Instructors

Michael Hartwell is Baltimore-based educator, improviser, and facilitator.  He is the Education Director for the Baltimore Improv Group, a Teaching Artist for Young Audiences of Maryland, aMichael (2)(1)nd an adjunct faculty member at Johns Hopkins University, teaching improv to science and engineering students.  He has taught improv to adults and children since 2013.  Prior to his current work, Michael was a Teach For America corps member and Baltimore City Schools middle school teacher for ten years.  He is a member of BIG’s main stage troupe Gus, along with special projects PUMPS and After School Grandma. Outside of improv and education, Michael is an avid reader, dog lover, music snob, certified Master Gardener, and uniformly disappointed Buffalo Bills fan.

Maggie Phenicie joined BIG in 2015. Originally from Harrisburg, PA, she has studied improv with BIG since 2014. She performs with house troupe Hostel, special project After School Grandma, and indie troupe Fallopian Tudes. A veteran Baltimore City Schools middle school English teacher and former Teach for America corps member, she loves to infuse her class with elements of improv and the spirit of “yes and”. She loves teaching improv to adults and kids and serves as the coach of her school’s improv club. 

tavish-forsyth-instructor-headshot-210pxTavish Forsyth is a Baltimore-based actor, writer and educator. He graduated Stevenson University with a degree in Film, Video & Theatre and has studied performance with the Williamstown Theatre Festival and the Powerhouse Theater. Through his studies of scripted theatre, Tavish serendipitously found his love of improv. He joined the Baltimore Improv Group in the fall of 2014, admiring their diverse sense of humor, commitment to education, and profound artistic legacy. Tavish is a previous member of the house troupe, WICK, and BIG’s rotating ensemble troupe The Caucus. He also manages the independent troupe Hot Sauce Sandwich, and regularly produces comedy shows at his alma mater. As an educator, Tavish volunteers with AmeriCorps, tutoring students at Sparrows Point High School in a college preparatory program; coaches chess in several Baltimore schools with the Silver Knights Chess Club; and teaches improv with BIG University. He likes comedy that is gritty, patient, and honest with a hint of the absurd. 

person_3206Terry Withers hails from New York where he performed improv routinely at the UCB Theatre (The Terry Withers Mysteries, Fuck That Shit, Dark Days) and the Reckless Theatre (The New David Mamet Play).  Terry began his formal improv instruction at the UCB and Magnet traning centers in 2007, studying under Zach Woods, Joe Wengert, Armando Diaz, Kevin & Will Hines, Charlie Todd and Chris Gethard.  He began coaching in 2009 and was fortunate to coach fantastic teams like Sandino (which he later joined) and Secret Man Group (which refused to add him even though he asked).  He served as a teacher at UCB’s Training Center for over three years and has taught workshops for Chinese Menu in DC.  Terry is also a big fan of professional basketball and will frequently compare it to improv.  If you take a class with him see if you notice him do that.

Andy McIntyre has been performing improv since 2012 and performing with the BaltimAndy (1)_headore Improv Group since 2014.  He currently performs with BIG main stage troupe Bears Only, BIG Project troupe Local Spot and independent team Remote Possibilities. He has performed at improv festivals in Tampa, Washington, New York, and Chicago.  Andy is a product of the BIG University program and has also studied with Jill Bernard, Jimmy Carrane, Rick Andrews, Susan Messing and many others. When not performing with the Baltimore Improv Group he is performing as a teacher for the Howard County Public School System.  He also coaches football, wrestling, and lacrosse.

 

Kelly  (1)_headKelly Lloyd was born and raised in New Jersey, and found herself living below the Mason-Dixon line after completing undergraduate and graduate school in Baltimore. In 2010, Kelly spent a year in Charleston, South Carolina where she began her improvisational theater training. After moving back to Baltimore, Kelly continued her improv education and became an official BIG member in 2012. Kelly is a member of BIG’s main stage troupe, Training for Prom, as well as special project troupes, The Bully Union: Local 128, Same Team, and Impromptune. She has participated in a handful of improv festivals from Providence to Austin and has been a cast member in featured BIG shows such as Unscripted, The Movement, and the sketch comedy show, Scripted

John Windmueller loves improv. Loves it! Being present in the moment, playing, and making art–what’s not to love? Voted DC’s biggest improv nerd, John has over a decade of experience performing, coaching, and teaching improv. John is an active member of the Baltimore Improv Group, performing with Lekker, Local Spot, Flannel Club, j/k, and Unscripted. In addition to his work at BIG, John regularly teaches upper-level courses at Washington Improv Theater, directs their corporate training program (WIT@Work), and performs in the WIT ensemble King Bee. He also regularly performs and teaches at festivals across the US. Did we mention he loves improv? 

Alanaj_head J. McCombs joined the Baltimore Improv Group in 2014. McCombs trained with BIG as well as in workshops in Maryland, New York, Washington, D.C. and in Philadelphia. McCombs performs with Minority Re’port, Local Spot and After School Grandma, which he also directs. As an instructor, he loves starting with honest, grounded play and then exploding it into ludicrous playful fun.  In real life, he is extremely gullible and tends to be ignorant of pop culture.

mikeheadshotMichael Harris has been the Artistic/Executive Director of BIG since 2010, and performs as a member of Evan the Loyal. He has performed at Improv and Comedy Festivals from NYC to Chicago and Philly to Austin. Michael has created/directed numerous BIG shows including: BIG’s Election Night Extravaganza & (Almost) Anyone Can Draw, both with Economist Cartoonist KAL; BIG’s Holiday Shows and Scripted, BIG’s Sketch Shows. He has taught BIG’s 100, 200 & 300 level classes as well as creating two new 300 level courses, and helping develop BIG’s residency curriculum for Young Audiences of Maryland. Michael has taught improv workshops for Johns Hopkins University & Hospital, Howard County Public Schools, and numerous local companies and non-profits. A member of the faculty at the National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts in D.C., Michael has taught Improvisation, Commedia dell Arte, Voice & Movement, and various performance projects at the school. He has performed in plays at The Studio Theater, Signature Theater, and the Kennedy Center amongst other locations, and is a member of Actors’ Equity.

heather_headHeather Moyer performs with BIG troupe Gus, and BIG special project troupes Death Wish III, Tigerhead, and The Big Show, as well as duo Heather with Strangers. She has been doing improv comedy since 2001. Starting her improv career with Kitsch In Sync in Boston, she then moved to Baltimore in the spring of 2004, where she became a founding member of the Baltimore Improv Group. She’s performed in Chicago, NYC, Austin, DC, Philly, and more, and loves teaching improv to people of all experience levels.

Kathryn (2)Kathryn Carlsen is a member of Gus, and a theatre teacher with Howard County Public Schools. Kathryn has been performing with BIG for 7 years, and has taught classes at BIG for 6 years. She co-wrote a selective course in “Improving Communication with Improvisation” for Johns Hopkins Medical Students. Kathryn has performed at national improv festivals in Washington DC, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and New York.

daveheadshotDave LaSalle is a founding member of both Training for Prom, The Bully Union: Local 128, and Same Team.  He is a teacher at BIG University, a trainer in BIG’s corporate and private workshops programs, and a coach for both BIG and independent local improv teams. Dave has performed at the Chicago, New York City, and Providence Improv Festivals, Baltimore Artscape, Scapescape, and Fringe Festivals, at the New Movement Theatre in Austin, Texas, and at the Washington Improv Theatre’s Improvapalooza and Seasonal Disorder. In Baltimore, he has played in BIG’s Unscripted, Movement, Shakespeare, and Improv Karaoke shows. He is also a stage actor, having appeared locally in Cohesion Theater’s Coriolanus and Iron Crow Theater’s Revelations of Bobby Pritchard.  Dave is a proud father of two and a middle school teacher at the Jemicy School.