass player for the band Anna NicoleMiner’s Daughter . She is now a rapper. That’s right, a rapper. Check out her myspace for more on that. Jen holds a BFA degree in Theatre (with and emphasis in Television, Radio and Film) from Valdosta State University. In a former life, she was a Sports reporter and Radio DJ and subsists on a steady diet of coffee and comedy.

Rafe Chase

RAFE CHASE

In 1999, Josh became a Muppeteer when he was asked to join the Jim Henson Company. That same year, Josh and Tamra met while performing at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in New York City. They both received training from Chicago improv Luminaries Charna Halpern and Miles Stroth, as well as original members of the UCB: Ian Robers, Matt Walsh, and SNL’s Amy Pohler. Josh and Tamra have performed in several productions at the UCB Theatre, most notably, they are proud alumni of the UCB’s house Harold Teams, Team C.H.U.D., The Joe Ross Tribe, and My Kickass Van. Both Josh and Tamra are also frequent performers on NBC’s Late Night with Conan O’Brien. In 2001, Josh and Tamra opened a theatre devoted to improv, stand-up and sketch comedy called Freaks Local 413 Storefront Theatre, in Hell’s Kitchen NYC. The Josh and Tamra Show was created during experimental evenings at their comedy theatre. In 2006, The Josh and Tamra Show launched a website that includes short films, and on-line sitcoms featuring the cast. They are currently working on a pilot episode of their sitcom, “Apt 413″ and can currently be seen as on air personalities for AOL.com new broadband music channel www.DL.aol.com.

Josh Cohen/Tamra Malaga

JOSH COHEN/TAMRA MALAGA

Rafe Chase did not know that “improviser” was a career option while growing up in Oakland, California, yet he intuitively spent an inordinate amount of time pretending. It paid off. Within a few months of taking his first improv class in 1978, he was asked to join the San Francisco group, Flash Family. Since that time Rafe has been a consistent and innovative presence on the improv scene as a member and, in many cases, the director of the groups Riot Squad, BATS Improv, Pulp Playhouse, Improv Theater and True Fiction Magazine. He has taught improv both privately and at various institutions including the American Conservatory Theater and Stanford University. Rafe is also a photographer, a writer and an aficionado of American show business history.

Tommy Futch

TOMMY FUTCH

Tommy Futch is the President of Laughing Matters, an interactive entertainment company. In addition to improvisational comedy, Laughing Matters’ repertoire includes team-building, murder mysteries, game shows, scavenger hunts and school performances. Tommy’s life changed dramatically in 1971 when he was injured in a car collision near Adel, Georgia. Futch was paralyzed from the waist down. Everything he knew about life was altered or no longer applied. For the next 10 years, he dabbled in school, work and self-fulfillment. In 1985, Futch took a comedy course and discovered his passion—improv comedy. He and a dozen partners soon formed Laughing Matters, an improv comedy troupe. As years passed and partners moved on, Futch became President and expanded the company’s mission. Tommy has worked alongside and coached Mitch Rouse, a Laughing Matters member from 1987 to 1991, who helped write the comedy film Without a Paddle, Joe Kelly, who begins his first full season as a writer for Saturday Night Live. And Gary Anthony Williams who is part of the cast of Jeff Foxworthy’s surprise summer hit Blue Collar TV. Laughing Matters owner and executive producer Tommy Futch says he feels like a proud papa: “I can’t make you famous, but you can use me as a steppingstone.” For Kelly, who worked with Laughing Matters from 1993 to 1998, the troupe taught him “clean” humor. “I learned to be funny, as opposed to shocking,” he said. Kelly worked on three episodes at the end of last year’s SNL and got three of his skits in: a tattoo removal commercial parody, a hilarious Harry Potter takeoff where Lindsay Lohan played a suddenly buxom Hermione and a rap scene with Snoop Dogg. On any given day, you can find Tommy selling, performing and producing at corporate events throughout the South.

Steven Kearin

STEVEN KEARIN

Stephen Kearin was a founding member of Improv Theatre and True Fiction Magazine, and has performed with BATS Improv since 1987. He has appeared in many local productions, including the stilt-walking Iago in San Francisco Opera’s Otello. He originated the role of Blaine Bustier in An Evening With Dirk & Blaine. Stephen can be heard as the lead male character in the popular computer game, The Sims. Stephen played the sideline reporter, Steve Kearin, in the improvised TV series, World Cup Comedy, produced by Kelsey Grammer.

Greg Kinsey

GREG KINSEY

Greg Kinsey is the artistic director of the Black Box Improv Festival and a member of Let’s Try This!. He was leader of LTT! for two years and has performed with troupes throughout Atlanta. He specializes in technology and free-form based improv.

Robert Lowe

ROBERT LOWE
WORKSHOP: Far Out

Robert Lowe is the author of Improvisation, Inc.: Harnessing Spontaneity to Engage People and Groups, (Jossey-Bass Pfeiffer, 2000). This book is the pioneering work in the use of Improvisational Theatre techniques for organizational development and business and professional communication. Robert is known as the Grandfather (sometimes the Godfather) of Improvisational Comedy in Atlanta having founded “The Lightside City Players” in 1983, “Comedy Atlanta” in 1985, and “The Next City Comedy Theatre” in 1988. In 1989 Robert had a significant influence in the founding of Georgia Tech’s “Let’s Try This” Improv Comedy movement. For nearly 20 years he has brought Improv technique, fun, and exploration to business and organizations of every size and form. His work is known in more than 20 countries, and it has been noted that either Robert, or his students, and now students of his students, have had an influence on almost every venue of Improv comedy in the Atlanta region. Mr. Lowe’s public Improv Comedy Workshops have provided the inspiration and the formula for programs that have placed hundreds of non-performers on live Improv stages throughout the region.

Amber Nash

AMBER NASH

Amber Nash has been performing with Laughing Matters for nearly ten years. Amber is also a member of the Ensemble at Dad’s Garage and is head of their education program. Why does she do it? Simply because she likes to see children smile.

Alyssa Mander

ALYSSA MANDER
WORKSHOP: Henry Long Form

Alyssa Mander is an English major at Clemson University focusing on writing and publication studies. She has been a member of Mock Turtle Soup for two years now, and she has loved every minute of it! As a member of Mock Turtle Soup, she’s performed at Clemson University, Winter Springs High, New Covenant Church, DSIF, Nashville and Atlanta. She’s traveled to Chicago, Chapel Hill, Atlanta and Orlando to study improv. Alyssa loves to write musicals, short films, sketch and articles. One day, she hopes to write top notch comedy for a television show like Desperate Housewives or Scrubs. She’s finishing up her English and philosophy studies at Clemson this year, and she’ll join the “real world” in May of 2008.

Tim Orr

TIM ORR
WORKSHOP: Transitions

Tim Orr has improvised since 1988, primarily with BATS Improv, Improv Theatre, and as a guest for True Fiction Magazine. He has appeared in numerous plays in the Bay Area, and received critical acclaim for his role as Dick Goodman in Brien Burroughs’ 1999 improvised film, Suckerfish. He stars in the new Brien Burroughs improvised film, Security. Tim originated the role of Dirk Manly in An Evening with Dirk & Blaine. He has taught improvisation at BATS Improv and at American Conservatory Theatre and elsewhere. He coaches the championship wheelchair sports team, the Bay Cruisers.

Asaf Ronen

ASAF RONEN

Asaf Ronen, creator and Editor-in-Chief of YESand.com, a website devoted to improvisation, is the author of Directing Improv: Show the Way By Getting Out of the Way. Having done improv since 1990, has worked with Theatresports, ComedySportz and directed several longforms including the all-girl group goga, the comic book adventure Ka-Baam!!, and Death in the City, a dramatic longform for the NY Fringe Festival. Asaf has taught improvisation internationally and across The United States.

John Sexton

JOHN SEXTON

John Sexton is co-founder of and director of development for Improv Nashville. Since joining his first troupe in 2000, John has performed in hundreds of shows, taught hundreds of students, and has participated in workshops and classes with Second City, Dad’s Garage, Upright Citizen’s Brigade, iO and more.

Greg Tavares

GREG TRAVARES

Greg Tavares is a co-founder of The Have Nots! improv company, Theatre 99, Piccolo Fringe & The Charleston Comedy Festival. He has created the training program at Theatre 99 and taught thousand of people in hundreds of classes. Greg lives in Charleston, SC where he performes improv with The Have Nots!, Moral Fixation and many other groups.

Zach Ward

ZACH WARD

Zach Ward is the owner of the DSI Comedy Theater and the Founder and Executive Producer of North Carolina’s Dirty South Improv Festival. Zach has been performing and directing improv comedy professionally for over a decade. He has been employed as Associate Producer for the Chicago Improv Festival (2003-2006) and Director of Education for ComedySportz of Chicago (2003-2004). Zach has received critical acclaim from the Chicago Reader and the Chicago Tribune with ARMANDO DIAZ EVENTÉ, DUAL EXHAUST (Hailed by the Chicago Tribune as one of the “Top 10 most important comedy duos of the past decade,” Critics Choice, Highly Recommended, Super CageMatch Champion 2003-2004) and THE BEATBOX (Critics Choice, Best Bet, CIF Mainstage w/ Mo Collins). Zach can currently be seen performing with CAJONES, MISTER DIPLOMAT and COMEDYSPORTZ NORTH CAROLINA at the DSI COMEDY THEATER. Zach has studied with Todd Stashwick, Mick Napier and Susan Messing (Annoyance), Bob Dassie, Craig Cackowski and TJ Jagodowski (ImprovOlympic), Matt Besser (Upright Citizens Brigade), Amy Poehler (Saturday Night Live), Michael Gelman (Second City), and with every single student he teaches.

Bob Wood

BOB WOOD

After seven years of paying his dues at Whole World Theatre, Bob left in November 2004 to found Relapse Comedy Theatre in Midtown Atlanta. He credits teacher and best friend, David Webster, creator of Whole World, as the inspiration for his style of improv – organic, free-flowing, and centered on what is truly real and in the heart.

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