Come on out to Improv Friday – support student actors

Durham Improv comes to Haliburton – Friday May 18

By Terrance Gavan – Crap Journalist

Durham Players ImprovisationWigamog Inn

Friday, May 18 – 7 pm

On Friday night at the Wigamog – and we must all give this lovely bistro a shout out for their continued commitment to live entertainment – the Durham Improv players will be in da’ house doing what Improv’ers do.

Improvisation. That. Is. And if you love the genre you’ve already got a reason to attend.

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Durham Players. Photo by Dan Devine.

If you don’t know what Improv is? That’s another good reason to come out on Friday evening.

The best reason to come out however, has nothing at all to do with Improv.

Proceeds from this event are going to fund all the great stuff emanating from the swingin’ arts and drama school at Haliburton Highlands Secondary School.

Ms. Elke Zilla is the drama teacher at Hal High and she’s on the ground floor and running with this special night.

The troupe is fantastic and I’ve had the opportunity to experience them first hand at an arts junket, so takle it from your man that it’s a great kick of to a superb holiday weekend.

Meet the Improv’ers – 

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 Mississauga Stephanie worked at a private arts schools where she designed and taught courses in improv, musical theatre, film, writing, and audition preparation, as well as wrote and co-directed the end of term shows.

Stephanie also taught improv and musical theatre at “Stage Door Schools” (which boasted a teaching roster of professional actors such as Patrick McKenna) and ran her own Musical Theatre program in Toronto in 2004 with Cara Adams.

In addition, she was an Emergency Supply teacher with the Board of Education for several years and has taught improv privately at various high schools in the GTA and in the U.S.

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, hosted, and performed in the “Teen Improv Tournament (teenimprovtournament.com)” 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.

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 sell out and 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.

She is a 2012 nominee for the “Mr. & Mrs. Comedy Auction” taking place at the GM Centre May 2012 and will also be filming her TV show on Rogers called “Stephanie’s Comedy Chat” this May!

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!

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 Artscurrently 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!
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