cast of improvisers
Ryan Arthur, Director
What this man lacks in hair, he makes up for in personality. Ryan Arthur has been performing in live theater and improv since high school. You may even recognize Ryan from some of his community theater performances with Towne Centre Theater in Brentwood. However, several years ago, Ryan grew tired of having to memorize scripts and blocking. So he reignited his love of improv and became a founding member of Exit Stage Left, an improv troupe in Brentwood.
Wanting to find paying gigs in town, Ryan decided to start Yes And improv troupe as a way to not only entertain the people of Nashville, but to also put a little money in the pockets of his fellow comedians.
When not raising his kids with his wife, working a day job, and directing an improv troupe, Ryan also has several humorous blogs. If you like his brand of humor check out The Journal of Luke Skywalker, The Journal of Obi Wan Kenobi, and Conspiracy on the Street.
Derek Slawson, Curriculum Director
What improv troupe would be complete without workshops? That's why we have Derek Slawson putting together some fantastic curriculum for our workshops. But we are doing something a little different! We are catering to the non-improvisers, the any-man and the corporate folks to build better life and professional skills, like better listening skills and public speaking skills. We are doing this through the techniques and theories of improv.
Derek has training with iO Theater in Chicago and currently assists with leading the Nashville Improv & Comedy Meetup. If you'd like to know more about our training workshops, shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow our blog!
Chris Hill, ASsistant director
Chris was born a poor redneck in Southern Nashville. On the mean streets of kinda near Nippers Corner he learned to pun and joke. It wasn't until cable brought him SCTV and Whose Line, with English subtitles, that he learned of improv. Many drunken years later he saw improv in person, live. He tried out for the troupe and they said, "Yes!" It was awkward when they brought him home on the first night, but he put out, so it all ended okay. He left that troupe, moved, took some lessons, took a Bill n' Ted hiatus, found a job, and joined another troupe. That troupe wasn't Yes And, so he quit. And now he's with Yes And!
lukas lamb, artistic director
Straight from North Carolina, Lukas Lamb joins us from Nutt House Improv. He has had extensive training and experience in both short and long-form improv, and is currently enrolled at Second City in Chicago. While not telecommuting to and from Chicago to Nashville, Lukas is an aspiring photographer and has an improv comedy podcast, Lala Land Comedy. Check it out on iTunes here. You can also follow him on Facebook at Lukas Lamb Live
MC REYNOLDS, CAST
Have you heard of Upright Citizen's Brigade? Or Second City? Well, MC Reynolds has. That's because she was trained as an improviser at both places. If anyone breathes and sleeps improv, it's MC. She currently performs with not only Yes And improv, but Nashville Improv Company AND Exit Stage Left. That's right people. Three troupes in town love what this lady puts down on stage. And Nashville Improv likes her so much, she has also recently began teaching improv classes with the troupe.
Lee Daniel, Cast
Lee Daniel has been with Yes And Improv since 2015, but is only now getting a bio because he wouldn't ever write one. So we just borrowed another one. Following his accidental exposure to gamma rays during the detonation of an experimental bomb, Lee is physically transformed into the Bulk when subjected to emotional stress, at or against his will, often leading to removal of his shirt and conflicts that complicate Lee's civilian life. The Bulk's level of strength is normally conveyed as proportionate to his level of anger. Commonly portrayed as a raging savage, the Bulk has been represented with other personalities based on Lee's fractured psyche, from a mindless, destructive force, to a brilliant warrior, or genius comedian in his own right.
Taylor Simon, Cast
Taylor couldn't be more excited to be a part of the Yes And Improv cast! This born and raised Nashvillian is a newcomer to improv, but her life has no shortage of comedy. A Southern Jew to the core, Taylor is no stranger to dysfunction and enjoys finding the humor in everyday situations. Taylor's background is in musical theatre and opera having studied classical vocal performance in college. So don't be surprised if she spontaneously breaks into song...or drops some solid beats as her alter-ego Jewdacriss...but that requires alcohol.
Jake Horvitz, Cast
Jake Elliott Horvitz hails from the glamorous suburb of Sherman Oaks, California, colloquially known as the heart and soul of America. You may recognize Jake from his work trying to hit on you earlier, but when he is able to behave himself he enjoys writing sketch comedy and romantic poetry. Adding to his pretentiousness, Jake majors in English and Cinema and Media Arts at Vanderbilt University. Currently a sophomore, Jake works as a video producer for Student Communications, producing groundbreaking segments on the nature of college life. Jake is also an active member of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity, where he is mostly liked, though opinions vary. As a comedian and filmmaker, Jake hopes to eventually cast off the shadow of his father, voice actor Richard Horvitz.
Phil Heller, Cast
Phil Heller has been improvising his whole life. Growing up on the cold hard streets of Chatham, New Jersey, Phil learned the ropes the hard way, often having to lie, cheat, and steal in order to get everything that’s made him the man he is today. Phil currently attends Vanderbilt University where he studies English with minors in Communications and Political Science, and here he has continued his life-long pattern of lying, cheating, and stealing, albeit with only mild success. Besides being mostly caught up on class readings, Phil is also involved with the music scene on campus, hosting the radio show “low phildelity” on WRVU Nashville. Phil has joined Yes And… at the tender age of 19, and while he is just beginning his career in the comedy world, he hopes his past successes will ensure a long career built on the quick wit, dry delivery, and overall bland demeanor that has already gotten him so far in life.
Rebecca Groner, Cast
A New York native, Rebecca moved to Nashville in the summer of 2017 after a 4-year stint in Waltham, MA at Brandeis University. Rebecca spent those years improvising with her college troupe To Be Announced (TBA) and on her podcast Room for Improvment which she recorded live on college radio, accepting calls on air mainly from her dad. She has taken classes at Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB) in NY and jammed out in DC's improv scene so she is very excited to finally bring her passion for 'prov to the South. She hopes to see you at the next Yes And show!
Catherine Caffey, Cast
Catherine Anne Caffey is one of the few remaining Nashville natives and freely admits to having a staunch caffeine habit. Her foray into the world of comedy and theatre is far from recent, first taking the stage in an impressively low-budget middle school production of Fiddler on the Roof. She is an avid Amy Poehler devotee and has been known to talk to herself in a British accent when she thinks (or is pretty sure) no one is listening. Please be sure to tell her that she's tall as no one has ever thought to point that out. Cheers!
Sometimes an improviser is called to seek suggestions from audiences in other locations, and these former cast members heeded that call and have departed as members. But we will never forget them! They may even pop in as a featured performer for one of our shows. Click here to see all of our previous cast members.