Instructors

We’ve got some of the best in the biz, from New York to London, the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater to The Nursery. Don’t miss your chance to learn from these amazing improvisers!

Jon Bander

Jon Bander
Jon Bander is a 16-year veteran improv comedian and actor living in New York City. He teaches and performs improv, musical improv and characters at both the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater and Magnet Theater in NYC, and at theaters/festivals internationally. Jon has also performed at the prestigious “Just For Laughs” Montreal comedy festival and worked for The Second City aboard a cruise ship. His television credits include TBS’s “Search Party” and the Netflix shows “Master of None” and “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” and too many digital videos. Jon’s been lucky enough to study with improv royalty like TJ Jagodowski, Dave Pasquesi, Armando Diaz, Mick Napier and Susan Messing to name just a few. Most people call him Bander. Feel free to do the same.

Slow It Down

Wednesday June 26th, 4:30pm – 7:30pm
Comedy Café Berlin

Stop trying to go faster! If you wanna be funnier, take it slow. In this workshop, we will focus on playing specifically for longer scenes, even monoscenes. We’ll hone our listening, patience, grounding and endowment skills to create satisfying, hilarious and nuanced work that doesn’t have to be edited after a minute or two. We will also look at object and space work, and discuss best practices regarding entrances and pacing. You’ll leave this workshop with all the tools to create longer scenes that really kick into high gear! By which I mean a patient, steadily-building gear.

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Musical Improv Intensive (with Katy Berry & Jon Bander)

Saturday June 29th, 11am – 5:15pm
Ida Nowhere

This workshop will dial your musical improv up to 11! First we’ll go over song structures, taking scenes into songs and different song structures to create a full-length narrative musical (opening number, protag song, antagonist song, etc). Then we’ll put it all together and start creating musicals ON THE SPOT! We’ll also include tips and tricks for bringing out your most unique, powerful characters and the best way to sing memorable improvised GENIUS!

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Katy Berry

Katy Berry
Katy Berry is a New York based comedian, writer, singer, voice over actor, and freestyler. She studied writing at The New School in New York City, improvisation at The Magnet Theater, and sketch comedy at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater (UCB). Over the past six years Katy has traveled the world performing with musical improv legends Baby Wants Candy, and New York’s premier hip-hop improv team North Coast. Katy’s alter-ego, Pussy B. Furious, is a 9-time rap battle champion at UCB’s Battlicious and her song “Don’t You Spit on my Pussy” won Best Music Video at the Magnet Comedy Film Festival. When not performing live, Katy tries to create more opportunities for women to perform hip-hop improv and launched her own free class for women improvisors in 2018. Her comedy videos and writing have been featured on Vulture, VH1, Reductress, Studio360, Bustle and more. For more of Katy’s work, visit katyberrycomedy.com.

Intro to Hip Hop Improv

Wednesday June 26th, 1:15pm – 4:15pm
Comedy Café Berlin

Want to take your musical improv to the next level? This intro workshop teaches you the fundamentals of hip hop improv, emphasizing the importance of listening, confidence, movement, and dropping hooks.

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Musical Improv Intensive (with Katy Berry & Jon Bander)

Saturday June 29th, 11am – 5:15pm
Ida Nowhere

This workshop will dial your musical improv up to 11! First we’ll go over song structures, taking scenes into songs and different song structures to create a full-length narrative musical (opening number, protag song, antagonist song, etc). Then we’ll put it all together and start creating musicals ON THE SPOT! We’ll also include tips and tricks for bringing out your most unique, powerful characters and the best way to sing memorable improvised GENIUS!

Register

Devin Bockrath

Devin Bockrath
Devin Bockrath is a New York based improviser, actor, writer and sketch comedian. As a Chicago native, she trained with the Annoyance and iO Theaters. During her time in Chicago she was lucky to perform with some amazing Harold and independent groups including The Other Other Guys, Superhuman, DMNK, The Holy Fuck Comedy Hour, Invisible World, an original sketch show directed by Mick Napier; and NBC Universal’s Sketch Showcase, directed by Mick Napier and produced by Lou Wallach (The Chappelle Show). Upon moving to New York, she continued her training as an actor with The Atlantic Theater School’s Professional Conservatory. And began teaching sketch and improv for the Annoyance Theater’s NY location, where she developed a uniquely female driven improv workshop, Set Bitch Free, inspired by the powerful women of her girl group Superhuman. She currently teaches for the Brooklyn Comedy Collective, and continues to perform as an actor and comedian in New York. Devin has appeared on Late Night with Seth Meyers, Netflix’s Orange is the New Black, and has been featured in comedic shorts on IFC and Comedy Central. Most recently she was cast in a short film, To The Moon, alongside John Reynolds (Netflix’s Stranger Things, TBS Search Party, Hulu’s Four Weddings and a Funeral). She also co-starred in a comedic drama, Amazing Bagel, playing opposite Tim Baltz (NBC’s Shrink, Comedy Central’s The Opposition with Jordan Klepper, HBO’s The Righteous Gemstones).

The Power of Character

Thursday June 27th, 4:30pm – 7:30pm
Comedy Café Berlin

“The Power of Character” focuses on celebrating the unique voice of every performer and aims to unlock the range of characters within everyone. We explore the power of strong emotional choices, externals, and the use of object work and environment to build a character with clear points of view and patterns of behavior. This workshop is for anyone who feels stuck, rusty, bored, or simply in need of a refresher on the core strategies of great scene work.

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Set Bitch Free

Sunday June 30th, 11am – 2pm
Ida Nowhere

“Set Bitch Free” is a workshop and tribal event for lady identifying improvisers of any experience level hosted by Devin Bockrath. With a focus on technique, character development, risk taking, and the power of support, this class aims to shake vulnerabilities loose, test personal limits and set fire to the rain, duh, #Adele. If you are frustrated, fierce, fearful, fearless, or fun this one’s for you Queen Bitch.

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Stephen Davidson

Stephen Davidson
Stephen Davidson is the Artistic Director of Improvable, QI: Queer Improv, and of Zeal: The Pride Improv Festival. He currently also plays in The Nursery Theatre’s mainstage ensemble, and in the duo The Happiest People in the World with Erick Castellan. Stephen teaches improv through Improvable and the Nursery Theatre, with the Free London Improv Project, and is also a diversity officer for Hoopla Improv. He has taught and performed all over the world. When coaching and directing improv he prides himself on creating a positive environment so that players can perform at their best. Stephen likes his improv like he likes his partners; silly, clever, and emotionally connected. Stephen has studied improv through i/o Chicago, The Nursery, Annoyance, UCB, Hoopla, The Maydays, Music Box, Showstoppers, Imprology, and with many visiting artists including Dave Razowsky, Bill Arnett, Kaci Beeler, Heather Anne Campbell, Deanna Fleysher, and many more.

Play Like an Ally

Saturday June 29th, 2:15pm – 5:15pm
Comedy Café Berlin

Are you looking to increase diversity in your group, theatre, or improv scene? This workshop will focus on practical steps you can take as a player, teacher, and director to make sure everybody feels welcome. Improv can stagnate without diversity because it becomes predictable; turn on your awareness and let this art form continue to surprise and delight you. This workshop will focus on awareness of what players need, and what they’re offering. We’ll play through a balanced warmup designed to make sure everybody starts on the same page, and talk about how (and if) to modify for people who are differently-abled or neuro-diverse, or have English as their second language. We’ll work on supporting different types of initiations and offers, players with different styles, diverse points of view, stage time, and amplifying less heard voices.

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Philip Markle

Philip Markle
Philip Markle has performed in and produced hundreds of shows and taught students of acting and improv internationally, from Berlin to Bali. Philip graduated from Northwestern University and trained in improvisation in Chicago at The Annoyance, iO, and Second City. He moved to NYC in 2013 to launch the theatre and training center of The Annoyance Theater NY, where he acted as its Executive Director until Fall 2016. He is now the Founder and Artistic Director of The Brooklyn Comedy Collective, where he currently teaches and performs. Highlights include musically improvising with Baby Wants Candy in Chicago and BLANK: The Musical Off-Broadway in NY and his national-touring musical improv show Happy Karaoke Fun Time. As a storyteller, he has performed at The Moth and The Paper Machete and is a writer on Medium.com with 100k+ reads and has been published in Insider magazine. He is a proud member of the children’s education theatre companies The Story Pirates and Barrel of Monkeys. He executive produced, wrote, and acted in the digital shorts series “The Annoyance Presents” on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Philip has written a one-man show, Sparkle Hour, which was featured to rave reviews in the 2013 NY International Fringe Festival. He regularly produces his monthly show Sparkle Hour, which first played at the historic Joe’s Pub in June, 2018.

Creating Solo Shows

Friday June 28th & Sunday June 30th, 2:15pm – 5:15pm
Ida Nowhere

The most powerful thing you can share onstage comes from your own life experiences. What can you say, from your point of view, that no one else could express like you do? This class will mine your true-life stories to create a narrative solo show that represents your voice onstage. Over the course of two classes (with a bit of homework in-between), students will learn to use the tools and talents at their disposal to bring to life a thematically-driven, one-person show. By the end of workshop, students will develop the outline of a solo show, along with intense, personal feedback on honing your voice. Philip has written many solo shows including his one-man musical SPARKLE HOUR, which has played all over the USA, including to rave reviews in the NY international Fringe Festival.

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Patrick Noth

Patrick Noth
Patrick Noth is an Emmy nominated comedian working in New York City. He began his comedy career studying at the Upright Citizen’s Brigade where he now teaches and performs regularly. His television credits include appearances on Comedy Central, MTV, IFC, TV Land, NBC, Nickelodeon, and countless digital platforms. Similarly, writing credits include Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, and many digital platforms. Moving to New York as a teenager, he’s worked as a freestyle rapper, composer, music producer, but after studying improvisation and comedy he was hooked. Patrick is also a director and has worked for Comedy Central, many self-produced projects and the Gizmo ASP at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. He also teaches at the world renowned Lee Strasberg Theatre Institution in New York City. Patrick graduated from the City College of New York with a B.F.A in Music.

Improv for On-Camera Auditioning

Thursday June 27, 1:15pm – 4:15pm
Comedy Café Berlin

As semi-scripted TV shows and films become more popular, actors need to prepare themselves for situations with no preparation. In this workshop you’ll get a crash-course in long-form improvisation, and connecting these skills to on-camera acting.

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Group Ownership

Friday June 28th, 2:15pm – 5:15pm
Comedy Café Berlin

The focus of this workshop is hyper agreement! Learning how to really say YES in the most supportive way possible. The best part of improv is getting on the same page and working as an ensemble. We will take that skill, apply it to our improv and have fun.

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Shaun Lowthian

Shaun Lowthian
Shaun has been teaching long-form improv with The Free Association since 2016. He also coached FA-house Harold team My Brother, José from 2016-18, in addition to co-directing F.A.P.D.: the improvised cop show and Do Not Adjust Your Stage. He has coached teams across London, including Number 95, Volcano Party, The Committee and Shoes & Socks. With 12 years performing experience, Shaun performs long-form improv comedy with Do Not Adjust Your Stage, two-person act The Homunculus and The Wilsons – a House Team at The Free Association, where he also teaches and performs in ensemble shows Jacuzii and F.A.P.D. Shaun can also been seen in hit theatre-meets-improv show Uncle Glen’s Menagerie and heard in over 150 episodes of improvised character comedy podcast Fact Up (recommended by The Guardian and BBC Radio 4). His partially improvised comedy short Spokke (co-created with Tim Grewcock and now commissioned for a series) was nominated for a Writers’ Guild Award in 2019, winning Best Comedy Film at Bristol Rebel Film Festival and the Short Screenplay Competition at the London Film Awards. Shaun has performed improv internationally at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, Magnet Theater and People’s Improv Theater and Union Hall in New York. In Europe, he has performed at festivals in Barcelona, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Tallinn, Dublin, Green Man Festival, the Edinburgh Fringe and at the COP21 Climate Change Conference in Paris. Shaun has trained in long-form improv in the UK and USA with the UCB, Second City, iO, The Free Association and Monkey Toast. Teachers include Will Hines, TJ & Dave, Abra Tabak, Jet Eveleth, Shannon O’Neill, Lyndsay Hailey and more.

It Takes Two – TwoProv Workshop

Saturday June 29th, 11am – 2pm
Comedy Café Berlin

The chemistry between two-prov partners can be one of the most amazing and hilarious our artform has to offer, but also the most challenging! This workshop will focus on tools to help revitalise your two-person scenes, navigate a two-person show, and surprise yourself and your scene partner with more variety in your play. Bring your two-prov partner along or come along on your own.

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