Rob Anderson is originally from the Jersey Shore (fist pump) and studied film production and theatre at James Madison University in Virginia. In 2008 he lived on the Gold Coast of Australia where he wrote the screenplay for the short film ‘Tinsel.’ He relocated to Chicago in 2009 to study musical and long form improvisation at iO and The Second City. He is absolutely thrilled to join GayCo Productions and thanks his family for their support!
Colleen Breen is a Graduate of the IO Theater and Annoyance Theater, Colleen has been performing in Sketch and Improv in Chicago for the past 5 years. She currently performs with the ensemble at Comedy Sportz, FireCup at the Improv Olympic, and the occasional musical at the Annoyance Theater. She is excited to be performing with the attractive and oh so talented actors of GayCo.
Jake Carr is a graduate from Miami University with BA’s in Theater and Psychology. Much of his experience lies in physical theater and devising original pieces—including several focusing on issues affecting the gay community such as marriage rights and hate speech—and he is extremely excited to be able to flex his comedic muscles with the likes of GayCo. He is an Artistic Associate of Genesis Ensemble and has performed with Redmoon Theater several times since moving to Chicago. Carr’s mission is to create theater that moves people on a testicular level (well, figuratively speaking for those without testicles) and hopes that through performance he can inspire thought while still providing convulsive belly laughs along the rest of the immensely talented GayCo team. Cheers to all!
Amanda Cohen has been an artistic associate and occasional understudy for, like, ever. She trained at Second City Conservatory, ComedySportz, and the Annoyance, and she produced and directed Chicago’s first long-form competitive improv show, The Improv Challenge. Some nights she can be seen at the Wild Pug’s Game Show Nights playing one of her heroes, Joanne Worley. Some days she can be seen doing “improvised art” for Hogwash, an improv fairy tale for kids. In real life she’s a professional face painter. If you dig around the interwebs, you might hear her as Amy Cohn on Foulmouth News. While it has not been scientifically proven, Amanda is pretty sure she’s a gay man trapped in the body of a straight woman.
Stacey Crawley grew up on Chicago’s northwest side where her middle-class, Irish catholic upbringing started her on a path to numerous life mistakes, and eventually, comedy. After studying theater & graduating from College of Dupage, she did the only logical thing and moved to South Africa to finish school. When she returned to the states, Ms. Crawley headed west to sunny San Diego, visiting L.A., mostly to remind herself how much she would hate being a star because of the crazy photographers that would hide in her bushes. Upon returning to Chicago, she joined I.O. and began a career in voice-over, while continuing to hit the comedy scene. She currently resides on the south side of Chicago & has performed stand-up comedy & improv throughout the city including Zanies & the Wha Who Cafe.
Armand Fields hails from the hustling and bustling capitol of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City. There he attended OKC’s 1st magnet school, Classen School of Advanced Studies, it was kind of like the movie Fame, only no Debbie Allen. There he studied Theater, Choir, as well as Ballet. He’s lived in Chicago for the past 9 years, and has pursued any and everything, with a few exceptions. He is a graduate of Second City’s Conservatory program, and has been a part of Gayco’s associate pot for the past two years. He has been extremely fortunate to perform with them for various events, which usually include free food or booze. He’s thankful for that! He’s also had the great opportunity of meeting other associates and company members, to do other sketch comedy shows around the city. He’s looking forward to see what this gay marriage will unfold, until then he’s still enjoying the Honeymoon Hangover!
Jason Geis is so excited to be an artistic associate with GayCo. Jason has been in Chicago for over ten years now making the funnies. In 2002, Jason and four other fine folks founded pH Productions – and now 8 years later it’s still going strong. Jason serves as Co-Artistic Director for pH, and is seen playing in all their shows as often as he can. Jason has directed several hit shows including pHrenzy (Highly Recommended), Women On Top (Highly Recommended) and recently The Breakfast Club Muscial (Critics Choice, Readers Pick), of which he also adapted and wrote the lyrics for. Jason is also the proud coach of the Depaul Cosby Sweaters and a member of the iO House Team, Mrs. Dad. Jason has had the privilege of studying at iO, Second City and The Annoyance. Jason has taught improv all over the country, but is most excited to live in the greatest theater city in the world. Thanks also to Jason’s family for being the most supportive family ever.
Lisa Herceg has been a GayCo artistic associate for a while now and has been around the Chicago theater scene for longer than she’s willing to tell you. Improv scares the devil out of her and that is exactly why she does it. She’s also an artistic associate of Babes with Blades Productions, where she has the privilege of kicking wonderful people’s butts on a regular basis. Lisa has worked with companies such as The Side Project, Bailiwick Repertory Theater, Stage Left, The International Theater of Chicago (now Premiere Theater), Raven Theater, Stockyards Theatre Project and Theatre Building Chicago.
Steve Hickson Chicago’s reigning Miss Looptopia, Steve most recently appeared A Reasonable Facsimile Theatre Company’s “Another Year Without A Witty Title Chicago Christmas Spectacular”. Other credits include the Chicago premiere of “Zombies From The Beyond” (Backstage Theatre Company), “Psycho Beach Party”, “Sordid Lives” (Easy Street), “Band Geeks: A Halftime Musical” (Single Box Turn Productions), “The Skin Of Our Teeth” (Backstage), “Psycho Beach Party”, “Death Comes To Us All, Mary Agnes” and “Medea” (all with A Reasonable Facsimile Theatre Company, where he is an Ensemble Member), “Twilight Gallery”, “How ‘What Ever Happened To Baby Jane?’ Happened”, “POSEIDON! An Upside Down Musical”, “Rudolph, The Red Hosed Reindeer”, “Plan 9 From Outer Space”, “Female Trouble”, “SuperPussyVixens, Go Faster, Kill!”, “SCARRIE!”, “Valley of the Dolls” (which he also co-directed) and “The Birds”. Directing credits include “Joan Crawford Goes To Hell” and “Touched By Jayne Mansfield” (where he also played the nefarious Pope John Paul George). Steve regularly serves as a judge for “The Original Improv Gladiators” at Corn Productions. Look for him in ARFTCo’s “TV ReRun” Series at Mary’s Attic starting in April.
Jerrod Howe (Production Manager) comes to us from a federally mandated program which states that all 501(c)(3)’s must employ the mentally and physically disabled and veterans of military service. Since Jerrod fits all three categories GayCo enjoys yet another tax break. He has studied at iO and Second City, among other prestigious institutions, and looks forward to advancing his education in watercolors and other “pretty” things. He will continue to support GayCo productions in all endeavors until such time that he may violate his reasonable accomodation agreement or his prescription runs out.”
Brendan Kelly lives in the Chicago suburb of Oak Park, a.k.a. ‘the village where joie de vivre comes to die.’ He is a gay man trapped inside a straight man’s apartment so he is thrilled to have an excuse to abandon the piles of laundry and come to the city to play with the wonderful team of artists who comprise GayCo. Prior to his GayCo collaboration Brendan was a member of Noble Fool. He appeared as Sissy Concertina with The Weird Sisters, he’s been in shows at TimeLine, worked with the Free Associates and he formerly narrated the marine mammal presentation at the Shedd Aquarium. If he wasn’t so bothered by just how long he’s been around he’d confess to having been a member of Beyond The Pale the Irish folk trio which performed throughout the greater Chicagoland area (Des Moines counts, right?) back in the early 90’s.
Andrew Kraft is a graduate from The Theatre School at DePaul University, as well as Second City’s Conservatory and Musical Conservatory, and soon from iO. He has performed at venues all over Chicago, including Chicago Sketchfest. Andrew was last seen in Robot vs. Dinosaur’s Mrs. Gruber’s Ding Dong School. Other sketch productions include Improviser!: A Musical Sketch Comedy Revue and Run, Palindrome, Nur. Andrew recently performed with Comedy Sportz in their REC League. He also performs in his two man show A Good Idea (In Theory). Andrew is a founding member of Trying Too Hard, which had a year and half long run at The Playground Theater and went to the Los Angles Comedy Festival. Originally from St. Louis, MO, Andrew now calls Chicago his home.
Becca Levine grew up in the hills of Colorado, performing and teaching improvisation at The Bovine Metropolis Theater in Denver. Lured by the lights of the bigger city, she ventured to Chicago to study improvisation at The Second City, iO, and The Annoyance Theater. Levine improvises at various venues, and also enjoys writing and solo performance. She can often be seen performing monthly at CAKE Chicago, voted 2009 – Readers’ Choice for best LGBTQ Variety Show. Most recently, Becca played Mrs. Gruber in Robot VS Dinosaur’s Mrs. Gruber’s Ding Dong School. She’s happy you’re here.
Christopher Lotito is a recent transplant to Chicago all the way from the sunny beaches of Florida. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre from The University of West Florida. Chicago debut in Letters from Cuba with Halcyon Theatre. Other theatrical credits include Once on this Island (Papa Ge), Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (Lefou), Kiss Me Kate, She Loves Me, Man of La Mancha(Sancho), Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and As You like It. Principle member of Florida based improv group IMPROVable Cause. And don’t forget about his pretty eyes and winning smile!
Michelle Marquardt joined GayCo as an Artistic Associate in the summer of 2008. Since then she has performed proudly with GayCo at SketchFest in both 2009 and 2010 as well as other GayCo performances and events around town. She made her mainstage debut with GayCo in the critically acclaimed revue “The Audacity of Nope” and will be seen next in Breast in Show this summer. Michelle is a graduate of the Second City Conservatory and Writing programs, and has also studied at Victory Gardens Theatre and Improv Olympic. She can be seen performing regularly with another fabulous Chicago company, pH Productions where she is a Repertory Cast Member.
Meredith Melville has a BA in theatre from University of North Texas and has completed the Conservatory at the Second City Training Center. She has most recently been seen with The Understudies at Chicago Sketchfest 2010, and is an understudy with the Cupid Players. Meredith is thrilled to be an artist associate with Gayco!
Jamie Newland hails from the great, gay-friendly state of Vermont. He graduated from Tufts University where he first studied acting. In Atlanta, he studied improv and was an ensemble member at Whole World Theatre. In Chicago, he has studied at Second City, the Annoyance, IO, and performed with the teams Mammal 79, Honeyslide, Garbagé, and Fashion Bug. He has performed and written sketch comedy with his own groups Asterisks and NIXON and was a cast member of Smile You Have Depression, written by GayCo’s own Homer Marrs. He has also performed in productions of such “straight” plays as The Misanthrope, Richard III, Keeping Tom Nice, and The Phantom Tollbooth in Chicago and Atlanta. He was also a finalist in Gay Idol 2008, where he was better known as “The Funny One Who Isn’t the Best Singer.”
Kat Paddock is so excited to be joining up with the lovely Gayco! While in Chicago she has performed with Arftco, Collision Theatre Company, Around the Coyote stage reading series and the Genesis Ensemble (of which she is both a founding and current company member.) While receiving her BA in Theatre from Miami University…in Ohio, Kat also Co-Founded The Walking Theatre Project, a theatre collective committed to using art and theatre to raise awareness of social issues, create dialogue, and express the values, interests, and concerns of particular communities. Kat also enjoys playing her guitar and her wonderful “day job” and Rogers Park Montessori School….in Andersonville.
Robin Trevino has been an Artistic Associate with GayCo since March of 2006. You might have seen him in The DaVinci GayCode, Do You Fear What I Fear, iHole, Stop Those Homos, Sketchfest 08/09, at various events around Chicago, or maybe even in New Brunswick, Canada. Robin has a BA in Theatre from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and takes classes at Second City. He is the founder of Quixotic, another gay themed sketch comedy group that is geared more toward the rowdy, drunken gay bar crowd. Quixotic performs regularly at Hydrate Nightclub and aims at putting up two full length shows a year. Robin has been legally gay married to the love of his life for the last few years, and while not on stage, shares a home, a car and a last name with him.
Nancy Howland Walker
Arianna Wheat hails from Los Angeles, and loves the snow of Chicago. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theater Arts from California State University Northridge. She recently began her career in improvisation and sketch comedy with her debut in White Rainbows presents White Rainbows. Most recently she completed a run of White Rainbows’ second show In Gaga We Trust. Currently, she is involved in Second City’s Improv for Actors program. Arianna is thrilled to be an artistic associate of Gayco, and is looking forward to helping Gayco shape a better world through laughter, honesty and humor.
Kelly Yacono has been an Artistic Associate with Gayco since 2007 and took part in her first Gayco mainstage, The Audacity of Nope. Kelly graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago where she was fortunate enough to take improv with Bernie Sahlins and work on multiple productions during her time there. Throughout the years, Kelly has had the privilege to work with The European Repertory Company (Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, Agamemnon, Madame DeSade), The Irish Repertory Company (The Well of the Saints), Emerald City Theatre (Snow White, If You Give A Mouse A Cookie), MidTangent Productions (Midsummer Night’s Dream: A Queer Tale, I Am Hamlet), Grey Zelda Theatre (The Skriker), Chicago Opera Vanguard (Greek), and of course, Gayco. She currently can be seen yukking it up for the kiddies in Fractured Fairy Tales, 50 States in 60 Minutes, and Sleepy Hollow with Greatworks Theatre Company.