Teachers

Teacher Name
Ronnie Adrian

Originally from South Carolina, Ronnie is now a performer based out of Los Angeles. He performs in cities all around the country and you can often catch him with his various groups most notably The Dragons and The Big Team. He does other things besides comedy but this is a comedy bio so he’ll keep it to himself.

Upcoming classes for Ronnie Adrian:

Teacher Name
Alex Berg

Alex Berg grew up in Connecticut, where there's not much to do besides climb trees and read Calvin & Hobbes. Shortly after getting a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from Vassar College, he threw a pair of cargo shorts and a few t-shirts into a duffel bag and drove out to LA. Now, Alex spends the bulk of his waking hours writing, acting, and improvising. Currently, he performs with UCB house teams Sentimental Lady and Convoy, and can frequently be seen prowling around backstage hoping to sit in with other shows as well. Occasionally, he shows up on television, in shows like Terriers, Reno! 911, and MANswers. Recently, he played a naked old lady in Hell Baby (Sundance 2013) and a post apocalyptic hipster in Best Friends Forever (Slamdance 2013). Beyond all that, he's a huge science nerd and a bit unkempt. Deal with it.

Teacher Name
Julie Brister

Julie Brister is a performer, director and teacher living in Los Angeles. She's a longtime performer and teacher from the UCB Theater, since it's early days in NYC and has performed in many shows including her solo-show Fatparts, which she also performed at SF Sketchfest and at Out of Bounds in Austin. Other shows include Showgirls! The Best Movie Ever Made! Ever!, Laid Up, and Put it in You! The Sex-Ed Musical. She's performed with dozens of improv groups over the years and currently improvises with her fellow teachers in Assembly. Julie plays Marva Jefferson on Goliath on Amazon and Daisy the attorney on Review on Comedy Central. Other TV credits include Superstore (NBC), Adam Ruins Everything (TruTV), Transparent (Amazon), Brooklyn Nine-Nine (FOX), Playing House (USA), Parks and Recreation (NBC), The New Normal (NBC), Comedy Bang Bang (IFC), Newsreaders (Adult Swim), Onion News Network (IFC), New Girl (FOX), Good Luck Charlie (Disney), Rules of Engagement (CBS), and Conan (TBS). She has an alarming collection of owls and clowns.

Teacher Name
Craig Cackowski

Craig Cackowski is an actor, improvisor and teacher based in Los Angeles. He was involved with the iO and iO West (RIP) theaters from 1992-2018, and was the three-time winner of the Del Close Award as Teacher of the Year at iO West. He has played numerous improv festivals around the US with his long-running three-man troupe Dasariski (with Bob Dassie and Rich Talarico) and his duo Orange Tuxedo (with his wife Carla!). While in Chicago, he appeared in and co-wrote 5 revues for The Second City, and helped create such improv forms as JTS Brown and Close Quarters. As an actor, he has been seen in recurring roles on such shows as Community, Veep, Drunk History, and Mindy Kaling’s Sex Lives Of College Girls. He may be heard frequently on such podcasts as The Thrilling Adventure Hour, Kevin Pollak’s Alchemy This and his own podcast Craig’s List, in which he makes Carla watch his 100 favorite movies.

Upcoming classes for Craig Cackowski:

  • LA: Craig Cackowski's Improv Class, 16 people max, $200 USD
    Wed Jun 5 7pm-10pm (LA)
    Wed Jun 12 7pm-10pm
    Wed Jun 19 7pm-10pm
    Wed Jun 26 7pm-10pm
  • Online: La Ronde, 12 people max, $40 USD
    Sun Jun 9 10am-12:30pm (PDT)
  • Online: Sustaining A Scene, 12 people max, $40 USD
    Sun Jun 23 10am-12:30pm (PDT)

Teacher Name
Sarah Claspell

Sarah is an actor/comedian/writer/teacher living in Los Angeles. She has been featured on tv shows such as Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Jimmy Kimmel Live!, and written for Drunk History, Gizmodo, Ask.com and many live shows at the UCB Theatre. She teaches at WGIS and the Upright Citizens Brigade, and performs regularly with improv teams Cardinal Redbird, The Bozos and Voltron, variety show Asian AF, and various shows doing improv, sketch, and characters. She has performed at the San Francisco Sketchfest, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Das Improv Festival, and SoHo Rep Theater in New York. Additionally, she has trained with members of the Royal Shakespeare Company in London. Sarah co-hosts the podcast Everything is Rent, a podcast with popular comedians or musical theater types talking about the Broadway musical Rent, of course.

Upcoming classes for Sarah Claspell:

  • LA: Individual Challenges, 16 people max, $30 USD
    Sun Jun 16 11:30am-2:30pm (LA)
  • LA: Advanced Game of the Scene, 14 people max, $240 USD
    Sat Jul 13 12pm-3pm (LA)
    Sat Jul 20 12pm-3pm
    Sat Jul 27 12pm-3pm
    Sat Aug 3 12pm-3pm
    Sat Aug 10 12pm-3pm
    Sat Aug 17 12pm-3pm
  • LA: Level 3: Premise Core, 14 people max, $260 USD
    Sat Sep 7 12pm-3pm (LA)
    Sat Sep 14 12pm-3pm
    Sat Sep 21 12pm-3pm
    Sat Sep 28 12pm-3pm
    Sat Oct 5 12pm-3pm
    Sat Oct 12 12pm-3pm
       Show: Tue Oct 22 7pm-8pm (Broadwater Theater)

Teacher Name
Sebastian Conelli

Sebastian Conelli is a comedian and improviser in Brooklyn, CT. He's a longtime performer and teacher from the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. Among his many terrific shows and teams, he was a member of The Stepfathers, The Enemy and Slamball. He's also a regular performer in the NYC-based show Raaatscraps. He co-hosts the hit podcast Loud About Nothing with fellow comedian/improviser Robbie Nunes.

Upcoming classes for Sebastian Conelli:

Teacher Name
Bob Dassie

Bob began performing in Chicago at the Improv Olympic and touring with the Second City. He has performed and taught at the Improv Olympic (Chicago & LA), UCB (NY & LA) and across North America, the UK and Singapore. He has been involved with several long-form groups including: Baby Wants Candy, Quartert, WeirDass (which he performs with his wife Stephnie Weir) and Dasariski (with Craig Cackowski & Rich Talarico).

Bob has appeared on various television shows including: HBO's Funny or Die Presents: The Carpet Brothers, NBC's Community, Comedy Central’s Review, FX’s The Comedians, IFC’s The Spoils of Babylon, and in the film Casa de mi Padre. He has been a frequent guest on podcasts for Earwolf, and has also written for Adult Swim’s only satanic dog show Mr. Pickles.

Upcoming classes for Bob Dassie:

  • LA: Bob Dassie's Improv Mindset, 14 people max, $300 USD
    Tue Jul 9 7pm-10pm (LA)
    Tue Jul 16 7pm-10pm
    Tue Jul 23 7pm-10pm
    Tue Jul 30 7pm-10pm
    Tue Aug 6 7pm-10pm
    Tue Aug 13 7pm-10pm

Teacher Name
Jamie Gaul Cullen

Jamie is a longtime improviser who has performed, coached and studied extensively at the UCB Theater and iO West. She is currently a member of the UCB team, Cardinal Redbird.

While Jamie no longer acts professionally (she has a regular 9-5 job in tech, can you believe it?!) her previous credits include: General Hospital, Grey’s Anatomy and Medium.

Should you find yourself talking to Jamie about topics other than improv, she suggests the following: Dogs (specifically hers), the Los Angeles Dodgers, the movie Jaws.

Teacher Name
Michelle Gilliam

Michelle Gilliam is a voice actor and improviser. She has been involved in the improv comedy scene for over 20 years. Michelle has had the pleasure of performing all over the country and being immersed in the Milwaukee, Chicago, and Boston improv scenes, which gives her a unique and well-rounded perspective. Michelle currently coaches, teaches, and performs in Milwaukee, WI. Michelle is also the owner of Improv MKE LLC, and is passionate about connecting the global improv community through online and in-person classes, workshops, skill-based drop ins, and jams. A few fun facts about Michelle: She sang at Carnegie Hall when she was 15 years old, and her grandfather, Clarence W. Gilliam, invented the chemical formula for glow sticks, or chemiluminescence.

Upcoming classes for Michelle Gilliam:

Teacher Name
Will Hines

Will has been teaching long-form improv since 2004 at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, at both its New York and Los Angeles branches. He's published a best-selling book on improv called How to Be The Greatest Improviser on Earth. He's also a working comedic actor and has appeared on many terrific television programs (Brooklyn 99) and on some big podcasts (Comedy Bang-Bang) as well as the 99 podcasts he's produced himself (including Screw It We're Just Gonna Talk about the Beatles) He's also the founder of the audaciously-named World's Greatest Improv School.

Upcoming classes for Will Hines:

Teacher Name
Nick Mandernach

Nick Mandernach has been improvising for 15 years at UCB. He performs with JV and the improvised emo band Every Place I Cry. He’s also written on TV shows like: Duncanville, People of Earth, Upload, I Feel Bad and Young Sheldon(!!)

Teacher Name
Mike McLendon

Actor, comedian, and writer of short bios, Mike McLendon has coached over a dozen house and Harold teams at UCB, iO, Second City, and The Westside Comedy Theater. He's also led improv workshops across the U.S. and internationally including stops in China, Japan, and Australia. You can catch Mike performing around Los Angeles in How I Met Your Sitcom and with the *ahem* legendary improv team Outside Dog.

Teacher Name
Billy Merritt

Billy Merritt has been teaching, performing, and directing Improvisational Theatre for over 30 years. Most notably at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre were he's been a member of the staff since it's inception in New York, as well as Los Angeles were he resides now. Billy was one the founding members of The Swarm and The Stepfathers in NY, and The Smokes in LA.

As Teacher/Director, Billy has helped develop [along with his students] shows such as The Documentary, The Improvised One Act Play, Roadtrip, and of course... The Garfunkel.

Upcoming classes for Billy Merritt:

  • Online: 1000 Scenes, 10 people max, $30 USD
    Fri Jun 14 11am-1pm (PDT)
  • Online: 1000 Scenes, 10 people max, $30 USD
    Fri Jul 5 9am-11am (PDT)
  • Online: Suggestion Becomes Form, 9 people max, $160 USD
    Thu Jul 11 3pm-6pm (PDT)
    Thu Jul 18 3pm-6pm
    Thu Jul 25 3pm-6pm
    Thu Aug 1 3pm-6pm
  • Online: 1000 Group Scenes, 10 people max, $35 USD
    Fri Jul 19 9am-11am (PDT)
  • Online: 1000 Scenes, 10 people max, $30 USD
    Fri Aug 2 9am-11am (PDT)
  • Online: 1000 Group Scenes, 10 people max, $35 USD
    Fri Aug 23 9am-11am (PDT)

Teacher Name
Kevin Mullaney

Kevin Mullaney has been teaching improv for over 25 years at world-renowned theaters like Second City, The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York, and iO Theater in Chicago. He is the host of the Improv Resource Center Podcast and the former Artistic Director of the Chicago Improv Festival.

During his time teaching at The UCB Theatre, he served as the head of their education program (writing the first curriculum there), overseeing classes which served thousands of students each year. He also served as the Artistic Director at UCB.

He's directed and created many improv shows which became institutions including: Cagematch, 3x3 Tourney, Tracers, Slow Waltz Around Rage Mountain (first weekly show of improv legends The Swarm) and many may more.

Teacher Name
Shannon O'Neill

Shannon O'Neill is an actor/improviser/writer. She's a veteran of The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre where she performed for over 20 years, taught improv for over 15 years, and was Artistic Director from 2014-2018. She has been in TV and film and trouble.

Upcoming classes for Shannon O'Neill:

  • Online: Take Two, 9 people max, $40 USD
    Tue Jun 11 5:30pm-7:30pm (PDT)
  • Online: Premise Reps, 9 people max, $40 USD
    Wed Jul 3 9am-11am (PDT)
  • Online: Premise Reps, 9 people max, $40 USD
    Thu Jul 18 9am-11am (PDT)

Teacher Name
Jake Regal

Jake is an actor and improviser with 15 years experience performing at the UCB Theatre in Los Angeles. He's a member of the long-running team Cardinal Redbird. He has taught improv workshops at UCB and theatres around the country. Recent screen appearances include "The Offer," "Hollywood," and "The Sex Lives of College Girls." He was also a member of the nationally renowned ensemble Mission: IMPROVable and he WILL teach you short-form if you ask nicely.

Upcoming classes for Jake Regal:

  • LA: Level 1: Intro To Improv, 14 people max, $260 USD
    Sat Sep 7 11:30am-2:30pm (LA)
    Sat Sep 14 11:30am-2:30pm
    Sat Sep 21 11:30am-2:30pm
    Sat Sep 28 11:30am-2:30pm
    Sat Oct 5 11:30am-2:30pm
    Sat Oct 12 11:30am-2:30pm
       Show: Tue Oct 15 7pm-8pm (Broadwater Theater)

Teacher Name
Ryan Rosenberg

Ryan Rosenberg is a writer and performer from Los Angeles. He studied, performed, and taught at the UCB Theatre for years, and is part of the comedy group Big Grande, best known for their podcast The Teachers' Lounge. He also co-hosts @ManDogPod, can be seen in a few tv shows and commercials, and around the internet as @chosenberg.

Upcoming classes for Ryan Rosenberg:

  • LA: Intro to Sketch, 14 people max, $400 USD
    Thu Jul 11 7pm-10pm (LA)
    Thu Jul 18 7pm-10pm
    Thu Jul 25 7pm-10pm
    Thu Aug 1 7pm-10pm
    Thu Aug 8 7pm-10pm
    Thu Aug 15 7pm-10pm
    Thu Aug 22 7pm-10pm
    Thu Aug 29 7pm-10pm
       Show: Fri Sep 6 6pm-7pm (Clubhouse Downstairs)

Teacher Name
Funk Shuffle

Funk Shuffle is an improv group founded in Los Angeles in 2014. It's comprised of: Dennis Curlett, Danny Cymbal and Michael Gardner. They specialize in improv and sketch shows that push the form in innovative ways, using absurdity, audience interaction, meta scenes and sometimes straight-up stunts and gimmicks!

Teacher Name
Eliza Skinner

Eliza Skinner is a comedian and Emmy-winning TV writer. She has written lyrics for musicians such as Method Man, John Legend, and Lin Manuel Miranda. She co-created was the head writer for Drop The Mic on TBS. Eliza made her Broadway debut in 2019 with Freestyle Love Supreme, performing a fully improvised rap show. She has toured the world with Baby Wants Candy and her award-winning musical improv duo, I Eat Pandas. She has also appeared on The Late Late Show, Just For Laughs TV, @Midnight, Chelsea Lately, Conan and a bunch of other stuff. Eliza was a writer and correspondent on Totally Biased (produced by Chris Rock), Fashion Police (with Joan Rivers), Adam Ruins Everything (truTV) - and she was the head writer of Earth To Ned (Disney+).

Upcoming classes for Eliza Skinner:

Teacher Name
Nate Smith

Nate Smith is an actor, writer and filmmaker in LA. Acting credits: Curb Your Enthusiasm, Mixed-Ish, There's Johnny, Red Oaks, The Mick, Odd Mom Out, Inside Amy Schumer, Silicon Valley, Happy Endings, 30 Rock, Angel From Hell, Adam Ruins Everything, David Cross’ Hits and Max Landis’ Me Him Her. He's been in some pilots nobody ever saw like Black Jack for Comedy Central, Max for HBO and Lusty Crest for Adult Swim. He had lead roles in the independent features, Ready or Knot and Hello Lonesome (winner of the LA Film Festival’s award for Best Ensemble Cast). Theater: Tail! Spin! (off broadway) and Nate has been a regular improv and sketch performer at the UCB Theater since 2005. He’s written and directed dozens of sketch and one-person shows for the UCB stage. Nate writes and directs ads, short films and sketch for UCBComedy, Funnyordie, NurtureDigital and SoulPancake. In addition to comedy, Nate has worked extensively in documentary films as an editor and producer. Nate co-hosts the podcast, What’s That From, a thoroughly unresearched history of comedy podcast as two comedy nerds remember it.

Teacher Name
Monika Smith

Monika Smith is an actor and writer from Canada who modeled internationally for years until realizing she liked smiling and eating. That's the only bit in her bio. Monika has been a longtime performer at the UCB Theatre, including stints on improv and sketch house teams, as well appearing in many other shows. She got her start performing with The Second City Touring Company in Toronto, and has been fortunate to perform improv for years at UCB Theatre LA & New York, The Second City L.A. & Chicago, Chicago Improv Festival, iO Chicago, iO West, Del Close Marathon, Annoyance, improv festivals across America and more. You can catch her performing in different theaters and indie nights across L.A. with a number of teams including her one woman improv show Smith. Some recent credits include: Blunt Talk, Wanna See A Dead Body?, Who Gets The Last Laugh?, Newsreaders, Newsroom, The Joe Schmo Show, Two And a Half Men, UCB's Inside The Master Class, Nick Swardson's Pretend Time, Disaster Date, Players, and in sketches on The Tonight Show, Conan, and Arsenio and over ten unseen network pilots.

Teacher Name
Joel Spence

Joel has been performing long form improv and sketch comedy at UCBTLA since 2005. He's a member of the house teams Sentimental Lady and Toledo Rep. He studied improv under Matt Besser, Ian Roberts, Matt Walsh, Seth Morris and many others. Joel grew up in San Antonio, TX and went to S.M.U. in Dallas where he received a B.F.A. in Acting. In 1995 he joined Theatre de la Jeune Lune and for the next five years performed in over 20 productions. From 2000-01, Joel studied at l'Ecole Philippe Gaulier in London, England. He's appeared on such TV shows as: Key & Peele, Newsreaders, Modern Family, How I Met Your Mother, Big Love, Reno 911, My Name Is Earl, Burn Notice, Big Little Lies and others!

Upcoming classes for Joel Spence:

Teacher Name
Raaaatscraps

Sebastian Conelli, Alex Dickson, Shannon O'Neill and Achilles Stamatelaky are featured player in the hit weekly improv show Raaaatscraps. Performed live in NYC and streamed all over the world, this show is a favorite of improv students everywhere. In this course, get taught by each of these four on some important improv fundamentals and how they factor into making Raaaatscraps the great show that it is.

Teacher Name
Jim Woods

Jim Woods has an incredible improv resume. He's studied and performed extensively at: UCB, Boom Chicago, iO Chicago and North Carolina ComedySportz. He's one of the co-founders of the Free Association in London and the Improv Boot Camp in Los Angeles. He's appeared on numerous TV shows and commercial campaigns and recently was a staff writer on the Tracy Morgan show The Last O.G.

Upcoming classes for Jim Woods:

  • LA: After-Noon Bitness-June 2024, 20 people max, $200 USD
    Mon Jun 3 2:15pm-4:15pm (LA)
    Thu Jun 20 2:15pm-4:15pm
  • LA: Tact and Tactics, 16 people max, $30 USD
    Sun Jun 23 12pm-3pm (LA)
  • LA: Empathy Driven Improv, 14 people max, $260 USD
    Sat Jul 20 12pm-3pm (LA)
    Sat Jul 27 12pm-3pm
    Sat Aug 3 12pm-3pm
    Sat Aug 10 12pm-3pm
    Sat Aug 17 12pm-3pm
       Show: Tue Aug 20 7pm-8pm (Broadwater Theater)

Teacher Name
Jen deHaan

Jen is an improviser in Canada who has studied improv at schools including WGIS, Queen City Comedy, Second City, and more. She has taught classes and jams with WGIS, Queen City Comedy and Compass Improv. Jen has a degree in teaching adults fine arts, and several related certifications including from Vancouver Film School.

In the before-times, Jen enjoyed teaching dance fitness and performing in semi-rural vaudeville-themed comedy shows both of which took place on stages made of wood. She has an online improv website called FlatImprov.com and likes developing shows and podcasts for digital delivery. Jen is also the Online School Director at WGIS, and has been to four (4) concerts.