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Tane has been performing, directing, and teaching improv comedy since 2003. After stints working for the state, local and international nonprofits, and some political campaigns, he thought, “Isn’t there some way to bring improv into all this?” The Theater of Public Policy was born! Tane still has a tough time explaining what he does for a living to his parents.
Brandon has been performing improv for over a decade and in the meantime has lived in South Korea, worked in affordable housing through AmeriCorps, and interned at the Center for Victims of Torture. He recently got married and has a French bulldog named Kimchi. He never apologizes for being from Iowa.
Andrew Haaheim is a biology teacher at Fridley High School, where he coordinates a high school improv troupe and various arts performances for the district. Andrew also participates in musical groups around the Twin Cities as a drummer and percussionist.
Matt Slater is an improvisor, comedian, and musician. Originally from Washington State he performed at The Upfront Theatre, where he founded the group Under Pressure which toured all over the country. After moving to Chicago he performed at The Second City, as well as IO and the Annoyance Theatre. Matt is excited to do improv that puts a funny edge on important issues from many different perspectives. When he’s not doing improv you can catch Matt playing with his band The Smokes!
Kelly Kohlbacher has been improvising for over 10 years in the Twin Cities, along with that one time in St. Cloud. She is a copy editor by day and whiskey drinker by night. When not performing with The Theater of Public Policy, you'll find her brewing beer, making smoothies, and celebrating the Oxford comma.
Alexis Camille began her theater and improv studies in Oakland, CA. Currently, she is a pre-school literacy educator and improv actress in Minneapolis; focusing on diversity and representation within those communities. She works with HUGE Improv Theater as a teaching assistant, host, and improviser. Alexis is a cast member Blackout Improv and the sketch comedy group, The Assembly. She remains impassioned with highlighting voices of underrepresented communities of color.
Heather Meyer is an improviser and writer in Minneapolis. Heather creates the yearly sketch comedy game show, Women's History Month: The Historical Comedybration (with fabulous prizes). She likes animals and traveling and has an MFA in playwriting. www.heathermeyeronline.com
Jim Robinson is a veteran of the Brave New Workshop, Disney Cruise Lines Off-Beat Comedy Club, and 30 years of teaching at various colleges. He loves improvising, which lead him to say "yes, and" to being the English voiceover for the aged monk and corrupt cop (and "thug-in-yellow") in the Nepalese martial arts film "Gorkha Protector" (available on YouTube, etc).
Denzel Belin is an improviser, actor, writer, and director currently based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Denzel teaches improv for The Brave New Workshop Student Union, HUGE Theater, Blackout Improv, and freelances as an improv coach. He currently writes and performs with The Brave New Workshop as a member of their Mainstage team and for Minnesota Tonight. Denzel has worked with Uprising Theater Company, Phoenix Theater, Freshwater Theater, and Gadfly Theater.
Keren Gudeman is an improviser, writer and founder of Improv Parenting, whose mission is to inspire playfulness in family life. A former professor of Physical Education and Head Women’s Soccer Coach at Carleton College, Keren also taught middle and high school English and outdoor education. She fears for when her three children graduate from elementary school. Keren’s hobbies include running, playing soccer, making art and trying new things. www.improvparenting.com
Joshua Will is an Emmy-Award winning writer/performer/improviser, Dudley Riggs' Brave New Workshop alumnus, and Artistic Director of The Recovery Party which produces "sketch comedy without all the drama." joshuawill.com / TheRecoveryParty.com
Darwin Smith was born in Chicago, but considers Minnesota a second home. He studied film and theater at Columbia College Chicago, but found more success in the improv theaters and comedy clubs. The process of improvisation became an obsession. Darwin is a graduate of The Second City Conservatory and I.O. Theater. Darwin performed with Blackout, Hammertime! and The Chicago Improv Rebellion. After a successful run in Chicago, Darwin travelled to Los Angeles and performed at Second City Hollywood with Minority Report, and at I.O. West with Dark and Lovely, and Street Cred. In 2013, Darwin moved to Minnesota. He performed in Bye Bye Liver at Camp Theater, and The Further Away Team at Huge Theater. Darwin is excited to be part of The Theater of Public Policy, and looks forward to improvise for you!
Improviser Carmen contributes a vivid imagination, bold characters, and genuine physical awkwardness. Licensed attorney Carmen brings her knowledge of legal and policy issues to the group. During shows, the audience watches in real time as these two Carmens thrillingly conflict and reconcile with each other and with equally complicated cast members.
Fred has done improv literally his entire adult life, spanning two millenia and pratfalling on stages from East Coast to West, but is neither exaggerating nor brown-nosing when he says that performing with T2P2 is a career highlight. He has also performed in the mainstage troupe of Stevie Ray’s Comedy Cabaret at the Chanhassen dinner theater and taught improv at the Brave New Workshop and Stevie Ray’s. In his secret identity as a mild-mannered school teacher, he is married to his high school sweetheart Shannon and father of twins Jack and Maggie. A film school graduate, Fred spent enough time as a story analyst and occasional screenwriter in Hollywood to know that he wanted to raise his kids in Minneapolis. It’s good to be home.
Derek “Duck” Washington (He/Him/His) is an improviser, actor, director, playwright, and audio designer. He is a member of local comedy troupes Blackout Improv, Vilification Tennis, and Fearless Comedy Productions. He is also a producer and a host of The Encyclopedia Show: Minneapolis and produces shows with his own company, Rogues Gallery Arts. Duck has worked with the Guthrie, Park Square, Freshwater, Chameleon Theatre Circle, and Theatre in the Round. He is a graduate and employee of the University of Minnesota.
Taj Ruler is an actor, improviser, voice over artist, and teacher in the Twin Cities. She graduated from Pitzer College in California with her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Theatre Performance and Media Studies. She has also studied at the Guthrie Theatre, the Brave New Workshop, and The London Dramatic Academy. Taj has been performing on the stages of Twin Cities for over ten years. Recently she has performed at Pillsbury House Theatre, Mixed Blood Theatre, The Playwrights’ Center, HUGE Theater, and the Brave New Workshop.