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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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