Gary Lehman (GO U Director) is a resident cast member at Go Comedy and has director of GO U for over 5 years. He’s coached three Go Comedy launch groups, most recently in 2015. He also manages the Pointless School of Improv in Ann Arbor, and performs with the League of Pointless Improvisers. Gary has completed the Intro, Conservatory, and Graduate programs at Second City Detroit, the five week Summer Intensive at iO Theatre in Chicago, summer intensive at The Annoyance in Chicago, summer intensive at UCB NYC, and a three day workshop with Keith Johnstone. He has lead workshops at Michigan Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Google, Eastern Michigan University, University of Michigan Medical School, University of Michigan Engineering Graduate School, Oakland University Medical School, and at SIBITO Improv Festival in Brest, France. He is a middle and high school teacher with over 20 years of teaching experience, and in 2016 attained a Masters of Fine Arts in Applied Drama for the Young at Eastern Michigan University.
Jess Kay (Managing Director) began as a Go U intern in 2010, and hey look at her now! She started improvising at 13, in the youth programs of Second City Detroit. Jess has a B.A. in Theatre (and a lot of student loan debt) from Drew University. She’s been performing and working at Go Comedy since 2010, and teaching since 2015. Her teaching style focuses on emotional connection and relationship in scenes, but, you know, in a fun way.
Pj Jacokes (Go U Founder & Go Comedy! Producer) Pj is the Producer and co-owner of Go Comedy! He has been an actor and improviser in the Detroit area since 1997. Before opening Go Comedy! Pj worked as an actor, stage manager and Head Instructor at The Second City, Detroit, a member of the Planet Ant Home Team and a member of the Improv Inferno in Ann Arbor. Locally, he is likely most familiar from Hungry Howies’ long-running “Ad Guys” commercials. Pj lives in Pleasant Ridge with his wife, Lisa and sons, Dax and Fletcher.
Alex Bergmans has been performing and writing comedy since 2016. He has written and performed in shows such as The Skit Parade, Third Base!, Maybe It’s Cold Outside, The (Big Number)th Annual Kevin Awards, and has performed in troupes such as The Bureau, Steamed Hams, ABC Family, This is a Quiz, and the Annals. He enjoys performing and is a large purple monster who was first introduced by McDonald’s in November 1971 as the “Evil Grimace,” where he was one of the original main antagonists and was depicted with two pairs of arms which were used to steal sodas and shakes.
Jen Bloomer has been performing improv since 2009 and teaching since 2011. A veteran of Go Comedy!’s resident company, Jen has also coached a launch group, written and directed a bunch of shows, and led several workshops. You might have seen Jen perform with the duo Pretty Daddy, playing an unhinged character in Character Fondue, or heard her talk about nu-metal as a co-host of the Roach Koach podcast (now charting on Latvian Spotify). Jen’s teaching style is adaptive and places value on direct and kind feedback. Regardless of what brings you to class, we’ll make it a comfortable place to learn and grow together, and (of course) do a bunch of weird, fun stuff.
Will Curry has been improvising and acting since 2015. He has appeared in various shows and improv troupes including the Go Comedy launch group “Hot Gold”. His comedy writing career began at Go Comedy in 2014 Since then his work has appeared in multiple productions throughout the Detroit area. His writing experience includes sketch comedy, one-act plays and a musical he swears is almost finished. He enjoys teaching writing and improv to others in a fun, supportive environment. He lives in Royal Oak with his wife Claire, their cat and very, very large dog.
Hunter Dunn has taught at Go since 2017. His addiction to improv began when he first learned and performed the Harold at io West and Bang! theaters out in Los Angeles. Over the years, he’s attended classes and workshops at Planet Ant, Second City, Under the Gun, The Annoyance, and io Chicago. He started at Go in 2014 and joined the cast on a variety of shows, including Date Night, Character Fondue, and most recently, Rock-o-matic, the musical rock opera. Growing up in California, he never dreamed that one day he’d move to the midwest, join a comedy club, and write a bio about himself in the third person. He’s living proof that even the dreams you don’t have . . . might still come true.
Emily Engelhart. One of Emily’s first thoughts in her Intro 1 Program at Go Comedy was “Woah, this is wild – one day I want to teach this”. Lo and behold after years of classes, performances, coaching, training, and many drinks at the bar — she did and she loved it! Emily officially started her teaching journey with the Detroit Creativity Project in 2015 as a shadow and volunteer for the program which brings improv to Detroit Public Schools. She was hired on as a full teaching artist in the Fall of 2016 and continues to teach at local schools. In Early 2017, Emily joined the Go! Teaching staff and has loved being a part of the program that kicked-off her own improv journey. You can see her perform with the Go Comedy! Resident Company and the League of Pointless Improvisers as well as occasionally in her troupe Koala Yummies with her duo partner Jake Russell who she met in her Intro 1 class!
Keith Faigin is a beloved performer who proudly earned the title of Detroit Improv Institution. He began improvising in 1989 (which, at the time, was not a Taylor Swift album) and switched to stand-up in the 90’s as mandated by the Clinton administration. When Keith moved to Detroit in 2005, he returned to improv, studying with Second City and Go Comedy. Keith has been part of the resident cast since 2012 but he’s not entirely certain and it’s hard to remember stuff when you get old. When not on the Go Comedy stage, Keith spends time with his family and does computer stuff for money.
Chris Fortin has been improvising since 2014 and he loves it very much. He has also written, directed, and acted in productions around Metro Detroit. Chris has performed at improv festivals in Detroit, Grand Rapids, Omaha, Cincinnati, and Brest. That last one’s in France! His greatest accomplishment is getting 14 grackles at his bird feeder simultaneously. What a day that was.
Michelle Giorlando started improvising at Second City Detroit in 2008 and loves being a member of the Go Comedy family, where she’s a member of the resident company and teaches at Go U. She’s been in a number of scripted shows, and currently appears in Pandemonia and the All-Star Showdown. She has performed in California and Colorado with her improvised Tennessee Williams troupe, the Infirmary Players. She currently lives in Clawson in an old Craftsman house with a secret garden.
Tess Hannah has been improvising for five years and is a graduate of Go U! All warm-ups are her favorite. Tess discovered improv late in life after devoting time to DIY punk rock bands and social justice activism. She is a member of the ABC Family troupe and True Colors cast, directs Go Comedy’s monthly female improviser show, We Wear Pink, and does professional theater in the area. She is also a certified Jazzercise instructor and appreciates when she can marry her love for aerobics with her love for generating creativity.
Jen Hansen has been performing, writing, improvising and teaching with Go Comedy since the very beginning. You may have seen her in numerous shows, including Grandma Got Run Over by the QLine, Midlife Christmas and North by North Pole. She is a graduate of The Second City, and a founding member of improv troupes Baby Leroy, ABC Family, and Human Amusements. She cohosts a weekly horror comedy podcast, Transmissions from the Darkside with friends Matt Naas and Matt Rose.
Quintin Hicks has taught at Go Comedy, off and on for the past 10 years. In addition to his involvement with Go Comedy, Quintin is also presently an instructor for the Detroit Creativity Project, The Planet Ant Training Center in Hamtramck, as well as offering group and individual coaching to some Of Nashville’s upcoming stars. Dating back over 25 years, Quintin received his training and foundation of technique, at The Second City-Detroit, where he was a member of the theatre’s final Tour Co cast. From there, Quintin spent nearly five years as an instructor and main stage cast member at The Second City-Novi. He also plays “Quintin the Bartender”, on Seasons 1 and 2 of “Detroiters” on Comedy Central, and the perennial “Fish Dinner Series” of his 1 person show that has earned 6 Wilde Award nominations overall, and 2 Awards. “Flipped”, “The King Of Detroit”, “Division 19”, and “PawParazzi”, are all recent film projects that you can briefly catch him in.
Anna Imesch is a theater kid 100%. After starting musicals at age 14, then being introduced to improv in 2010 is when the obsession began. After graduating the Go U program in 2012, she commuted to Chicago and completed Second City’s conservatory program in 2015. She loves goats more than any human should and can reenact 86% of the musical Annie. She is so grateful to be a part of the Go Comedy Resident Cast and a teacher at Go. Catch her onstage at All-Star Showdowns, Pandamonia and playing with her troupes!
Pete Jacokes is a part of the stage managing team here. He is also a member of Go!’s Resident Cast and a Planet Ant Home Team Member. As a director he has directed Stage Fright, Breaking Convention, Lame Duck Soup, Plot Twist, Manger Things; the student written shows Where The Skywalk Ends and Suburban Legends, along with a whole mess of other shows all over town. He’s a part of the improv groups The Brothers Jacokes and James and Pete, among others. He is married to the amazing Suzie and adores his daughter Lily. They are amazing all the time and better than he deserves. #DMJ #HoopsForHoops
Sonia Khaleel has been a theatre kid for a while — she started performing with Rising Stars at the young age of 12. She then began improvising in 2007 when she studied comedy at iO and Second City in Chicago, where she was also an ensemble member of Stir-Friday Night!, the nation’s premier Asian-American comedy troupe. Sonia has performed in many sketch shows, including Grandma Got Run Over by the QLine, Maybe It’s Cold Outside, Third Base, and Robotopia. She also enjoys performing longform with ABC Family and the Annals. Sonia is passionate about music and released the indie rock album Shark in 2013. She loves performing musical improv with Rock-o-Matic and Forte Factory.
Doug Kolbicz is a seasoned veteran of the Go! stage, having previously appeared in Grandma Got Run Over by the QLine, Non-Player Characters, Guess Who’s Coming to Puppet Street, and Plot Twist, among others. He is also a member of Go Comedy’s Resident Cast, and can frequently be seen performing or hosting The All-Star Showdown and Pandemonia. Doug coaches the 2018-9 launch group, Moonmonster.
Like the truest of Millennials, Mary Beth Kolbicz graduated college at the height of the recession, decided improv and sketch comedy classes were her best course of action, and has been lurking around the Go Comedy lobby ever since. She began teaching improv and sketch in 2016. Along with teaching and lurking, she has written, directed, and/or performed in a variety of shows at Go, including Boozies, Unruly Women, the Clusterfuck shows (Jess, can I say clusterfuck on this website?), The Skit Parade, and tens of other flawless masterpieces. In 1937, Mary Beth and her navigator, Fred Noonan, attempted to fly around the world. They disappeared mid-flight, and their fate is unknown.
Cari Sue Murphy was a theater kid from her 1988 birth, but began improvising at the GoU Academy in January 2013. Since graduating she has been honored to join the Resident Cast at Go Comedy & perform at several US festivals with musical troupe Cash & Carry. She lives in Ferndale with her son, Roosevelt, who is faster than both Chris & Billy Crawford. Her dreams include growing her own avocado tree, writing things that don’t suck, & seeing the Musical Improv community flourish in Detroit.
Scotty Myers has been improvising since 2001. He was a TourCo understudy for the old Second City in Detroit and produced “Comedy Works” with The Guild at the Gem Theatre. Other acting credits include several appearances with Water Works Theatre Company’s Shakespeare In The Park and a gay play or two. By day you’ll find him at the Fisher Theatre where he is the Marketing Director for Broadway In Detroit. He also has his own Public Relations company, Little Man Public Relations which handles PR for Go Comedy! and more.
Tom Novik has been teaching with Go U since 2014, and improvising at Go Comedy since many years before that. Tom is also a founding member of AWOL Theater Company, and performs regularly with his troupes The Lineup, and Listen, Stupid. You may have seen him in the scripted shows The Last Magi, Swine & Potato, or Wet Hot American Bummer among others. You may have even witnessed him yelling in the lobby of Go Comedy about his passion for chain restaurants.
Travis Pelto has been improvising since the age of 13, back when the Second City Detroit offered Summer Youth Programs. He was instantly hooked, and has been improvising on and off ever since. After graduating from Western Michigan University with degrees in film studies and creative writing, he joined Go Comedy’s resident cast and improvises there often. He also does the occasional sketch show, including 50 States of Gray, Ahoy!, The OffBeats, and the award winning Wirelessless.
Chris Petersen started with improv in 2008 by taking classes at Second City (Novi). He has been a teacher at Go Comedy since 2011, working both at Go and as part of GoCorp doing corporate/organizational workshops. He is a member of the groups Human Amusements, ABC Family, To The Wings, Wieck and Petersen, and Mobius Strip Mall.
Mike Ramey’s journey down the comedy rabbit hole began in 2007 when he started doing stand-up. Having completed Mark Ridley’s stand-up course in 2008 & performing locally over the next couple years, he eventually realized that was not his niche. In 2010 Mike moved to Chicago and graduated from the Second City Writing Program where he discovered his love for sketch writing & improv. He has since moved back home to the Detroit area where he completed the Go U & Planet Ant improv programs, as well as being a mentor with the Detroit Creativity Project. Mike’s also a grateful part of Go’s Stage Managing team and continues to perform whenever possible.
Jake Russell has been teaching with Go U since 2016, and a member of the community of Resident Artists since 2013. Jake studied improv at Go Comedy and the Planet Ant Theater, and has appeared in many shows at both theaters. Jake also wrote and starred in his acclaimed one-man show, Birth of a Ho’Ass Nation, with which he has also toured. Currently, you can see Jake as part of REPRESENT! (which he also directs), the All-Star Showdown, and Hot Takes.
Allen Smock has been improvising since he took his first intro class at Go Comedy in 2012. He has been a Resident cast member at Go Comedy since 2017 and is a member of Go Comedy’s 2019-2020 Launch Group The Bureau. He is also a member of Pointless Brewery and Theater’s Resident cast, The League of Pointless Improvisers, and a number of other troupes that perform around Metro Detroit. Allen lives in Detroit with his amazing girlfriend, three loving rescue dogs, and a spooky cat. When he’s not improvising you can find him playing video games, practicing the violin, listening to metal, and writing code.
Mitch Socia has been annoying the staff of Go Comedy since 2014 even though he had taken his first improv class in 2009! He has studied improv with the Second City, Planet Ant Theater, Upright Citizens Brigade & you guessed it…Go Comedy! Mitch has been in several sketch and improv productions at Go Comedy and elsewhere over the years, including Mitch & Matt Present: Something Rad, and Alexander Hamilton: Fully Loaded which he wrote and starred in with a very strange man that he rescued from a fire and felt bad for. Mitch began teaching improv in 2016 and has loved it ever since. Currently he can be found in his Detroit home working on his one act mystery/drama about a jazz musician, premiering summer 2019.
Jeremy St. Martin has been a part of Go Comedy for 8 years, currently as Music Director and Resident Cast Member. Jeremy also has extensive theater and music credit, performing and music directing at such theaters as The Ringwald and The Gem.
Cara Trautman is an actor, improviser, writer and corporate trainer. She has taught improvisation classes for eleven years and performed for over eighteen. In recent years she has focused her teaching on sharing techniques to help actors curb overthinking in order to free up creativity and increase their performance potential. Passionate about her work, she has helped hundreds of students have more fun and become more relaxed and focused on stage. Cara can be found traveling the country leading corporate team building events as well as working on her latest novel.
Ryan Westbrook is a graduate of the Go Comedy! and Planet Ant improv programs. He has been improvising for 6 years, with an additional 6 years of acting experience in plays and musicals, and 2 years of sketch comedy shows. Ryan started his journey with Go Comedy! by attending the Detroit Improv Festival in 2015. That led to classes, becoming part of the Resident Company, and many shows during and up to this day. He has also been in various independent long-form improv troupes that have performed across Michigan. You can currently see him regularly in the Go Comedy! shows All-Star Showdown, Pandemonia, and the Family Friendly Showdown. Ryan is delighted to be teaching and sharing the gift of improv.
Bob Wieck is the founding father of Home School Improv. He has been improvising for the past 10 years. He’s a member of the resident cast at Go Comedy, and a graduate of both second city Detroit’s improv and writing programs. Bob won an award for being inspirational, has done more showdowns then anyone in the northern hemisphere, and recently revolutionized Vonnegut in Laughterhouse-5.Bob’s comedy influences are Monty Python, Kids in the hall, SNL especially the original cast, all of his previous instructors, his friends and co-performers, his big amazing polish family, and the Grumpy Old Men movies.