The Black Improv Almanac is a database of Black owned improv schools and theaters, Black improv teachers, and all Black and all POC improv teams. If you are interested in diversifying your performer or instructor lineup, you've come to the right place!
This is a living document and will be updated continuously.
If you should be listed on this page, please fill out the form located here so we can add you:
The Assembly Amsterdam is owned by Cené Hale, an award winning Amsterdam based actor, writer, singer, and storyteller from Texas whose work focuses on complex female stories. Why? Because she’s female and she’s complex. I know. Crazy. As a former main stage cast member with Boom Chicago comedy theater in Amsterdam she’s performed on stages all over the United States and Europe for international audiences, businesses, and some less than enthusiastic high school kids who were forced to go to that assembly. Cené’s work has been featured on IndieWire, Huffington Post, Above Average, WhoHAHA and corporate intranet portals around the world. You can find Cené and the Assembly on Instagram and their website.
Julia Morales is the Founder and Artistic Director of Stepping Stone Theater. This is a non-profit comedy theater dedicated to celebrate and amplify diverse voices by providing affordable and accessible resources with a focus on community outreach and theatrical performance. Julia has over 20 years of theater experience and she's beyond excited to see the community grow through the arts. You can find Julia and Stepping Stone Theater on Facebook, Instagram, and their website.
Denzel Belin (he/him/his) is a writer, director, actor, producer, and improviser currently based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He’s a longstanding cast member and writer at The Brave New Workshop and writes for AWF Magazine. Denzel teaches improv for HUGE Theater, Blackout Improv, and freelances as an improv coach. As a bisexual African American, Denzel engages in his art with a special interest in the integration of race, queerness, and the performing arts. He works, develops, and plays with a color conscious and queer conscious view of the world. You can find him on Facebook and Instagram.
Blue Cavell-Alette has over a decade of experience as a mainstage performer, producer, and director. She is an avid advocate for equity in improv and is currently the Director of Community Outreach for Black Improv Alliance. She is the producer of several popular improv shows including The Tastemakers Series and the Newlywed Game Black Love. As a founding member of the internationally known troupe Casually Dope, Blue headlines and teaches sold out workshops and classes all over North America. She is also the brilliant coaching mind behind several successful improv teams including the championship-winning team Cake Walk. You can find her on Tastemakers' Instagram and her own Instagram and Facebook.
Ti Coleman has taught and performed improv for the past 10 years. As a founding member of Casually Dope, they have performed and featured in many cities such as Chicago, New York, Pittsburgh, Richmond, Calgary and Toronto. They are an experienced teacher, teaching Baltimore Improv Group University and Maryland Improv Collective classes: Intro to Improv, Intro to Longform, Scene work, Advanced Short form and Ensemble. They are an experienced corporate trainer including applied improv, role play and corporate sketch. He also coaches several indie and house teams in Harold, Monoscene and Montage. You can find him on Facebook Instagram, and his website.
Sheri Flanders teaches at the Second City Training Center in the improv and music programs. She graduated from the Second City Conservatory and Music Programs and the iO improv and music programs. She founded the first and longest-running musical improv team in South Florida called CHEAP TRILLS at Just the Funny theater. In Chicago she is a member of the two person team FLANDERS, is a theater and film critic, and is represented by NV Talent. She's black and she's proud! You can find her on Facebook and her website.
John Gebretatose (he/him/his) rose from the ranks of a HUGE Improv Theater student, to a HUGE Improv instructor. He trained and worked at Brave New Workshop, and has performed stand-up comedy in the Twin Cities for over eleven years. He is a co-founder of renowned Twin Cities improv troupe Blackout Improv and a founding member of Late Nights Minneapolis With Joe Rapp. Over the past few years, John has become a leading light in efforts to change the face of American improv, making it ever more welcoming and representative of the communities around it. He has led and facilitated diversity and inclusion programming for improv theaters all over the world with a mission of uplifting all voices. John has taught improv workshops internationally, coached improv groups, and currently teaches at HUGE in addition to heading up diversity and inclusion programs. He is the cofounder of the Black and Funny Improv Festival as well as the Twin Cities chapter of Our Cities on Our Stages. You can find him on Facebook.
Maya Haughton is an instructor, performer and producer based out of Chicago, IL. She offers independent workshops and private coaching through her recently created project, Haughton Funny Business. Maya has also taught in the improv program at The Second City Training Center. In addition to teaching, Maya has performed professionally at The Second City in a variety of shows. She has also been an understudy for the resident mainstage show, Do You Believe in Madness?, and was on The Second City’s National Touring Company. Additional ensembles have included Baby Wants Candy, Matt Damon Improv (The Annoyance), The Musical Armando (iO), Whirled News Tonight (iO) and Improv Asylum's National Touring Company (Boston). She is sex-positive and enjoys exploring different means of utilizing improv to help people become more comfortable with intimacy in their personal lives. You can find her on Facebook and Instagram.
Rex Isom Jr has been involved in comedy improvisation for almost 25 years. Rex is an Alumni of the Brave New Workshop in Minneapolis, being there from 1997 to 2000. He also studied and performed comedy improv while living in Los Angeles 2002 to 2007, being an Alumni of the infamous yet former I.O. West of Hollywood. Rex currently is a troupe member of Stevie Ray's Comedy Cabaret. Along with performing and teaching for Stevie Rays since 2012, he also currently handles the lights and sound for the Friday and Saturday night playhouse improv shows. You can find him on YouTube.
Tyler Ray Kendrick was raised in Jamestown, NY but moved to Pittsburgh six years ago to pursue his passion for comedy and acting. Tyler is known as one of Pittsburgh’s up and coming improvisers and stand-up comedians as a finalist in the 2017 Pittsburgh Comedy Festival Amateur Standup Competition. He regularly performs at the Unplanned Comedy Warehouse as a member of the Unplanned Comedy Players with his improv troupe The Unwelcome Guest. Ultimately his goal is to host the Grammy’s, his own late night talk show, as well as star in a Hollywood buddy cop movie along side Tracy Morgan. You can find him on Instagram, YouTube, and Unplanned Comedy's website.
Kendon Lacy serves as the Executive Director for OKC Improv. He can be seen performing with troupes Kyle & Kendon, Kyle & Kendon: The Musical, YOUsical: The Improvised Musical, Boy Toys and his rotating duo show Improv Spouses. He formally served as OKC Improv Program Director and currently also serves an instructor. He has also co-developed the musical improv education program at OKC Improv. He has performed at the Chicago Improv Festival, New York Musical Improv Festival, The Nestival, Dallas Comedy Festival, as well as performing in Austin and Kansas City. Along with performing improv and stand up comedy, Kendon also enjoys acting in scripted theatre and musicals where some of his highlights have been playing lead in the Knockdown Dragout's production of The Motherf*cker With The Hat as well as performing as an ensemble member in Pollard Theatre's production of In The Heights. Kendon also performs often with The City Cabaret. You can find him on OKC Improv's website.
Shaun Landry is an actor, teacher, and improviser living in Los Angeles. She is the founder of the original African-American improv ensemble Oui Be Negroes and cofounded the San Francisco Improv Festival. She teaches Improvisation nationally and internationally. She is currently on the duo ensemble Landry and Sommers and teaches at the Pack Theater in Los Angeles. You can find her on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and her website.
Tauri Laws-Phillips is a Co-Owner, Teacher and Corporate Facilitator for ColdTowne Theater, Tauri has done improv for over 14 years. She has performed and taught at festivals all over the country with Damn Gina. In 2020 she became one of the co-owners of ColdTowne Theater, where she created improv-based diversity and equity trainings. You can find her on Instagram and ColdTowne's website.
Velvet Wells (he/him) is a caramel skinned, velvet voiced queer entertainer from Toronto. In addition to touring his critically acclaimed solo Fringe production Personal Demon Hunter, Velvet performs solo and with The Dandies and OverDude. You can find him on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and his website.
Keith Williams is the founder of Better With Improv. He will help you discover what's next! His motto is "Everything is Better with Improv." Keith is an Improv Master Coach and Leadership Coach who has been practicing, performing and teaching Improv for 10+ years. He teaches Improv for beginner, intermediate, advanced and professional improvisers, including Improv for Actors. Improv for Business, and Improv Masterclass. Keith's classes are focused on the question “Is Improv for Everyone?” at the intersection of race and Improv. You can find him on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and his website.
Marian A. Yesufu is a comedian with a focus in character based improv and musical improv. She is based in the Los Angeles and Orange County area. Keep up with where she is performing and or teaching at her website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
Comprised of veteran DC improvisers, Lena Dunham performs thoughtful, quick hitting, and sometimes deep comedic takes on Black culture informed by our unique individual perspectives from information we get about an audience member’s Black friend. You can find them on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and their website.
No Lye Comedy is a New Orleans-based collective of black femme comedians who are dedicated to building a diverse community of color in the comedy industry. And trying to take over the world. They currently produce monthly live comedy shows, and perform improv, sketch, and stand-up. Their work has been showcased in the LA Diversity in Comedy Festival, the Dallas Comedy Festival, the New Orleans Improv Festival, and the New Orleans InFringe Fest! You can find them on Facebook, Instagram, and their website.
Soul Sista Comedy is an improv troupe in the Los Angeles area providing laughs since 2017 at theaters like the Pack Theater, UCB and Second City. We are producers of the Black Women in Comedy Festival here in Los Angeles and just happy to continue to spread Black Joy and opportunity within this comedy sphere. You can find them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
For years, DONTEE’ “THE DON MEGGA” RAY has entertained audiences all over the world with his make-you-think humor. He began his comedy career as a member of The Black Top Improv Group, which once held the title as the country’s only all-African American Improv troupe during the late nineties throughout the mid-two thousands. While growing up in Pontiac, Michigan and LaGrange, Georgia, Dontee’ was always able to make an audience laugh. After encouragement from his friends and family members, he decided to follow his dream to become a comedian. His humor allows the audience to use their brain as well as exercise their laughing muscles. “Let Laughter Rinse Your Soul” is the closing statement at the end of all Dontee’s shows. He truly believes if you can touch someone with laughter then you have fulfilled a part of God’s purpose. You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Shakira Reedus (based in Gary, IN) is the Actresspreneur - actress and entrepreneur - creating opportunities for herself and others! Her main focus is acting and she has businesses to support her dream. She hosts annual improv shows in her hometown and now on tour with the comedy improv games! She's a viral sensation as she loves to create content. You can catch her on Comedy Central, TVOne, and many others streaming services and platforms. Her pronouns are she/her/Queen. You can find her on her website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
District 9 is a team of Denver BIPOC improvisers that have been together since Jan 2020. After braving COVID together, they became an artist collective, seeing and promoting the creativity in each other on and off stage. On stage they build worlds together and off stage they support each other as unique and talented artists. They named themselves District 9 for the rich history of the Denver district known most historically for BIPOC social justice, grassroots movement, and culture. You can catch them on stage the second Friday of every month at 7pm at Rise Comedy, or jam with them the first Thursday of every month at 8PM at Rise Comedy. You can find them on Rise Comedy's website and Instagram.
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