Un-Scripted Theater Company creates smart, innovative, and entertaining improvised theater that delights audiences and advances the craft and art of improvisation.
Allison began doing improv in college, with Roadkill Buffet (MIT's premiere—and only—improv group), after which she branched out to perform with Post-Modern Avengers and Improv Boston on the east coast, and with DASH, Hobofish, the Pear Improv Troupe, and Pure Moxie Players in the Bay Area. She has taught improv to management consultants and cybersecurity professionals, both of whom found that it allowed them to invent technical expertise more easily. When not performing, Allison works in cybersecurity research; if you work in security and are interested in performance art, ask her about joining her comedy group Security Theater.
A Bay Area native, Amber Dyson is an award-winning children’s theatre director and teaching artist. In January, her production of Honk Jr. for Bay Area Children’s Theatre was recognized for Excellence in Dance at the Junior Theatre Festival in Atlanta. Amber just taught teen improvisers Creatures of Impulse the structure of Joseph Campbell’s The Hero’s Journey for their upcoming superhero show. She recently galvanized a cast of young Shakespearean actors with her popular workshop, Midsummer Night’s Meme. She will return to Un-Scripted’s DASH in March.
Andy Sarouhan is a Bay Area native. His improvisation training began in 1992, when he joined his high school improvisation team. That event started a chain reaction that eventually resulted in a BA in Theatre from UC San Diego and an MFA in Creative Writing from UC Riverside. Since 2003, Andy has improvised professionally with Flash Family and the Un-Scripted Theater Company, joining the Un-Scripted ensemble in 2013. He has also been a busy improvisation coach since 2001, leading courses for ImprovWorks, UC Riverside, American Conservatory Theater, Cal Shakes, BATS Improv, and Un-Scripted Theater Company. Some of his most rewarding work has been with young people in San Mateo, where he has coached several high school improvisation teams, including the team with which he first performed as a teenager. Andy directed the 2014 Un-Scripted show Beloved Strangers as well as 2016's The Short & the Long of It. This summer, Andy will direct Un-Scripted's brand new format Life in SF.
Bill Stahl is a San Francisco based improviser, and most known for his work in the group 'The Five Deadly Improvisers'; an improv group that performs fully improvised classic Kung Fu movies. Bill was a guest with Un-Scripted Theater Company for the first time in 2015 with the cast of And it All Went to Hell. Bill was a guest with BATS Improv at Fort Mason in SF for the 2012/2013 season. (billstahl.com)
Brad Gottesman is thrilled to perform in Swipe Right at Un-Scripted Theater Company. Brad studied improv at UCLA and UCB Theatre and has performing for one ten years. Since moving to the Bay Area, Brad has performed in numerous shows through Endgames Improv, Un-Scripted Theater and Pure Moxie Players. Brad is also currently in DASH at Un-Scripted Theater.
Bryce Byerley has been working in improv and theatre for 30 years this year. Bryce has graduated from actor training programs at a lot of three letter theater companies. He started doing shows with Un-Scripted in 2004 and joined the company in 2008. He also performs around the bay area with other theatre companies. His stand-out role was the title role in the world premiere of Zippy the Pinhead in Fun: The Concept.
Carter fell in love with improv in sixth grade and has been doing it ever since. He’s studied improv at BATS, ACT, and UCLA, performed in a few school and local theatrical productions, and was the founder and coach of his high school improv troupe, May Contain Nuts—yes, he’s young enough that many of his current résumé-worthy achievements happened in high school. He’s currently a student at Stanford University, where he’s majoring in an as-yet- indeterminate academic subject and hoping to pursue a career in front of and/or behind the camera. In his spare time, he can be found singing loudly and making movies, although not always at the same time.
Charlieis so thankful to be a part of the DASH cast. He started his improv career as one of the founding members of the San Mateo High School Improv Team. He continued as the founder of the short-lived but much-loved improv team, Trash Monsters. Charlie hopes to do improv throughout the rest of his life, and maybe even beyond? In his spare time, Charlie enjoys reading and listening to comedy podcasts.
Former director of BATS’ Improv @ Work corporate engagement programs, Chris has led applied improvisation sessions for more than 100 workplaces, including Genentech, UCSF, and Google. Chris delights in facilitating teams to develop leadership, presence, creativity, adaptability, communication, storytelling, teamwork, and collaboration. He has taught improv for 11 years at BATS’ School of Improv and has performed on ten different BATS’ CaveMatch improv ensembles. A Benjamin N. Duke Leadership Scholar graduate of Duke University, Chris enjoys German strategy-based board games, Texas Hold’em, and writing poetry for life-work balance. Actually, his whole life centers on play.
Christian Utzman is a full time actor, teacher, and an original founding member of the Un-Scripted Theater Company. Christian spends much of his free time writing about the improvisational theory behind the work here at the Un-Scripted Theater Company. You can find out more about his writings at improvactor.com. If you have any questions about how we do what we do, or you need help choosing a drink at our concessions counter, please feel free to speak with him before or after the show. (He's also our concessions buyer.)
Christina is very happy to be performing with Un-Scripted. An Arizona native, she is also glad to be experiencing a big California adventure. She has improvised with National Comedy Theatre Phoenix and The Charles Darwin Experience. Christina recently performed via script at Altarena Playhouse and Actors Ensemble of Berkeley. When not busy with theater, she is usually doodling, dabbling, or eating.
Clare Bierman is a college sophomore pursuing a degree in Environmental Studies. She has been moonlighting as an improvisor for five years in her home of LA and adopted home of San Francisco. She improvises now with the University of San Francisco's improv team, Awkward Silence, as well as by herself in her car because the radio doesn't work.
Dana Cory improvised jazz professionally before discovering theater improv, and has been joyfully combining both for nearly twenty years. An alumna of BATS Improv and ImprovWorks, she has guested with many Los Angeles and San Francisco sketch and improv groups, played for years with SF fave Harold troupe SNAFU, and is a cast member of the Un-Scripted Theater Company’s late-night Saturday hit show DASH. Dana performs and produces music, comedy, and improv in a variety of media.
David lives life in suspension of disbelief. He's trained and performed at BATS Improv and has appeared in the San Francisco, Austin Out of Bounds, and San Diego Improv Festivals as a member of Improv Lab. His favorite improv memory involves Theatresports, Keith Johnstone, and a smelly armpit. By day, he has a big, serious job at a big, serious tech company. By night, he's prepared to be spontaneous. Don't worry, he's not dangerous.
Derek performs theatre in order to obey the inscrutable exultations of our souls. His long journey into making things up began with his graduation showcase with BATS close to 20 years ago. Since then he is proud to have worked with, and been inspired by, a myriad of talented improvisers throughout the Bay Area. Currently, he can be found performing with Un-Scripted Theater Company and as a founding member of the Traveling Improv Revival. Offstage, Derek lives the life of a buccaneer on Treasure Island, with his wife/captain Jill and Pooka the pirate dog.
Devika is ecstatic to be in the DASH cast! She has been performing since 2008, initially at Cupertino High School with ComedySportz San Jose's High School League — a team she accidentally auditioned for in the process of supporting a friend and fellow auditioner. The art form brought vitality to her previously timid demeanor and she quickly fell in love with the freedom of creating art out of thin air. Her improv journey continued with D1 Improv at Seattle University and now, as a cast member of DASH. Devika has performed at The Ohlone College High School Theatre Festival, The College Improv Tournament (CIT), The Northwest Convention of Intercollegiate Improv (NCII), and San Francisco's very own Femproviser Fest.
Eric Kostenbauder has spent the past eight years improvising in his native city of Seattle. There he studied and performed regularly at Unexpected Productions before joining the ensemble at Jet City Improv and the renowned long-form group, Human Propaganda. Eric can currently be seen performing locally as a proud cast member of DASH here at the Un-Scripted Theater Company, as well as at Stage Werx Theatre with the Endgames team, UQAQUA.
Gemma has been performing as an actress, improvisor, recording artist, musician, professional jazz and cabaret singer and musical peace activist for over 30 years. She put down roots in the Bay Area in 2012 after traveling around the globe for 10 years building a Million Voice Choir for peace and providing clean water and sanitation to over 280,000 people in Asia and Africa. You can see her performing and teaching all around the Bay Area in improvised shows, your favorite musicals, original plays, jazz concerts and even in jails, rehab centers and juvenile detention halls. She founded 2 multi-award winning international non-profit organizations and has 3 TEDx talks. Find out what Gemma's up to at gemmabulos.com
Gina Stahl-Ricco is a super-stoked member of the Un-Scripted Theater Company ensemble. A Bay Area native, Gina has performed with many different improv companies. She is a founding member of Sketch Marks, and the comedy duo We’re Redheads. When not on stage Gina has a pretty eclectic life. She is a professor of Communication at the University of San Francisco, a doula, a would-be carpenter, a crunchy mama to gorgeous Georgia, and owner of The Roadside Stand, a pretty darn cool localtastic gourmet food business. Get in on some granola at www.TheRoadsideStand.com.
A San Francisco native, Jacob has been improvising as a performer and a musician since high school. He is returning to the Bay Area after a 2-year stint in Boston, where he was a musical director and instructor at ImprovBoston. In addition, he served as Musical Director for the Boston Unscripted Musical Project (BUMP) and has played for many Un-Scripted shows here in San Francisco. Jacob has trained with the UCB Theater in both NY and LA, at ImprovBoston, and was a founding member of the long-running Orange County–based troupe Improv Shmimprov.
Jared Abbott is an Outer Sunset dweller. He improvised on and off in high school and at UC San Diego, but is extremely excited to have gotten back into the improv scene through the Un-Scripted Theater Company. Jared performs with the Un-Scripted DASH cast on Saturday nights and he enjoys messy meals and aimless adventures in his free time. Jared is a Special Education teacher in San Mateo and improv has really acted as the yin to his teaching yang.
Jay Ridler is a historian, writer and improviser. He joined Pan Theater in 2013 as a member of Liquid Mind, and teaches their drop in classes and sketch writing/performing workshop. He directed his first show, Wrestlepalooza, in 2016, and, along with Sid Starr, is a member of The Ambassadors improv duo. He’s stoked about bringing history and improv together with the gang at Un-Scripted Theater Company for Secret Lives! A former punk rock musician and cemetery groundskeeper, Jay lives in the East Bay.
Jerry Ruoti (Director) has been performing with Un-Scripted Theater Company since 2013. Jerry is a graduate of BATS Improv. He can be seen performing in Un-Scripted’s late night show Dash, as well as Mission Improv’s Improvised 80’s Teen Movie. Jerry also performs as one third of the improv trio, Improv Lab. Prior to finding improv, Jerry studied Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University. While at Cornell, Jerry directed, wrote and performed in the sketch comedy group, Humor Us!
Joey has studied at BATS Improv and ACT, and has performed with Lombard Street Experiment (7-time winner of the BATS Cave Match), the San Francisco Improv Collective, and the Un-Scripted Theater Company. He believes the fundamentals of improv can help people open up and thrive off stage. Joey is the Deputy Chief of Staff of Change.org. He enjoys making up silly songs together with his wife Lucy and little boys Jackson and Parker.
This is Kate's second year guesting in Let It Snow and she is delighted to be back. She's also performed with Un-Scripted in Fear, the Short and the Long of It, and You Bet Your Improvisor. She would like to give a shoutout to some of her amazing musical improv teachers, including Tara Copeland, Suzanne Hitchman & Joshua Raoul Brody. When she's not doing improv things, she's working to keep plenty of fish in the sea.
Larissa Kasian has been improvising for almost a decade, having taken classes at BATS, Upright Citizens Brigade and Second City in Los Angeles, and Keith Johnstone in Calgary. She has performed with BATS Improv, An Improv Team Named Desire, Pure Moxie Players, The San Francisco Improv Collective, and Out of Line. She has also appeared in a variety of independent films and voiceover work. This is her fourth show with the Un-Scripted Theater Company.
Laura is enjoying her third outing as a guest with Un-Scripted Theater Company, having played in last year’s And It All Went To Hell… and Fog City Noir. She was recently seen at Femprovisor Fest as her alter ego, Lula — half of the improv singing duo Lula & Juicy's Farewell Tour, and occasionally delights in tackling the delicious improv challenge that is DoubleFeature™ with Rafe Chase. When not on stage she keeps busy organizing people’s houses.
Melissa is a member of the Un-Scripted Theater Company artistic staff and co-founder of their weekly late-night improv comedy show DASH. She has performed, directed, and taught improv for 15 years in San Francisco, Boston, and New York. She is a former longtime cast member at ImprovBoston, appearing in their Nickelodeon Award-winning Family Show among many others, and has also appeared on the Upright Citizens Brigade and BATS stages.
Merrill Gruver has been performing with the Un-Scripted Theater Company since 2009, and joined the artistic staff in 2011. She studied acting at Brown University and The Neighborhood Playhouse under Sanford Meisner. Merrill is a graduate of BATS improv and performed regularly with The Sunday Players. She is a member of Shakespeare's Stepchild, which performs improvised Shakespeare in Dolores Park. Merrill teaches drama at Peninsula School.
Michael Fleming got his first taste of staged improvisation some years ago and has been hooked ever since. He is delighted to be part of the Un-Scripted Theater Company, and has also performed with Out of Line, on the BATS stage, and at a variety of other venues in the Bay Area. Michael has an enduring love of song, stories and making things up and feels unreasonably lucky to be able to do so with such a talented group of folks.
Molly Robertson is a Bay Area tour guide. She studied marketing at Wagner College and improv at Upright Citizens Brigade for over four years in New York. Following school, she headed back to the Bay where she began performing with Un-Scripted. She took a few years to travel around the world with Up with People and finally made her way back to the Bay again. She is happy to have a place to improvise since she is not allowed to make things up on tour.
Mona Thompson is thrilled to be one of the newest members of the Un-Scripted ensemble. She began improvising in high school in her hometown of Washington DC, continued during her undergrad at Stanford, and hasn’t looked back since. She currently lives in San Francisco, coaches the improv team at San Mateo High School, and teaches classes all over the Bay Area. She joined the cast of DASH in 2014 and has also performed as a guest in A Murder Most Un-Scripted and Swipe Right.
Paul Holman-Kursky has been a member of Un-Scripted Theater Company for six years and helped create its late-night freeform comedy show, DASH. He has performed and taught improv for over a decade, at theaters in Boston and San Francisco and at workshops and festivals around the world. He began his improv training at ImprovBoston, where he helped found the award-winning Family Show and performed improv, sketch, and standup comedy for 5 years.
Peter crunches numbers by day and is an avid improviser by night. He grew up writing and performing plays and was introduced to improv by the Stanford Improvisers ("SIMPS"). He currently performs with DASH and Boarding Party, a San-Francisco based three-person improv troupe. When he's not improvising, Peter can be found somewhere on the Californian coast line or cooking with a lot of butter.
Sarah JK Shoemaker is currently an ensemble member at Un-Scripted Theater Company. She teaches at Leela Theatre where she also performs with their Armando Company. She is a founding member of the all-female ensemble Peach Pit and guests with Kari and Company. In 2015, Sarah guested with The Hills are Alive with the Sound of Improv for a cave match at BATS. Her duo troupe, Tall Grande Venti, has been touring the improv festival circuit.
Shara has been improvising on stage since 2009. She started in college with the Stanford Improvisors (Simps), and now regularly performs in San Francisco with Un-Scripted Theater Company. During the day, she is a virtual puppeteer, a freelance writer and an occasional improv teacher. In her spare time, Shara enjoys playing and performing with a Simp alumni group, The Human Knot, and an all-female group, 12 Angry Men.
Simon has been improvising for over 15 years. He has been trained by UCB and The Groundlings and spent two winters performing scripted and unscripted comedy for The Second City onboard Norwegian Cruise Lines. Simon is originally from Toronto, and his live and radio sketch comedy work there got him two Canadian Comedy Award nominations. He has been in SF for a few months and thinks you are all so nice!
Stacy is awesome.
Susie Sargent discovered and fell in love with improv 17 years ago and enjoys sharing her passion through training, teaching and performing. She and has taught the skills of improvisation to students aged 3 – 80. Susie is an ensemble member of Un-Scripted Theater and loves surprising the audience and creating rich and diverse characters. She also performs in Un-Scripted’s late night, freeform improv show DASH. Meow.
VanessaSpeed is originally from New York but calls the Bay Area her forever home. She grew up participating in any musical that would have her, but didn't stray from scripted theater until 2009, when she began her improv training at Pan Theater. She originally thought that improv would lead her towards a career in stand-up comedy, before discovering her true love, theatrical improvisation, at the Un-Scripted Theater Company. She first performed with the company in 2011, and joined its ensemble in 2012. She enjoys bringing music, characters with unspoken histories, and dynamic relationships to her work. Her most recent improvisational efforts center around making up songs, games and stories for her young daughter.
Charlotte Moir is a recent graduate of Hillsdale High School, performing with her high school's improv team, The H.I.T. Squad, for all 4 years. She's now studying Journalism at University of San Francisco and is very proud to be performing with Un-Scripted Theater Company for her first professional improv show.
Mariah Howard's been improvising as long as she can remember, using her imagination and dress-up collection to become French novelists and door-to-door computer salesmen. When she’s not running after her darling son, or attending graduate school for Expressive Arts Therapy, she’s thinking about improv. Mariah's been a part of Bay Area improv since 2005 and has been a troupe member of Drunken Monkey Improv, Tilted Frame, True Medusa and Leela’s The Armando Company. In 2014 she had one of the best ideas of her lifetime: she invited two extremely talented and totally adorable women, Claire Slattery and Fontana Butterfield, to form an improv trio which they called, The Right Now. The Right Now performs their unique short form improv throughout the Bay Area and in national improv festivals. Mariah is elated to join the cast of The Short and the Long of It for her first time performing with the Un-Scripted Theater Company!
Basel Al-Naffouri began his theater journey at MIT where he took his first acting classes. While there, he performed in MIT’s productions of Seven Menus and The Elephant, Your Majesty.
After moving to the Bay Area, he was introduced to improv by taking his first class at BATS in 2005. Soon after, Basel was invited to perform with the BATS Sunday Players and was a founding member of Double Entendre and Out of Line. He has also produced, directed and acted in Improvised Arabian Nights. Basel has taught improv workshops both locally and internationally. He had led trainings with organizations such as Google and Aswat, improv troupes like Double Entendre and Audible Clique and internationally at KAUST University in Saudi Arabia and Laban in Lebanon.
Rebecca Poretsky has been improvising for over 15+ years (!) She regularly and often performs with the main stage company at BATS Improv, and has also improvised in the Bay Area with Speechless, Awkward Dinner Party, and Couples Therapy Improv, amongst others. You can see her on small and tiny screens in Catlandia and Flummox and Friends. She's excited to play with the fine Un-Scripted folks in this show! Learn more about her at http://rebeccaporetsky.com/ or wherever your magical googling skills take you.