Alana joins the ITI from the crazy world of Entertainment Journalism for Canadian Film and Television. With a passion for all things arts, she is also an award winning fiber artist, designer and instructor for knitting and crochet enthusiasts and beginners. Once upon a time she wrote an honours thesis in Social Anthropology exploring world youth, music and global/local dynamics. While she herself isn’t very funny she is a die hard fan of classic British comedy. As the Office Administrator, she would like it known that being organized is no laughing matter.
Karen Brown Fournell
Karen Brown Fournell has been the General Manager of Rapid Fire Theatre, the third oldest Theatresports company in the world, for the past 13 years. She has seen the company grow from one weekly show and fewer than 10 corporate bookings per year to three weekly shows, a bi-monthly teen program, four annual festivals and about 100 corporate bookings per year. As an administrator, Karen’s role is to support a highly energetic and slightly attention-deficit-afflicted group of artistic directors and performers, whose first objective, always, is to be funny. Karen is a very serious person.
A native San Franciscan Dan is a co-founder of BATS Improv and co-founder and Producing Artistic Director of Impro Theatre home of LA Theatresports. Dan is happy to back on the ITI Advisory Board after serving in the late 90’s on the original one! Dan has overseen Impro Theatre’s growth from a successful short form improv troupe to a critically acclaimed, nationally recognized improvisational theatre company.
Dan’s television directing credits include the critically acclaimed ABC hybrid sitcom Sons and Daughters and Campus Ladies for the Oxygen Network. He was a writer and the improv director for The Wayne Brady Show, and he co-created the NBC television improv comedy show World Cup Comedy, which ran for two seasons on PAX. Theatre acting credits include the Improbable Theatre’s production of Keith Johnstone’s Life Game (Off-Broadway), and he has appeared in productions with American Conservatory Theatre, A Noise Within, Shakespeare Santa Cruz and The Taper, Too.
Dan was an adjunct professor for USC’s BFA program, and he has taught at Duke University, Pepperdine University, UC Santa Barbara, UCLA Extension, and the MBA Program at UT Austin. He has conducted improvisation and creative workshops at Dreamworks, Disney Animation, Cirque du Soleil, and at many other corporations, theatre companies and improvisational theatre festivals around the world.
He is a graduate of the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art in London and a member of SAG-AFTRA, DGA, AEA and WGA.
Rebecca Northan has been improvising for 28 years. She has been a member of the Loose Moose Theatre company since 1988, and although she no longer lives in Calgary, she shows up at the Moose several times a year. In recent history, Rebecca created the hit-show, Blind Date, which marries improvisation, theatre and clown training in a performance that features an audience member in a lead role. The success of Blind Date has spun off into what Rebecca has dubbed “spontaneous theatre”, and she now has several other projects in development, including “An Undiscovered Shakespeare” at the Stratford Festival of Canada. She has a BFA in Theatre, has been a Sessional Instructor at the University of Calgary, and is a mentor for the Master Acting Class at the Canadian Film Centre. Rebecca also works in mainstream theatre, film, and television.
John Gilchrist is best known for his thirty-eight years as a restaurant critic for CBC Radio Calgary and as a prolific writer on food and restaurants. He also taught Food & Culture programs at the University of Calgary for many years. A native Albertan, he attended the U of C with most of the original members of Loose Moose, graduating in 1977.
Gilchrist was also the first manager of Loose Moose (1979 – 84) and created the role of Commentator for TheatreSports. He performed in many Loose Moose productions including Waiting for Godot and The TheatreSports Hamlet, both directed by Keith Johnstone; Blithe Spirit, directed by Mel Tonken; and the original Moose production of Ben-Hur. He acted as producer on many of the productions and organized the first TheatreSports tournaments between Calgary and Vancouver as well as Moose tours to Quebec and New York.
Gilchrist returns to the Moose for special occasions – the Calgary Winter Olympics, the 25th and 35th Anniversaries – and is now happily enjoying retirement in Calgary with his lovely wife Catherine Caldwell.
Jay Ono has been with Vancouver TheatreSports since 1983, and his 32 years in the entertainment industry includes producing, consulting, directing, teaching, administrating, and performing. He just recently celebrated 25 years in the position of Executive Director of Vancouver TheatreSports, having been in the position since 1994. Recently they opened a new facility on Granville Island after a 1.2 million dollar renovation. They operate 52 weeks a year and present 10 shows per week, attracting 65,000 audience members annually.
Jay was instrumental in the purchase and renovation of the historic Stanley Theatre in Vancouver, B.C. In 1999 he was chosen as one of B.C.’s top 40 business achievers’ under 40 by Business in Vancouver. Jay currently serves as a board member for Greater Vancouver Professional Theatre for Young Audiences. His past board credits include Greater Vancouver Professional Theatre Alliance, Firehall Arts Centre, La Luna Productions, Pacific Space Centre, Rumble Productions, and Tourism Vancouver.
Steve has been doing improvisation since the late ‘80s at Loose Moose Theatre in Calgary. He performs nature theatre in schools, zoos and in Canada’s mountain parks. He travels extensively looking for new cultural experiences and attending meditation retreats. Steve began working with masks in 1997, established the Loose Moose Mask Group and now spends half of his time touring Europe leading mask workshops.
Mariana Lima Muniz
Mariana Lima Muniz is a Brazilian improviser and Professor at the Department of Theatre, Cinema and Photography at UFMG, one of the most important University of Latin America. She’ve been working with improvisations groups in Spain and Brazil since 1999. She’s the author of the Improvisação como Espetáculo, the first book in Portuguese about improvisation ever published. She’s also a author of many papers about improvisation published in Brazil, Spain, Mexico and Argentina and the producer of an important Brazilian International Impro Festival called FIMPRO.
Yuri has been a professional actor and improviser for the past 25 years. She learnt improvisation from Keith Johnston (Calgary, Canada) at the summer school of Loose Moose Theatre Company in 1995. As an improviser, she has performed in the USA, Japan Canada, Germany, France, Austria, Holland, Switzerland, Italy, China, Australia and New Zealand. She was Japanese team captain for the 2006 International Theatresports Championship in Germany. As a teacher, she has taught improvisation for many schools and organizations in Japan include the four main theatre department in Universities in Tokyo.
She also has an experience of teaching in Canada, France, Holland, Colombia, Italy, China and NZ. She is also the art director of Impro Works Ltd. (the longest-running Impro Theater company in Japan) http://www.impro-works.com. As a writer, she has published 3 books about improvisation in Japan. She has started research about improvisation and creativity as PhD student in University of Tokyo (Top University in Japan).
Emil is based in Trondheim, Norway, where he currently serves as Artistic Director for the voluntary impro company The Impro Operators. When not improvising, he spends his time diligently tapping away on his Master’s thesis in Antarctic history and travelling the world looking for mountains to climb, both metaphorically and literally. Aside from history and climbing, he also enjoys good books, chocolate, and dancing, even though he isn’t very good at that last one.
Emil accidentally stumbled across the work of Keith Johnstone in a high school drama class, and he has since sought out Johnstone’s work wherever he could find it, both in print and in workshops with the man himself. All of this gave him a taste for further exploring improvised theater, and he has spent much of his time since then both seeking out new teachers, and organizing, acting in, and directing improvised shows – among them all of Keith’s formats. He is thrilled to get the chance to help the ITI in its mission to build a sharing and caring global impro community.”
Elena is a graduate in international law. She then became a visual designer, combining these skills with journalism writing, directing and acting, with particular attention to the technique of improvisation.
The mission she likes most is the one of Muse, the cultural association she cofounded, promotes the cultural, historical and artistic Italian richness using new technology. She is a webmaster, a web designer and deals with the content management. These skills help her to create full multimedia products, such as websites, books, videos, promotional campaigns and applications.
She started improvising in 2006 with Teatribù. In 2010 she founded, together with other stage fellows of Brianza, the Cultural Association Improvincia, which is a school and a theater company. She’s now the President of the association.
In 2011 she wrote, directed, starred in and produced MOBY 451, a play dedicated to the tragedy of the fairy Moby Prince, with shows in Milan, Genoa, Taranto and Livorno. In 2013 she founded FRIDA, a sustainable economic reality based on the communication of culture. In July 2015 she organized MITICO – Milano International Theatresports Institute Conference. Since 2015 she is working with I Bugiardini on “Shhhh! An improvised silent movie”, with whom she was at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2016.
Africa & Middle East Region Representative
Adam Dow originally from Seattle Washington has lived in Mumbai, India for the last 10 years teaching Improvisation, performing, working in film and TV production, acting and leading corporate training workshops. He started doing Improv Comedy & Theatre with Unexpected Productions also known as Seattle TheatreSports and is the Artistic Director of Improv Comedy Mumbai in India
He moved to Mumbai, India, in 2008 working on Beyond Bollywood, a documentary film featured on Netflix. While shooting this 4-year long project he started teaching improv and putting on Improv comedy shows in Mumbai.
With over 20 years of experience, he has been credited with starting the Improv scene in Mumbai, India and has worked with some of India’s top talents like Sharukh Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Vir Das, and All India Bakchod. Outside India he has worked with Comedians Russell Peters, Colin Mochrie, Ryan Stiles, and Dan Patterson.
He also helped develop the touring show ‘Improvised Bollywood’ which has been sponsored to attend festivals in Toronto, Berlin, Amsterdam, Seattle, London, Dubai, Manila, Vancouver BC plus a tour down the west coast of Canada and the US.
Martina Pavone and Kivanç Özdemir
Europe East Regional Representatives
Martina Pavone has been professionally working on Improv for the past 7 years as a performer, teacher, and applied Improv coach. She is specialized in vocal improvisation and tours around Europe with her #improvvocal workshop. Martina is a part of the SABIR Mediterranean group, who work on socio-political Improv. She is also part of the Pandora Festival board and she is the Coordinator of Improwow Project – Women & Inclusion in Improvisation. She collaborates with Assetto Teatro, AZOT Improv, Harlekin Theatre and International Theatresports Institute. As a singer, she works with Maestro Eser Taşkıran in Turkey and Maestro Luca Ruggero Jacovella in Italy.
Martina has made her life all about Improv, using applied improvisation with corporations, NGOs, and schools for the past 10 years. Currently, with her program “Let’s Improv to Improve – Improvisation in Life, Improvisation in Business” she works with Professor Andrea Montefusco and LUISS BUSINESS SCHOOL. As a communications coach she works on interpersonal communication, conflict resolution, emotional intelligence, public speaking. She also has a special program for Women’s Empowerment: WonderFULL Women and one for teenagers: WonderFULL Teens. Martina is also a Life Coach through Drama and Improv in the IMI middle school in Istanbul, working as a support for teenagers and prevention on violence and bullying. Since 2013 she has been the director of Onar Istanbul, working to fight GBV and empower women.
Kıvanç Özdemir has been working on Improvisation for the past 10 years as a member of AZOT IMPRO. He has been teaching Improv for 5 years, inTurkish and English. He was in the organizational team of the first two Istanbul International Improv Festival. He is a member of SABIR Mediterranean group, who work on socio-political Improv with Italy, Spain, Algeria and Tunisia. With his group he won the first national Improv League in 2016. He is collaborating with the International Theatresports Institute, translating the Theatresports guide in turkish and, together with Martina, bringing different Improvisational Cultures and guests to Turkey (Improvworkshopsinistanbul). He is currently collaborating with Assetto Teatro as a trainer for the master program “La Cantina”. In his free time he is a lawyer, specialized in criminal law and has master of art on forensic medicine working for his own law practice in Istanbul.
Since 2013, he is a board member of ONAR Istanbul working to fight Gender Based Violence and empower women as the Head of the Law Department and Trainer in Universities and Schools about GBV, Divorce, Foreigners, child protection, Integration & Inclusion.
Marko Mustac began as an actor in Sydney in the early 1980’s, joined Theatresports at Sydney’s iconic Belvoir St Theatre in 1985, and soon became a leading comedy improviser, teacher and director. He was Artistic director of Theatresports Inc Australia in the 1990’s and over the last 30 years he has created, directed and produced over 40 improvised theatre seasons. He was Artistic Director of Impro Australia in Sydney from 2010 to 2016 and is now the company’s Chairperson.
Marko also has many years of experience writing and performing for television and he is an established Corporate Events writer and performer.
Marko has been a regular corporate impro trainer and performer since 1990, and in the last 10 years Marko has specialised in Business Training. He is an affiliate of The Ariel Group, a worldwide training company based in Boston, Massachusetts, which specialises in Leadership Presence training, developed from acting and improvisation techniques. He is also a trainer for Dramatic Change, which is based in London and specialises in the Pharmaceutical Industry.
Jeff was first introduced to improv at the University of Calgary by his acting teacher, Keith Johnstone (creator of Theatresports and author of IMPRO). Jeff joined the Loose Moose Theatre Company that same year and has never looked back. The following year, Jeff began teaching specialty courses in Improv through Status and Mask at the U of C. Jeff relocated to Vancouver in 2000 where he joined the Vancouver TheatreSports. In 2009 along with Veena Sood, Jeff founded Truth Be Told Theatre, a Vancouver company dedicated to performing Keith format, The Life Game.
Jeff works with numerous improv groups including Sour Dog Productions, the producers of the Maestro Impro format in Vancouver. He also is the chair of the Artistic Committee for the 2019 iTi Conference and Festival in Vancouver, Canada. Jeff also has numerous credits in film, television, and live theatre. Jeff is very passionate about improv and Keith Johnstone’s work. He is enthusiastic, articulate, and well organized.
Ever since he hit the stage as the Tin Man in his junior high school production of The Wizard of Oz, Neal Leaheey has been hooked on theater. After getting his BA at the University of Iowa, Neal honed his craft performing theater all over the Northeast USA, learned how to improvise with the goodwill of the Improv Asylum in Boston and the Bit Players in Rhode Island, and brought theater to elementary schoolers in need with the Manton Avenue Project. As a teacher and director, he has worked with New England Conservatory teaching opera singers how to act and at University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth teaching college students how to improvise. Currently, Neal works with the Contemporary Theater Company to perform, direct, and teach Maestro as part of the growing ITI community in the eastern USA. He also collaborates with fellow artists and educators as part of the Rhode Island Interscholastic Improv League to engage high school students without access to the performing arts in their English curriculum with the power of TheatreSports!
Thank you to our past board members!
Daniel Orrantia, Dennis Cahill, Erik Van der Liet, Felipe Ortiz, Frank Totino, Geoffrey Dolan, Helene Abrahamsen, Jukka Lindstrom, Michael Durkin, Nadine Antler, Nathalie van Renterghem, Patti Stiles, Shawn Kinley, Terra Hazelton, Vera Achatkin, Vid Sodnik, Volker Quandt, Jun Imai, Chirs Wells, Doug Wong, Kylie Schultz