Artistic Associates

Jake Carr has been an Artistic Associate with GayCo since 2010 and still has anxiety about writing a clever bio for the website. He appeared in GayCo’s revue Swallow Your Pride, understudied Scream if You Love Christmas, and has done several touring performances. Jake has worked with First Floor Theatre, Redmoon, Emerald City, Step Up Productions, Cock and Bull, Drury Lane (understudy), and is an Artistic Associate with Genesis Ensemble. He is a proud instructor at Black Box Acting, where he completed the company’s intensive conservatory training program, The Academy.

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.

Jason Geis is a veteran of the Chicago improv scene (read: old man). He is the founder and Co-Artistic Director of The pH Comedy Theater and couldn’t be more proud of his little home (more at whatisph.com). Jason has performed all over the city including a million Donny’s Skybox at Second City shows, 16 iO Teams, several Playground teams and a handful of Annoyance Productions including the smash hit, Steamwerkz the Musical. In addition to all this, Jason is proud to be an Artistic Associate with GayCo Productions. Jason has also coached and taught many amazing groups here in Chicago and around the country including Los Angeles, New York City, Miami, Minneapolis, Boston, Denver and Austin. He loves coaching, building teams, directing and performing. And he loves you.

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 ensemble member at Stage Left Theatre, and an Artistic Associate with Babes with Blades Theatre Company, where she has the privilege of kicking wonderful people’s butts on a regular basis. Lisa has worked with companies such as Circle Theater, Premiere Theatre and Performance, the side project, Bailiwick Repertory Theater, and Raven Theater, and also does independent film and voice-over work whenever they’ll let her.

Erin Island teamed up with the ladies of GayCo for The Chicago Women’s Funny Festival in 2013, and is honored to be an Artistic Associate! She began her career in California as an intern at the B Street Theatre and became an Artistic Associate who directed, stage managed, and acted in over 20 productions. She also helped start up a professional musical theatre company called New Helvetia Theatre which just celebrated its fifth birthday! Erin recently graduated from The Second City Music Program. She can be seen performing musical improv with The Mint Juleps and sketch comedy with her crazy talented friends in Damn, Gina!

Chris Kervick has appeared in GayCo’s #GodHatesHashtags and Married But Still Slutty. He regularly performs with Big Spoon (iO) and Skinprov (Annoyance). Past shows include FemTopia (Skybox), Steamwerkz the Musical, God is Gay and Wants You to Be Gay: Proof From the Bible, and Fuck You, I Love You, Bye: The Rahm Emmanuel Story, all at Annoyance. He is the Class Administrator at The Annoyance Theatre.

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.

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 was in the original cast of Breast in Show. 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 Company Member, and serves as their Director of Fundraising.

Seth McCormick joined GayCo as an Artistic Associate in 2012.  He has worked behind the scenes for productions of The Audacity of Nope and the 2010 SketchFest show.  Past shows include Steamwerkz, The Musical (AD and understudy), Quixotic shows, including: The Apocalypse: Now in 3D, Love Crimes: A Hate Story, Civil Rights & Leftovers, and Social Retardation? There’s An App for That, the Blackout Diaries, Log Jam (a web series by John Loos) and Drunk (Nothing Without A Company)Seth is a graduate of The Second City Advanced Writing Program & The Second City Training Center.

Chelsea Norment is originally from Newport News, Virginia. Having studied improv in Washington DC, she moved to Chicago, where she graduated from Columbia College’s Comedy Studies program, as well as The Second City Conservatory program. Currently she takes classes at iO, and plays with the improv and sketch group Sweet Tease. Chelsea performed with GayCo in 2013 in #GodHatesHashtags. She is really excited to be an artistic associate for GayCo!

Kelly Yacono is pleased as punch and pie to have been an Artistic Associate with GayCo since 2007. Since then, she has been privileged to be part of Audacity of Nope, Breast in Show, Chicago Sketchfest (2010) as well as other performances and events with Gayco over the years. Kelly has worked with such companies as Strawdog Theatre Company, Emerald City Theatre, The Illinois Theatre Center, Chicago Opera Vanguard, MidTangent Productions, American Demigods and Babes With Blades Theatre Company where she is an Artistic Associate. During the school year, she can be seen entertaining/educating (hopefully) the youth of Chicagoland with GreatWorks Theatre’s 50 States in 60 Minutes.

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