Sasheer Zamata can currently be seen as a featured player on SNL. She has also created the critically acclaimed web series “Pursuit of Sexiness”. After graduating from the University of Virginia with a degree in Drama, she moved to new York and began performing improv and sktech at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. She performers stand-up at colleges and festivals across the country.
PHIL AUGUSTA JACKSON
Phil Augusta Jackson is a performer, writer, and musician originally from Yardley, Pennsylvania. He is a writer for Comedy Central’s “Key & Peele” and “Survivor’s Remorse” on the Starz Network. He began studying at the Upright Citizens Brigade in New York in 2009 and is a proud performer and teacher at the theater. While in New York, Phil was a member of UCB Harold team, The Regulars, co-hosted Improv Nerds weekly at UCB East, was on DJ Cipha SoundsTake It Personal weekly hip-hop improv show, and performed regularly at UCB’s main-stage show, ASSSSCAT 3000. In addition, Phil has performed in many sketch shows at UCB and is the resident poet for The Chris Gethard Show. Phil is also a playwright, and his piece, “The Dinner Plan”, enjoyed a sold-out run at the 13th Street Repertory Theater. Phil has been writing and producing music for years. Prior to getting the comedy bug, Phil was a Strategy Director at an advertising agency. He now lives in Los Angeles – good times.
Trainwreck is a completely improvised play created from a single audience suggestion. And while that description might sound like the title is quite fitting, with comedic greats Dan Bakkedahl and Ed Furman behind it odds are good it’ll be anything but a Trainwreck. You’ll recognize Bakkedahl from Veep, The Daily Show, Legit and the movie The Heat starring Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock. Furman is a founding member of The Annoyance Theater where he co-created comedy shows like Co-ed Prison Sluts and Donkey Improv. Bakkedahl and Furman return to the Chicago Improv Festival, so come on out to see what these hilarious comedians come up with on the spot.
Wild Horses is a long form improv show that will make you feel the breeze of the American frontier ruffle your mane, in addition to laughing. Wild Horses is Stephanie Allynne (In A World, IFC’s Comedy Bang! Bang!), Mary Holland (Parks and Rec, IFC’s Birthday Boys), Lauren Lapkus (Jurassic World, Orange is the New Black), and Erin Whitehead (Jane Doe, Scrubs).
The Katydids are a six member ensemble of up and coming performers whose names all happen to be derived from Katherine. They are actors, writers, executive producers, and creators of the upcoming TV Land series, TEACHERS. Teachers shows their hilariously warped perspective as six elementary school teachers trying to mold young minds, even though their own lives aren’t really together.
The Katydids (Caitlin Barlow, Katy Colloton, Cate Freedman, Kate Lambert, Katie O’Brien and Katie Thomas) have also created and produced successful short videos, some of which have been featured on such sites as The Huffington Post, MTV, Perez Hilton, Smosh, Cosmopolitan, Italy’s Vanity Fair, College Humor, and The Chicago Sun Times. Collectively, the women have performed for The Second City Touring Company, Broadway in Chicago, and TBS’ Just for Laughs. In addition to theatres throughout Chicago, The Katydids have appeared at The Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in New York City and at iO West in Los Angeles. Their improv is coached by The Second City Mainstage alumnus Anthony LeBlanc. They reside in Los Angeles.
JOAN AND RO, NEW YORK CITY, 1962
Katie and Holly trained, taught and performed at iO, the Annoyance and Second City in Chicago before touring with the Second City and then becoming cast mates on the Main Stage. For three years they wrote and performed in the Second City Main Stage revues The South Side of Heaven, Who Do We Think We Are, and Let Them Eat Chaos. They have worked as writing partners, bridge players and late night whiskey drinkers for the last five decades waiting to reveal their two person improv show. Holly Laurent & Katie Rich are: Joan and Ro, New York City, 1962. The show is underscored by the wildly talented musical director Julie Nichols. Holly, Katie and Julie are thrilled to bring their collaboration to the Chicago Improv Festival.
Holly Laurent is a member of the longstanding improv group The Reckoning, and as a cast member of the Second City Mainstage in Chicago she wrote and performed in the three revues: Southside of Heaven, Who Do We Think We Are, and Let Them Eat Chaos. She trained at iO Chicago, the Annoyance Theater, 500 Clown, and toured with the Second City touring company. Holly holds a M.A. in Interdisciplinary Arts from Columbia College and teaches improv everywhere. Holly resides in Los Angeles and plays with The Reckoning at iO West in Hollywood. For more info, please visit: hollylaurent.me
Katie Rich received her BS from Northwestern University before traveling with The Second City Touring Company for 5 years. She was then promoted to the Second City Mainstage where she wrote and performed 3 reviews, including the critically-acclaimed “South Side of Heaven.” Her solo work has been seen at iO West, TBS’ Just for Laughs Festival, and WBEZ’s The Paper Machete. Commercial credits include: Discover Card, Walmart, Eckridge, Sonic Drive-in, Lexus, Radio Shack and more. Movie credits include: Martin Short’s Let Freedom Hum, Harold Ramis’ The Ice Harvest, David Rosenthal’s Janie Jones, and with Nick Thune in the upcoming feature film, Bad Johnson. She currently lives in New York City and writes for Saturday Night Live. Follow her @katiemaryrich.
Jon Barinholtz and Rob Belushi met in ’05 on the night staff at Second City Chicago, shushing drunk tourists, and have been improvising together ever since. They trained together at Second City and Steppenwolf and have headlined the Chicago, Detroit and Atlanta Improv Festivals as well as appeared in the Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival. SHELDON is theatrically grounded long-form improvisation with new-school Chicago speed.
JEFFREY SWEET: YOU ONLY SHOOT THE ONES YOU LOVE
One of the hits of 2011’s New York Fringe (reprised in their Encore series), a 75-minute yarn about how the Cossacks almost killed Jeffrey Sweet’s grandmother and what that has to do with a generation of Jews bringing teeth and cojones (look it up) to American comedy. In response to Joe McCarthy, Nixon and HUAC, wits like Nichols and May, Alan Arkin, Shelley Berman, and Jules Feiffer (and Lenny Bruce, Mort Sahl, Neil Simon and Mel Brooks) invent modern American satire. Stories of mad geniuses, outrageous behavior onstage and off, and how this led to Saturday Night Live, Tina Fey and Stephen Colbert. Says Fiddler on the Roof author Sheldon Harnick: “With a fine playwright’s sense of drama and comedy, Jeffrey Sweet has fashioned a fascinating and enjoyable account.” The New York Times: “entertaining, compelling.” NewYorkTheatre.com: “One incredible story after another.” Best New York Comedy: “A show not to be missed.”