Since joining my first troupe, Theatresports, way back in 1996, I’ve been lucky to perform with and direct some of the most incredibly talented comedians. Appearing on comedy stages from NYC to Tokyo, I’ve loved every minute of it. In addition to entertaining audiences, I am driven to create shows that innovate and engage.
Director, Wheel of Austen
Wheel of Austen is an hour-long improvised comedy inspired by the works of Jane Austen. Boston’s top comedians bring a new Jane Austen-inspired novel to life as classic characters encounter new situations. Throughout each performance, audience members will spin the “Wheel of Austen” as the cast plays with the conventions of Jane Austen’s work in unexpected ways.
Dedicated to spreading the art of improvisational theater to New Hampshire, Stranger Than Fiction has performed across the state. In addition to our regular schedule, the award winning cast has appeared in numerous benefit shows. Check us out at http://www.strangerthanfiction.us
I joined four other comedians for an appearance at a comedy festival in Tokyo, Japan. I also taught a long form improv class at ImprovTokyo through a translator.
Camprov provides a full weekend of quality workshops, innovative performances, campfire storytelling, a lobster bake, a canoe race, an archery contest, and much more. The annual August event attracts improv performers from across the country. Guest instructors have included Armando Diaz, Asaf Ronen, Joe Bill, Susan Messing, Jill Bernard, Michelle Barbera, Neraj Tuli, Will Luera, Don Schuerman, Eric Davis, and many more. I serve as festival organizer, and I teach classes.
Roman gladiator style histrionics meet time travel in this madcap production pitting historical figures in a theatrical battle to the death. The audience decides the fate of history’s notables as only one actor can survive the final curtain. Watch as Albert Einstein and John Wilkes Booth act side by side in a scene with Cleopatra. In the end, the audience decides who survives the Time Battle.
This collaboration with the talented comedian Chris Bujold is a fast paced round of short form improv comedy with music (by Jon Briggs!) produced on a modified old school Nintendo Gameboy
The Neutrino Video Project was started in NYC by a daring troupe of improvisational theater performers. With three cameras and a large technical crew, Neutrino takes to the streets to shoot, edit, score, and mix a completely improvised movie in the time it takes for you to watch it. Spontaneous, beautiful, and hilarious, this “theatrical movie experience” is the first of its kind. The show has been heralded in New York, Chicago, Seattle, Detroit, San Francisco, Toronto, and Washington, D.C. where it is performed under the Neutrino name by different groups.
In the fall of 2005, The Tribe was voted “Boston’s Best Comedy Club,” “Best Theater Company,” “Best Place to Meet People,” and “Boston’s Best Kept Secret,” by the Boston Phoenix. I directed The Tribe’s mainstage, The Tribe Players. In addition to the weekly performances, I also directed the troupe for corporate and educational appearances.
Best summed up by this article excerpt: “The local improv theater and comedy group Stranger Than Fiction lived up to its name Saturday when it transformed the city into a life-sized Pacman game – power pellets, ghosts and all. For more than three hours, eight men wearing either bright-colored ponchos or a round Pacman suit, depending on which role they were playing at the time, chased each other through the streets of Portsmouth. All in the name of fun.” That was year one. Now Pacsmouth has grown into a tradition.
An innovative genre-bending interactive comedy show, Thomas in Wonkyland boasted a cast of puppets, comic video pieces, and musical numbers from some of the greater Boston area’s finest improv actors -directed by Calvin Swaim. I created the show as an extention of my fascination with puppets. My parents still credit Sesame Street with teaching me how to read. While it was a fun comedy show, I really enjoyed the deeper dichotomy posed: a man-boy desperately trying to mature while trapped in a children’s fantasy world and a blue fuzzy puppet trapped in the real world searching for the true friendship he’s only known in fantasy. I would love to explore these characters further someday.
I performed with many troupes in association with The Tribe, starting with a founding team, Improvmosis. This musical improv group was directed by Doug Applewhite and performed at the Del Close Marathon in NYC. Dooprov was a mystery-based longform troupe created by Mike Morrell. The Rumble is a great format directed by Tim Paul. Sister Brother was a wonderful cast that I stepped from in order to direct Villalobos. Many of the performers of these troupes have gone on to performing in other troupes at ImprovBoston, Improv Asylum, or organizations around the country.
This experimental long form improv troupe lasted a couple of years under the direction of Eric Doucette, Andrew Fling, and later Dannagal Goldthwaite.
This is where my love affair with improvisational theatre began. I believe the largest audience we performed for was 3,000 people (it was one half of a football stadium). Our shows were generated from a list of about thirty short form games. I performed at least one a week for over four years, and I came out with the confidence and experience to perform and direct. Those were wild times.