iO Chicago


Joe teaches and performs at iO Chicago and is a Co-Founder of The Annoyance Theater. He is widely regarded as one of the best teachers of Improvisation in America today. 






LENGTH: 3 Hours

LEVEL: All Levels

CATEGORY: Scenic, Development

A lot of times improvisers will spend the first 30 seconds of a scene (or show) in some kind of analysis about what to do. Even if you are doing something, doubts can visit you during “The Golden Time” (the amount of time that it takes any improviser to hate what they have initially done). We will play with tools to get you out of your head, present and vital as a scene or show begins. I will help you form an immediate marriage between the Engineering part of your brain (Adaptive Creativity) and the Active Dreamer part of your brain (Innovative Creativity) in the first 30 seconds. Improvisation is an active meditation, where recognition meets inspiration and initiative turns into action. We can equip ourselves with vitality, in the first 30 seconds, to best serve our scene partners and the format in which we play.



LENGTH: 6 Hours

LEVEL: Intermediate, Advanced, Professional

CATEGORY: Development

When we study acting for the theater, one of the first things that we learn is that “the REAL play lies between the lines” of the actors. We get into the hearts and minds of our characters in order to give them emotional and psychological content. When we do this, the dialogue comes to life! We play characters with a filter of emotion and psychology through which we can listen to our scene partners and respond in a way that empowers their emotional and psychological journey in the play. In Improvisation, it can be a challenge to find our way to the emotional and psychological depth that can authentically inspire us in the moment. We often default to literal and linear thinking and acting, engaging in literal dialogue and linear story that “makes sense”, with emotions that are projected more than they are felt. I will show you a way to engage with your scene partners with depth “between the lines” through a soft-focused awareness of the Emotional and Psychological content as our stories unfold. Another way to put this is, the audience won’t believe you unless YOU believe you. I will help YOU believe YOU as you explore the vulnerable moments with your scene partners that can be anything, from breathtaking, to heartbreaking to hilarious.



LENGTH: 3 Hours

LEVEL: All Levels

CATEGORY: Structure

In the spirit of Cliffs notes, this workshop will be a combination of Presentation, Q & A and Demonstration about American Longform. I have lived in Chicago for over 30 years and have been touring for more than 20 of those years. I studied with Del Close for a combined 5 years and have taught, performed in, coached and directed just about any kind of Longform Improvisation that you can imagine. My focus will be primarily on addressing any questions or curiosities that the people in this workshop have and then fill in the rest with stories, examples, strategies and processes from American Longform that I’ve experienced over the years.



Joe and a number of very talented friends, under the Artistic Direction of Mick Napier, co-founded The Annoyance Theater in Chicago in 1990. His passion for teaching Improvisation soon kicked into high gear as a unique approach to Improvised Scene and Character began to be articulated by a number of teachers at Annoyance, including Mick Napier, Mark Sutton, Joe, David Razowsky, Bob Fisher and Susan Messing that focused on Improvisers “Taking care of themselves, in order to take care of others in a scene”.

In addition to BASSPROV & Our Play, Joe tours internationally with the pride of Winnipeg, Manitoba and Canadian cultural and comedic treasure, Lee White. Their 2 person show, PARADiGM, explores a different format in each successive show with an approach that has been described as Death Metal on a Unicorn. He also tours with with Minneapolis Improv Mastermind Jill Bernard in their 2 person show, SCRAM!

Joe has performed, coached, taught, directed and/or innovated with every major Improvisation Institution in Chicago and New York, and many more throughout the U.S. and Canada. Joe has also been a corporate trainer since 1993. He’s very proud to be The Senior Facilitator & Designer for iO Chicago Corporate, a Senior Affiliate Facilitator for The Ariel Group, Master Facilitator for Ferrazzi Greenlight and Actor, Director and Executive Coach for ReAct.