Stephanie Herrera has been working professionally in the arts for over ten years. Mediums have included film, TV and theatre. While in the musical theatre world she received rave reviews in such shows as “Chorus Line” and “Fame” (which also toured Italy and won her the THEA for Best Leading Actress in a Musical that year). In the improv world she performed in various shows including “Curtains Up”, “Neil Muscott’s Comedy Debates”, and as a cast member of Second City’s “Tony & Tina’s Wedding”. She graduated from Second City’s Conservatory program after having won their cross-cultural improv scholarship and also went on to become a main-stage cast member of Theatre Sports Toronto.
She founded two successful improv/sketch troupes in Toronto, “On the Count of Three”, which specialized in musical comedy sketches, and the Canadian Comedy Award nominated troupe “The Lamb Chops” (who performed full length improvised musicals!). The Lamb Chops taught and performed at the Labrador Creative Arts festival and at the Orlando Comedy Festival as well as were heard on CBC radio and were featured in Eye and Now magazines as one of the hotest groups in improv.
Stephanie has been teaching since 2002 and has extensive experience in producing, writing, and directing shows, with both children and adults.
In 2004 and 2005 Stephanie was the Director of Improv and Interaction at the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire (www.parenfaire.com).
Since 2003, Stephanie has produced the “Teen Improv Tournament” which gives teenagers the opportunity to perform improv in a professional theatrical setting which also was the catalyst for her nomination for a Latin American Achievement Award and it took an entire Latin American Film Festival to beat her.
In Fall 2006 Stephanie designed the improv classes at Durham and Fleming Colleges as well as founded “Durham Improv” as Durham Ontario’s first and only improv school.
In 2011 she began writing and producing Durham Improv’s Interactive Dinner Theatre shows, which continue to receive rave reviews. In the same year she was nominated for an Art of Transition award in the category of “Best entertainment” and it took a whole theatre company to beat her.
Also in 2012 she became a nominee for the “Mr. & Mrs. Comedy Auction” and won the “Business of the year” award home from the Durham Home and Small Business Association, the “Business for the Arts” award from the Scugog Arts Council, and the “Best Entertainment” award at the Durham Region Art of Transition awards ceremony.
She co-hosted “Hurry Up Love” with New York Bestselling author Nicholas Boothman, which can be seen on Rogers TV (Oshawa) along with her own show “Stephanie’s Comedy Chat”.
Stephanie’s experience and talents, combined with her desire to share her knowledge, makes her an enthusiastic teacher. She approaches her teaching with dedication and with a strong intent to make each participant comfortable.
Whether her students have been children or adults they have always found her classes, not only challenging, but more importantly, a ton of fun!
Her demo reels and professional acting site is: www.stephanieherrera.com
Scott Barnes has been working in theatre and improv for decades. Originally from North Vancouver, he began his career as a Canadian Improv Games regional finalist, and worked with the Uncle Randy Musical Theatre Company for over ten years. Later, he co-founded Triptych Theatricals on Granville Island, and coached the Carson Graham Canadian Improv Games team for seven years; the team placed in the regional finals all seven years. Scott’s major roles, in Vancouver, were Harod, in Jesus Christ Superstar; Uncle Anthony in Lucky Stiff, and Buttons in Cinderella; he has filled dozens of supporting and chorus roles. Scott has also worked with Scouts Canada and the Canadian Forces, holds a Masters of Education, and taught at public school for five years before moving to Ontario. Improv is Life, to Scott, and he is excited to be sharing his skill and experience with new learners, once again.
Connor Atkins is a long time student of fellow Durham Improv instructor, Sheri Prescott. He is an active competitor in the Canadian Improv Games national tournament with his team at Ajax High School. In the 2014-2015 season, Connor’s team placed gold at the Toronto East Zone Playoffs, and silver at the Toronto East Zone Finals. He also assists Sheri Prescott in teaching the senior improv course at Ajax High School. Connor acknowledges how improv can be applied to benefit you in everyday scenarios. Connor likes to teach the recreational games made popular on Whose Line is it Anyway, as well as the competitive formats and theatresports from the Canadian Improv Games. Connor also takes pride in character work and enjoys helping students create their own creative characters. Connor enjoys watching improvisers grow as they gain confidence on stage and in social environments.
Jim McAleese is a headline comic with over 38 years of experience in the Canadian stand up scene.
Since 1979, Jim has headlined the top comedy clubs across the country including Yuk Yuks, Punchlines in Vancouver, and The Comedy Works in Montreal.
Jim has also performed stand up on several television shows over the years such as Comedy At Club 54, An Evening At The Improv, The Alan Thicke Show, and Open Mic With Mike Bullard.
Since 2011 Jim has taught over five hundred students learn the craft of stand up comedy. Some take his course because stand up is on their bucket list and they have always wanted to try it. Others take his course to break into stand up with the intent on making it a career. Since taking Jim’s introductory course, several of his former students have entered and won contests and showcase regularly at professional comedy clubs.
Adam Lloyd Wilkinson is a graduate of Humber College: School of Comedy. Where he was nominated for the Mike Myers Award for excellent achievement in comedic studies. He went on to perform all over Toronto in a number of sketch troupes including Turn Down the Grill with Second City cast member Marty Adams, and Yuk Yuk’s Comedian Andre Arruda. He won the “Toronto 24 hour film challenge” with the comedic troupe Geronimo Deadly and Adam was honoured with best comedic performance for a worldwide “100 hour film race”.
In the last 10 years Adam found his love of helping people and teaching. Adam toured for 7 years with the company Mad Science Productions, performing across North America in live interactive educational performances. In the meantime he became a co-creature of an amazing puppet production company Rock The Arts, currently running out of Ottawa, Ontario.
Adam studied as a Developmental Services worker at Loyalist College, and is currently providing respite support to people in need across Durham region.
Which has led to Adam’s current amalgamation of all the things that truly matter: helping people, having fun, and performing. Adam has found his way to Durham Improv and, along with Stephanie Herrera, has been able to create Durham’s only “Mixed Abilities” Improv team. Adam is teaching regular classes in which everyone is welcome. This year Adam will be working with Social Solutionz creating “Accessible Arts” which will help to bring all forms of performing arts to those of any ability, well improving the quality of life, with FUN!