Storybox Improvisational Theatre: Cast & Crew
Tale Berntsen (Actor):
Tale is from Oslo, Norway and she has been doing improv for 6 years. In 2004, she got the silver medallion in the Norwegian Championship for amateurs in Theatresports. Tale is a proud ensemble member of the Norwegian improv ensemble Norsk Sceneskrekk and as a member she has done several performances together with them under the leadership of Marianne Steinsrud during the 5 years the company has existed. While in Norway, she has taken international improv workshops with Jill Bernard, Shawn Kinley, Jonathan Pitts, Dave Razowsky, Asaf Ronen, Kevin Tomlinson, Tony Totino, and studied singing with Eli K. Hagen.
Tale performs in Storybox in Chicago and Norway.
Marla Caceres (Actor):
Marla is a Miami native who started improvising and acting at the University of Florida. This summer her sketch group PennyBear performed in the New York Fringe Fest. Last spring, she performed at the Piven Theatre in a show that was Jeff-nominated for Best Ensemble. Previously, she has improvised at ImprovAcadia in Bar Harbor, Maine. Currently, she performs in the long-running improvised political satire Whirled News Tonight and with the IO Comedy team Cougars. She also works for Second City Communications, and was part of LoCo, The Second City Outreach bilingual sketch group. Her other shows include Dinner For Six, Double Vision, and the sketch group Midtown.
Marla performs in Storybox For Kids.
Brittany Davis (Actor):
Brittany Davis is a native Evanstonian that has been passionate about acting since she was four years old. A professional actor for the past ten years, Brittany has been honored to work with Storybox for the past three. She has appeared in theaters all over Chicagoland and in various independent films. Brittany is an Artistic Associate with MPAACT Theater Company and member of the musical improvisor group- Clap it Out.
Brittany performs in Storybox For Kids, and Storybox's World Tales.
Matt Herzau (Assistant Musical Director):
Matt has been improvising in Illinois since age 16. He attended Illinois State University and performed for four years with ISU's Improv Mafia, experimenting with a variety iof traditional and musical forms. He recently finished his first year teaching science at Conant High School in Hoffman Estates. While there, he coached their improv troupe, focusing on scene work and long-form basics. He currently lives in Chicago and studies at IO Theater. Matt can also be seen around Chicago performing a pallete-form with his group, Octavarius.
Matt is an assistant musical director in Storybox.
John Hildreth (Actor):
John is an alumni of The Second City who appeared in three revues at The Second City Northwest, including Casino Evil, three revues in The Second City ETC, including White Water for Chocolate, and directed five consecutive revues for The Second City Detroit, including Send in the Clones and Generation X-Files. For The Second City he has also directed Second City...In Color at Theatre on the Lake and Papa's Got a Brand New Baghdad with Second City BrownCo. He's also directed Cuffs and Moulin Scrooge at IO Theater. Currently, John is an artistic ensemble member of Lifeline Theatre in Chicago where he has directed and adapted new works including The Shadow and Around the World in Eighty Days for which he received a Joseph Jefferson Citation for Best New Adaptation. This summer, he's performing at Chicago Shakespeare Rep in Second City Theatrical's Rod Blagojevich: Superstar. John is an original member of Chicago's Cardiff Giant Theater performing in several of their original improv-created plays including LBJFKKK and After Taste. John has a B.A. in Chemistry from the University of Chicago.
John performs in Storybox.
Jen Green (Director):
Jen is the Artistic Director of Piven Theatre. She is also a recent grant receipient of the Theatre Communications Group's New Generations Program, supporting leaders of tomorrow. She most recently directed the midwest premiere of Motti Lerner's Pangs of the Mesiah at Silk Road Theatre Project. Her directing credits also include Our Country's Good; Mad Forest (2003, After Dark Award: Best Enesemble), Burn This (Jeff Recommended), Book of Days (Chicago Premiere), Never In My Lifetime (named one of the Top 10 Shows of the year by the Chicago Sun-Times), Great Expectations (featuring Joyce Piven), Mad Dancers, (Chicago premiere), and Someone Who'll Watch Over Me (Jeff Recommendation). Jenifer directed the world premiere of For You Were A Stranger at Chicago's Hothouse and assistant directed Sarah Ruhl's Orlando at the Actor's Gang in Los Angeles. Since 1997, she's been an adapter and director with Piven's Young People's Company. Jennifer is an adjunct faculty member of Northwestern University, has been a resident artist in public and private schools in the Chicago area with both Urban Gateways and the Illinois Arts Council, and conducts professional development workshops within Piven's corporate residency program.
Jen directs Storybox.
Tusiime Jackson (Actor):
Tusiime Jackson is a graduate from Dillard University with a B.F.A in theatre. He began his thirst for theatre at the Cleveland School of Arts in Ohio. There he attended classes in theatre, dance, music and home econmics. It was in the fouth grade that Tusiime performed in his first play Chicken Little at the Ohio Theatre. Other performances include: The Frog Prince of Africa, Godspell, Hamlet, Oak & Ivy, Peter Pan, and Take One Step. Other sources of education include Florida A&M University, University of South Western Louisiana and The Second City in Chicago. He has been working with Storybox for five years and also does children's theatre with Kidworks Touring Theatre and Urban Gateways.
Tusiime performs in Storybox For Kids, and Storybox's World Tales.
Nick Johne (Actor/Director):
Nick is a alumni of the Toronto Second City Main Stage, a teacher of improvisation at The Theatre School of DePaul University, a member of the Harold Commission at IO Comedy Theater, an Artistic Associate of Chicago Improv Festival, a coach of the IO Theater improv team Carl & The Passions, a teacher at The Second City Training Center Conservatory, a judge of CIF's College Improv Tournament, and an improviser at both IO Theater and The Playground. In addition to sketch comedy and improv, Nick has performed in clown theatre, toured a one man play in Europe, and he was an original collaborator on The Drowsy Chaperone.
Nick acts and directs in Storybox.
Matt Klingler (Actor):
Matt is very excited to be a part of the wonderful ensemble that makes up Storybox. In his Chicago tenure, the St. Louis native has studied at the Second City Training Center and did a few improv and sketch shows during his time there, including Maxwell Street, which was conceived and directed by Jonathan Pitts. Recently, he played Al Joad in the Infamous Commonwealth Theatre Company's acclaimed production of The Grapes of Wrath. In 2008, he protrayed Dylan Klebold in Raven Theatre's Jeff nominated production of Columbinus. If you're into shows about drag queens, you may have seen him at the lively show Big Wigs Live, though he was not in drag. Other shows included the critically acclaimed Maui, written and directed by Andy Miara and featured in the 2006 Chicago Sketchfest, and As Scene on TV. Matt has a BA in Theatre and he done a commercial for CareerBuilder.com, and print work for Crate and Barrel.
Matt performs in Storybox, Storybox For Kids, and Storybox's World Tales.
Vayram Nyadroh (Actor):
Tawny Newsome (Actor):
Tawny's recent Chicago credits: Goldbrick with Collaboraction/Walkabout Theatres; The MLK Project with Writer's Theatre; playing the role of Queen in The Life for Bohemian Theater Ensemble; How Can You Run With a Shell On Your Back, and Two Noble Kinsmen for Chicago Shakespeare Theater; and The Teapot Scandals for Porchlight Music Theatre. Tawny is a DePaul Theatre School alum and she teaches for the Beverly Arts Center.
Tawny performs in Storybox.
Jonathan Pitts (Actor/Creator/Director):
Jonathan has acted with Acorn Theatre, Bailiwick Repertory, Blue Rider Theater, Growing Stage Theatre, Hystopolis Puppet Theatre, Improv Olympic, Kidz Writes, Imagination Theater, Piven Theatre, Redmoon Theatre, and WNEP Theater. He has directed with Blue Rider, CIF Productions, Cornwallis, Doubleplay, Kidz Writes, Magic City, Navy Pier, Piven Theatre, The Rooftop Players, The Second City Training Center, Stir-Friday Night, Very Special Arts, and WNEP Theater. Among the shows and events he's created include The Answer; Chimes; Chicago Improv Festival; College Improv Tournament; Kidz Writes; The Lucky Red Dragon Karokee Night; Naked i: A Visual Theatre Fest; One Hundred Years of Suicide; The Oracle; Renfield; The Silent Movie; Storybox; Storybox For Kids; Storybox's World Tales; Teen Comedy Fest; The X-provisation Series; and Viola Spolin: Visionary Woman of Play.
Jonathan acts and directs in Storybox, Storybox For Kids, and Storybox's World Tales.
Andrea Salloum (Actor):
Andrea is the Artistic Director of Kidworks Touring Theatre. She has helped create and performs in their four different outreach touring shows. She has also worked with Bailiwick Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Rep., City Lit Theatre Company, Congo Square Theatre, Lookingglass Theatre Company, The Second City skybox, and Tony & Tina's Wedding. She has a BA in Theatre from Michigan State University. She has several commercial and industrial credits, and she has also studied with Del Close, Uta Hagen and Steve Scott.
Andrea performs in Storybox For Kids, and Storybox's World Tales.
Jenn SavaRyan (Actor):
Jenn is a typical multi-tasking Chicago artist: actor/choreographer/director/teacher/webmaster and caped crusader...okay, maybe not a caped crusader, but wouldn't that be cool? In the past, she's enjoyed performing with Arts Core (Wyoming), Chopin Theatre (Bride of Acacias), Directors Lab (New York), John F. Kennedy Center (Washington, DC), Lifeline Theatre, Lookingglass Ensemble, MoMing, Pegasus Players, Piven Theatre, Silk Road Theatre, Stockyards Theatre, and the long defunct Chicago Actor's Ensemble. Currently, she is also a proud company member of Blank Line Collective (upcoming shows in August 2009).
Jenn performs in Storybox, Storybox For Kids, and Storybox's World Tales.
Jeremy Schaefer (Actor):
Jeremy is so happy to be working with Storybox for his forth year and his third run with a Storybox show at the Piven Theatre. He's also been seen around Chicago with Appetite Theater, The Big Picture Group, Erasing The Distance, First Folio Shakespeare, Imagination Theatre, and Janus Theater. He's been improvising and performing stand-up for several years. He regularly improvises with The Improv Playhouse, Laugh out Loud, and pH Productions. He's performed in festivals in Austin, Chicago, and Montreal.
Jeremy performs in Storybox, Storybox For Kids, and Storybox's World Tales.
Jonathan Wagner (Actor/Musical Director):
Jonathan has played with Storybox for over three years. For the past 9 years he has been appearing all over the country as an actor and musician. Recent roles include Merivel in Madame X at Alley Cat, Mercutio in The People Vs. Friar Lawurence at Boards Heaf Theater, as well as composing and music directing The DaVinci Gay Code for GayCo Prodcutions. His voice can be heard as the "Voice of Litigation" on the American Bar Association's popular podcast. He is a faculty member of The Second City Training Center. He has also written three musicals and wants to write more. This fall, he will perform the Jack Black role in the Chicago premiere of High Fidelity at the Black Orchid Theater.
Jonathan musically directs Storybox and he performs in Storybox For Kids.
Kelly Williams (Actor):
Kelly performs, writes, teaches and directs improvisational and scripted theatre. A Minnesota native, Kelly grew up in Santa Fe, NM, traveled extensively in Europe and Indonesia and lived and studied in Hawaii. She has an MFA in Theatrical Directing and has performed and directed for the Honolulu Theatre for Youth, assistant directed at the Comedie Francaise (Paris), visited Iceland while performing in a touring murder mystery with the USO, and created original "karaoke musicals" based on the life of Amy Fisher and Mary Kay Letourneau, among others. She and her husband own and run the Gorilla Tango Theatre in Chicago's Bucktown neighborhood.
Kelly performs in Storybox; Storybox For Kids, and Storybox's World Tales.
Joe Yau (Actor):
Joe is excited to be part of this summer's run of Storybox at the Piven Theatre. Joe was last seen in CIRCA/Pintig's production of Mr. and Mrs. Laquesta Go Dancing. He has been acting and improvising for almost fifteen years, including Bar Stool Philosophers, Doubleplay (a two-person one-act improvisational theatre piece), IO Theater, and Stir-Friday night. He has been in numerous commercials, print ads, and even a few film and tv gigs over the years. He has a BA in Psychology from Loyola University. He teaches improvisation for The Second City Training Center.
Joe performs in Storybox.
Emelia Zuckerman (Stage Manager):
Emelia has been a student at Piven Theatre for five years and she is a recent graduate of Piven's Young People's Company. She is delighted to be working with Storybox as a stage manager for a second time. Currently, she is an apprentice teacher for the Piven Theatre Workshop.
Emelia stage manages Storybox.
Storybox Apprentices 2009 include Jennifer Ducharme, Mike Norris, Annie Rix, and Alex Young.
Storybox alumni actors include Kat Barker, Ravi Batista, Jill Bernard, Roni Geva, Larry Grimm, Robert Hines, Elise Lammers, Sean Monahan, Erica Mott, Kristala Pouncy, Meghan Pressman, Rance Rizzuto, Amy Roeder, Tony Sancho, and Ronnel Taylor.
Storybox alumni crew include Assistant Directors Jill Bernard, Sean Monahan, and Jay Skelton; Musical Directors Mike Descoteaux, Sarah Papalardo, and Boaz Riseman; and Stage Managers Lucinda Alipio and DeJaun Pritchett.