T.J. Mannix is a 21-year veteran of the NYC improv scene and the Second City. He has toured several times with The Second City/NCL, is an original cast member of the critically-acclaimed BLANK the Musical off-Broadway, and is the Founder/Producer of the 10th annual New York Musical Improv Festival (coming this October 18-21, 2018). T.J. has taught/performed at the UCB, P.I.T., and Magnet Theaters and is a faculty member at the Professional Conservatory of Musical Theater at the New York Film Academy in Manhattan. He has appeared in over 80 commercials along with Law and Order: SVU, Law and Order, L&O Criminal Intent, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, As the World Turns, All My Children, and One Life to Live.
T.J. has directed two award-winning original movie musicals. Plus One (featuring Jen Perry from Broadway’s Kinky Boots) was named Best Musical/Best LGBT-themed film in D.C. and Best Musical at the Manhattan Film Festival. His second movie musical American Dreamin’ (featuring Brian O’Brien from Broadway’s Chicago) is currently in post production.
Jay Sukow has been performing professionally with and without a script for over 20 years. Some of those he has trained with include Stephen Colbert, Steve Carell, Jon Favreau, David Razowsky, Keith Johnstone, Dick Schaal, Del Close and Mick Napier. As a faculty member of The Second City, Jay also performed regularly as part of their “Those Who Can’t” Faculty Jam. He taught and coached teams at iO Chicago, where he was also head of its artistic committee, ComedySportz Chicago, Club Med International, Illinois State University, the New Orleans Improv Festival, the Phoenix Long Form Improv Festival, the C-U Improv Festival, and The Chicago Improv Festival, among others.
Jay teaches improv to people from every walk of life, from beginning students to executives at Fortune 100 companies. Jay was an ensemble member of ComedySportz Chicago and several teams at iO Chicago and has performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the Del Close Marathon, the C/U Improv Festival and the New Orleans Improv Festival.
Stacey Smith is a loud Long Islander who can be seen performing regularly at CSz, at iO with The Musical Armando and The Deltones, in various projects with The Second City (most recently Life Hacks, The Really Awesome Improv Show and #DateMe in the UP Comedy Club) or with her various independent teams (Stacked, Brouhahaha and Smith&I) around town and/or at festivals. She is an instructor in the A-E Program, Youth&Teen Program and The Wellness Program at The Second City and recently created her own program called S.H.E (Sisterhood. Humor. Empowerment) for female identifying students ages 8-18.
In addition, she also teaches at iO and The Playground Theater and is the former Head of the Training Center at CSz Theater Chicago. She is also the Creator/Executive Producer of the Chicago Musical Improv Festival. Stacey performed two contracts for The Second City aboard the Norwegian Breakaway. She is currently the Comedy School Manager at ImprovBoston.
Craig Uhlir was born and raised in Chicago, in the USA. After completing his training at Chicago’s big three improvisational schools : Second City, improvOlympics, and the Annoyance back in the 90's, Craig began playing with Harold teams Deep Schwa and Vahalla. He also played at ComedySportz Chicago for 4 years doing short form improv. He toured with the Second City National Touring Company going around the world and then performed in Second City Las Vegas at the Flamingo hotel for 3 years.
These days Craig teaches at iO (formerly improvOlympics) and The Second City. He coaches several teams and performs regularly in Search Engine : a two man musical, and still Deep Schwa at iO, Chicago’s longest running Harold team. Craig has been playing for over 20 years and teaching since the turn of the century. Craig’s specialty is group work and teaching others how to put the fun in funny.
Tara and Rance
Veteran Chicago improvisers Tara DeFrancisco and Rance Rizzutto have been performing together for well over a thousand shows and well over a decade.
HERE is one of Chicago’s most lauded shows presenting the original two-person improvised musical. Chicago Tribune Critic-Recommended and called “Nothing Short of Genius” by NPR, this show has been brought to 14 countries and 40 cities worldwide.
In HERE, Tara and Rance get one suggestion to create theme through an opening number, design characters and storylines inspired by that theme, and effortlessly weave the strings together to discover one piece.
Funny, beautiful, and charming, HERE “has shown something new and amazing is possible in improvisation” and has been called groundbreaking by audiences around the globe.
Get your workshop spot this upcoming Saturday
Registration for Oslo Impro Festival's variety of workshops opens on Saturday, September 1 at noon.