Zack started improvising at the U of A, first in Comedy Corner – when there weren’t enough sketches to fill out a show – and then with the Charles Darwin Experience. After graduation, he moved to Chicago for “improv grad school.” He completed the training programs at IO and the Annoyance and performed on Harold and other long-form teams for 3 years before he ran away with the circus. Once he finally returned to Tucson, he was elated to discover an outstanding improv community at TIM. When not performing, coaching, or teaching improv, he can be found teaching English to 5th graders or clowning around with The WonderFools! He learns more about improvising every day and is proud and honored to do so with the fantastic humans of TIM.
Esther has been studying and performing improv since September of 2013. She currently plays on Improv Throwdown, Fine Print, Pilot Season, the Riveters, and is part of Kvetch Us If You Can. In addition to teaching and performing, Esther helps manage FEMPROV monthly workshops and has previously coached Improv Collective.
One of Esther's favorite things about improv is how it can be used as social commentary. Esther's teaching and coaching style is very energetic and she loves encouraging others and helping them feel comfortable in trying new things.
When she is not at the TIM theater, she works as an attorney practicing criminal defense. She enjoys yoga, traveling, reading, and telling everyone how cute her dog is.
Depending on who you ask, James is either the funniest person you’ve ever met or the worst Don Quixote impersonator to ever get kicked out of a Denny’s at 4:30 AM. His skillset includes:
- Having a terrific recipe for cinnamon rolls
- The ability to split a pizza with anyone, regardless of toppings
- Can read (but not understand) German
- Mastered the Carlton Dance
- Being able to make Minute Rice in 58 seconds
When he’s not writing self-absorbed biographies in third person, you can find him nowhere online because he has no social media presence. What a luddite
At 50 years old Kimberly is finally living out her childhood nicknames: Alice Actress and Debbie Drama. What? By day you can find her roaming the hospital hallways as an Infection Preventionist. She loves improv, books and dancing!
Luke Connell, high school student; by different time of day: still Luke Connell, comedian; by night: does whatever he wants, no job, but that often still involves improv.
Daniel has written and performed comedy for several years. He started doing improv with TIM in January of 2014 and hasn't looked back. Outside his love of doing improv he usually obsesses about how cool his red shoes are. When not performing with TIM, he spends time staring at his guitar swearing he'll learn to play it one day and usually wastes his time figuring how he's going to take over the world someday.
Although Jessica dreamed of being a fly girl on the sketch comedy show, In Living Color at the tender age of 8, she was actually terrified of the stage for most of her life. However, after her first Improv 101 class in March 2013, she kicked herself for not trying improv sooner and is very grateful to be a part of TIM. When she is not improv-ing or practicing the Running Man, Jessica enjoys hanging out with her adorably overweight Miniature Pinscher, Sophie.
Andrew always knew he was destined for the stage. However it wasn’t until 2008 that this dream was realized through Improv at the U of A. He has been hard at it ever since and never looked back. Now a proud member of Tucson Improv Movement’s Harold team, Andrew is diversifying his improv portfolio. He is also a member of the one man novelty band “Andrew and the Jellyfish” and is a part-time balloon animal artist. Despite the rampant rumors he does not know karate.
Jess began training with the Tucson Improv Movement in October 2012. Jess loves making the funnies, going to pretend-y town, and instilling a love of “yes, and” in others. When not playing on stage or teaching improv 101, Jess is a leadership educator at the U of Arizona. Jess has obsessions with: pens, her puppies, and Bookmans. Jess believes that improv is not just a hobby, but a life philosophy that helps people be kinder, less serious, and more collaborative.
Cory has been studying and performing improv since the beginning of 2013. He currently plays on The Soapbox, Improv Throwdown, and is part of Hanging Chads and Kvetch Us If You Can. In addition to teaching and performing, Cory has coached a number of teams, including Improv Collective and Choice Cut.
Cory’s comedic improv philosophy is that truly great comedy can come from the real world that we live in or create on stage. He believes that grounded scenes that play out the themes of real life are the richest because they are relatable. His teaching and coaching style emphasizes practicing good habits. As they say, “Practice doesn’t make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect.”
When not teaching/coaching/performing improv, Cory spends his days as a legal drug dealer/licensed pharmacist. His non-improv interests include exercising, golfing, racquetball, and anticipating the day the Chicago Cubs win the World Series.
Ken has enjoyed improv ever since “Who’s Line is it Anyway” first aired on TV in 1998. He joined TIM in 2015 after moving here from Pittsburgh where he lived the previous 55 years. He has completed all 5 Improv classes, and now performs on Throwdown with his wife, Sue, and daughter, Theresa. He is also a member of F.O.M.P. (Friends of Make Pretend) with his wife and daughter, as well as a member of 3’rd Beats, TIM’s hip-hop rap team.
Ken’s comedic philosophy is based on the following. We all are expected to “act our age” as we go about our daily business. At work, in public, everywhere: we are expected to be grown up and act grown up. But inside each of us resides that little child, the one we never completely outgrew. And that child needs to be let out once in a while. Improv provides that child the key to the door. Give him the key. Let him out!
When not performing improv, Ken works a full time security job. Previously, he had a 25 year career with the Pennsylvania State Police. For fun he hikes, bikes, hangs out with his granddaughter, and cheers on his beloved Pittsburgh Steelers.
Sue has been a fan of improv for nearly 20 years. During her years as a Pittsburgh native, she formed a short-form improv comedy team (C.H.U.M.S.) at her church, which performed at small venues for nearly a year. She served as her church’s drama director for many years, and she performed in and directed a number of small and large productions. She currently performs on Throwdown, F.O.M.P and a Harold team called “The Openers”.
Sue’s improv philosophy is: Improv is for life. It helps you to see things in a positive light. It encourages someone to respond with a “Yes” instead of a “No”. Improv creates a team-building atmosphere. I always know that someone has my back.
Sue keeps in shape by teaching several aerobics and Pilates classes each week. She is the proud mother of 2 sons, 1 daughter and 1 daughter-in-law. And she is the proud grandmother of an adorable little girl named Adelia. Sue can often be found eating a meal and enjoying a glass of wine at The B Line, her new favorite restaurant.
Daniel has been performing improv and sketch comedy since 2006 when he joined Comedy Corner at The University of Arizona. During his 3 ½ years with the group he served as Director and Producer and wrote for and performed in hundreds of weekly Sketch Comedy and Short Form Improv shows. He began studying long from improvisation as a Member of the Street-Prov Theater Collective and over the years has been able to participate in long form Workshops with many talented Improvisers such as Joe Bill and Mark Sutton (Annoyance Theater), Jet Eveleth (iO), Eric Hunnicut (iO), Sean Conroy (UCB), Seth Morris (UCB), Nick Armstrong (iO/Groundlings), Bill Binder (Torch Theater) and many more! He also studied sketch comedy via The Second City's online school.
Susan is immensely grateful to live in the best part of Arizona. Improv has been a very positive experience for her because of the enthusiasm, kindness and patience of all those involved with Tucson Improv Movement. The best part about improv is no one ever tells her to use her indoor voice and funny voices are not only encouraged but required. She loves her family, which includes fuzzy rodents, a bunch of chihuahuas, a gaggle of kitty cats and a two legged human husband.
Leland Long is a Tucson based Standup and Improvisor. He has performed comedy all over Tucson and a few places in New York, like the UCB west theater and Standup NY comedy club. He was in the Tucson comedy arts festival in 2015 and 2016. He runs a hybrid improv and Standup show in Tucson called Set Unlisted. All of that doesn't matter though, the most important thing to remember is he thinks dogs are really dope. If you are looking to buy him a gift his favorite drink is lemonade.
Everybody has heard that old saying “You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to do improv”. Well, everybody except Kurt. Only after completing a BS and MS engineering, and getting a job as a rocket scientist did Kurt venture into the world of improv. When Kurt is not on stage (trying to get people to laugh) or at work (trying to get people to not laugh), he loves watching sports – especially his daughter’s volleyball team or his son’s basketball team.
Justin has loved comedy since seeing Ghostbusters for the first time. In college Justin produced Misericordia University’s first live comedy show CougarLive. After moving to North Carolina he began an in-depth study of improv comedy at the DSI Comedy Theater. While at DSI, Justin was an instructor in the Comedy School, performed on Improv Slam and Omaha 9 house teams, and coached the high school team. After moving to Tucson in 2012 he founded TIM!
Justin has been engaged in teaching and performing improv since 2009. Over that time he honed a fast paced, game based approach to performing. His philosophy of scene work is all about the relationship and the two people on the stage, if the improvisers can make the interaction personal to the character and bring out the details in that scenario, the funny will flow through. His biggest asset to improv is bringing energy and enthusiasm to any scene being performed and class being taught. Justin love to delve into the academic logistics of why and how a scene works, with the positive energy of a roller coaster ride.
Eric is a criminal defense attorney in Tucson. He first discovered improv at Amherst College, where he dabbled in theater and music before earning a B.A. in English and French. Then he went to law school at the University of Arizona and had the laughter driven out of him. It did not return until 2014, when he started taking classes at TIM. Eric also enjoys cooking, video games, being a karaoke diva, and fighting injustice.
Michael William Marks
Abbie is a kooky aunt and a middle school English teacher. She startedimprov in April 2015 at TIM. Her passions include drawing, reading, knitting, and feeling deeply conflicted about everything. abbiemccracken.blogspot.com
Jessica has been studying and performing improv since the beginning of 2013. She currently plays on TIM house teams The Soapbox and The Riveters. In addition to teaching and performing, Jessica coaches The Riveters and manages The Best Show Period and helps run the monthly FEMPROV workshops.
Jessica's improv philosophy is that really good comedy should be smart, grounded, sometimes goofy but ALWAYS fun! Trying to engrain improv strategy/skills as a natural part of your scene work will allow you to get out of your head and truly experience what's happening on stage. Jessica's teaching and coaching style emphasizes finding confidence on stage which allows you to truly follow the fun in a scene.
A Tucson native, she earned her Business and Film degrees at the University of Arizona where she also works. When not ‘improving’ you can find her in the Nico’s drive-thru (bean and cheese burrito please!), watching TV, contemplating world peace, at the movies, playing her PS4 (yes, she’s a geek!) or simply hanging out with friends & family.
Linda Ray is delusionally a stand-up comic and for real the comedy columnist at Tucson Weekly. She took up comedy in 2016 after 20 years' writing for national and regional publications about rock n' roll music and the artists who make it. Now entirely retired from real life, she formerly supported her music-industry habit as a project coordinator for IBM, and regional marketing director for two international accounting firms. She’s often said to know everybody, which isn’t quite true. But everyone she knows reminds her daily of their amazing potential to do good and laugh hard. The ongoing process of learning improv is kicking her butt and is totally worth it.
Mike joined TIM in June of 2016 and has loved every moment, since improv is all about living in the moment! He currently plays on Improv Collective and the Friends of Make Pretends. Originally from New Jersey, Mike earned his BA in Linguistics & Math from the College of William & Mary in Virginia and an MA in Higher Education from the U of A, where he currently works as a Community Director. Outside of work and improv, Mike enjoys watching lots of TV, cooking and baking for his wife Jenn, and being ignored by their cat Lucy.
Amy’s first stint with improv ended with her freezing with stage fright in high school drama class. However she’s been bound and determined to try again and, many moons later, discovered TIM through her husband, Tom. Now, she can’t wait to get on that stage! In her other life, she’s a vegetarian RN who and is mom to a teenaged son. Her favorite things are laughing, people watching, and learning new stuff. And also burritos
Tom started studying improv comedy with TIM in February 2014 and was hooked after the first day. Now he loves it when Tucson comes to laugh at him! In addition to improv, his other addictions are drinking Starbucks trenta iced coffees and craft beers (not at the same time), singing very loudly in the car, and learning more about our universe. In his spare time he teaches chemistry at Pima Community College Northwest campus. Or is that his day job? He’s so confused.
Clare started classes with TIM in January 2014 and never looked back. Her love for entertaining began in 3rd grade when she played the letter “E” for the alphabet musical. Being cast as a vowel allowed her to overcome the nascent feelings of inferiority that come from being the youngest of four kids. She loves dancing, singing out her emotions, and waiting for the right moment to yell YOLO.
Kallie is fairly new to both Tucson and Improv, but has always been a fan of laughter. She started classes with Tucson Improv Movement in August 2015 and has adored every second spent improvising. Although she would love to spend all day, every day making arts and crafts and/or doing anything else besides physical labor, she pays the bills by working as a registered dietitian.
Sara Alcazar Silva
Veronica began training with the Tucson Improv Movement in early 2015. She currently performs with Improv Throwdown and Coaches Improv collective. As someone whose job revolves around team building, Veronica loves the team aspect of Improv. What you build, you build together and that’s an incredible feeling! When not at TIM, Veronica can be found hanging around the 4-H High Ropes Course or playing in the dirt at Tucson Village Farm! (... or studying at the U of A or bartending at The Fox… or eating cookies in her car.)
Jessie has been dreaming of doing improv since her first year of college, but was too chicken to try out for her university's troupe. Finally, in February of 2014 (nearly two decades later) she worked up the courage to take an Improv 101 class, and it was love at first "yes, and." Jessie finds improvisation to be very helpful in her daily life as a commercial property manager and part-time petsitter. Her proudest moment was when Alex Trebek called her "not a well person".
Amanda started doing improv with TIM in May 2015 after realizing that she needed a little intangible and impermanent art in her life! The inviting community, high average number of belly laughs per minute, and throwaway nature of improv is what made Amanda know that she wanted to do as much Improv as possible. In addition to studying Improv at TIM, she has also studied Sketch at both TIM and Second City online. She is currently a member of Fine Print, a house Harold team, and most importantly to her heart, the indie teams Legal Torts, We Were Dead the Whole Time, and Oops All Tom Sellecks!
Philosophically speaking, Amanda believes that Improv scenes should be rooted in honest reactions, active listening, and a strong point of view. Her weekdays are spent teaching 6-8th grade Language Arts and directing middle school plays (the most fun part of her job!). Aside from Improv, her hobbies include writing, painting, and talking to and about her dog, Harris.