Faculty

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ANNIE DONLEY

Annie Donley is a comedian, actor, and host based in NYC, originally from Houston, TX baby! Annie is a founding member, instructor, and the former Programming Director of The Annoyance Theater NY. She has been performing and teaching improv for 3+ years in Chicago and NY. She currently hosts a public access TV (BRIC) called, "Poppin' Off with Annie Donley" and performs regularly with $700 Rules (formerly The Holy Fuck Comedy Hour) at Union Hall. She has performed at Carnegie Hall...TWICE (haters will say it's fake)! If you like original Kermit memes you can follow her on Twitter @annieassqueef.

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Jared Jeffries

Jared Jeffries has been performing improv for over 10 years. He previously taught improv at the iO theatre in Chicago (birthplace of modern longform) and at the CIC theater, where he co-developed the curriculum. He’s taught improv to everyone from middle-schoolers to prison inmates. Jared believes that improv is a philosophy of mindfulness and openness that improves all the other areas of a person’s life. Everything that makes someone a better improviser also makes them a more open-hearted, well rounded human being. He brings this philosophy to every class he teaches.

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Philip Markle

Philip Markle has taught improv and acting internationally for over 16 years, from Berlin to Bali. Philip graduated from Northwestern University and trained in Chicago at The Annoyance, iO, and Second City. He moved to NYC in 2013 to launch the theatre and training center of The Annoyance Theater NY, where he taught, performed, and acted as its Executive Director until Fall 2016. He is the founder and Artistic Director of The Brooklyn Comedy Collective, where he currently teaches and performs. Philip is also a faculty member at Tom Todoroff's acting studio and independantly teaches business improvisation classes to large clients (such as AMEX, E&Y) and small start-ups. He has performed and produced hundreds of shows worldwide. Philip has musically improvised with Baby Wants Candy in Chicago and BLANK: The Musical Off-Broadway in NY and is the creator of national-touring musical improv show Happy Karaoke Fun Time. As a storyteller, he has performed with The Moth and The Paper Machete. He is a proud member of the children’s education theatre companies The Story Pirates and Barrel of Monkeys. He executive produced, wrote, and acted in the digital shorts series "The Annoyance Presents" on IFC's Comedy Crib. Philip has written a one-man show, Sparkle Hour, which was featured to rave reviews in the 2013 NY Fringe Festival. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter @philipsparkle and visit his website: www.philipmarkle.com

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RACHEL ROSENTHAL

Rachel Rosenthal is a comedian, improviser, and improv instructor with over 17 years’ experience. She is also a free-style rapper. Rachel performs weekly in NYC and has been a faculty improv instructor at Miami Ad School, The Peoples Improv Theater and at Reckless Theatre in NYC. She also worked at ImprovBoston for 8 years before moving to New York. Once called an “improv whirlwind” by The Huffington Post, Rachel tours nationally and internationally with free-form team, Big Bang, and with free-style rapping Hip Hop comedy team, North Coast, who was named a “Top 10 Comedy Show” by Time Out NY. Rachel is also a writer, storyteller and actress and has been featured on VH1, MTV, and on several podcasts and radio shows including “This American Life,” “Risk!,” Slate’s “The Gist,” and WBUR’s “You’re the Expert.” More at www.theraeroshow.com or on social media at @raeroshow.

 

Guest Instructors

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Devin Bockrath

Devin Bockrath hails from Chicago. She began performing sketch comedy in 2005, and began her improvisational training in 2009. During her time in Chicago she was lucky to perform with some amazing people at The Upstairs Gallery, iO Theater, and The Annoyance Chicago; including The Other Other Guys, The Reavers, Attica, DMNK, Superhuman, Quiet Humble Billionaires, DumbFace, The Holy Fuck Comedy Hour, Best Actor in Town, and Invisible World, an original sketch show directed by Mick Napier. She is delighted to be in New York, studying with the Atlantic Theater Company’s Professional Conservatory and celebrating her comedy roots with the Annoyance New York as a teacher and resident director.

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Ariel Dumas

Ariel Dumas is a writer for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Before that, she wrote for the Colbert Report. Before she lived in Chicago, where she toured with Second City, performed at iO, and of course, sang fully improvised Sondheim-style musicals with Leotard Foundation. You can find Ariel on Twitter at @arieldumas.

WILL LUERA

 

Will Luera is the Director of Improvisation at Florida Studio Theatre, Director of Big Bang Improv and serves as the Artistic Director Emeritus of ImprovBoston, Artistic Director of the Pilsen Improv Festival, Artistic Associate of the Chicago Improv Festival, Artistic Advisor to the Women in Comedy Festival and Part-time Faculty at Boston College. Will is co-creator of Healing Moments for Alzheimer’s, a non-profit organization that provides education, advocacy, and ministry for persons with dementia and their caregivers. Will tours globally as an improv and theater actor, director and instructor that performs and teaches regularly all across North America, South America, Europe and Asia.

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MEL MACK

Melonie “Mel” Mack has been involved in the entertainment industry professionally in both NY and L.A. for over 18 years.  She began her teaching experience under Lesly Kahn of Lesly Kahn and Company for many years where she learned to develop her comedic chops as an acting coach and teacher. 

Melonie has worked with actors on film/tv shows including: Blindspot, Blue Bloods, Legion, 24: The Legacy, Gotham, The Detour, Difficult People, Show Me A Hero, Broad City, Public Morals, House Of Cards, OITNB, Community, Two Broke Girls, The New Girl, House, Bones, Criminal Minds, Weeds, NCIS, Burn Notice, Californication, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Mad Men, Big Love, Ugly Betty, Two and A Half Men, Studio 60, The Defenders, Rules of Engagement, Hangover II, Grey’s Anatomy, Grown Ups,  The Kids Are Alright.

In addition to teaching, she has continued to cast commercials. Her combined National Commercial Credits include: Ikea, Verizon, Nutella, Toyota, Bud Lite, Pampers, Visa, Tampax, T-Mobile, Verizon, Welch’s, Heineken, Kia, Wal-Mart, Sears, Geico, McDonalds, Clean and Clear, Burger King, ARMY, Swifter, Tide, Nike, Nature Valley,as well as hundreds of others.

Melonie has also appeared in numerous network television shows. This first hand knowledge gives her the understanding of the emotions and feelings the actor experiences both on set as well as in the audition room.

She has worked with: Mark Harmon, Damian Lewis, Eva Longoria, Madonna, Megan Mullaly, Michael Weatherly, Paget Brewster, Corin Nemic, and Amy Maddigan.

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MILLY TAMERAZ

Milly Tamarez is a comedic actress based out of Brooklyn, New York. She has been featured on Vice, BET, Flama, Above Average, Univision, and Comedy Central. She is the one of the creators and producers of the Diverse as Fuck Festival a comedy festival that highlights diversity. She is one of the founders of the all women of color improv team Affirmative Action. As a main cast member of the online video sketch collective deadass her work has been featured in the Daily Dot, HelloGiggles, Galore Magazine, Adweek, CodeBlack Report. She is currently in the Advanced Study Program of the Upright Citizens Brigade. She is also a company member of Story Pirates. You can catch milly at any number of sketch and improv shows across NYC.

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NOAH TELSON

Noah is a German American comedian/actor/improviser. He has been a member of ComedySportz Berlin since 2010 and is a founding member of Good Luck, Barbara, Berlin’s premier long form improv group. In the fall of 2015, he opened Comedy Café Berlin, the city's first international alternative comedy stage and improv school, an effort which has afforded him the title of "ye generous shepherd of improv teachers" by Will Hines himself. He has studied and performed improv with Will Hines (UCB), Alex Berg (UCB), Lee White (CRUMBS), Philip Markle (Annoyance, BCC) and Brian Kapell (CSz). You can see him performing improv with GLB, ComedySportz Berlin, Tatort auf Englisch, Action Jackson, Lee White and the Noah Telsons and with his latest solo project, Ghost. He has taught improv for ComedySportz and Hive Improv and currently teaches and co-directs at The CCB Training School.

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MARY CAIT WALTHALL

Mary Cait Walthall is a teacher, creator, and performer. In March she was voted Teacher of the Year by the students of the iO Theater in Chicago. She has been studying and practicing the art of clowning since 2012, and her teachers include: Dean Evans, Avner the Eccentric, Paola Coletto, and the late Julie Goell. In 2015, she completed the two-year course in devised performance practice and physical performance technique at the London International School of Performing Arts. In Chicago she has performed with the Neo-Futurists, Theater Unspeakable, Baby Wants Candy, and Glass Basement at the iO Theater. She currently performs with Super Human at the Annoyance Theater, teaches improv at iO, and is developing a movement-based curriculum for the Annoyance. You can also catch her on the Improvised Star Trek Podcast (theimprovisedstartrek.com).