Cast and Crew Bios

Aaron Burns was born and raised in Denver, graduated from Colorado State in 2010 and moved to Chicago two weeks later. He has performed at IO Chicago and the Playground Theater, and also knows how to play the harmonica. He couldn't be more excited to be performing with the wonder cast and crew at Laugh Out Loud.

A Pacific Northwest native, Alaina Hoffman grew tired of mild weather, strapped on her crazy hat, and moved to the Midwest for college. After receiving her BA in Theatre Arts from Bethel University and performing with MILETE Women’s Art Collective, The Minnesota Fringe Festival, and Comedy Sportz Minneapolis, Alaina left the angry winters of Minnesota for the angry winters of Chicago. A conservatory graduate of the Second City Training Center, Alaina has had the honor of performing improvisational comedy with pH Productions, Comedy Sportz Battleprov, and independent teams Makeshift Robot and The Thunder Thieves. In addition, she has numerous sketch comedy credits and played the role of Catherine in Red Ink Productions’ Proof. Alaina is excited to be a part of the talented and fun cast at Laugh Out Loud Theater. She also likes shiny things.

Amy Roeder is happy to be working at Laugh Out Loud! Amy has performed with Second City Theatricals at the Denver Center for Performing Arts, Cincinnati's Playhouse in the Park, the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, onboard the NCL Epic and NCL Star, and in Second City's "History of Chicago" show at the UP Comedy Club. Amy has had the good fortune to have improv homes at Gotham City Improv in New York, the Improv Asylum in Boston, the Playground Theatre in Chicago, Improv Acadia in Maine, Improv Athens at the University of Georgia, and here at Laugh Out Loud. Amy got her MFA and her love of SEC football from the University of Georgia. She got her BFA and a really hefty library fine from the University of Evansville.

Becky Eldridge is thrilled to be performing at Laugh Out Loud theatre. Becky has been performing improv since college, and has performed as part of the Second City at Sea on two cruise ships, with IO, The Playground and Improv Acadia (in Maine!). Becky has also co-written and performed in two original comedy musicals, Little House on the Parody and Band Geeks: A Halftime Musical, both of which appeared at the NYFringe. She grew up in Ohio, loves Chicago, and is grateful to Lillie for opening such a terrific theatre. Enjoy the show!

Chris Day has spent much of the past two decades performing around Chicago at theatres such as iO, The Playground, and The Annoyance with such illustrious ensembles as Bad Touch, Georgia Pacific, Inside Vladimir, and The Pat Shay Dancers. During the day he is a librarian helping art students become better people, but please don’t ask him questions about the Dewey Decimal System (he is also an Eagle Scout but please don’t ask him to tie any knots).

Colleen Breen is proud and enthralled to be apart of the Laugh Out Loud ensemble. She currently performs with Fire Cup at the IO theater, Kayfabe at the Comedy Sportz Theater, Improvised Jane Austen at various venues, and as an artistic associate for GayCo. Previous productions have included Our Feature Presentation at the IO Theater, Chicago Comedy Sportz ensemble, and Marry Me, You Idiot!, Bing Faithful's Very Merry Non-denominational Holiday Special, Bucket of Blood, and a smattering of performances for Triple Feature at the Annoyance Theater. Past festivals include The Del Close Marathon, DSI Comedy Festival, and Second City's Letters to Santa.

Eddie Mujica loves being a part of Laugh Out Loud. Originally from Miami, Florida, he began performing in his high school's weekly improv show and has not looked back. Prior to moving to Chicago on a scholarship with The Second City, he was a director and mainstage cast member of Just The Funny. Eddie is a graduate of The Second City's Conservatory and iO Training Center and performs around the country as a member of The Second City's National Touring Company. When not on the road, Eddie can be seen at iO with Winter Formal and in Improv Extravaganza Explosion! at UP Comedy Club. Thanks to Lillie at Laugh Out Loud and his family/friends for their overwhelming support!

Guy F. Wicke is a Chicago native who discovered improv comedy around the turn of the century and has been routinely making an ass of himself ever since. One of the few graduates of the prestigious Low Sodium Entertainment Improv Comedy and Performance Conservatory, Guy began his storied career as a member of that troupe before moving on to become a founding member of pH Productions. Over the next 6 years of late night anarchy with pH, he performed in a variety of sketch and improv shows across Chicago and appeared in a handful of comedy festivals across the continent. He has also dabbled in stand-up, and once or twice it was really good. Now approaching 50, Guy has slowed down but still finds improv to be the most enjoyable thing he does in life. He has been performing with Laugh Out Loud since 2007 and is proud to be counted among such an excellent group of people.

Harz Sondericker is very happy to be performing with Laugh out Loud. He moved to Chicago in 2005 from Milwaukee, WI. He has been performing around Chicago at theaters such as iO, The Playground, Donny's Skybox and The Apollo Theater. Harz is graduate of the Second City Conservatory program and the iO training center, and an ensemble member of Theater Momentum and one fifth of the comedy group, The Shelter. So come on Schaumburg, let's have some fun.

Ilana Gordon is pleased as punch to join the cast at Laugh Out Loud. She hails from the great state of Connecticut, but moved to Chicago by way of Boston, where she graduated from Emerson College. Ilana currently performs with Sam Hill at the Playground, 1941 at Chemically Imbalanced Comedy, Hogwash!, Who Cares? and Shoelace Academy. Sometimes she acts in plays or performs in sketch shows. Her current life goal is to remember how to play the violin.

Jay Gish writes and produces animation for the website, Bindledog.com, and created the web series, Improv City. He hosts "The Mixer" at The Playground theater with the improv group, Damascus Steel. Jay is a Resident Artist with C.I.C. in Chicago, where he improvises regularly, and where he wrote/produced the score for the musical production, Cartoon. Past credits include the team Mammal 79 at IO, Improvanov: Anton Chekhov Unscripted with the Free Associates, and the undead Elvis in the rock horror musical, Elvicula. None of this is relevant to his college degree in journalism.

Jeremy Schaefer started doing improv comedy as a child because he couldn’t read or write. After becoming literate he continued to improvise with pH Productions, Storybox, the Improv Playhouse and several other companies. He’s performed at both the Chicago Improv Festival as well as The Out of Bounds Festival in Austin. He’s also an ensemble member with Imagination Theater and he’s performed stand up in various venues around Chicago and London. In his spare time he’s become an avid reader who occasionally struggles with cursive.

Jim Vozzella, a local boy, was born and raised in Elk Grove Village (REPRESENT!!!). Jim was a product of Elmhurst College and his parents (we are still wondering from whom he has learned more). You might have see him in such productions as KEG, or performing with Argyle Gargoyle, or even pouring you an awesome drink behind the bar. He is proud to be performing with the Laugh Out Loud mainstage cast.

Jin Kim once played a virtuous young woodcutter in a school play and has never looked back. The UNC graduate has performed with several companies over the years, including iO (formerly ImprovOlympic), the Chicago Neutrino Project, Second City, the Playground, ComedySportz, WNEP, the Chicago Comedy Company, and the Cornservatory. Most recently, you may have caught Jin as the show-stealing foreign exchange student, FEUNG SCHWEY, in The Awesome 80s Prom. Jin’s voice has also been featured in video games such as Mortal Kombat, John Woo’s Stranglehold, and NFL Blitz. Many thanks to Lillie for keeping the popcorn machine, and for the opportunity to make others laugh at Laugh Out Loud Theater.

Joe Burton has been improvising for the better part of 16 years. The lesser parts of those years were spent thinking about improvising. Since moving to Chicago, Joe has worked with various sketch and improv groups at various theaters. The current list includes the The Improvised Shakespeare Company, The Fowler Family Radio Hour, Hogwash and Bughouse Theater. Joe is especially pleased to be able to add Laugh Out Loud to that list. He would like to thank his friends and family including but not limited to, Kevin C. Frankenstein and Shelby J. Burton.

Kate Cohen has been improvising in Chicago for 4 years, and is delighted to be a new addition to Laugh Out Loud! Kate is from beautiful Bethesda, Maryland and has a very useful BA in Theatre from the University of Arizona. She is a graduate of The Second City Conservatory, and has studied improv at iO, The Annoyance, and ComedySportz. Kate has performed with The Second City Educational Touring Company, pH productions, ComedySportz Battleprov, and in many other great and almost-great improv and sketch shows all over the city. Kate thanks, loves, and would be a total wreck without all 4 of her parents, Alexis, Grams, The Piece, and Drew.

Before arriving in the city of big proportions, Katie Klein graduated from Indiana University then moved to Washington DC, where she trained with the DC improv comedy school and performed with Comedy Sportz, iMusical and two independent teams. Now in Chicago, she has trained with iO and The Second City. She was a cast member of Second city's Improv Extravaganza Explosion, a training center house ensemble and two rounds of BenchCo. At iO she is on a Harold team ("The Late 90's") as well as an all female team called "Superhuman." She performs independently with her partner-in-crime, in their tag-team duo, "Ed and Kath" and is now thrilled to be a cast member of the Laugh Out Loud theater.

Lauren Malara received a degree in Acting from The Theatre School at DePaul University. She is an ensemble member at Comedy Sportz and works actively with The Second City's Outreach/Diversity. She is overjoyed be apart of the Laugh Out Loud ensemble. Her mom is awesome and she is in love with a dog named Kevin.

Lillian Frances began acting, improvising, and directing at Northwestern University where she received a Bachelor of Science in Theater. She has performed with improv ensembles at iO (formerly Improvolympic) and other venues in Chicago, and assistant directed and performed at Boom Chicago in Amsterdam. Directing credits also include a Second City National Touring Company, the all women’s improv groups Jane and Sirens, the critically acclaimed sketch groups GayCo and Stir Friday Night, and various ensembles at iO and The Playground. She worked for several years as a lead facilitator for Second City Business Communications where she designed and facilitated training programs for Fortune 500 companies and worked as a Core Faculty Member for the Second City Training Center. She currently teaches at Columbia College, owns and runs Laugh Out Loud, and gets very little sleep. She is thankful every day that she gets to say “I love what I do,” and for her husband Scott who helps her do it.

Mary Lorenz is proud to be a part of Laugh Out Loud theater. Mary started doing improv four years ago in New Orleans, where she was a cast member of the National Comedy Company. Locally, she has performed improv, sketch and stand-up at venues such as Donny's Skybox, Cornservatory, The Playground Theater, The Annoyance, and Second City. Today, she can be seen performing regularly at Chemically Imbalanced Comedy with the house team A Dozen Red Roses. By day, Mary is a copywriter in the sexy, exciting and sometimes dangerous world of B2B marketing.

Matthew Mages came all the way out here from Colorado just to be a part of Laugh Out Loud Theater. A graduate of Second City’s Conservatory, iO Chicago’s training center, and Colorado State University’s Zoology program, Matthew also performs at The Playground Theater with The Senate and at Stage Left Theater with pH Productions. He is an instructor with pH’s training center, and coaches Droppin’ Science at Columbia College. He can be also seen in some really great short films, a couple bad commercials, and really cheesy online advertisements.

Michael Girts is thrilled to play with the fine folks at Laugh Out Loud. Michael has performed for The Second City in Rod Blagojevich Superstar, Rush Limbaugh! The Musical and Fair and Unbalanced. He has also performed for The Second City aboard Norwegian Cruise Lines, during which time he traveled to Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Bahamas, Central America and Mexico. Other credits include the Chicago Improv Festival, Chicago Sketchfest and ImprovAcadia (Bar Harbor, ME). Michael is half of the award-winning improvised musical Kate & Mike: The Musical and a proud member of Mansical. He earned his BFA in acting from Syracuse University and his MBA from the University of Notre Dame. Michael teaches improvisation and runs workshops for various universities and professional organizations. When he's not on stage, Michael enjoys watching Pittsburgh sports and taking naps on his Big Red Couch.

Neil Jacobsen started his improv career with his college improv team "Lazy Zipper" where he performed and later coached. He then moved on to colder pastures here in Chicago where he trained with the Second City's IFA program and then Conservatory. He has trained with iO and is now on a Playground Incubator team as well. He has performed scripted material including an iO sitcom pitch and in the Works By Women festival at the Second City. He can most frequently be seen making things up on stage with his partner in their signature comedy duo "Ed and Kath."

Patrick Walsh wants to thank everyone, his family, his friends, his girlfriend, and his two cats. Aw shucks, he wants to thank you too.

Rachel Miller is thrilled to join the Laugh Out Loud family.  Favorite performing credits include The Second City National Touring Company, Dave & Co., Second City's Philadelphia production The City of Nutterly Love: Funny as Bell, guitar/vocal improv duo Vlad & Rachel, The Podcast, Breathing On Cougarness, BFF:DOA, the 5-1/2 years she spent in Amsterdam with Boom Chicago, comedy festivals in Edinburgh, Singapore and Berlin, and freestyle-rapping at U2's "Vertigo" European Tour Party.  She currently performs live and on film with Second City Communications, teaches classes and corporate workshops in improvisation, and generally freelances all across the land. She has a great husband and an awesome dog.

Robert Reid hails from Jacksonville, Florida where he was an ensemble member of MadCowford Improv. Before joining MadCowford, Robert briefly trained with Theater Strike Force at the University of Florida. In Chicago, Robert has performed with pH and trained with iO, Second City and The Annoyance. Robert is extremely excited to have the opportunity to perform with Laugh Out Loud and loves every stinkin’ minute of it.

Ross Foti has performed improv on the stages of ImprovOlympic, The Playground Theater (where he currently performs with Homey Loves Chachi), ComedySportz, and The Second City. He has appeared at the New York and Miami improv festivals, the New York Fringe Festival, and Chicago Sketchfest. Ross is particularly proud of his work with both Single Box Turn Productions (“Little House on the Parody” and “Band Geeks: A Halftime Musical”) and The Free Associates Theatre Co. (“Frodo-a-GoGo” and “Whose West Wing Is It Anyway?!”).

Rudy Voit is a native of these parts; hailing from LaGrange, Illinois. He is so flopping excited to be a part of Laugh Out Loud. He has been performing improv and sketch in and around Chicago for several years. Rudy is a graduate of The Second City Conservatory, The iO Training Center, and The University of Iowa. He has a subscription to US Weekly, an unbridled obsession with baked goods, and a brown leather recliner, that if he was ever separated from for an extended period of time, he would write it love letters.

Sayjal Joshi is wicked excited to be performing with Laugh Out Loud. Hailing from North Carolina she earned her BA in Theater from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. In 2001 she co-founded and performed for three years with Greensboro’s first and only improv club, The Idiot Box. Past Chicago credits include ComedySportz, The Beatbox, and improv competition Battlejam Amsterdam 2006 winners, The Chicago Bobs, at Boom Chicago. Current Chicago credits include iO Chicago’s Hot Pocket, the critically acclaimed Asian-American Sketch group Stir-Friday Night!, and understudying with The Second City National Touring Company. You might also see her on TV stuffing her face with a Cookie Dough Blast for Sonic Drive-In. Love, love, love to Mom, Dad, and Jay.

Shelby Burton graduated from Appalachian State University with a degree in Theatre Education. She is currently pursuing a graduate degree in Theatre, Media, and Communications from Northeastern Illinois University. During the day she teaches drama in Evanston public schools and in the evenings you can see her performing with Cowlick (The Playground Theater), AIRBOURNE (iO Theater), and The Fowler Family Radio Hour. She would like to thank her friends, family, and new hubby Joe for their love and support.

Tony Lentino Tony Lentino is a graduate of Elmhurst College where he studied music business and theater with a focus on Improv comedy. Tony was a four year member of the college's Wasteful Thinking Improv Troupe where he served as director and performer. Tony has spent much time on stage in Schaumburg as well, where he has played lead roles in several shows. Tony has studied with the Second City and Annoyance Training Centers and has led several workshops at the Illinois High School Theater Festival. Tony is a familiar face around Laugh Out Loud, performing with Argyle Gargoyle, Jimprov with Tony, and KEG.  He is very excited to be one of the first students of the Laugh Out Loud Training Center to move up to the mainstage cast.

Alumni

Bryce Wissel

Chris McConnell

Chrissy Swinko

Colin J. Sweeney

Corey Rittmaster

Erin Carr

Freddie Sulit

Fuzzy Gerdes

Garin T. Jones

Gillian Bellinger

Israel Pederson

J. Ben Parker

Jamie Buell

Jason Adams

Jason Ball

Jessica Joy

Joey Cranford

John Loos

Jon Tabor

Josh Chamberlin

Katy Colloton

Kelly Reilly

Keri Jo Thompson

Luciana Bonifazi

Maddy Wager

Mandy Price

Matt Devine

Mel Evans

Michael Palascak

Mikala Bierma

Monique Madrid

Natalie Kossar

Neal Dandade

Nick Wagner

Nicole C. Hastings

Patrick Kent

Patrick McIntyre

Pete Parsons

Rich Baker

Sarah Reule

Shaun Himmerick

Tami Torok

Tracy Meyer

Vincent Kracht

Vinnie Lacey

Laugh Out Loud Theater presents

Improv Comedy every weekend

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Improv Triple Play

OMG improv
Wheaton Improv
The Queen B's

Sunday, Apr 27
7:00pm

Three improv teams in one great show. Tickets only $10.

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Comedy Hypnosis

Ranze Rizzutto

Sundays, May 11 & June 8
7:00 pm

Rance Rizzutto's hypnosis act will blow your mind with laughs from start to finish.

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