Ladies and Gentlemen, we are proud and honored to present to you, the instructors of Mt Olymprov 2021, the 5th 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!)
Omar Argentino Galvan is one of the main references of the Spanish Improv scene. He’s an Improviser, teacher and Impro spectacles creator. Author of the Impro Handbook “From the jump to the fly. Impro Handbook ” (“Del salto al vuelo”) and the text “YES, BUT. Improv in its crossroads”.
His work is characterized by a particular poetic in scene, a blend of magical realism and theatrical narrative which are resources not often used in Impro theater, like Soundpainting.
Tess Degenstein has performed internationally, most recently touring over 150 performances of Rebecca Northan’s improvised hit off-Broadway show Blind Date . She has performed and taught in Vienna, Berlin, London, Oslo, Atlanta, and New York.
She has been nominated for multiple Canadian Comedy Awards for her ensemble work in the improv troupe The Bad Dog Repertory Players, and the webseries Space Janitors (CSA Winner), and a Sterling Award for Best Actor in the world premiere of Nicole Moehller’s An Almost Perfect Thing.
Jacob Banigan is a Canadian improviser living in Austria, teaching and performing impro around Europe. He is a storyteller in short form, long form, endurance shows and solos.
Jacob has been improvising since 1990, when he began playing THEATRESPORTS with Rapid Fire Theatre of Edmonton, Canada. He worked as Artistic Director of RFT for nine seasons, creating of the long form show CHIMPROV, the RFT Improv Academy, and Canada’s biggest impro festival IMPROVAGANZA.
Órla began treading the boards as a scripted actor and worked as a playwright but was officially swooped into the world of improv when living in Seattle.
She has taught and performed in numerous festivals and theatres around the world including in Finland, Sweden, Denmark, US, Romania, Germany, France Spain, UK, Russia & Belgium.
She’s current programming director with Improv Fest Ireland and an artistic director of several theatre projects. She currently performs with The Sky Babies, Spontaneous Theatre, Forever 21 and is a member of the Ohana Collective. She continues to work as a storyteller and acts for theatre, tv and film, She just published her second book of children’s stories.
Daniel’s practice pushes the boundaries between improvisation and physical theatre, bringing elements of clowning, mime, comics and painting as tools for expression and storytelling. He has been designing workshops and directing shows for different groups and festivals around the world.
As a performer, Daniel has toured the world with Speechless an improvised show without words. He founded and currently runs a company called PICNIC, specialized in creating devised work, collaborating with different artists who bring inspiration from diverse areas. Together with this team he founded and directs the MonkeyFest – an anual impro theater festival that happens in Colombia since 2011.
Kiki has taught improv for over a decade, both as an improv coach to a number of groups, and as a corporate trainer for Amsterdam’s Boom Chicago. She also uses her background as a psychologist to teach applied improv to a range of groups: people with aphasia, increasing their non-verbal communication, children with autism, as a way to help them express themselves. She has worked as a dating coach, drawing on improv exercises to help people be more playful and open in their interactions.
Kiki enjoys using psychological theory to build three dimentional characters, and gets a kick out of watching students bring these characters to life on stage. She performs with the Ferocious Four, who improvise action comedies with an all-female cast, and with Themeprov at Amsterdam’s beloved Mezrab venue. She was born in Australia, grew up there, Sri Lanka and Belgium, and has lived for most of her life in Amsterdam.
Active performing artist, director, screenwriter and trainer. Performed in theatre, television, film and music since 1982. First improvised on stage in 1982. A founding member of the first theatre company (Scallabouche) to improvise in Budapest in 1990s. Trained in the field of improvisation for the theatre extensively with Keith Johnstone, Gary Austin and countless others.
An actor at the National Theatre of Hungary since 2004. Founded an improvisational theatre company (Grund), developed shows, directed traditional and improvisational theater, directed, produced and written for television (AMC, Comedy Central, HBO, RTL). Won first prize in the Hypewriter TV screenwriting competition and finished shooting the pilot as showrunner in May 2019.
Trained actors, directors, and non-artists for well over 20 years. Run workshops for improvisers at festivals and other companies in over 15 different countries. Developed and taught improvisational coursework for performing arts and a variety of curriculum at universities (Bauhaus, CEU and SzFE). Also have taught communication and creativity skills to countless professionals, and taught and coached screenwriters and directors for film and television.
Ella is an Australian actress and improviser who has been studying, performing and teaching theatre for over 13 years. She earned a B.A. in Theatre Studies at Monash University, Melbourne and her performance experience ranges from improvised and musical theatre to voice, theatre in education and dance. Since joining BIG in 2012 she has trained with some of the most renowned improv teachers and coaches in the world and has studied and performed in festivals around Europe. Now in Barcelona, Ella co-runs the BIG School of Improv, where she co-designed a unique curriculum to train committed, joyful and well-rounded improvisers.
Her improvisation style centres around bold, emotional play and uses the full extent of her theatrical background, implicating the body and voice to create scenes and shows that are dynamic and filled with joyful imagination and play. Her teaching style is energetic and supportive, and aims to unleash the unique potential of every improviser and scene.
Estevan (Chuy) Zarate
Estevan J. (Chuy) Zarate is an actor/director/coach from San Antonio TX that has been improvising for audiences for 29 years. He has lived most of his life in Improv Mecca Austin TX. Chuy was one of the driving forces of improv in the early 2000s in Austin. He helped make it the viable improv comedy scene that it is today.
He also directed and performed with sketch troupes The Latino Comedy Project and The Mexcentrics. He teaches all styles and formats being that he has a very eclectic tool belt to reach into. If there is a scenario to be performed in, he has probably performed it. With specialties in improv singing and grounded/character-driven scenework, Chuy has coached hundreds of kids, teens, students and adults for years to multiple successes.
When not improvising, Chuy enjoys raising his 3 sons and being very active as a volunteer at their schools.
Joanne Tremarco has been making solo improvised shows for the past 7 years. Creating more than 300 hours of improvised shows under the title Women Who Wank. Touring in USA, UK and Europe. She makes her shows about taboos taking audiences into the unknown with lightness and depth in equal measure.
Joanne has worked with the nomadica Academy of Fools (as a trainee and now as a facilitator) for 12 years. She has become expert in the unique 7 stage form of improvisation/ Fooling taught within theis company. Her other solo show (which is only semi improvised deals with the Taboo of Death) a fool and an artist she is training to be a doula of Death and Birth.
She runs an off shoot Fool’s company with her husband Christopher Murray called FoolSize Theatre which incorporates Street Theatre. Her current research explores how the twin relationship found in the structure corresponds with the twin relationship of a lucid dreamer and how these may help in the preparation for and the process of death.
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, which has been running successfully and growing for the past 5 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 the USA, India and Colombia. His teaching primarily focuses on acting natural, adding fun and realism that comes directly from the heart, and pushing 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 an 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.