It’s opening night of the Ottawa Improv Festival! One of our special features tonight is a set featuring *10* of Ottawa’s finest improvisers from around town. They’ll be doing improv based on the real (and fictional?) stories of local author Kate Heartfield.
Here’s our awesome, one-time-only cast:
Dani Alon began improvising in 2009 in Toronto. She learned longform improv at the Impatient Theatre Company, where she performed weekly from 2010 to 2012, and trained at the Second City Conservatory in Toronto, the legendary iO Theater in Chicago and the Upright Citizens Brigade in New York. She has performed in the 2015 Big City Improv Festival, 2016 Mprov and 2017 Del Close Marathon, and recently was an ensemble member of “The Fake News Show” in the 2017 Ottawa Fringe Festival. Dani is a co-founder of the Improv Embassy and also works as an animator and designer.
Ranna Bernard was first introduced to improv in 2016 through the Improv Embassy. Since then, she has performed in numerous class shows, Cage Match competitions, and made an appearance in the 2017 Ottawa Improv Festival. Improv has become Ranna’s continued outlet to get out of her comfort zone and become comfortable with the uncomfortable.
Chris Hannay loves all types of comedic improv, from games (his team won Crush Improv’s first Bout Time tournament) to the theatrical (his duo Slow Burn performed one-act improvised plays at the Fresh Meat DIY Theatre Festival) to the nerdy (he is co-creator and dungeon master of Quest Friends Forever: A D&D Improv Show). He trained at Toronto’s Impatient Theatre Co. and Second City, Chicago’s iO Theater and The Annoyance, New York’s Upright Citizens Brigade and Calgary’s Loose Moose Theatre. He’s performed at festivals in Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Halifax and New York City. He is a co-founder of the Improv Embassy.
Mar Khorkhordina is a queer and non-binary second-year political science student on the University of Ottawa’s team MI-6! They have three years CIG experience, frequent the Improv Embassy, and were in The Fake News Show at last years’ Ottawa Fringe Festival. They are passionate about all things related to arts, memes, and improv, of course.
Mike Kosowan, born and raised in Ottawa, has been performing professionally for over a decade now as an actor, magician, clown, juggler and improvist. He has works with a variety theatre companies and entertainment companies in Ottawa such as Orbital Talent, Busker Birthdays, Live History, Eddie May Murder Mysteries, Big Time Murder Mysteries and with Ottawa improv troupes GRIMprov and Crystal Basement. He is also teaching various improv courses at the Ottawa Acting Company. He has performed in multiple Fringe Festivals in Ottawa, Saskatoon, Winnipeg and Edmonton as well as the Magnetic North Festival, Montreal and Ottawa Improv Festivals. Some recent credits include: Incognito in Wishy Washy (KosoWHAT Productions), Under Derek’s Bed (Dead Unicorn Ink.), Paco V. Put to Sleep (Black Sheep Theatre), and No Second Chances (GRIMprov).
Krystal Merrells is an improviser by night, health care professional by day, with many naps and dog walks in between. Krystal has been improvising since 2014 and is now a member of the faculty at the Improv Embassy!
Christina Muehlberger, trying to find a work-life balance, signed up for an improv class in 2015. After the first class, she was hooked. In the years since, Christina has taken several classes in Ottawa and an intensive class with the Upright Citizens Brigade in New York City, and spends her spare time reading improv theory like the cool kid she is. She’s a member of the improv troupe A Little Awkward.
Ryan Mulligan‘s comedy style has largely been described as “angry” and “not much different from how he is in real life”. He has quickly and abrasively inserted himself into the Ottawa comedy scene performing at improv, sketch and stand up shows. His main troupe, A Little Awkward, is committed to helping people realize that even the most awkward people deserve love, too. Along with performing with A Little Awkward, Ryan co-hosts an improv podcast called “Scene Partners” that looks at the intersection of comedy, pop culture and relationships. Ryan’s greatest comedy joy was studying and performing at the Upright Citizen’s Brigade Theatre in New York.
Deborah Ring is a comedian and writer. Deborah has a degree in theatre from York University and a post-graduate certificate in scriptwriting from Algonquin College. She studied at the Second City Conservatory in Toronto, the iO Theatre in Chicago and the Upright Citizens Brigade in New York. As part of the LadyBusiness and Disco Taxi troupes, she’s been an official selection to improv and sketch comedy festivals across North America, and won the Outstanding Comedy Award at the 2012 Ottawa Fringe Festival. She coaches improv troupe Trevor.
Kristine Shadid has been practicing and performing improv in Ottawa and nearby-ish cities for 10 years. She is a member of Ottawa’s Crush Improv and Outtake Improv as well as half of the musical comedy duo, Rhythm and Burgundy. Her hobby is forcing her friends to watch the Rocky movies and say they like it.