Faculty

Garrett Palm

Garrett began studying improv in New York City in 2004 at the UCB and Magnet Theaters. His teachers included Armando Diaz, Anthony King, Jason Mantzoukas, Chris Gethard, Tara Copeland, Jean Villepique, Michael Delaney, Will Hines, Rebecca Drysdale, and Billy Merrit. He performed at the UCB and PIT on occasion, weekly at the Magnet on various house teams, and interned at the UCB for about 8 years. He is associate producer for the musical improv group Baby Wants Candy. He has taught and coached improv and theater in New York; Ankara, Turkey; Beirut, Lebanon, and Leh, India.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Jake Michels

Jake started his teaching career assisting in a Beginning Improvisation class at Oregon Children’s Theatre at the age of 15. By 18 he was lead-teaching classes, and he now works at OCT as a full-time staff member in the education department. As an active member of several improv troupes since then, he has led workshops and rehearsals at Washington State University, Clark College, and dozens of high schools around the northwest. In addition to directing a yearly Young Professionals improv showcase at OCT, Jake is currently teaching adult improvisation classes at Curious Comedy Theater.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Adam Trabka

Adam Trabka has been improvising since 2009, originally training at Austin, TX’s ColdTowne Theater under the tutelage of alums of storied improv institutions such as iO, the Annoyance and the Second City. Adam will take any workshop he can get his hands on, and because of this he has had the honor of working with many people you have seen on TV. A cast member of Mr. Show once told a mutual friend that Adam “gets it,” “it” referring to comedy.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Nate Smith

Nate Smith has been performing professional improv since 1999. He started with ComedySportz in St. Louis, MO, and after moving to Portland in 2004 Nate has trained and performed at the Brody Theater and has been coached by John Breen of the Liberators. Nate has also taught improv at the NW Children’s Theater. In 2008, Nate was one of the original members of the Curious Comedy Theater.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Katie Behrens

Katie Behrens has been teaching Level 1 since 2011 and trained at Curious for six wonderful years, becoming addicted to improv under the teachings of Stacey Hallal and Bob Ladewig. She is a local performer and improviser who has been involved with theater for as long as she can remember. She now has the honor of passing improv lessons on to new students in the Level 1 Training Center Class and relishes in watching new improvisers learn and experience “Yes, And” for the very first time!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Rachel Van Nes

 Rachel Van Nes has been performing improv since 2010 and has trained under Jake Michels at Curious Comedy for one and a half years. Rachel has been a happy member of the Curious Mainstage ensemble since May of 2014 and has thoroughly enjoyed stretching her mental improv boundaries. She began teaching Level 1 in the winter of 2015 and loves teaching her students how to listen to  each other and how to incorporate improv into their everyday lives. 

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Patrick Polsin

Patrick received his BFA in Acting from Central Washington University, while at Central he was lucky enough to direct plays, coach and assist in teaching acting classes. Since moving to Portland a few years ago he has taken classes and workshops all over the city and is ecstatic to be teaching with Curious. He has a background in the Meisner Technique and loves to talk about it.