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Tom Spataro | Managing Director
Tom joins ImprovBoston after a lengthy tenure in non-profit arts management with the Boston Crusaders, a nearly 75 year old performing arts and educational organization. Over nine years with the Crusaders, Tom's goal as Executive Director was to evolve the business while cultivating a supportive atmosphere and administrative team enabling the best possible arts opportunities for the community. Tom's strategic leadership of a mission-driven performance and educational institution with a family and history of passionate performers, artists, alumni and fans makes him an excellent match for ImprovBoston. Tom has made a career working with and supporting artists, enabling their creativity to flourish while focusing on strengthening the business behind the stage. In addition to his work with the Crusaders, Tom has served on the Board of Directors of Drum Corps International (DCI) and was recognized as the DCI Director of the Year in 2011.
Tom is a Boston College alum, a classic rock aficionado (which apparently now includes Nirvana) and a Tolkien fiend. He has no free time anymore, as he and his wife are managed by two sets of twins.
Mike Descoteaux | Artistic Director
For a full bio, please click here.
Mike Descoteaux is the full time Artistic Director of ImprovBoston and former director of the nationally renowned Charles River Creative Arts Program as well as founder of the celebrated Music Program at The Second City Training Center in Chicago. Among other notable arts leadership positions, Mike is founder and director of the critically acclaimed sketch satire, Best Church of God, named “Best Sketch Comedy in Chicago” several years running. In various capacities, Mike has collaborated with Tony, Emmy and Oscar-award winning artists and, with equal passion, students and emerging artists of all ages.
A smattering of the artists Mike has had the privilege to work alongside include Stephen Colbert, Martin Short, Keegan Michael-Key, Richard Kind, Rachel Dratch, Brian Gallivan, Nicole Parker, TJ Jagadowki, Scott Adsit, Joe Bill, Dave Razowski, Vanessa Bayer, Mick Napier, Aidy Bryant, Jack McBrayer, Jason Robert Brown, Norbert Leo-Butz, Jackie Hoffman, Jill Bernard, Kevin McDonald and comedy giants like Baby Wants Candy, Improvised Shakespeare, The Annoyance, ComedySportz, iO, and the Magnet. Mike has directed ImprovBoston's National Touring Company, The Family Show, and numerous indie sketch and improv ensembles. Mike has been seen on NBC, CBS, A&E, and WGN. Mike, a Northwestern University grad, has received a Jeff Award, After Dark Award, and Paynter Award and was named one of the top young songwriters in the country by the Johnny Mercer/AMTP association. Mike is thrilled to combine his experience in improv, teaching, directing, music and arts management into this one dream position serving this one dream community.
Jeff Perry | Comedy School Manager
Jeff Perry has been at ImprovBoston since 2007, where he has been the Comedy School Manager since 2012 and an instructor since 2009. As a member of Harold Night from its start in 2008 through 2014, Jeff spent time as a member of the casts Marjean, Plan B, Birthday Milk, and Specter, the director of Plan B, On Deck, and Rich Uncle, as well as producer of the show for two years. If you ever have questions about the Comedy School at ImprovBoston you can contact him any time at email@example.com.
Mac Gostow | Lead Producer
Mac Gostow combines his expertise in marketing communications and festival production with his limitless passion for comedy as Lead Producer at ImprovBoston. After his college comedy troupe won the College Comedy Festival in 2013, Mac began serving as the assistant to the Artistic Director, then came on part time as associate producer in 2014, full time associate producer in 2015 and now Lead Producer as of August 2016. Mac oversees many aspects of ImprovBoston's business from hiring, staffing, crew management, patrons relations, ticket and group sales and is also heavily involved in carrying out the artistic and creative leadership goals while developing all forms of comedy at the theater. Mac performs comedy with his musical improv duo project, M&N and with Catalyst Comedy's B.U.M.P., Dirty Disney and Kerplunk casts. Mac is an alum of ImprovBoston's Family Show and All Access Improv casts. When Mac isn't doing comedy, he is a DJ and Voiceover Artist at macgcreative.com.
Deana Criess | Director of Sales
Deana has traveled the country performing with ImprovBoston's Mainstage at the Sarasota Improv Festival, the Orlando Improv Festival, the Red Dirt Improv Festival (Oklahoma City), PHIF (Philadelphia Improv Festival), Spontaneous Combustion (Atlanta) and NCCAF (North Carolina Comedy Arts Festival) and many more. In Boston you can see her in the ImprovBoston Mainstage, The ImprovBoston Touring Company and in Hidden Falls - a musical improv troupe that creates completely improvised hour long musicals based on the audience's suggestions (find out more at http://www.gilbanemusic.com/hiddenfalls.html). Past productions include Lube! The Musical (which she also co-wrote), Gorefest 8: Cirque de Slaute, T:An MBTA Musical, What the Dickens, French Kiss me Kate, The Real Housewives of the Magik Kingdom, and she is a former cast member of the ImprovBoston Family Show. Deana's tweets were read on CNN. For some reason CNN found her tweets newsworthy.
Kelly MacFarland | Sales
As an experienced stand-up comedian, Kelly has an extensive and well-rounded resume including comedy clubs, theaters, colleges, festivals, television appearances and entertaining US troops overseas. Kelly was first runner up in the 2009 Boston Comedy Festival, voted Best of the Fest 2010 Aspen Rooftop Comedy Festival, performed with the Oddball Festival 2015 and has been a featured headliner for the Boston Women in Comedy Festival. Kelly has appeared on Stand Up in Stilettos on the TV Guide Channel and Comedy Central’s Premium Blend. Kelly is the host of the web series, Fit or Fad on www.ulive.com. Most recently, Kelly was part of the Top 100 Comedians of Last Comic Standing Season 9 and appeared on AXS Gotham Comedy LIVE. Kelly is also an accomplished improviser and has performed with the ImprovBoston National Touring Company since 2014. Kelly is currently writing a clever collection of short stories based on her stand up and her life. Kelly works nationally as a humor-wellness speaker. Sharing her life experiences in the unique way that only she can, audiences are pleasantly surprised by her candor. Kelly has been a featured keynote speaker for the American Heart Association GO Red for Women campaign for over 10 years.
Jennette Trenchard | Associate Producer
Jennette (or Jenny) came to ImprovBoston as an usher in December, 2014 from Winnipeg, Canada. She graduated with her BA in Theater Education in 2012 and worked as a Stage Manager and Theater Instructor before moving to Cambridge. In her alternate life, Jenny is the Director of Freshman Arts Initiatives at Harvard College.
Liz Roderick | Associate Producer
Liz Roderick brings her love of performing and her degree in non-profit management to this new role. She is thrilled and honored to be performing with ImprovBoston's Mainstage and ImprovBoston's National Touring Company. Liz teaches Level 201 and loves encouraging, challenging and coaching the theater's next generation of super-stars. She is beyond excited to be working for a place that has brought her so much joy over the last 5 years. In her spare time, Liz loves running, yoga, snuggling up with a good book, her incredible group of friends, living in Cambridge, her family and her baby Penny who is, unbiasedly, the best and cutest baby that has ever lived.
Marketing and Communications Manager
Dana Jay Bein | Project Manager, Standup Director
Dana Jay Bein is a standup comedian, improviser and motivator. Dana has made his life in comedy at ImprovBoston, where he is the head of the Standup Program, a company cast member (Face Off / MISTER DIPLOMAT) and a veteran instructor of the ImprovBoston Comedy School. He has brought his performances and workshops to Boston College, MIT, Stonehill College, Boston University, Wellesley College, Dartmouth College, Northeastern University and UMass Boston. In 2008, Dana was featured as a standup coach on MTV and has performed in over 1,000 shows to date. He currently produces, books and hosts The Peoples Show and The Comedy Lottery at ImprovBoston in Cambridge, MA. Voted Best Boston Comedian on Twitter in 2012 by readers of the Boston Comedy Scene Examiner (@danajaybein)
Blair Howell | Chair, Board of Directors
Blair’s passion for the performing arts trails from a young age to present day – performing through grade school, high school, college and semi-professionally as an adult for over twenty years as an actor, dancer, director, choreographer, technical director, scenic craftsman and producer. From performing Chekov in Russia to leading roles in various ballet performances, to roles in numerous plays and musicals across New England, he has always carried a deep and pure love for improvisation and the performing arts. As a Scenic Craftsman at the A.R.T. for over twelve years, he carried multiple responsibilities in staging more than 100 theatrical productions. Armed with a degree in economics, a minor in accounting and a minor in dance, Blair shifted his career in the arts to the career in the live event marketing communications world, producing corporate events and videos across the US and abroad. Blair currently partners with clients at massAV, where he helps businesses to effectively and creatively communicate with audiences of willing listeners. He is a dedicated father, camper/hiker, soccer/lacrosse coach, motorcyclist, gardener and licensed skydiver. He lives in Reading with his wife, Nancy, two kids, two dogs, three cats, two guinea pigs, an amazing and fantastic mother-in-law, and sixteen chickens.
Blair is thrilled to be a part of and support the ImprovBoston community - and participate in some pretty funny business. Seeing improvisers and comedians of all kinds take chances, grow and challenge themselves in the many ways they are encouraged to at IB is inspiring, and he remains absolutely committed to ensuring that the belly busting laughter continues.
Will Luera | Artistic Director Emeritus
Will Luera joined ImprovBoston in 1997 as a member of the ImprovBoston Mainstage. Within two years he joined the TheatreSports cast and also became the director of Sitcom. In 1999, he left ImprovBoston to start his own improvisational theater company called Blue Screen, where he continued to direct Sitcom but also developed and directed Secret Society and Dropkick Bandito. In 2000, he rejoined ImprovBoston as Artistic Director, directing the Mainstage cast as well as premiere productions of Sitcom, Secret Society, Blue Screen, and Quest. He has appeared at the Chicago Improv Festival, New York Improv Festival, Greater Boston Improv Festival, and Toyota Comedy Festival and has studied improvisation with ImprovOlympic, The Second City, The Annoyance Theater, The Upright Citizens Brigade, and Keith Johnstone. In addition to his work at ImprovBoston, Will has taught improvisation classes all over the country and around the world, representing ImprovBoston as far east as Japan.