Improv Weekend Instructors Announced

With just a few days left to submit to perform, we wanted to announce the instructors for the improv weekend of the festival (Nov 14-17th). For the last several years we’ve brought the best improv instructors from New York, Chicago, LA, Austin, Minneapolis, and your favorite theaters across the southeast in Georgia, Florida, as well as North and South Carolina. This year is no different.


Craig Cackowski is an actor, improvisor and teacher based in Los Angeles. He has been involved with the iO and iO West theaters since 1992, and is the three-time winner of the Del Close Award as Teacher of the Year at iO West. He has played numerous improv festivals around the country with his long-running three-man troupe Dasariski (with Bob Dassie and Rich Talarico) and his duo Orange Tuxedo (with his wife Carla!). While in Chicago, he appeared in and co-wrote 5 revues for The Second City, and helped create such improv forms as JTS Brown and Close Quarters. As an actor, he has been seen in recurring roles on such shows as Community (as “Officer Cackowski”), Bajillion Dollar Properties (as “Todd the janitor”), Veep (as “Cliff”) and as part of the ensemble cast of Drunk History. Other film and TV credits include Son Of Zorn, Girlboss, Shrink, Comedy Bang Bang, Newsreaders, Welcome To The Family, The Mindy Project, How I Met Your Mother, Arrested Development, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Year Of The Dog, 21 And Over, The Kings Of Summer, and Netflix’s summer movie Wine Country. He may be heard frequently on such podcasts as The Thrilling Adventure Hour, Spontaneanation and his own podcast Craig’s List, in which he makes Carla watch his 100 favorite movies.


Carla Cackowski is an improviser, writer, podcaster, and nap-lover. She toured all over Europe, Alaska, and the Caribbean performing comedy with The Second City. She’s a member of SAG-AFTRA and has done voiceover work on shows for ABC Family, TBS, and Disney. She wrote and performed five solo shows that were produced in Los Angeles and her comedic monologues were published in anthologies by APPLAUSE BOOKS. Carla hosts “Improv Yak”, a shop-talk podcast about improv comedy. When they’re not touring their two person improv show “Orange Tuxedo“, she and her husband Craig Cackowski co-host a podcast called “Craig’s List”. Most recently, Carla has written for sketch shows on PBS Kids and Dreamworks TV. She taught improvisation and directed sketch shows at The Second City Hollywood for eight years before moving to Portland to become the Co-Artistic Director at Curious Comedy Theater for a year. She’s now the Training Center Director at Mi’s Westside Comedy Theater in Santa Monica, California where she plays on the House Team, “County Line”.


Hannah Aslesen is originally from Minnesota, where she got her start in improv at the Brave New Workshop Theater before moving over to HUGE Theater company. She now lives in Atlanta and can be seen at Dad’s Garage and the Village Theater.

Hannah’s duo team Co-Workers was named our “Best of the Fest” last year and we’ve invited her back to perform and teach! Her show Co-Workers develops a scene we are all (hopefully) familiar with: the dynamic between you and the people you work with. The show begins by taking audience suggestions for where Hannah and her parter Jason Velazquez work. The format of their show is unlike any other improv you’ve probably seen. Rather than changing scenes every few minutes, Hannah and Jason take the entire show to develop each character thoroughly, bringing to life their personalities, relationships, and histories. The two may tackle up to 3 or 4 different personas throughout the show, possibly introducing a manager or customer who may stress the relationship between the two coworkers, ensuing in hilarity.


We’ve also got instructors for the first weekend of the festival teaching stand-up, public speaking, podcasting, as well as some more improv workshops. Registration for those and these will go live in late September!

Categories: workshops

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