Improv Hour at Sonoma Laughfest, October 20, 2016
Episode Three – airs December 10, 2016 at 10:00pm
Hosted by Jill Maragos
Laughs TV (FOX), West Coast Comedy (Hulu)
Jill Maragos developed her sense of humor and knack for story-telling as a survival tactic for growing up with a crazy family in Buffalo, NY. With degrees in Broadcast Journalism & Mechanical Engineering, she made the natural progression into Stand-Up Comedy. She has appeared on Laughs TV (FOX), Comedy Time for The Ice House in Pasadena (YouTube), and West Coast Comedy (Hulu) & she performs all over the country.
THE LUSTY HORDE – improv from Los Angeles
The Lusty Horde. Four brave warriors assembled from across space and time and length and width and dimension for one noble purpose: to perform a fully-improvised sci-fi fantasy adventure the likes of which have never been seen before and shall never be seen again. Combining the best (and worst) of popular culture, midnight movies, 80s cartoons, and schlocky horror, The Horde weaves a hilarious intergalactic tapestry of thrills and action unlike anything you’ve ever witnessed. So join the Four Hordesmen as they ride forth to improv glory. The legends are true! SO SAYETH THE LUSTY HORDE!
Tim Jennings was born and raised on the South Side of Chicago where he developed a taste for urban slang, gang violence, and life on the streets. In 2002, he relocated to Los Angeles where he can regularly be seen at iO West performing with Operocka and Trophy Wife. Past writing credits include X-Play on G4, and Mind of Mencia for Comedy Central. He is currently head writer for The Soup’s Blog on E!.
David Park was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. A graduate of Colgate University, he performed with the improv group Charred Goosebeak. He has studied at iOwest, The Second City, and UCB and performs regularly in such groups as Dr. God, Trophy Wife, and The Friday Forty. He has written for and/or appeared on IFC, AMC, Comedy Central, and the TV Guide Network.
Kevin McShane is a native of Bethesda, MD. While at Oberlin College, he co-founded the long-running improv comedy group The Sunshine Scouts. He earned an MFA in Film at Florida State, where he won several Student Emmys for his work in front of and behind the camera. These days, he can be seen in other long-running LA improv comedy shows Trophy Wife and Middle Seat, and is currently a video producer at BuzzFeed.
Andy Trask hails from Honolulu, Hawaii. In Los Angeles, he has studied at iOWest and Second City, and performs as part of Middle Seat. His past TV credits include Lost and Hawaii 5-0. All other information about him is classified.
SLAVE LEIA – improv from Los Angeles
Slave Leia is an all-female improv group from Los Angeles who met at the Upright Citizens Brigade and have been performing together since 2009. WE HAVE POWERFUL FRIENDS. Members have been featured in these amazing places: Cartoon Network’s The Regular Show, Hulu’s The Morning After, Cartoon Network’s The Powerpuff Girls, Shameless, Mad Men, Weeds, Boom Chicago in Amsterdam, The Today Show, People Magazine, Papermag, Conan, Community, Black-ish, Flaked, and various national commercials.
Gina is originally from Boonton Township, New Jersey which she swears is an actual place that exists. She currently resides in Los Angeles where she is a comedy writer and performer. She has written for such shows as the 2016 reboot of The Powerpuff Girls, ABC Digital’s Paper Dolls, and the Hulu original series, The Morning After, and such websites as College Humor, Break, NewMediaRockstars, and Babelgum. She is currently a writer/producer for Yahoo’s Tv in no Time series. Gina wrote for the 2013 CBS Diversity showcase, and her videos have been featured on the Comedy Central show, Tosh.0. A graduate of Penn State University, Gina has been studying improv and sketch comedy since 2007. She currently directs Sketch Cram, and was on the Maude team Goodman. Her other UCB credits include Spoiler Country, Let’s Do This!, Cagematch, The Tournament of Nerds, UCB Thanksgiving Day Parade, Maude Night and her spank show, a Twilight Zone spoof entitled The Nightfall Realm. She is also a current sketch director at iO West Theater and is on the main stage sketch team, The Mutiny. Gina is a member of the long running, all girl indie improv team Slave Leia who has been together since 2009 and performed in the Del Close Marathon in New York, The Sarasota Improv Festival in Florida and the San Francisco Improv Festival as well as many LA improv venues.
Haley Mancini is a performer and writer from Denver, Colorado. You can currently find her as a writer and voice actor on The Powerpuff Girls on Cartoon Network, and you may have seen her in shows like Shameless, Mad Men, Weeds, and 24, as well as the host of Hulu’s long-running daily show, The Morning After. Haley is also an alumna of Boom Chicago in Amsterdam. She’s a proud member of the Maude Team Baseball as well as the host of Full of It: The Bullsh*t Show, every month at UCB Sunset! Other UCB credits include: Maude Night, CDR Sketch, Sketch Cram, and Quick ‘N’ Funny Musicals.
Lesley Tsina is a writer and actor from Palo Alto, CA. She studied theatre at Swarthmore College. She’s appeared on Community, Transparent, Black-ish, Conan, Funny or Die Presents, and that Geico commercial where the camel walks around the office saying “Hump Day.” UCB credits include the Harold teams Hugboat and The Galleria, Maude teams Extreme Tambourine and Paddington, Tournament of Nerds, This is Not a Tan Presents: Token! and Sketch Cram. She is a staff writer and editor for humor publisher Devastator Press and the author of the recently published Restart Me Up: The Unauthorized Un-accurate Oral History of Windows 95.
THE RIGHT NOW – improv from Oakland
Hailing from the Bay Area, The Right Now performs its unique blend of free-form improv combining highly physical short vignettes with longer character-driven scenes. Fontana Butterfield, Mariah Howard, and Claire Slattery play across gender, genre, and form. The Right Now shows are experiments in improvised inspiration: quick, connected, and just a little bit absurd. Festival appearances include: Femprov Fest 2014, San Francisco Improv Fest 2014, Seattle Festival of Improv Theater 2015, SF Sketchfest 2015, Out of Bounds Comedy Festival 2015, San Francisco Improv Festival 2015, and Cake Batter’s Funny Women Festival 2015 in Los Angeles, and most recently the Alaska State Improv Festival in 2016.
Fontana is an actor-improviser, currently performing all over the country with The Right Now. She has been performing improv for the last 15 years, first with Big City Improv as a performer and director. A Sonoma County native, Fontana graduated from Piner High School and Santa Rosa Junior College before heading to the big city to attend San Francisco State University. She further trained in the Meisner technique at Laura Henry Studio in Santa Monica and teaches Meisner and Improv at various acting schools. As an actor Fontana has worked at various theaters including Berkeley Rep, Shotgun Players and Marin Shakespeare Company. Fontana is the proud founder of Yeah, I said Feminist, A Theater Salon.
Mariah’s been improvising and playing dress-up for as long as she can remember. She used her imagination and an extensive costume collection to transform into a variety of characters, from French novelists to door-to-door computer salesmen. When she’s not trying to keep up with her darling son, or attending graduate school to become an Expressive Arts Therapist, she’s thinking about improv. After leaving her home town of St.Louis, Missouri, Mariah made her way to Oakland in 2002 and promptly joined Drunken Monkey Improv, Tilted Frame, True Medusa, and Leela’s The Armando Company. In 2014 Mariah had one of the best ideas of her lifetime, inviting the extremely talented and totally adorable Claire Slattery and Fontana Butterfield to form an improv trio which they named, The Right Now. The Right Now has performed in local and national improv festivals and now they’re totally elated to be a part of Sonoma Laughfest!
Claire Slattery is a professional actor, improviser, and improv consultant who lives in Los Angeles, but left her heart in San Francisco. She caught the improv bug as an undergrad at Stanford and never recovered. Claire has acted, improvised, and taught with San Francisco’s top theatre companies, improv troupes, and training centers. In addition to touring and performing with The Right Now, she is a house performer and show runner at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in LA. As a Specialist with Speechless, Claire coaches individuals and leads group trainings across the globe to help people find their voice, tell their story, and transform their presentations.