About The Improv Network

The Improv Network is an online community that brings improvisers together from all over the world. We offer theaters, festivals, improvisers, troupes, and instructors a wide array of services and resources, along with a way to connect and communicate. Our ever-expanding resources include easy, quick, and organized festival submissions for both teams and festival organizers, teacher and workshop listings, and pertinent blogs.

Mission

To connect improvisers and provide every team, theater, and performer, anywhere in the world, access to the support, information, tools, and resources they need to create outstanding improv and run positive, safe, and diverse theaters and festivals.

Vision

A connected world-wide improv community that shares, supports each other, and creates excellent improv, so we may help each other be the best, most inclusive performers and producers we can be. Every performer should be treated as a professional artist.

The Team

Melanie Leon
 Melanie Leon – CEO

Melanie is an improvisor, actor, and writer in Orlando, Florida. She has toured the country with a comedy show and continues to travel to improvise and teach at festivals. Mel also coaches, uses improv at hospitals to help better train medical professionals, teaches applied improv to companies, and uses improv to help train difficult leadership topics for the US military.  Locally, she performs, hosts, and teaches at different places, including SAK Comedy Lab, performs with her own indie teams, is a producer of the Orlando Fringe Festival, and is the Associate Producer of the Central Florida Improv Festival. Her true passions in life are improv, animals, sugar, and travel.

Charlie James

Charlie James– Content Manager

Charlie is an improvisor and comedian living in Chicago, IL. They majored in Comedy Writing and Performance at Columbia College and are a graduate of iO, The Annoyance, and Second City’s conservatory. They can be found traveling the country in a big white van, performing with their duo Merit Badge. There are only two things they love in this world: everything and improv.

 

Jeffrey Thompson Jeffrey Thompson – Secretary

Jeffrey Thompson is an LA native and is the Secretary of the Board for The Improv Network. He’s an actor and writer, but he also teaches psychology at Citrus College and does taxes for creative professionals. He’s received a Master’s degree in Psychology and an MBA with a marketing emphasis, both from Pepperdine University. He is also licensed by the IRS to represent taxpayers as an enrolled agent.

He’s been performing for over 15 years and currently performs at the Ruby LA on the sketch team, The Money Pit, and at the Westside Comedy Theater on the house improv team, Gravity. He also co-produces the Westside Comedy Festival.

Bill Binder Bill Binder – Website Administrator

Bill began performing in Michigan in 1994 where he performed for six years before moving to Phoenix, AZ. Bill helped organize the first Phoenix Improv Festival in 2002, spent two years training at iO West in Los Angeles and was one of the founding members of The Torch Theatre.

Currently Bill is an instructor at The Torch Theatre and producer for the Phoenix Improv Festival. He tours teaching and performing across North America.

James Quesada James Quesada – Education Director

James Quesada is a comedy creator originally from Detroit and now living in NYC. In his home state of Michigan, James spent several years as the Long Form Director for Go Comedy! Improv Theater and directed many of GO’s most innovative shows. James also helped open up Pointless Improv Theater in Ann Arbor, Michigan and was the Assistant Director of The League of Pointless Improvisers. Since then, he has taught Improv in cities all across the country including LA, Vegas, Phoenix, Omaha, Chicago, Grand Rapids, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Baltimore, NYC, and Camp Improv Utopia East.

Currently James produces podcasts, video series, comedy albums, and even some ‘legit’ music out of Pencil Factory Recording Studio and also in his apartment.

Bob Wieck Bob Wieck – Assistant Education Director

Bob is a Detroit based Improvisor who began his Improv journey at Second City Detroit in October of 2004. He is a Resident Artist and Instructor at Go Comedy! Improv Theater and enjoys going to festivals with his two-prov troupe Wieck & Petersen. He is also Co-Founder of “Snow Day” – The Annual 26 Hour Improv Marathon going into its 14th year raising money for organizations that stand up to cancer such as Gilda’s Club Detroit, Camp Casey, and American Cancer Society.

Bob is best known for being a diehard community supporter. Oh and his laugh… Everyone has an impersonation of Bob’s laugh!

 
Marcus Sams Marcus Sams – Board Member

Marcus Sams is the Founder/Artistic Director of Moment Improv Theatre. Established in 2014, it is one of the first African-American owned improv theatres and training centers in the United States. He’s the Artistic Director of the San Francisco Improv Festival, has performed in 75+ national improv festival shows and has taught for festivals across the country.

Marcus is a pioneer in the online improv space, having created the style known as the F.L.I. Technique and Teleprov, he is advancing what is possible in world of online improv. In 2020 he taught over 345hrs of online instruction and on average teaches 6-8 classes a week. He teaches teambuilding sessions for Google, Microsoft, & LinkedIn among many others.

Improv is his religion and the stage, his church.

 
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