Here's some info about the wonderful people running workshops this year!
You don't want to miss these!
If you are interested in the chance to become a workshop sponsor, please contact us and let us know!
Shannon Dale Stott
Shannon Stott is an improvisor based in Austin, TX. She has been performing and teaching Improv and its benefits to theater students and corporate clients since 2001. Shannon utilizes improv as a tool to change lives both on and off the stage, encouraging her students to carry these tools out of their theaters and into their workplaces and homes.
Diana Brown and Dan Wilson
Diana enjoys coaching by learning what’s challenging people in the moment and working from there to help them trust themselves and expand their scenic options.
Diana believes that everyone is infinitely fascinating and coaches people to work from that belief. Coming from a visceral place of listening to your instincts, to “Trust your hit”.
Diana was voted most valuable Mentor and Teacher 2018 at the San Francisco Improv Festival. She is an improv artist, actor and producer.
She performs as half of the nationally touring improv duo Bingewatch with Dan Wilson, now presenting Bingewatch and Friends as an online series. Bingewatch and Friends was recently nominated for a Young-Howze Theater Journal, Deja Vu Award for Recurring Streaming Series of the Year.
Diana has taught and or performed in person or virtually at Wasatch Improv Fest, Alaska State Improv Fest, San Francisco Sketch Fest, San Francisco Improv Fest, Tucson Comedy Arts Festival, Twin Cities Improv Fest, New Orleans Improv Festival, Denver Improv Fest, Improvaganza: Hawaii’s Festival of Improv, New York Improv Fest, San Diego Improv Fest, 2nd Best Comedy Fest in Richmond, VA, Louisville’s Damn Good Improv Fest, Femprovisor Fest, ExStreamed Improv in the U.K., Leela Theatre, The Pack Theatre, Moment Theater, Vintage Improv, Queen City Comedy, and others.
She’s created and presented custom improv workshops and programs for Airbnb, Whole Foods, US Coast Guard, Big Bus Tours and others.
Diana directs the independent improv ensemble The Professionals, the Leela performing improv ensemble On the Verge, and directs the indie improv troupes Peach Pit and Timeless. She collaborates with medical professionals to improve communication between providers and patients. And provides 1:1 performance coaching to artists and business leaders.
Diana is a member of Leela Improv Theatre Company’s leadership team, serving as Director of Community/Senior Producer and teaches levels I and III with Leela. Diana has served as an associate producer for Femprovisor Fest.
Diana also appears with the duos Horrible People with Erin Daruszka and Secret Lives of Villains with Dominica Malcolm. Diana performs with the improv trios Past Our Prime Time Players with Chris DeJong and Dan Wilson, Irrational Fears with Jill Eickmann & Steven J. Burnett. And Badass Effervescent Dames with Betse Green and Erin Daruszka. She performs with Leela’s faculty ensemble, is a member of Queen City Comedy's global improv team Ridgeley, and Combined Artform’s Tilted Frame Improv. Tilted Frame Improv is also nominated for a Young-Howze Theater Journal, Deja Vu Award for Recurring Streaming Series of the Year. Diana is a founding member of the long running improvised play podcast Radiostar Improv.
Diana also performs in scripted theater productions appearing in festivals in New York, Washington, D.C. and San Francisco. She’s co-producer of the Southern Railroad Theatre Company. Upcoming she'll appear in the world premiere of Susan Jackson’s play
SKYPING GOD in the 2021 Good The@tre Festival and Awards.
Dan is a playwright, director, and actor who has been performing improv since the early aughts. He served as a board member of the San Francisco Improv Cooperative and helped found the SF Improv Festival. Dan served as both producer and performer of the long running improvised play podcast Radiostar Improv. He also appears as with the improv trio Past Our Prime Time Players. He has taught levels courses, "Improv Sunday School", and drop-in classes with Moment Improv in San Francisco. Dan performs all over the country and now online as half of the improv duo Bingewatch. Bingewatch’s series Bingewatch and Friends was recently nominated for a Young-Howze Theater Journal, Deja Vu Award for Recurring Streaming Series of the Year.
Dan has taught and or performed in person or virtually at Wasatch Improv Fest, Alaska State Improv Fest, San Francisco Sketch Fest, San Francisco Improv Fest, Tucson Comedy Arts Festival, Twin Cities Improv Fest, New Orleans Improv Festival, Denver Improv Fest, New York Improv Fest, San Diego Improv Fest, 2nd Best Comedy Fest in Richmond, VA, ExStreamed Improv in the U.K., Vintage Improv and others.
Jill Eickmann is the Artistic Director and Co-Founder of Leela, a San Francisco based improvisational theater and training center. She is also a Board Member and past Producer for The San Francisco Improv Festival and Executive Producer for Femprovisor Fest: SF's feminist improv festival. Jill has directed over 100 original productions. She has taught her signature style of improvisation to thousands of improvisors of all ages and walks of life. Jill currently performs in Leela's Armando Company and multiple duo projects with improvisors across the nation. She’s performed and taught at many improv festivals including Out of Bounds (Austin), San Francisco Improv Fest, Denver Improv Fest, San Diego Improv Fest, Improvaganza Hawaii, Seattle Festival of Improvised Theatre, Chicago Improv Festival, and Vintage Online Improv Fest (among others.) She has directed many ensembles through Leela's Performing Improv Ensembles (PIE) Program. Most notably, she taught a private improv class to cast members of Disney’s The Lion King – Broadway Tour. She studied in New York and Chicago with some of the best from Upright Citizens Brigade Theater (UCB), The Second City, IO (Formerly Improv Olympic), and Annoyance Productions. Jill is also a licensed psychotherapist and drama therapist who continues to research and teach the psychological implications and therapeutic benefits of improvisation. Jill is the creator and performer of “The Friendship Show” a quiet revolution on the quest to heal loneliness through the art of improvisation. She enjoys facilitating workshops with SF local start-ups, established companies, and business leaders to support a positive working environment while fostering boundless collective creativity. Past clients include The Clorox Company, Adobe, LinkedIn, Facebook, Salesforce, Youtube, IBM, and Google (among others.)
Joe Bill is widely regarded as one of the best teachers of Scenic and Comedic Improvisation in America today. He is one of the founding members of Annoyance Theater Chicago where, for 12 years, he performed in and/or directed more than 60 different shows. He was the Director of Corporate Training at iO Chicago for 15 years and a Teacher & Guest Artist in Residence at The Second City Conservatory & Training Center for another 15 years. Joe first learned Improvisation and in 1977 studied and worked with Del Close from 1985 through the mid 90’s.
Joe is ½ of the original improvised Monoscene (we used to call it “Real Time”), BASSPROV with Mark Sutton, (Annoyance Theater Co-Founding Member and Artistic Director for Training and Development at The Second City). They have been heralded by the NY TIMES: "BASSPROV refreshingly has the feel of a quiet character study...jokes emerge organically, using wordplay, character quirks and quicksilver wit."
Joe tours all over the world, teaching and headlining with extremely talented Duo partners like Jill Bernard (Huge Improv Theater – Mpls.) in their hit show SCRAM!, with Lee White (CRUMBS – Winnipeg, Berlin) in their heroic Duo show PARADIGM, with International Improv Legend Patti Stiles (AD - Impro Melbourne) in their groundbreaking show Our Play, Stacey Hallal (Curious Comedy Theater – Portland, OR) in Stacey & Joe and We Slept Together, Heather Urquhart (Improviser/Director The Maydays & Showstopper The Improvised Musical – London/U.K.) in their magical improvised Musical Blues Hammer (with the stupendous Joe Samuel on Improvised Orchestra) and with David Razowsky (Host A.D.D. Comedy Podcast) in Razowsky & Bill. He’s played with many other Duo partners, in the U.S. and abroad, in many Festival Ensemble shows and in every improvised format and/or style imaginable. For the last 6 years he has also been teaching and performing in French, in many cities in France, Belgium & Luxembourg. He is living his dream!
He has played as a guest in Play Unscripted and Le Roundabout with ImproTheatre L.A., Grand Theft Impro at Impro Melbourne (Australia), The Scene at The PIT in New York City and UCB in L.A., with Let’s Have A Ball and ASSSSCAT 3000 at UCB Theater in New York & L.A. and with Kornfeld & Andrews at Magnet Theater in New York City.
He has performed, directed, taught and served as an Artistic Adviser for a number of Improvisation/Comedy Theaters & Festivals on every continent except Antarctica (but he’s working on that!) and at every major Improv Festival in The United States.
Nick has been improvising,teaching and coaching for over two decades, and has performed in nearly every state in the union. A Minneapolis native, he studied and performed at The Brave New Workshop,where he first discovered long form, and was a founding member of Five Man Job. In 2006 he moved to Talkeetna, Alaska where he served as Creative Director of Denali Drama and Iditaprov. While in Alaska he produced, directed, taught, and performed all over the state. He moved to Portland in June of 2016 to work with Curious Comedy and Oregon Children’s Theater and is thrilled to have found such a great home in the Portland improv community. He is currently a member of Curious Comedy Mainstage team Battleax, Curious Comedy Showdown, Rhapsody, the Improvised Musical, Solitaire, an improvised one man one act, and The Nancy Boys Mysteries. He is also the creative director of Conscious Comedy, socially relevant comedy for a cause, whose mission is to raise funds and awareness for local nonprofits through comedy. When not teaching or performing here in Portland, he can be seen performing, teaching,and creating customized shows, workshops, and events for festivals, corporations, and nonprofits all over the country.
Bob Bedore began improvising in 1986 as a way to better work with crowds during his stand up shows and for upping his game as a radio disk jockey. In 1994 he started the improv troupe "Quick Wits" and has been performing with them nearly every weekend since that opening night and has done around 3500 improv shows. He loves to pass on his joy of improv through teaching and has written two books on the subject that have sold over 40,000 copies and recently translated in Chinese to use in university theater programs. Bob credits improv for keeping him young and is grateful for all the opportunities that have opened up, many fits of laughter, and all the wonderful people he's met.
Chris George is an actor, improviser, and chemist from Chicago, IL and an apprentice of Bill Arnett.
He is a graduate of the iO, Annoyance, CSz Advanced, and Chicago Improv Studio (CIS) training centers, and is a founder of the National Comedy Theater’s (NCT) Sunday Company, co-founder and former Assistant Aristic Director of Finest City Improv (FCI) (San Diego, CA), and the San Diego Improv Festival.
He is a former faculty member of FCI and Sidestage Improv (now Old Town Improv Company) and has been a guest instructor at NCT, the Dallas Comedy Festival, Spectacles Improv Engine (Orange County, CA), Endurance Improv Festival (Madison, WI), Jacobs International Teen Leadership Institute (JITLI), Naval Justice School, University of Texas Dallas’ Advanced Improvisation Program, Longshot Theater Company (Biloxi, MS), Countdown Improv Festival, Kansas City Improv Festival, Palm Beach Improv Festival, San Francisco Improv Festival, and CIS.
He is an ensemble member and the Public Affairs Director of the Odd’s Bodkins Shakespeare Company; past roles include Bottom (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Antipholus of Ephesus (Comedy of Errors), Birowne (Love’s Labour’s Lost), and Banquo (Macbeth).
Brenna Judkins (they/she) is an improviser and artist from San Diego, CA in the United States. She currently plays with Queen City Comedy team Smells Like Ghosts, and teaches their children's improv courses. She also provides one on one improv tutoring for children. She regularly crafts her own costumes, props, puppets and visuals arts projects at her home in California, including improvised cartoons and stop motion videos. She also runs the page Brenna Judkins Improviser and a bi-monthly all LGBTQIA+ improv jam for the global improv community.