Ladies and Gentlemen, we are proud and honored to present to you, the instructors of Mt Olymprov 2019, the 4th International Improv Festival in Athens, Greece! (All our instructors are available for coaching sessions during the festival. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve yours!)
Jill Bernard has been performing with ComedySportz-Twin Cities since 1993, and is a founding member of HUGE Theater in Minneapolis.
Her one-woman improv piece, Drum Machine, has been featured in over forty improv festivals. She has taught and performed improv in Argentina, Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Colombia, England, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Peru, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates and in over forty of the United States; and also on an episode of MTV “Made.” She is one-half of the duo SCRAM with Joe Bill of the Annoyance Theater.
An Artistic Associate of the Chicago Improv Festival, she has studied at the Annoyance Theater, Improv Olympic, the Brave New Workshop and other organizations; and is the recipient of the 2005 Chicago Improv Festival Avery Schreiber Ambassador of Improv Award, and the 2007 Miami Improv Festival award for Best Solo Show. She was also the winner, in January 2000, of the Executive Vice President Award for outstanding contribution to Human Resources, the highest award in the American Express Human Resources function. She’s also the voice of God, the Holy Ghost, the Virgin Mary and Ruby in videos for Sparkhouse.
Joe Bill is widely regarded as one of the best teachers of Scenic and Comedic Improvisation in America today. He currently teaches, performs and is the Director of Corporate Training at iO Chicago. He is also on the faculty at The Second City Training Center where he teaches intensives in Duo Improvisation and Improvisation for Actors. He is one of the founding members of Annoyance Theater Chicago where, for 12 years, he performed in and/or directed more than 60 different shows. Joe first learned Improvisation and in 1977 studied and worked with Del Close from 1985 through the mid 90?s.
Joe tours internationally featuring innovative formats in Long Form Improvisation including BASSPROV with Mark Sutton, (Annoyance Theater Co-Founding Member and Artistic Director for Training and Development at The Second City). They have been heralded by the NY TIMES: “BASSPROV refreshingly has the feel of a quiet character study…jokes emerge organically, using wordplay, character quirks and quicksilver wit.”
He has performed, directed, taught and served as an Artistic Adviser for a number of Improvisation/Comedy Theaters & Festivals all over North America, Europe, Australia and South Africa and at every major Improv Festival in The United States.
Heather trained in Physical Theatre and then studied improvisation at Chicago’s I.O and Annoyance theatres. She is a performer with the Olivier award winning ‘Showstopper! The Improvised Musical’ and a director & performer with The Maydays, who have headlined numerous international Improv Festivals, and have monthly residencies in Brighton and London and their own Brighton improv school.
Her duo improv show ‘Ten Thousand Million Love Stories’ based on audience love stories has toured extensively around the US, Europe & most recently to Malawi.
She is one of the Artistic director’s of the Nursery Theatre which is dedicated to the growth of Improvisation in London and has also co-written a book on the subject of musical improvisation called ‘Sing it!’
Over the last 3 years Heather was the representative of the UK in the EU funded ‘Our Lives’ project, an international theatre project that brought together actors from all 28 countries of the European Union combining improvised theatre with the biographies and experiences of the actors.
Heather was winner of the award for best female performer in the Brighton Fringe & winner of the Argus Angel Award for artistic excellence for new musical The Opinion Makers. She is a vocalist with the mercury music prize nominated Electric Soft Parade and sings with Doo-wop punk trio New York Dollies. She also improvises a concept album every month with Fred Deakin of Lemon Jelly.
Domenico (Mico) Pugliares was born in Sicily in 1967 but then moved to Milan where he has lived for the last 20 years. As strange as it might seem, he holds a master’s degree in Political Science. After dedicating many years to music (he’s been on stage since 1985), he began devoting himself to the theatre. He began studying acting at the Cooperativa Theatre in Milan with many important names of the Italian theatrical scene.
Mico started his experience of theatrical improvisation studying at the Improvisation School of Milan “Teatribù”, where he became a teacher after three years of training and then Artistic Director. He continued studying improvisation with international names like Randy Dixon, Charles Castillo, Omar Galvan, Kevin John Gillese, Amber Nash, Stephen Sim, Jill Bernard, Orla Mc Govern, Rama Nicholas and David Razosky. In the last 14 years he’s been teaching theatrical improvisation techniques and acting around Italy and Europe. He’s been teaching and he has been part of many theatrical improvisation show at festivals (and private schools) in Sweden, Ireland, Portugal, England, Spain, Finland, Germany, Turkey, Switzerland, Holland, France, Denmark, Bulgary, Austria and USA. As an actor, author and director he takes part in many productions of “official” theatre, working with various theatres in Italy. Among them the Piccolo Teatro of Milan, one of the most important theatre in Europe.
His professional path and inspirations come from merging the tools of improvisation with those of text-based theatre.
Laura is an Amsterdam-based teacher, performer and director. She is a star of shows including all-woman action epic The Ferocious Four, two-hander Jochem & Laura, Raison d’être and Me & My Ex, and co-founder of the multi-lingual Ohana project for European improvisers.
Furthermore, Laura is a specialist in improvisation with a background in theatre and dance, she has been teaching for 16 years and, for 10 years, ran her own drama school in the Netherlands. Currently she is AD of TVA IMPRO in Amsterdam. She travels the world, guesting at major festivals as an individual performer and tutor, and touring internationally with her ensemble shows.
Also, her last name is a castle. True story.
Kevin Scott began performing while at the legendary Harry S. Truman High School in Levittown PA (profiled in Drama High and the inspiration for NBC’s Rise). He began improvising in Chicago in the 1990s with Bang Bang (which also featured Tracy Letts, Kate Walsh and Michal Shannon). In New York he has performed with Burn Manhattan and Centralia two ensembles he co-founded to explore the boundary’s of theatrical improv comedy. Centralia has recently marked its 17th year of performing.
He’s also been a regular performer and teacher for The Peoples Improv Theater since it was founded. He’s taught continuously since the ’90’s for the Second City, Gotham City Improv, The People’s Improv Theater and for various other groups and organizations. His students have gone on to work in TV and movies (Saturday Night Live, The Daily Show, The Office and more) Kevin is also a filmmaker and director. His credits include Video Director and consultant for Marc Maron’s Jerusalem Syndrome.
He has developed and directed comedy TV pilots for Viacom and Fremantle Media. He co-created and/or directed several Web series including: Succesorize w/Matt Oberg, TMI featuring Ellie Kemper, Law & Order: Interns featuring Grace Helbig and has had his work shown on the Sundance Channel and Comedy Central.
Jaklene Vukasinovic is a performer, producer and teacher from Melbourne, Australia. She began improvising in 2006 at the University of Melbourne with student collective Off The Cuff. Jaklene also works regularly as a stage manager, lighting designer and operator for impro, sketch, and independent theatre.
She trains and performs regularly with Impro Melbourne and The Big Hoo-Haa, and has taught impro in high schools, universities, and festivals. In 2013, Jaklene founded First Draft Theatre, creating and producing the formats #hashtag, Play With Me and A Butterfly Effect.
Menelaos Prokos is an improviser based in Athens, Greece. His improv brain, though, developed in Austin, TX. After that, he moved back to his hometown, where he founded ImproVIBE, the country’s first improv school and theater. During the years of ImproVIBE’s operation he’s been teaching students, performing shows, training instructors and developing courses for all levels. He is also the producer of Mt Olymprov, Greece’s International improv Festival, that has been running successfully and growing for the past 4 years.
He is heavily involved in applied improvisation, working with companies from all around the world. Outside of Greece, he has taught/performed all over Europe, as well as USA and Colombia. His teaching primarily focuses on acting natural, adding fun and realism that comes directly from the heart, and pushing the students towards enjoying everything they do on stage. He strongly believes in creating emotional improv with a purpose that goes beyond the quick joke and has impact, not just for the audience but for the performers as well.
When not swimming the improv seas, he spends most of his free time cycling, playing escape room games and cleaning up the mess his dog makes.
Kasia is an actress and teacher and performs with numerous improv groups, such as the popular “wymyWammy” (Bydgoszcz), the duo group “Two Sisters”, the Lodz based theatre group “Impro Atak” as well as the European improv project „Ohana”.
Chmara is an artistic coordinator of Improdrom- international Improv Festivalin Bydgoszcz, Poland, she gained experience in the field of organisation, production and public relation. She regularly leads theatre and improvisation workshops in Bydgoszcz and throughout Poland. She also provides workshops in many european countries like Strassburg, Tallinn, Dublin, or even Bangalore- India.
She is only one polish improviser who take a part in European Improvproject organized by Die Gorillas Theatre, “Our Lives”. Currently she is doing her PhD in Creating Character on script play through improvisation techniques in National Film and Theatre School in Łódź- Poland, and also teach theatre improvisation in acting departament. Kasia has been conducting theater workshops since 1998. She is improvising over 9 years.
He teaches it, performs it and writes about it. He is a co-founder and artistic director of the Nursery in London and a member of award-winning improv company The Maydays.
He performs regularly in shows in London and Brighton, as well as tours to festivals and teaches both performance and applied improvisation.
He first tried improv at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and it terrified him, so he joined an extra-curricular improv group.
Improv went from self improvement to passion to profession and soon after graduating he, Judith Amsenga and Robin Steegman co-founded the Nursery and Slapdash International (London’s longest running festival of improvisation). The next year, he joined the Maydays and was later involved in the creation of Impromptu Shakespeare, Ten Thousand Million Love Stories, Concept: the Improvised Concept Album and many other shows.
Over the last decade, he has been to festivals and theatres in Finland, Portugal, Romania, Canada, the US, Spain, Italy, France, Germany, Pakistan, Poland and more, as well as across the UK.
Billy Kissa is an actress, won over by Improv Theater. After attempting to adapt to a “normal” career, studying Tourism Management in Heraklion, Crete, she returned to Athens to follow her first and great desire, acting. Since then things have been getting better and better! After graduating “Theater of Arts, Karolos Koun”, she performed to her first play as a professional actress and at the same time she crossed paths with Improv Theater. It was love at first sight.
She dove into the world of improv head first and, having completed ImproVIBE’s training, she took her first steps towards teaching improv. Within 6 years she was trained by numerous instructors and performed in Greece, Belgium, Finland, Sweden, The Netherlands, Germany, Romania, France, Spain, Italy, USA and Turkey.
Cédric is a member and co-founder of La Carpe Haute, from Strasbourg, France.
His idea of improv is to share and learn as much as you can, that’s why he has been travelling around 13 countries in Europe and North America, playing, learning and teaching. Back home, he gives courses on a regular basis, and specific workshops on the topics he loves. His style and the one of La Carpe Haute could be described as explosive, sincere, physical and silly.
He loves miming, clowning and playing with the body, that’s what he wants to bring in his performances and workshops.