About: Players

The Improvised Shakespeare Company

Joey Bland

Joey Bland is a Los Angeles based actor who hails from Virginia, where he attended the College of William and Mary. He spent many years in Chicago where he performed with ComedySportz, the iO Theater, and The Second City. For two years, Joey traveled the world with The Second City Touring Company, and in 2009, he played the title role in The Second City's hit, original musical, Rod Blagojevich, Superstar. Television credits include Teachers (TV Land) and Forever (Amazon Prime). Joey is also a two-time Jeopardy champion.

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Ross Bryant

Ross Bryant is a writer/performer from North Carolina. Ross performed for many years in Chicago, where he toured internationally with the Second City Touring Company before joining the resident cast of The Second City Mainstage. Now in LA, Ross can be seen regularly at the Upright Citizens Brigade theater. Ross also tours the country and performs monthly at The Largo in LA with The Improvised Shakespeare Company. TV credits include The Good Place (NBC), Crashing (HBO). Wild 'n Out (MTV), Corporate (Comedy Central), Bobcat Goldthwait's Misfits & Monsters (TruTV), and American Princess (Lifetime). Ross is also a cartoonist. Many of his original animations have been featured on Comedy Central Digital. Check them out on his instagram @rossbb

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Brendan Dowling

Brendan Dowling is a Massachusetts native and a graduate of the College of William and Mary.  Stage credits include Baby Wants Candy, the Second City national touring company, and The Second City Denver's How I Lost My Denverginity. Film credits include It's All Good and the award-winning short, Curtains. Follow along at @berndandooling.

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Greg Hess

Greg Hess is a Los Angeles based actor and writer. Stage credits include Cook County Social Club, the Second City national touring company, The Hypocrites (Chicago) and the School at Steppenwolf. Film and TV credits include: Yesterday (Dir. Danny Boyle), Playing House (USA), Key & Peele (Comedy Central), Tacoma FD (Tru), LA to Vegas (Fox), and Food the Source of Life (Adult Swim) which he createdGreg is currently co-writing an original pilot for Warner Brothers and the Showtime network. His writing has appeared in the New Yorker Magazine Shouts & Murmurs and The American Bystander. Check out his hit podcast MEGA, an improvised satire set inside a mega church.  @heygreghess

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Thomas Middleditch

Thomas Middleditch has been an ISC company member since its first show in 2005. He can currently be seen as Richard Hendrix, the central character in Mike Judge’s Emmy nominated series on HBO, SILICON VALLEY. Television credits also include: THE OFFICE, BOB'S BURGERS, and PENN ZERO.  Film credits include: ZOMBIELAND: DOUBLE TAP, GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS, THE FINAL GIRLS, THE BRONZE, FUN SIZE, WOLF OF WALL STREET, BRASS TEAPOT, THE KINGS OF SUMMER, THE OTHER GUYS, BEING FLYNN, and SPLINTERHEADS.  In addition to being a member of THE IMPROVISED SHAKESPEARE COMPANY Thomas is a regular performer at UCB and tours the country with Ben Schwartz as MIDDLEDITCH & SCHWARTZ.  www.thomasmiddleditch.com.

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Asher Perlman

Asher Perlman is currently a staff writer on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, a sketch writer for Slate's Trumpcast, and a performer at the Upright Citizen's Brigade. He is an alumnus of The Second City, iO, and the TBS Just For Laughs Festival (Chicago). TV credits include The Opposition with Jordan Klepper (Comedy Central) and Hot Date (Pop TV). Additionally, he co-wrote and starred in the series Settled on the PYPO Network. Follow along: @asherperlman.

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Tim Sniffen

Tim Sniffen has performed with The Improvised Shakespeare Company® since 2008. He’s also worked with The Second City, the Boom Chicago theater in Amsterdam, and improvised musical troupe Baby Wants Candy. For the last three years Tim has been a contributing sketch writer on NPR’s Live From Here With Chris Thile and recently worked as a script consultant on Work In Progress, appearing on Showtime this fall. You can read Tim’s work in The New Yorker, on Medium, and on Twitter.

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Blaine Swen

Blaine Swen is the creator and director of The Improvised Shakespeare Company® and currently lives in Los Angeles. He performed for many years at iO Chicago where his credits include the two-person group Blessing with Susan Messing, the one-man improvised musical, BASH!, The Armando Diaz Experience, and The Deltones. Additional Chicago stage credits include The Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Pegasus Players Theatre, The Backroom Shakespeare Project, and The Second City. Television credits include Crisis (NBC), The Odd Couple (CBS), and Star vs The Forces of Evil (Disney). The Chicago Reader has named him the "Best Improviser in Chicago" and he has a PhD in philosophy from Loyola University, Chicago.

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John Thibodeaux

John currently works a staff writer on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.  He is an alum of the Second City Touring Company and member of the critically-acclaimed improv team 3Peat.  John also co-created the online pilot The StartUp which won the CWseed development deal at the New York Television Festival in 2013. Follow him on Twitter: @john_thibodeaux

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Steve Waltien

Steve Waltien was born and raised in Vermont and attended Middlebury College. He's an alum of The Second City Mainstage in Chicago where he also wrote and performed many shows at the iO theater including the Del Close award-winning solo show ‘Scenes With Ghosts'. TV and film credits include Mike Birbiglia's 'Don't Think Twice', 'The Opposition with Jordan Klepper',  'Klepper', 'The Second City Project' and 'Chicago PD'.  He has written for Jon Stewart's HBO Project and appears regularly on Slate's Trumpcast. Twitter: @waltien. Love and thanks to Kate and Thomas.

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Ric Walker

Ric Walker is an actor, director, writer and teacher who has toured extensively for Wavelength, The Second City, and The Improvised Shakespaere Company®.  He has also improvised with and been a member of Comedy Sportz Chicago and MCTD (Midwest Comedy Tool & Die). He is a member Emeritus of Second Story (Serendipity Theater Collective). His show, "The Greatest Theatrical Event...Ever" reecently completed a run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. His television credits includ Chicago PD, APB, and Chicago Fire. Ric is currently a Professor at Columbia College Chicago in the nation’s first BA in Comedy Writing and Performance.

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"staggeringly brilliant"

TimeOut Chicago

"Smart, sophisticated, downright hilarious"

TimeOut Chicago

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