© 2019 by Global Improvisation Initiative

Symposium 2017 Presenters
(In alphabetical order)

GIOVANNI ALVA

Giovanni Alva is the artistic mind behind Latinx Improv. His roots go back to San Diego where he created Underground Improv. He's an advocate for multilingual/multicultural improv. Studied under Mark...

SERGIO COSTOLO

Sergio Costolo, Ph.D., is a native of Italy, Sergio Costola taught theatre history and dramatic literature at UCLA and at Loyola Marymount University before his arrival at Southwestern in 2003. His area of specialization is...

KATIE DAWSON

Katie Dawson is Assistant Professor and Director of the Drama for Schools program at The University of Texas at Austin. She is a nationally and internationally recognized

consultant in drama-based pedagogy and creative...

THERESA R. DUDECK

Theresa R. Dudeck, Ph.D., (co-director of GII Symposium 2017) is an impro/applied impro practitioner and scholar.  She is considered one of the foremost practitioners of the work of Keith Johnstone.  Her published biography...

DANILO FORLINI

Danilo Forlini is an Educator and Socio-Pedagogical Coordinator at IFSPSão Paulo Federal Institute of Education, Science and TechnologyCâmpus Araraquara. Danilo has a Masters in School Education... 

GARY HIRSCH

Gary Hirsch is the Co-founder of On Your Feet (www.oyf.com). For the past 19 years On Your Feet has primarily worked with business organizations exploring how improv impacts communication, leadership, idea...

KEITH JOHNSTONE

Keith Johnstone is a pioneer in the field of improvisational theatre and has been teaching all over the world for over five decades.  Once considered the most radical playwright at the Royal Court Theatre...

MING YANG LI

Ming Yang Li was born in 1990 in P. R. China. He is currently a teacher and a director (of martial arts shows) in Martial Arts and Traditional Culture Department, School of Physical Education, Northeast...

LAUREN BURNS

Lauren Burns is a Groundlings Main Company Member. Lauren’s recent credits include: Go On, Whitney, Two Broke Girls, and Weeds. Lauren has appeared in numerous commercials, independent films...

HERVÉ CHARTON

Hervé Charton, Ph.D., is a French theater artist, actor, who also directs, writes and teaches. He co-founded the LACSE (trans. creative, friendly, and committed actors laboratory) in Lyon where improvisation is...

OLIVER CRICK

Oliver Crick Olly has taught at several conservatoire drama schools in Britain, including RADA, LAMDA and FOOLTIME, the UK's first circus school. He has performed as a street performer, juggler and

RANDY DIXON

Randy Dixon is regarded as one of the most experienced improvisational artists in the Pacific Northwest and around the world. In 1983, he was a founding member of

Unexpected Productions (Seattle) and has served as...

MORIAH FLAGLER

Moriah Flagler is an MFA Candidate in Drama and Theatre for Youth and Communities at The University of Texas at Austin. Before moving to Austin, Moriah spent two years

teaching English as a second language in Quepos...

DR. JEFF KATZMAN

Dr. Jeff Katzman received his BA at Stanford University, his MD at UC San Diego and completed his psychiatry residency at UCLA where he was on faculty for four years before moving to Albuquerque, New Mexico. He is a...

KELLY LEONARD

Kelly Leonard has served in a variety of executive and creative positions at The Second City for nearly 30 years. His book, Yes And: Lessons from The Second City,” was released to critical acclaim in 2015 by Harper...

ANNE LIBERA

Anne Libera is the Director of Comedy Studies and coordinator for the B.A. degree in Comedy Writing and Performance at Columbia College Chica go, a unique collaboration with The Second City and the first degree...

GUNTER LÖSEL

Gunter Lösel, Ph.D., is the Director of Performative Practice, Zurich University of the Arts and Artistic Director of Improtheater Bremen in Germany. He has published several books on improvisational theatre and...

GABE MERCADO

Gabe Mercado founded SPIT in Manila in 2002 after training with Paul Sills at the Wiscons in Theater Game Center in Door County, Wisconsin. SPIT has had over 1,000 performances all over the world including shows...

REBECCA NORTHAN

Rebecca Northan is a professional actor, director, playwright and improviser. She began her improv training at the Loose Moose Theatre Company in 1988. She is the creator of the hit-show, Blind Date, which has played...

PATRICIA RYAN MADSON

Patricia Ryan Madson, Professor Emerita at Stanford University and author of IMPROV WISDOM: Don’t Prepare, Just Show Up (2005) which combines Keith Johnstone’s theories and exercises with Dr. David K...

BETH MILLES

Beth Milles is an Associate Professor in the Department of Performing and Media Arts at Cornell University. Recent directing work includes DEAD MAN’S CELL PHONE (Trinity Repertory Company in Providence, RI)...

WANJIKU NYACHAE

Wanjiku Nyachae is a Gestalt Psychotherapist, Coach and Organisational Consultant in private practice in UK and Europe. She is accredited by UKCP and registered by BACP. With Jon Trevor, he facilitates workshops for...

DAN O’CONNOR

Dan O'Connor is a Co-Founder and Producing Artistic Director of the critically acclaimed, nationally recognized Impro Theatre, home of LA Theatresports and their “UnScripted” full-length play formats, many directed by...

DANIEL PASSER

Daniel Passer has been a Lead Clown and Comedy Conceptor for Cirque du Soleil and Dragone Entertainment for the last decade.  With Cirque and Dragone, Daniel was in the original casts of “Le Reve”...

BRAD ROBERTSON

Brad Robertson is the former Director of the Business Outreach Program at Portland State University, where he taught for 6 years. The tallest member of On Your

Feet, Brad is great at reaching things. He is happy to...

NANCI CAROL RUBY

Nanci Carol Ruby, MFA, is a Faculty member of Chapman Universitys Department of Theatre. She has taught at The Theatre School of DePaul University, Northeastern Illinois University, and California State University...

ARETHA SILLS

Aretha Sills is the granddaughter of Viola Spolin. She studied theater games for many years with her father, director Paul Sills (creator/director of The Second City and Story Theater), and has conducted workshops...

PATTI STILES

Patti Stiles is an actor, improviser, director, instructor, and playwright who has been working professionally in theatre since 1983. She served her theatre apprenticeship at the world renowned Loose Moose Theatre and was...

BARBARA TINT

Barbara Tint, Ph.D., is a Professor of Conflict Resolution at Portland State Universityfacilitator, organizational trainer, licensed psychotherapist, and an improviser. She has been involved in facilitating...

JOEL VEENSTRA

Joel Veenstra, M.F.A., (co-director of GII

Symposium 2017) teaches improvisation, stage management, and production at the University of California, Irvine. He promotes the intraconnection of...

NIKOLE PASCETTA

Nikole Pascetta, Ph.D., is an alumnus (1990-1992) of the

Jacques Lecoq Theatre School in Paris, France, Nikole holds a Ph.D. in Theatre Education and MA in Interdisciplinary Studies (York University). Lecoqs...

EDI PATTERSON

Edi Patterson is a Groundlings Main Company Member.

Edi recurs on Black-ish, and she was recently a series regular on FX's Partners with Kelsey Grammer and Martin Lawrence. Other TV credits include The League, 2 Broke..

JAMES RUBY

James Ruby, Ph.D., is Associate Professor in the Department of Human Services & Counseling at California State University, Fullerton. Dr. Ruby holds a PhD in Research Methodology and Human Development..

ANNIE SERTICH

Annie Sertich is a Groundlings Main Company Member. 

Annie currently plays CJ Cantwell on HBO's Silicon Valley, and will appear in CBS's Life in Pieces as Titianna. Annie also lends her voice to ABC which includes...

Improbable is led by Phelim McDermott and Lee Simpson and uses improvisation to create spectacular shows, support and nurture artists and the arts sector, and facilitate social change. Improbable believes that...

KORAY BÜLENT TARHAN

Koray Bülent Tarhan is one of the founders of the first improv group in Turkey formed in 2000 and author of the first handbook on improv in TurkishDogaclama Icin Elkitabi (2013). Koray works as an actor, musician, and...

JON TREVOR

Jon Trevor is a trainer, facilitator, Improviser, Improvisation tutor and Applied Improvisation practitioner. He founded and runs Box of Frogs Improv in Birmingham UK, and performs with several troupes. He...

YAN WANG

Yan Wang “Angie” was born in 1986 in P. R. China. She is a doctoral student in College of Educational Studies, Chapman University, with an emphasis on Culture and

Curriculum Studies. Yan is a member of Paulo Freire...