About Curious Comedy

About Hero

We're Curious People

Curious Comedy improves people’s lives through the art of comedy – with an emphasis on providing a platform for underserved voices, including those of the BIPOC, Women and Genderqueer, LQBTQIA+, differently-abled, and/or economically disadvantaged individuals of all ages.

Board

Nathan Loveless headshot

Nathan Loveless

Nathan has been a part of Curious Comedy since the early days. Nathan was an original cast member when Curious opened its doors and has consistently performed at Curious ever since. Nathan officially joined the Curious board in June 2011 and became the Board Chair in fall 2013. Nathan serves as Regional VP of Sales at Kryptiq and combines his marketing and business management skills with his perspective as a performer to bring incredible value to the Curious board.

Stacey Hallal (She/her) headshot

Stacey Hallal (She/her)

Artistic Director

Stacey founded Curious in 2008 – establishing the organization as well as acquiring and building out the space. She has served as Artistic Director ever since. She also served as Board Chair from 2008-2013. Stacey works closely with the Board, its committees, the Managing Director and the staff to develop and implement the theater’s five year strategic plan. Artistically, she is responsible for working with the theater’s teachers, performers, producers and tech team to develop the artistic voice of the theater’s classes, shows and outreach programs to ensure fulfillment of our mission and artistic satisfaction for performers, students and our audience.

Staff

Heather English (she/her) headshot

Heather English (she/her)

Managing Director

Heather has always had a passion for making people laugh, making up silly songs and breaking the tension with a well-timed joke, so it is no surprise that she found herself here.During her career in Business Operations over 13 years, she has worked and consulted for dozens of small businesses throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and Portland. In January of 2019, she joined Curious Comedy Theater as a student, and found where she belonged. Five years later, she was appointed Managing Director, and today she is thrilled to work hard applying all her skills—creative, administrative, and otherwise—in service of the comedic performing arts and the people who make them great.


Outside of the work she does for Curious, Heather can be found on stage in Showdown and Dropped Notes, producing shows such as Variety Society and Sizable Shenanigans, baking sweet treats, or working on craft projects that have a 50/50 chance of being completed someday.

Stacey Hallal (She/her) headshot

Stacey Hallal (She/her)

Artistic Director

Stacey founded Curious in 2008 – establishing the organization as well as acquiring and building out the space. She has served as Artistic Director ever since. She also served as Board Chair from 2008-2013. Stacey works closely with the Board, its committees, the Managing Director and the staff to develop and implement the theater’s five year strategic plan. Artistically, she is responsible for working with the theater’s teachers, performers, producers and tech team to develop the artistic voice of the theater’s classes, shows and outreach programs to ensure fulfillment of our mission and artistic satisfaction for performers, students and our audience.

Virginia Thayer (she/her) headshot

Virginia Thayer (she/her)

Technical Director

Virginia has loved the theater since she played a stubborn bunny who wouldn’t hop in elementary school. Onstage or backstage, she enjoys the collaborative and ephemeral aspects of creating theater. She gained experience in just about every aspect of theater at Portland State University, and served as a board member and producer for the student theater company there. Drawn to Portland’s vibrant comedy scene, she then volunteered for several comedy festivals and events, and also wrote several articles for the Portland Mercury about local theater and comedy.

Virginia has held a variety of day jobs, including a career in software support that led her to learn to code. After years in the corporate grind, she was delighted to join Curious Comedy’s staff in 2022 as a “technical improviser,” bringing lights, sounds, and projection wizardry to the main stage. As of March 2024, Virginia now leads the technical department at Curious, managing all technical equipment and staff, as well as continuing to run tech for shows. She just might be the disembodied voice you hear welcoming you to Showdown!

Skelly Harrington (They/them) headshot

Skelly Harrington (They/them)

Director of Education and DEI

Skelly and Improv Comedy met in 2010 at a small intro class. Since then, Skel has performed short form and long form in states across the USA, improvising on formats based on everything from card games to Ken Burns documentaries. Their improv superpowers are all-out-enthusiasm, whimsical goofitude, and musical improv (which is their very favorite both to perform, teach, and produce.) They believe in improv as a craft that helps us bring out the best in ourselves, celebrate one another, and make the world a better place with new and better stories—together.

When not at Curious, Skel lives in a house at the end of a rainbow sidewalk, that they share with their chosen family and a much-aggrieved black sphynx named ’Mo. They also illustrate the series “Little Dudes Have Feelings” which can be found online at skellyharrington.com, and are the author of the horror fantasy series “The Willful Instruments” at https://www.sooliebeetch.com/

Jon Timm (he/him) headshot

Jon Timm (he/him)

Video Production

Jon Timm's journey in video production began at age 5, experimenting with his father's VHS camcorder. Growing up, he delved deeper into shooting and editing videos, later transitioning into music and audio production. Inspired by his passion for music, Jon started doing live video projections for bands, employing innovative techniques like using two projectors and analog video processing to enhance performances.

During the pandemic, Jon expanded his expertise into online live video production, creating engaging content for Curious Comedy. Upon the theater's reopening, he played a crucial role in designing and implementing a state-of-the-art video system, enabling Curious Comedy to produce hundreds of shows and provide a platform for artists to express themselves fully.
Today, Jon's dedication to excellence drives Curious Comedy's commitment to outstanding live streaming, empowering artists and captivating audiences with unforgettable performances.

Andrea Blake Acosta (she/her) headshot

Andrea Blake Acosta (she/her)

House and Bar Manager

Andrea Blake Acosta is a native Portlander with aspirations to work in as many areas of theater as possible. A graduate of Portland State University with a BA in Theater in 2020, Andrea has enjoyed directing children’s theater with both Portland Parks and Northwest Children’s Theater. She currently manages the bar, kitchen and front of house at Curious Comedy Theater. In addition to raising five children and multiple pets with her husband, Andrea loves traveling and authentically connecting with her close friends and community.

Teaching at Curious

Stacey Hallal (She/her) headshot

Stacey Hallal (She/her)

Stacey founded Curious in 2008 – establishing the organization as well as acquiring and building out the space. She has served as Artistic Director ever since. She also served as Board Chair from 2008-2013. Stacey works closely with the Board, its committees, the Managing Director and the staff to develop and implement the theater’s five year strategic plan. Artistically, she is responsible for working with the theater’s teachers, performers, producers and tech team to develop the artistic voice of the theater’s classes, shows and outreach programs to ensure fulfillment of our mission and artistic satisfaction for performers, students and our audience.


Teaching: LEVEL 1 - LEVEL 6, Noir Genre Performance Class, FREE BIPOC IMPROV CLASS, Advanced Scenework, The Harold, and more.

Betse Green headshot

Betse Green

Betse Green has been a very active member of the Portland Improv scene since 2002. Currently, she is an ensemble member and teacher at Curious Comedy Theater and CSz (ComedySportz) Portland. She also performs regularly with the acclaimed indy teams B&B, B.A.B.E., Broad Selection and Unbreakable Chain. Her talents have been showcased performing and teaching at Improv Festivals and Theaters across the Globe. Her studies have included ComedySportz, IO Chicago and under Master Class instructors including Jill Bernard, Susan Messing, Joe Bill, Dave Razowsky and Tracy Burns. As a Certified Applied Improvisation Architect/Teacher she has created and facilitated applied improv curriculum in classrooms and corporate business.


Teaching: LEVEL 3 - LEVEL 5, The Harold, Yes And Family, To The Beat of a Different Drum: Rhythm Bonanza, and more.

Skelly Harrington (They/Them) headshot

Skelly Harrington (They/Them)

Skelly and Improv Comedy met in 2010 at a small intro class. Since then, Skel has performed short form and long form in states across the USA, improvising on formats based on everything from card games to Ken Burns documentaries. Their improv superpowers are all-out-enthusiasm, whimsical goofitude, and musical improv (which is their very favorite both to perform, teach, and produce.) They believe in improv as a craft that helps us bring out the best in ourselves, celebrate one another, and make the world a better place with new and better stories—together.


Teaching: LEVEL 1 - LEVEL 6, Team v. Team Performance Class, Advanced Short-Form, Intro to Musical Improv, and more.

Nick Medina headshot

Nick Medina

Nick Medina is an actor, director, and educator with a decade of experience working at the intersection of theater and education. Originally an actor from the SF Bay Area, Nick started his improv journey at this very training center. He is a regular performer on the Curious Comedy stage, specializing in intense characters and witty Game-driven scenes. His classes are fast paced and energetic, drawing on clowning, classical theater training, and 20th century acting technique. Nick aims to create emotionally intelligent, confident, stage-ready performers.


Teaching: LEVEL 1 - LEVEL 6, Shakespeare Genre Performance, The Movie Genre Performance, and more.

Alex Disney headshot

Alex Disney

Alex Disney has been performing short & long form improvisational comedy for over 10 years. She started performing at Curious Comedy Theater in 2017 and has been a member of Mainstage team Rogue and the Curious Showdown ensemble. She performs regularly with indie team Press Conference and her drag king boyband group XXXY (triple XY). When she's not onstage, she is hanging out with her dog Monty and watching reality TV shows on Netflix.


Teaching: LEVEL 1

Ndem Nkem headshot

Ndem Nkem

Ndem Nkem is an actor/comedian based out in Portland, Oregon. He started improv in 2020 and has taken classes with kickstand comedy and curious comedy. He performs stand-up, improv, and clowning and loves teaching folks the beauty of improv comedy. He believes improv comedy can improve our lives and would love to show you how.


Teaching: LEVEL 2 - LEVEL 4, BIPOC Drop-In Workshop and Improv Class

Dave Moore (He/him) headshot

Dave Moore (He/him)

Dave took his first improv class in 2017 because he wanted to do something fun and scary. He quickly realized that improv provided so much more, and has dedicated himself to learning, playing and teaching every chance he gets. He started playing at Curious Comedy in 2022 and has been a member of the Gauntlet ensemble. He will willingly hop into any improv group if invited, but can usually be seen playing with the indie team, Julius Polonius, and the silent group, Score!. Dave 100% believes that improv can fix humanity, and is excited to help others discover, and find their voice in this art-form.


Teaching: LEVEL 1, Genre Class

Nate Smith headshot

Nate Smith

Nate Smith began his improv career in 2000 with ComedySportz STL. In 2008 he was part of the original ensemble that helped open Curious Comedy Theater and has been teaching for Curious for over 10 years.


Teaching: LEVEL 1

Audrey Butler headshot

Audrey Butler

Audrey Butler fell in love with improv comedy in 2007 when she joined her college improv troupe Ubiquitous They. Though to be perfectly honest, as the youngest in her family, Audrey has been using comedy as a coping mechanism for years! Joining Curious Comedy in 2015, she quickly became a regular main stage Showdown performer and has been a member of various house/main stage & indie teams across PDX. With a background in creative facilitation and education, she believes deeply in creating a safe & fun space for her students to take risks, hone their comedic voice, and build a creative community.



Teaching: LEVEL 1 - LEVEL 4 and more.

Scriven Bernard (He/They) headshot

Scriven Bernard (He/They)

Since stepping into his first improv class in 2014, Scriven has fully immersed himself in the world of improvisation. He's not only performed in improv, sketch, and storytelling formats, but has also taught both long-form and short-form improv classes. Scriven hosted a recurring LGBTQ2IA+ charity show in drag for several years, among other eclectic endeavors. By day, he applies improv principles within the corporate social responsibility sphere, fostering team building and leadership skills.

On stage, Scriven is known for his commitment to bold characters and finding ways to make audacious choices work. Offstage, he's drawn to witchy tunes, the allure of dark fantasy, and the simple pleasure of a great bowl of ramen. Above all, Scriven champions improv as a powerful tool for connecting with one's authentic self.


Teaching: LEVEL 1, LEVEL 2, LEVEL 3

Joe John Sanchez III (them/them) headshot

Joe John Sanchez III (them/them)

Joe John Sanchez III is a lifelong silly goose who began their standup comedy journey in 2019. They have since appeared on Willamette Week's Funniest Five and the Portland Mercury's Undisputable Geniuses of Comedy, along with producing several local showcases committed to uplifting local queer talent. Across the country, they have performed at SF Sketchfest, the LGBTLOL Comedy Fest, and were selected for Best of Fest at the 2023 Burbank Comedy Festival. They are a champion of new, emerging voices within the Portland comedy scene and firmly believe that everyone has a story worth telling.


Teaching: Adanced Stand Up

Aimee Sinclair headshot

Aimee Sinclair

Aimee Sinclair is a queer Portland comedian, born and raised in the mystical land of Florida. A featured performer on Ha Ha Harvest Festival & ComedyFort Festival, Aimee focuses on merging her bizarre Florida-Catholic upbringing with her feminism and her commitment to being silly. Aimee has been running joke workshops focused on bringing new comedians into the fold for the past few years and previously has taken classes with UCB, Reductress, & ACI to lay the foundations of their comedy writing techniques. They run a women-focused open mic called Tits Up & a panel style show called You Oughta Know where comedians get passionate & goofy about their niche special interests. Aimee is very excited to meet the new stars of the Portland comedy scene and impart any wisdom she has to offer!



Teaching: Intro to Stand Up, Adanced Stand Up

Jay Flewelling headshot

Jay Flewelling

A Portland-based comedian, Jay showcases his broad comedic prowess in several different rodeos around town. Jay is a main stage fixture at Curious Comedy Theater, and performs in the popular improv troupe, J Names (SF Sketchfest, Out of Bounds Comedy Festival, Vancouver International Improv Festival). He is also apart of Not Just Pizza a 10 time winning Friday Night Fights hall of fame team.

There are many facets to Jay’s comedic talents. Though a comedic performer at heart, he has also made a name for himself through his outstanding and compelling storytelling skills. Jay has been featured on NPR’s LIVE WIRE!, Kevin Allison's RISK!, Mortified , and has performed with Kevin McDonald (The Kids in the Hall) and Colin Mochrie (Who’s Line is it Anyway?).


Teaching: LEVEL 1, LEVEL 2, LEVEL 3, LEVEL 4, LEVEL 5

Peri Ahmadi headshot

Peri Ahmadi

Peri Ahmadi is a Portland based improviser who got her start at Curious Comedy theater. She's a regular on the Curious main stage, and has also taken part in other long and short form ensembles in the Portland area. She believes improv is a tool anyone can use throughout their lives, and she tries to impart that onto her students.



Teaching: LEVEL 1, LEVEL 2, LEVEL 3

FAQ

Your calendar says there are two shows happening at the same time. How can that be?

We have two venues in the same building. We have the Curious Main Stage which is a cabaret style venue (with tables and chairs), a full bar and food options. We also have the Annex Theater which is an intimate white box theater with beer, wine, and snacks available.

Are your venues all ages?

Yes! Both of our venues are all ages! However, not all of our shows are family friendly. We estimate that most of our shows are similar to a film rating of PG-13. We use some adult language and adult themes, but no nudity, graphic violence, etc. So, it's up to you!

Do you have parking?

There is ample parking at and around the theater. We have a parking lot in back of the building that you can access from either Emerson or Sumner street. There is also a lot of street parking on MLK and the side streets around us.

Do you have food and drink?

The Main Stage venue has a full bar and food.

The Annex has beer, wine, cider, and snacks.

What is your COVID policy? Are masks required or looked down upon?

We follow the CDC recommendations for our theater. Currently, we are not requiring either masks or vaccinations. However, we encourage both! There are many people who still choose to wear masks for a variety of reasons. We would never discourage or make anyone feel bad for doing so!

Can you accommodate groups?

Yes! We can! If you would like us to reserve a table for you, please email info@curiouscomedy.org to make arrangements.