The Funny Bones Improv Players

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Matt Rentner

Matt Rentner is from Chicago, IL and is a graduate of iO, Second City, and CSz Chicago improvisation programs. Currently, he regularly performs at the Comedy Clubhouse and volunteers as a grade school teacher/tutor in the city. A market research consultant by occupation, he enjoys improv and working with kids more than anything and is […]

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Maggie Dempsey

Maggie Dempsey is a comedienne in Chicago, IL.  She is a graduate of the Second City Conservatory and the IO theater.  She can be seen performing sketch and improv all over the city, at venues such as Second City, MCL, Stage 773, IO, and the Public House Theater.  By day, she is a project manager […]

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Melissa McNamara

Melissa has been improvising, acting, and devising theatre for the past 15 years. She spent ten years training and performing comedy in Toronto at The Second City, Impatient Theatre and Bad Dog Theatre Sports. Melissa has her MFA in Contemporary Performance from the Buddhist-inspired Naropa University. She has created over 25 original works, including her […]

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Erin Island

Erin Island holds a BFA in Acting and Directing and is a graduate of Second City’s Conservatory, Music Improv Conservatory, and HouseCo Program. She is an original member of the sketch comedy group DGAF Comedy. She also performs with Artemis (an iO Harold team), Buzzed Broadway (musical improv), and The Greatest Story Never Told (children’s […]

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Mike Olifirowicz

Mike Olifirowicz has been a member of Funny Bones since 2012. A Chicago native, he has been doing improv and stand-up comedy in and around town for the past seven years. He has been leveraging his degree in Computer Science from Loyola University to feed himself and his family since HBO has not yet offered […]

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Val Rock

Val Rock is very excited to be joining the cast of Funny Bones Improv! She started out doing improv with Kansas State University’s own On The Spot Improv. She then performed short form comedy as an ensemble member at Comedy City in Kansas City, MO. Since moving to Chicago, she has graduated from the Second […]

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Mikey Curren

Mikey Curren is a native of New Orleans. He greatly enjoys his time with Funny Bones Improv. It is a pleasure to work with so many loving and talented performers. Performing for the children has been one of my greatest joys. It is an honor to play a part in what we do.

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Shawn Bush

Shawn Bush is excited and proud to be a member of the Funny Bones organization. Shawn began his comedic journey improvising at American University and performing on the WIT Harold Team, “Breaker Breaker” in Washington, DC. Shawn has completed the improv curriculum at iO, Annoyance, and Washington Improv Theater and has performed at festivals such as the Del […]

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Debbie Schreiner

Debbie Schreiner has been a member of Funny Bones Improv since 2013. It is a joy to perform with this talented group and share laughter with children and their families! In addition to improvising, she enjoys singing and rewriting song lyrics (à la Weird Al Yankovic). Debbie is a proud graduate of Northwestern University where […]

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Kristin Schmitz

Kristin Schmitz is a California Bay Area native and has been acting and improvising in Chicago since 2014. She holds a BA in Theatre Arts with a minor in Musical Theatre from Santa Clara University. Kristin loves working with children and has performed for young audiences all over the country. Currently she is a member […]

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Jolene Fehler

Funny Bones Improv founder, Jolene Fehler has been training and performing improvisation since 2001 in Toronto, Vancouver, Chicago and New Orleans.  Funny Bones Improv began at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago in April 2008. Jolene has also been certified as a Laughter Yoga Leader since December 2008 and in April 2010; Jolene took the next step […]

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Sarah Carolyn Thomas

Sarah Carolyn Thomas moved to Chicago after graduating from Minnesota State University, Mankato with a BFA in Theatre Arts. She is passionate about theatre as a vehicle for social change and is grateful for the opportunity to brighten kids’ days with Funny Bones Improv. She is also passionate about befriending all the dogs in her […]

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Rebecca Russell

Rebecca Russell is a passionate actress & improviser that has called Chicago her home for 14 years. Besides the incredible opportunity of performing with Funny Bones Improv, Rebecca’s work with kids is near constant. She runs the Laugh Out Loud Youth Program at Laugh Out Loud Theater, and works with the JCC in their J […]

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Sarah Beth James

Sarah Beth is a graduate of the MFA Film and Theatre Performance program at the University of New Orleans. She found her love of the stage during her year as Miss Mississippi, which later enabled her to continue her studies in Spain, Italy, and Ireland. In addition to travel, ice cream, and the great outdoors, […]

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Chris Bashen

Chris has been a writer, improviser, actor, and director in the Chicagoland area for close to 10 years. He originally hails from Nashville, Tennessee, and then moved to Virginia to study acting and directing at Shenandoah Conservatory. After touring with several children’s theatre companies (Hampstead Players, Theatre IV) Chris finally landed in Chicago. In the […]

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Caroline Nash

Caroline Nash is a graduate of UNC Greensboro. She is a graduate of both the Conservatory and Music Conservatory programs at Second City and is taking classes at the Annoyance. She can also be seen around the city performing with After Party, Buzzed Broadway, Dead Broads Yapping, the Dinner Detective, Eastwood, and Storytown. If you’re bored, you can find her […]

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Ellen Tharp

Ellen Tharp was introduced to Funny Bones in 2014 as a senior at Tulane University studying Digital Media Production. Originally involved as a film/media intern, she began performing and fell in love. She currently resides in Chicago, where she continues to study improv with the Second City Conservatory program and recently rejoined Funny Bones with […]

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Bridget Purdy

Bridget Purdy grew up in New Orleans and knew she wanted to study comedy at the age of fifteen. Bridget attended a Second City training camp in high school and has been in love with comedy ever since. She is currently studying comedy writing and performance at Columbia College Chicago and hopes to one day […]

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Kristen Rau

Originally from Portland, Oregon, Kristen is a graduate of the iO and Annoyance improv training centers in Chicago and the Upright Citizens Brigade in New York, and is a proud ensemble member of the Chicago-based Under the Gun Theater. Beyond Funny Bones, you can catch her making up uke songs for her friends, performing weekly […]

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Shannon Kelly

Shannon Kelly is thrilled to have worked with the talented players of Funny Bones since 2012.  Originally from Minnesota, she is a career scientist with a curiosity for most things, including things absurd and things nonsensical.  She has studied writing and performance at Second City, iO, Annoyance Theater and Green Shirt Studio.  She believes that […]

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Michael Dardant

New Orleans comedy magician, Michael Dardant, is the perfect performer on any stage! As a comedian he catches crowds off guard with a genuine Cajun flair. As a magician, his original and stunning sleight of hand is enthralling. In two years he has accumulated more than twenty first place and championship awards, making him the […]

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Emily Slazer

Emily Slazer is a south Louisiana native and a graduate of Centenary College of Louisiana, where she studied Theatre. Emily has studied improv with a number of institutions over the years, and she has been involved in education programs for young artists throughout the state. Emily is a graduate of and performer with The New […]

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Allison Grischow

Allison Grischow is a Chicago based actor, improviser, and musician. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre and Music from Valparaiso University and continued her training with the Moscow Art Theatre School. In Chicago, Allison has performed with The Plagiarists, Beast Women Productions, Redmoon Theater, The Public House Theatre, and MCL Chicago among […]

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Susan Gordon

Susan Gordon is an actress, improviser, and creator native to New Orleans, Louisiana. She moved to Chicago last August to pursue a career in acting after receiving her Bachelors Degree in Film Studies from the University of New Orleans. Her credits include small day playing parts on the television shows Chicago PD and Empire, and […]

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Michael Brackney

Michael Brackney, “Brack”, is jazzed to be a part of Funny Bones Improv by helping kids and parents laugh around the city. He was born and raised in Arizona and moved to Chicago 2013. Soon after the move, he fell in love with improvisation. He continues to learn and play around the city. Currently, he is […]

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Gavin Donnellan

Gavin Donnellan has been a member of Funny Bones since 2012! He is a graduate of the iO improvisation program, as well as the Conservatory, Music Conservatory, and Writing programs at Second City. Gavin also performs with Storytown, where he does musical improv for kids. He can be seen performing improv for grown ups too as one part […]

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Brian Morrow

Brian Morrow is thrilled to be a part of the Funny Bones Improv cast. He has completed the Conservatory and Music Conservatory programs at Second City, as well as trained at iO, Annoyance, and Comedy Sportz. You may have seen him with Stage 773’s house ensemble Unlikely Company, with Hogwash: An Improvised Children’s Musical, or […]

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Steve Arch

Steve joins the Funny Bones Improv cast with experience studying at LOL Theater in Schaumburg (his base theater), the Annoyance, and iO. He recently joined “Of Mo and Men,” a team that performs in the Western Suburbs along with planned performances in Chicago. Steve is a business owner who resides in Lombard with his wife, […]

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Alex DiVirgilio

Alex DiVirgilio is thrilled to be a member of Funny Bones. He grew up in Buffalo where he was an ensemble member of ComedySportz. In Chicago, he can be seen at MCL, Storytown, and ComedySportz. He is a graduate of iO’s improv program. His day job is teaching 2- and 3-year-olds as well as driving their […]

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Stuart Allard

Stuart Allard has been a member of Funny Bones since September 2012. He has been trained at Second City, iO, and The Annoyance, and is also a graduate of Second City’s prestigious conservatory program. Stuart is also the brains behind the Facebook comedy page Stu News. He is a native of the Chicago suburbs.