Diverse Backgrounds, Unified Goal
we know you will, too.
Mark Bousquet is a teacher and performer with the Syracuse Improv Collective, and serves as the Drop-In Coordinator. He started attending Drop-Ins in January 2017 and soon therafter advanced through the SIC’s ranks, taking Levels 1, 2, and 3, ultimately being asked to join SIC’s established team, Mathed Potatoes, a year later. He has performed in Bank Shows, Cage Matches, and at the Ithaca Festival for the Arts.
He teaches in the Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and Composition Studies at Syracuse University, and is the author of over a dozen novels, including the kids novels The Bear at the Top of the Stairs, Adventures of the Five, and Stuffed Animals for Hire. He has also published novels for adults, including five volumes of the Gunfighter Gothic series of weird westerns.
Lauren Esposito is a teacher and performer with the Syracuse Improv Collective. She has studied and performed improv for almost a decade, beginning with Renegade Improv on Long Island, NY. She studied at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater and Magnet Theater in New York City. Lauren is a member of two SIC teams, Susan Be Anything and Heavy Metal Heat Wave, and has performed at a variety of improv festivals, including the Del Close Marathon, NYC Improv Fest, and the Ithaca Festival of the Arts. Her training as an improv teacher developed during her time with the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University. There she learned to apply improv teaching to real-world communication. She enjoys helping others make these same connections by teaching corporate workshops with non-profits in Syracuse and nearby high school teachers.
Phil Gross is the Chair of the SIC Education Committee. His professional background is in teaching and marketing. Phil grew up in the theatre and is a homegrown SIC improviser, having studied under SIC founders Mike Borden, Joe Blum, and Ken Keech.
Phil has equal love for training new Collectivists and advancing the art form. Phil teaches and coaches at all levels. He was the founder and dedicated coach for SIC team Susan Be Anything, and he is an active performer with Hazmat Love. On the side, Phil enjoys playing board games, hanging out with his wife and daughter, and creating comedy with his writing partner, Aaron Buitron.
Like some sharks, if Dan stops moving, he dies. Although originally from Chicago, he did not know improv existed until he left town. Dan entered the improv world in 2007. He is a graduate of the training center and the sketch writing program at Improv Asylum in Boston, the training center at Backline Improv Theater in Omaha and the training centers of Syracuse Improv Collective and Salt City Improv Theater in Syracuse. He was a member of several house teams including Too Soon?, Good Touch, Bad Touch, and Dad Jokes. Dan currently plays with Flight Risk and Heavy Metal Heat Wave, teaches long-form classes and workshops, and organizes and performs for corporate training.
Stephen Peters is a teacher, performer, and co-founder of the Syracuse Improv Collective. He has studied with teachers from the Annoyance, Magnet, UCB, and Second City. Stephen is currently a music education student, but you can catch him perform with Satan’s Closet and Heavy Metal Heat Wave from time to time. Stephen believes that every improviser has a unique history to offer, and it’s much easier to access in an encouraging, non-judgmental, atmosphere.
Jeff White is a teacher and performer with the Syracuse Improv Collective. You can see him perform with his troupe Heavy Metal Heat Wave or teaching a Level 2 Scene Work class. At times he will teach a drop-in class or coach teams looking to fine tune their improv abilities. Jeff found his love for improv here in Syracuse where he performed locally until heading West to hone his craft studying improv at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in Los Angeles. There he was practicing, performing, or watching improv nearly every day and from what he says it was magical. It brings him great joy to spread the surprise that is improv.