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Voted 2016 & 2013
Best Comedy Show in Rhode Island
Main Cast
Ally Beard - Member Since 2016
Ally first fell in love with comedy when she found out there was no fouls, field goals, or free throws involved. In her freshman year of high school, she joined the BYOI Youth Collective, and upon turning 18, was eager to join the main cast! She has been trained in both long-form improv and sketch writing at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York City, the Groundlings in Los Angeles, and the Second City in Chicago. As Ally believes that there is nothing better in life than making someone laugh, she also loves doing stand-up comedy. She performs regularly in several venues across New England. In her spare time, Ally will likely be found Googling pictures of animals wearing human clothes.
Jonathan Breindel - Member Since 2016
Jonathan originally hails from New York, and has been both working behind the scenes and on stage since early childhood. For those times when he is not making people laugh at Bring Your Own Improv, Jonathan's grown up job is as a Mad Scientist teaching children that science isn't just educational but entertaining. When not "edutaining", he can often be found singing or sword fighting at renaissance faires and pirate reenactments throughout New England.
David Brunell - Member Since 2014
Dave found his way into improv the old fashioned way, he lost a job. What’s a sales pitch other than some scripted stuff at the beginning and then improvising the rest. The rest as they say, is history. Classes led to performing with another short form improv troupe. Then on into short films, one act plays, and full length theater productions. Yes, improv was his gateway drug, and he loves it!
Erich Gottschalk - Member Since 2011
Erich got his start in Improv back in High school at LaSalle Academy and dabbled through college at Bradley University where he got a theatre minor in just 2 semesters. After college, he applied to the Second City's Conservatory program on a whim and on 2 weeks notice, was accepted and moved to Chicago. After two years he graduated and got a job in the real world but has performed with Those Meddling Kids, The Speed of Thought Players, and Bring Your Own Improv, the latter of which he has recently rejoined after a 3 year hiatus to help raise his daughter. He's glad to be back!
Meredith Imbimbo - Member Since 2013
A native of the Granite State (live free or die!), Meredith is very thankful to have found such a warm new home here "down south". Returning to the BYOI stage, after recently appearing in When the Cat's Away and Cheaters at the Newport Playhouse and Cabaret, she is thankful for the cast and audience's "welcome back." Some favorite shows with other companies include Political Suicide with the award-winning writer Ernest Thompson of On Golden Pond, and Harvey at the Winnepesakee Playhouse. Meredith is excited to be back with BYOI and extends her thanks to the cast, and family for all their love and support.
Amy Kahn - Member Since 2014
Amy grew up with the desire to make people laugh. In college, she co-hosted a comedy talk show on Penn's UTV, helped start a sketch comedy group, and performed standup at local comedy clubs before assuming her secret identity as a data analyst. Years later, after suffering from major comedy withdrawal symptoms, she intended to return to standup when a referral to an improv comedy workshop lured her away with the appeal of unpredictability. She's been hooked ever since, performing intermittently with Speed of Thought Players, and is now excited to join BYOI! Amy comes from a long line of Shetland people and refuses to act her age.
Barbara Kessler - Member Since 2016
Barbara Kessler is an award­winning singer and songwriter and former touring and recording artist. After the birth of her second daughter and no longer able to tour, she was bit by the theater bug, which soon led to the improv virus. Barbara currently teaches voice, guitar and ukulele out of her recording studio. She is thrilled to have been invited join the BYOI family because make­believe is the best!!
Josh Pelletier - Member Since 2013
Josh Has been an active member of the theater arts since the 4th grade. He was an active member in his college theater troupe, starting an improve group known as "The Knights of Amprov" at Anna Maria College. After a year hiatus he has returned to the comedic stage as a member of BYOI. Josh also regularly performs with the Gateway Players in Southbridge MA when not teaching show choirs and looking for work as a music teacher.
Kennedy Ryan - Member Since 2016
As a theatre performance major, she spends most of her free time on stage. When she is not singing scales or performing in productions, Kennedy enjoys doing stand-up comedy and improv. While she spent time away for college, she is happy to be returning to New England. Kennedy is thrilled to be back performing with her BYOI family and is thankful for the cast and her family for their endless support of her aspirations.
Candice Sampson - Member Since 2014
Candice began her illustrious career in theatre at the age of ten. Originally from Nova Scotia, Canada, she also has a pretty healthy funny bone! Recent endeavors include serving as Vice Chair for Rhode Island Stage Ensemble, playing Dora Walker in Miracle on 34th Street and Ann Deever in All My Sons. She hopes to see you soon at one of our shows!!!!
Ian Sokoloff - Member Since 2012
In a prior improv life, Ian performed with San Diego Theatresports and co-founded the Subatomic Jenkins Clan (also in San Diego). Since arriving in New England, Ian discovered long-form improv (in addition to discovering weather), performing irregularly at ImprovBoston, training in and performing with the IB Harold On Deck program, and spending a stint with the IB Harold team Plan B. He's pleased to be returning to his playful short-form roots with BYOI. Excelsior!
Emily Taft - Member Since 2015
Emily began testing the waters of performance in the 6th grade where she was involved in a theater workshop and performance program that put on plays. After catching the performance bug and being encouraged to continue in comedy by her mentor, who was none other than the fabulous Daniel Lee White, she decided to look for more performing outlets. During her 9th and 10th grade years, she participated in an improv group, called Frozen Dynamite. When she was informed about the BYOI Youth Collective, she couldn’t wait to join! Now an alumni of the BYOI Youth Collective after roughly a year and a half of training, she is more than excited to graduate to the big leagues of BYOI.
Daniel Lee White - Producer - Member Since 2008
Daniel Lee White is an award winning director and actor with over 20 years of experience, including his feature film Cost of the Living, numerous plays, short films, commercials, and industrials. He is currently the Theatre Artist in Residence at the Trinity Academy for the Performing Arts and a producer and performer at Bring Your Own Improv—an audience-participation improv comedy show. He also regularly directs performances at the Newport Playhouse. He lives in Rhode Island with his wife Kerri and their dog Captain Jack Harkness.
Our Staff
Kerri Baggesen - Door Chick Since 2011
Kerri is the self proclaimed door chick of BYOI. She blogs almost every show recap and will never be seen on stage. Sadly, hanging around with funny people has not given her any comedic skills. She likes hanging with friends for game nights, watching movies and spending time with her one-eared cat.
Cyn Brunelle - Door Geek Since 2014
A former performing member of BYOI, Cyn just couldn't help but come. She misses being on stage with again live audience, both with us and as a Mad Scientist. Cyn has been spending her vast amounts of free time gardening, creating art, raising her kids and performing as Associate Producer/Assistant Director and panelist of The Qualk Show, an Internet-based talk show focused on LBGT+ parenting and families.
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