HOME

Entertain - Educate - Elevate

COMMUNITY OUTREACH AND EDUCATION

THEATER FOR YOUNG AUDIENCES

Engaging Students

Partnering with Educators 

Integrating the Common Core Standards

 

LEARN MORE ABOUT US FROM OUR PROMO VIDEO

 

TAKE A PEEK HERE AT OUR TYA BROCHURE

Mission

Improv Playhouse Community Outreach and Education has establish a regionally renowned program of Theater for Young Audiences which demonstrates our commitment to the improvement of education in and through the arts via collaborative initiatives for the purpose of engaging arts educators and our communities.

LITERATURE EXPRESSES THE HUMAN IMAGINATION

Photo: Starting this fall, TYA will host Mini Masterpieces--an educational show that allows students to experience a variety of literary genres dramatized for the stage. The show features 5 classic short stories that are commonly read in 7th and 8th grade English classes: The Telltale Heart, The Monkey's Paw, The Most Dangerous Game, The Cold Equations, and The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County. Performances run from October 28th to November 13th, Tuesdays through Thursdays.

 

Starting this fall, TYA will host "Mini Masterpieces"--an educational show that allows students to experience a variety of literary genres dramatized for the stage. The show features 5 classic short stories that are commonly read in 7th and 8th grade English classes: "The Telltale Heart," "The Monkey's Paw," "The Most Dangerous Game," "The Cold Equations," and "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County." Performances run from October 28th to November 13th, Tuesdays through Thursdays. In the Spring of 2015, we will be producing two educational outreach productions for schools in the North Shore and northern suburbs of Chicago. "The Diary of Anne Frank" will be performed in April for grades 6 - 12, and "Peter and the Wolf" will be performed in May for grades Pre-K - 5.

STUDENTS APPRECIATE LITERAURE AS IT COMES TO LIFE BEFORE THEM

Description

Improv Playhouse has established its Community Outreach & Education mission with the goal of specifically expanding its Creative Education programming in public and private schools, increasing diversity outreach in Lake County and the metro Chicago area, and providing scholarships to students who exhibit financial need and exemplary skills in the performing arts.

RELATE CHARACTER, SETTING AND PLOT TO REAL LIFE SITUATIONS

General Information

Our staff emphasize the importance of personal integrity in the application of communications skills in real life situations, thereby integrating creative expression with the best of an individual's values and strongest character attributes. We view our role as professional consultants as well as producers, educators and actors who hold advanced degrees in the creative arts with over forty years experience in the field.

STUDENTS MAKE CONNECTION TO THEIR OWN EXPERIENCES

 

We become the external resource for many organizations, creating problem-solving solutions in educationally-focused training and team-building environments. Theater has long been a conduit for both education and entertainment. Its popularity can be attributed to many things inclusive of its celebration of life and introspection, as well as the expression of the human spirit. It is our hope that our partnerships would become a laboratory that continually investigate and reflect on the possibilities that can exist between our combined resources and those organizations seeking our creative and artistic services.

IP-TYA IS BUILDING A TRADITION OF CHILDREN'S THEATER AND CREATIVE EXPRESSION

To make donations or to book a field trip for your students, call 847-968-4529.

 

OUR STAFF

David Brian Stuart

Founder and Guy in Charge.   A proud performer’s union member of SAG-AFTRA (Scren Actors Guild-American Federation of Television Radio Actors).  Additional association memberships include NATAS (National Association of Television Arts and Sciences) and IFP (Independent Feature Project).  Voiceover and on-camera credits include Sears, American Homes, Oscar Meyer, and R. C. Johnson (A Family Company).  BFA Directing degree from SIU-Carbondale School of Communications.  Mentored in improvisation by Players Workshop of the Second City founder Josephine Forsberg, who nurtured the talents of Dan Castellaneta (Homer Simpson), Bill Murray, George Wendt and Shelly Long, to name a few. Co-taught adult improv workshops with David Murphy (O’Connor Casting and The Green Room) during Players Workshop years.   Second City Conservatory graduate and additional training from the legendary, late Martin DeMaat, Mike Gellman and Norm Holly.  Movement studies with Plasticene’s Dexter Bullard.  Musical Improv with Nancy Howland Walker.   Regular improviser with IP Touring teams.. David Stuart has personally coached and led leadership and team building workshops for hundreds of the least famous people in the Midwest and a number of important, influential head honchos.  Gets a charge out of creating corporate entertainment events, not only through I.P., but his Music Now DJ Group, the custom, interactive DJ company under the I.P. umbrella.  Favorite performance roles (invariably behind a microphone) include the voice of David Hassid in the NY Times Bestselling radio drama series, Left Behind Literature. Regular ensemble member of Unshackled, longest running radio drama in airwave history, directed by the now retired Bob O’Donnel and produced by the Pacific Garden Mission-Chicago allows David to pull off a Robin Williamesque pallete of voices.   Recently played George Bailey in IP's "It's a Wonderful Life".  Sam Spade in "Maltese Falcon".   Directed Joesphine Forsberg's "The Gathering".  Coaches IP House Teams "Tjherapeutic Funtillectuals" and "Lost Not Stolen".  David held the title Associate Producer-Casting Director of the Emeritus Production feature film, "Killing Poe" in 2013.  He is also an active acting coach in the Chicago region.
Little Known Facts: He is affectionately called The Grand Poobah.

Dana Anderson

Dana Anderson recently graduated from Millikin University with a B.A. Theatre and a minor in music.  She has previously worked with Shawnee Summer Theatre of Bloomfield, IN, and the Decatur Park District of Decatur, IL.  Through these opportunities, she has taught drama and directed shows of many differing styles.  Giving students an outlet for self-expression and creativity through theatre is her top priority when teaching.  She started performing at a young age in Normal, IL, which shaped who she is today.  Favorite roles include Drowsy Chaperone (The Drowsy Chaperone) and Gloria (Damn Yankees).  Other interests include yoga, dogs, and coffee. 

Adam Belcouore

Adam Belcuore is an original founding member of Serendipity Theatre Company and currently serves as Director of Artistic Development. In 2003 he was honored by receiving the first SDCF Mike Ockrent Fellowship, through which he assisted Harold Prince on Steven Sondheim and John Weidman's new musical Bounce. He had previously assisted Mr. Prince on Carol Burnett and Carrie Hamilton's Hollywood Arms. He also served as assistant director to Kate Whoriskey on the Goodman's production of Regina Taylor's Drowning Crow and to Ross Shirley on Serendipity's production of The Day Maggie Blew Off Her Head. He is the executive producer of Serendipity's 2nd Story, a series devoted to the art of wine, music and storytelling. Other directing credits include: Delores Dogan, by Courtney Shaughnessy; Go!, by Jonathan Jacobs and the world premiere of Alcatraz, by Al Letizia. As a casting director, Adam has worked with Lookingglass, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Northlight Theater, and The Goodman Theatre, where he currently casts full time..  Adam has been gracious in his time with Improv Playhouse giving feedback and followup to students engaging in our acting program.

Little Known Fact:  David Stuart and Adam shared the stage as members of "The Flying Chairs" during their Second City Conservatory years.

Diane Christiansen

Diane Christiansen began coaching actors in 1992. This year, CHILDREN IN FILM lists her as the “#1 Top Rated Acting Coach in Hollywood” for kids and teens. She was also named “One of the Top 3 Acting Coaches in Hollywood” by the YOUNG PRESIDENTS ORGANIZATION in NYC. The last three years, Diane was voted “One of the Top 10 most effective Coaches in Hollywood” by Actors Access . Recently selected to appear as Acting Coach on Hit Reality TV shows, “FAKING IT” and Danny Bonaduce’s “MY KID’S A STAR” ON VH1. A graduate of the Strasberg Institute, she was mentored by Academy Award Nominee, Sally Kirkland and the late Joseph Bernard. She has appeared with the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall in NYC; danced with Siegfried & Roy in Las Vegas and on NBC TV specials, she has been featured on the Merv Griffin Show and hit series "Vegas". As a TV & Film actress she has worked with Angelina Jolie, Corey Feldman, Adam West, Orson Welles, Stacy Keach, Pia Zadora, Ann Margaret, Jon Voight, Dom DeLouise, Joan Rivers, Robert Urich, Billy Zane & Fred Durst. .2011 - 2014 WINNER - Backstage West's Readers Choice Award -   voted - BEST ACTING CLASSES FOR KIDS & TEENS!!

Little Known Fact:  When Diane turned 18 she bagan a world tour with the Rockets!

Daneille Coody

Danielle Coody Originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma, Danielle obtained a B.F.A. in Theatre from The University of Oklahoma and a B.F.A. in Dance from The University of Central Oklahoma. For Improv Playhouse, Danielle directs and choreographs productions in Highland Park and Libertyville.  She is a teaching artist, director, choreographer and scenic painter for Metropolis Performing Arts Centre.  She directs a dance program for JCYS in Buffalo Grove.  In Chicago, she served as a ballet and tap instructor for ARCC Ballet & Dance for 4 years. In Oklahoma, Danielle performed professionally with The Pollard Theatre, The Lyric Theatre, Carpenter Square Theatre, The Jewel Box Theatre and The Oklahoma City Theatre Company.  Favorite roles include Ti Moune in the Oklahoma premiere of Once On This Island; Evelyn Nesbit, Ragtime; Alice Sycamore, You Can't Take It With You; Little Red Ridinghood, Into The Woods; Belinda/Flavia, Noises Off!; Peggy, Godspell. Danielle served as a Resident Actor/Choreographer for The Pollard Theatre, as the Theatre Director for J. Rogers Performing Arts Studio, as a modern dance instructor for Cynthia Poteet Little Theatre and Sacred Heart Catholic School. As a dancer, Danielle performed with the Kaleidoscope Dance Company and performed professionally with Perpetual Motion: Modern Dance Oklahoma, Inc.  

Michael Crowley

Mike Crowley has been involved in film and television production for 14 years. From Lake Forest, Il, he was a volunteer with Comcast Cable Communication at 13 years old then later interned with them at 16. In the meantime, Mike has made movies on both video and film formats some of which he has received various accolades (ie '2nd place at Chicago International High School Video Festival'). He has worked on various productions including big budget feature films, national television shows, small independent films, short films, music videos, and student films while continuing to work on some of his own films as well. Mr. Crowley has also worked in all areas of production including the art department, gaffing, grip, DP, AC, and crowd control departments. He has worked on everything from super 16 to 8mm film and standard definition to RED ONE and similar cameras. In post production, Mr. Crowley has edited on linear and non linear editing software programs including AVID, Final Cut Pro, and Adobe Premier. Mike specifically worked for the late, Pulitzer Prize winning Journalist and Film Critic Roger Ebert.  His clients have additionally included NBA legends, Charles Barkley and Penny Hardaway. Aside from film making, Mike has completed levels !-E at  Chicago's famed Second City training center where he has developed the sketch comedy troupe, Uncomfortable Alphabet.   Mike is one of the Improv Playhouse Film Camp Directors who also assists with video production and instruction. He is a graduate of Columbia College Chicago with a B.A. in Film and Video Production.

Little Known Fact:  Mike dabbles in Sttand-Up comedy.

Zachary D'Antonio

Zachary D'antonio hails from Stone Mountain, Georgia, and is a proud graduate of Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA. He was most recently seen performing in Colorado with Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre, as well as Assistant Directing and Choreographing for their Teen Theatre Academy. Other regional credits include A Class Act (Theatre Factory), Ragtime (Carrnivale Theatrics), and Seussical (Playhouse Jr.).  In Pittsburgh, he ran Clambake Productions and produced many new works along with assisting Charles Repole directing summer stock at Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera. In Chicago, he has worked with the students at Aurora University and the Citadel Theatre Youth Ensemble.

Little Known Fact:  Zach was raised in a performing arts family. Both parents are Musical Theater artists; Mom teaches High School dance/ choreography and Dad is a professional actor. His parents met on the national tour of West Side Story!

Nicholas Direso

Nick Direso is a graduate of Point Park University with a B.A. in Theatre with a Concentration in Acting. He has directed and appeared in over 500 performances with Theatre&Kids in the greater Philadelphia area. Nick has many ties to the Chicago Suburbs. He has worked with ImprovPlayhouse, Citadel Theatre, and Promontory Productions. He is currently studying improv at iO and doing stand-up at open mic nights in the city. Other regional credits include: The Diary of Anne Frank (Pittsburgh Playhouse Jr.), A Christmas Carol (Sellersville Theater), and Babes in Toyland (On Stage & Off). Nick is very excited for the opportunity to continue bringing educational theatre to the Chicagoland community. Nick  is a graduate of Point Park University with a B.A. in Theatre with a Concentration in Acting.

Theresa Egan

Theresa Egan is originally from Denver, Colorado and holds a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a Master of Arts in Applied Vocal Pedagogy from Northeastern Illinois University. She has been an active performer with Improv Playhouse since March and was most recently seen as Weeping Willos (Aesop’s Animals) and as Mama Bear (Goldilocks and the Three Bears) in the company’s Theater for Young Audiences travels shows. She was also Mrs. Frank in The Diary of Anne Frank. She is equally home in both musical theatre and opera. Some of her favorite roles include: Galinda (Wicked), Lucille (Parade), Ellen (Miss Saigon), and Mrs. Lovett (Sweeney Todd), Musetta (La Boheme), Adele (Die Fledermaus), Nanetta (Falstaff), and Papagena (The Magic Flute). She has appeared with numorours companies including: Opera Colorado, American Chamber of Opera, Verismo Opera Theatre, and The Opera Training Institute of Chicago. She is also the studio director and primary vocal instructor at Theresa Egan Studios, in addition to being the assistant conductor for the young women’s choice Angeli based in Park Ridge. She lives in Evanston with her husband and is thrilled to be joining Improv Playhouse staff as music director. 

Jack Thurston Farrell

Jack Thurston Farrell graduated from the University of Wisconsin at Madison with a degree in film and psychology. He has written and or produced for ABC, Fox, and Jim Henson Productions. Jack started a short film video site called shortvision.com and a webseries entitled Dollop(Maybehip.com) He completed the Second City writing, music, and conservatory programs.  He has completed the I.O improv program.  In addition to Co-Directing the Improv Playhouse Junior and Teen Improv Ensembles, Jack has been a teaching assistant for four years at The Second City for the teen and youth program. He currently teaches with After School Matters and Play On. He has completed two screenplays and is working on two pilots concurrently. He performs with the Improv Playhouse Touring Teams, Jack and the Wolf (2man show), Strange Soldier independently, as well as Chemically Imbalanced Comedy.  Along with his buddy, Wolfgang "Eric" Stein, jack is the Co director of the Improv Playhouse Junior and Teen Ensembles.

Nicole Frier

Nicole draws on her study of the human condition, as well as everyday observations, to inspire her character work.  She graduated with highest honors from the University of Notre Dame, majoring in Psychology.  Thereafter, she completed a master's degree in Social Science at the University of Chicago, specializing in the anthropology of food.  But don't worry - she won't analyze your meal choice.  Go for that sandwich. Also a graduate of the iO & ComedySportz training centers, Nicole has performed at the Chicago Improv Festival and Sketchfest.  Favorite improv and sketch teams include Funny Bones Improv, Happy Karaoke Fun Time, and ComedySportz's BattleProv.  She's a lyrical pro, and is particularly skilled at music and rap improvisation. In the corporate arena, Nicole's work has focused on customer service improvement and training.  She has found improvisation to be indispensable there, as well as with her busy toddler at home.  At the Improv Playhouse, you can find Nicole on the travel team, on stage with Pop Culture Power Radio, and teaching and coaching.
Little-known fact: Nicole sang in a cover band in Illinois,  danced hula in Indiana, was drum major of a marching band in Pennsylvania, and sat on a killer whale in Ohio.

Kristin Katsu

Kristin Katsu graduated with her MFA in Theatre Directing in May of 2014, and now she is enjoying her role as the Administrative Manager and a Theatre Director of Improv Playhouse. Before going back to school, Kristin taught high school English and Speech in Noblesville, Indiana, where she also coached high school and college improv teams in the area and performed for 10 years with ComedySportz Indianapolis. Most recently, Kristin taught and directed as the Education Director at the Clinton Area Showboat Theatre. She and the high school interns wrote and produced 2 children’s theatre plays and 1 mainstage devised piece. Kristin began her love for theatre in her hometown of Forest Hill, Maryland, where she performed in school plays and taught musical theatre, violin, and piano lessons with her mother’s music school, Joyful Sounds School of Music. Now she lives in the city with her improv friends.

Courtney Kotloski

 

Courtney Kotloski is a Senior Writer for AbbVie (formerly Abbott Laboratories). She writes anything that needs words; brochures, commercials, radio spots, websites, training, speeches, videos and the list goes on. Along with be a writer for big pharma, she has been teaching at the Improv Playhouse for over seven years. She helped to develop the Improv Playhouse Acting Conservatory for Teens (ACT) and has been an acting coach, director of several plays, and improv teacher for numerous teams over the years. Before moving out to the suburbs nearly a decade ago, Courtney was a professional actress and voice over artists (AEA, SAG, AFTRA). She has appeared in several professional stages plays. Including a tour in London at the Theatre Royale, Edinburgh (Scotland) as part of the Fringe Festival, The Goodman Theatre (Chicago) and The Steppenwolf Theatre (Chicago). She has been the voice for hundreds of radio spots and is the author of several plays including Being 11 which was voted one of the best plays to see by Chris Jones of the Chicago Tribune. Her play Chordless premiered as a staged reading at the Goodman Theatre and was accepted into the New York Fringe Festival in 2006. Most recently her play Delores Dogan has been performed in L.A. at The Second City, The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre and Comedy Central Stage. She lives in Ingleside with her husband Jon and their two children Matthew (6) and Mae (4). She is living proof that you can find happiness and balance and still get paid to do what you love. You just have to go after it.

Little Known Facts: Courtney has completed two sprint triathlons .and Courtney was prom queen and powder puff QB in high school.

Katie Mancuso

Katie Mancuso is a fresh face in Chicago as of August 2013. Since graduating with a B.A. in Theatre Arts from Point Park University, Katie has been thoroughly enjoying the Chicago performance scene. Over the past year, she has worked with Theatre Unspeakable, and Atomic Imaging Studios with LA Casting Director Ellie Kanning. Most recently, Katie played Anne Frank and Improv Playhouse's production of The Diary of Anne Frank. She is very happy to be continuing her career in the Windy City.

Little Known Fact:  Katie's three loves in life are food, Harry Potter, and good company.

Jessye Grace Mueller

Jessye Grace Mueller is an Improv Playhouse Touring Company member, a Director of the IP Improv and Theater Games Day Camps in Libertyville, and has had the pleasure of directing the Improv Playhouse Junior, Teen, and College Ensembles as well as instructing many of our students.  A graduate of Indiana University, Jessye has a BA in Theatre and Drama, and has been improvising for over 13 years.  Jessye is a graduate of the Conservatory at the Second City Training Center in Chicago, a company member of Improvised Jane Austen (Bughouse Theatre) in Chicago, and a member of the improv ensemble The Dewey Decimals. She is an alumnus of the Second City Youth and Teen Ensembles, the Improv Playhouse Teen Performance Ensemble, and the Piven Young People's Company. She has also studied with New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, Experimental Theatre Wing. Recent credits also include Call Me Never as a contributing writer and cast member for the Annoyance Theatre Triple Feature.         

Little Known Fact:  Jessye was featured on the fashion blog CollegeFashion.net, wherein she described her style as “Eclectic, Put-together, Grandma!”

Jillian Elizabeth Mueller

Jillian Elizabeth Mueller serves as Improv Playhouse’s Director of Improv and Theatre Games Day Camp, and is also a member of the IP Touring Team.  Jillian has been an instructor at IP for over six years.  She frequently instructs the Beginner and Intermediate for Teens class, and has also directed the Teen Ensemble and College Team.  She has been studying and performing both improv and sketch comedy for over eleven years, beginning her training at Improv Playhouse, and going on to train and perform with the Second City Teen Ensemble and Piven Theatre Young People’s Company.  Jillian holds a B.F.A. in Theatre from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and is a graduate of the Second City Conservatory.  She has trained at institutions such as Second City, iO Chicago, and New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, Experimental Theatre Wing. A Chicago improviser, she currently performs with One Group Mind’s, “Partyin’ Yossarian,” one of the organization’s founding teams.  She also performs with “The Masterpiece Players,” and two-person improv team “Watson.”  In addition to performing in Chicago, Jillian also serves as a director for The Titanic Players at Columbia College.  In recent years, she has also directed theatre classes for the University of Illinois Laboratory High School, and for two years coached Titanic Players UIUC’s Team “Swivel Hip.”  Past sketch and improv shows at Donny’s Skybox at the Second City include “The Masterpiece Players Present: Improvised Masterpiece,” “Man on a Ledge,” and “Everybody Hurts.”  Favorite past productions include, “Call Me Never” at the Annoyance Theatre’s “Triple Feature” in which she both wrote and performed, Comedy Sportz Rec League 2011, Del Close Marathon (2006), Chicago Sketchfest (2011 and 2006), Titanic Players: Team Kaboot, Spicy Clamato, and Debono: Musical Improv. 

Little Known Fact:  Jillian loves to freestyle rap, and has been known to break it down both on and offstage, yo.

Erin Neal

Erin Neal is a Chicago-based actor and teacher.  Locally she has performed with Victory Gardens, Chicago Dramatists, About Face, The House, Remy Bumppo, The Griffin, and Defiant Theatres.  Her regional credits include work with Milwaukee Rep, The Dallas Theatre Center, Kitchen Dog Theatre, Creede Repertory Theatre, and Fusion Theatre.  She also spent two seasons acting and teaching with The Stratford Shakespeare Theatre.  Erin cherishes her work as a teacher and feels like it adds immensely to her growth as an artist.  In addition to working with Improv Playhouse and its Acting Conservatory for Teens, Erin has taught for The Old Town School of Folk Music, American Theatre Company, Redmoon Theatre, The Stratford Shakespeare Festival, and Remy Bumppo Theatre.  She holds a BFA in Acting from Southern Methodist University and has had additional training with The Stratford Festival and The British Academy of Dramatic Arts in Oxford.
Little Known Fact: Erin can wiggle her ears, was a Girl Scout for 13 years and a leader for 3, I grew up in Nacogdoches, the oldest town in TX (good luck pronouncing that)  and once made an entrance from underneath a car wearing a full mermaid's tail and carrying a fish in her mouth!

Kyle Rawlinson

Kyle Rawlinson is an Associate Film Camp Director for the Improv Playhouse Film Camps and during the academec year assists with editing and consultation. Kyle was born and raised in Libertyville Illinois where he attended  Libertyville High School.  His passion and gift for making film began as a 5th grader when his mother purchased a video camera so he could complete a school project.  Upon entering LHS, he quickly rose to become President of the film production team. Kyle's work has won several awards at the Schaumburg Screen Test Film Festival, Art Institute film intensive, and C-TEC (Chicagoland Television Education Council).  At C-TEC Kyle took home 7 awards, three first place awards, three second place awards and one third place awards. Kyle is now going into his Sophomore year at Point Park University in Pittsburgh PA. He is majoring in Cinema (with a concentration in Directing) and minoring in advertising. While at Point Park, Kyle's videos were selected by his professors for the end of the year showcase. His work also placed at the National Television Broadcasters Society in New York. In Pittsburgh, Kyle worked as a P.A. on two feature length films.

Little Known Fact: Kyle can cut the rug...he loves to dance Ballroom, Swing and is quite the Moonwalker.

 Jeremy Schaefer

 

Jeremy Schaefer is a tall, curly haired explosive device and when he steps up to a mic it is like lighting a match. His cutting observations and sarcastic witticisms fly like shrapnel. Sounds dangerous? Maybe. Exciting and hilarious? Absolutely.  If you haven't guessed, Jeremy is one talented dude, having graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University with a BFA in Theatre. In addition to his undergraduate training, he has trained at Improv Olympic and The Annoyance with Susan Messing and is a founder of the Blind Mice Trio, an improv comedy group.   He presently tours with Storybox, an improv comedy educational ensemble through Urban Gateways.   He improvises regularly with Storybox Theater, pH Productions, The Improv Playhouse, Laugh Out Loud and The Blind Mice Trio. He’s also worked with First Folio Shakespeare Festival in Comedy of Errors, Janus Theatre’s Laramie Project, and multiple projects with The Big Picture Group.  for his "day job" Jeremy is the Marketing Director at Imagination Theater. Jeremy has also performed his stand up comedy act in venues around Illinois and London.
Little Known Fact:  In addition to his Theatre degree, Jeremy has a B.A in Religion....and he still is an hysterically funny guy!

Stacey Smith

Stacey hails from Long Island, New York. She moved to Chicago in the fall of 2009. She has trained at the Second City, iO Theater, ComedySportz and the Annoyance Theater. Stacey can be seen at iO playing with her Harold team Juneboy or with The Deltones. She is alumni of Second City's Musical Improv House Ensemble "Infinite Sundaes" and the "Blender" Ensemble. She performs weekly with her all-female musical improv troupe, "Stacked", does both two-woman sketch and improvised puppet musicals with Katie Dufresne (www.katieandstace.com) and is one half of the comedy duo "Smith & I". She works as a curator and assistant producer for the Chicago Improv Festival and the Teen Comedy Festival and is the hospitality coordinator for both the Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival and Chicago Women's Funny Festival. Stacey just finished a contract with The Second City aboard the Norwegian Breakaway and is a member of the IP touring treams.

Little Known Fact:  Stacey is represented by the Paonessa Talent Agency

Wolfgang Stein

Wolfgang Stein graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Stout with a BFA. Wolfgang is a comedy graduate from the iO training center, the Second City Conservatory and takes classes with the Annoyance Theater. Wolf was a mainstay performer in the hit Annoyance Theater show "Oprah! A Comedy!" which ran for 20 months and he is currently a member of the "Annoyance House Improv Ensemble". He has been performing improv for nine years and currently performs two man improv with Jack Thurston Farrell in a troupe called Jack & The Wolf. He has traveled to Kalamazoo, Philadelphia and Milwaukee for improv fests. He has also taught and coached improv for children, teens and adults. His resume also includes stage and film. He tours with Improv Playhouse corporate events. Along with his buddy, Jack Thurston Farrell, Wolf has been the Co director of the Improv Playhouse Junior and Teen Ensembles.

Little Known Fact:  Wolf is an avid camp-er and has directed YMCA camps in his recent past!

Jared Titus

Jared Titus holds a B.F.A in Music Theatre from Elon University  - He was recently seen traveling the country in the Broadway National Tour Monty Python’s Spamalot. He now currently resides in the Chicago area where he enjoys sharing his love of the arts teaching dance and theatre by day and performing by night. jared was the co-Director of the I.P. North shore Performing Arts Camp in 2011 and continues to assist in youth productions and consult when needed. You can see him next in the Paramount's production of the Music Man. Favorite Regional Credits include: Pirates of Penzance (Sergeant of Police), Grease (Eugene), Music Man (Olin Britt), Pinkalicious (Mr. Pinkerton) - Little Theatre on the Square; Hello Dolly! (Gallop Waiter) - North Carolina Theatre; Damn Yankees (Ozzie/Dance Captain), Gross Indecency (Atkins) - Cortland Rep; Godspell (Judas Iscariot), Children of Eden (Snake) - Elon University. 
Little known fact: Jared has two different colored eyes (one brown and one blue)

Paul Whitehouse

Paul is honored to be an instructor, team builder, and touring company member at Improv Playhouse. As an actor, he tours with educational theater companies the Morris Brothers and Explore Theater, he was also in the long running Book of Liz at Chemically Imbalanced Comedy Theater, and he will be appearing in Almost Maine in winter 2012 at Brown County Playhouse in Indiana.  Paul has had the privilege to teach Shakespeare and improv at Traveling Players Ensemble in the woods of Virginia, and had been a guest teaching artist at Dexter High School in pure Michigan, and currently spends summers teaching at the General Theatre Studies program at Goodman Theater. As a solo performer and storyteller, he has had his one man show ½ Caf Chronicles produced by both Redmoon Theatre and Chemically Imbalanced Comedy Theatre and has performed pieces at StoryLab Chicago, This Much is True, Paper Machete, and Acorn Theater in Three Oaks, Michigan.  

Michael Wollner

Michael A. Wollner... has been making a living in the theatrical feild for more than 15ys now.  Whether on stage (Goodman Theatre) in film (Crash Landing, Resurrection Mary, Chain Reaction) telivision (Early Edition, Cupid, What about Joan)  or appearing in commercials for (Kellogg's, HBO, IN Lottery) you've probubly heard him on the radio or even on TV (Chicago cubs, St. Farm, Fun Jet, Pepsi...) If you have kids you may hear him more often in cartoons (Veggie Tales, Ebos, Threads, PBS Kids)  Watch and listen close you will find him.  Michael teaches our Beginning through Advanced Voice Acting classes at iP. 

Little Known Fact : Michael is an author!  His book, "Whoever stole our X-mas decoration may you rot in ..."  a hilarious holiday book that can be purcahsed on-line at BarnesandNoble.com.

office/studio: 116 w. lake, libertyville, illinois 60048 • 847.968.4529 • 847.968.4530 fax •
black box space - /theatre: 735 n. milwaukee, libertyville, illinois 60048

north shore training space: 1991 sheridan road, highland park, illinois 60035

E-MAIL

© 2013 the improv playhouse • site problems? contact us