Established by Ryan Stiles in 2004, The Upfront is a 100 seat cabaret style venue that offers live improv comedy every Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.
The Upfront performs and teaches many different styles and formats of improv including long and short form improv and everything in between. We also create and produce our own unique formats including our wildly popular murder mystery "Hellingham", our space adventure show "Space Trek", the superhero centered "Heroes of Sky City" and many more.
We have hosted events with world class improvisers like Ryan Stiles, Greg Proops, Colin Mochrie, Keith Johnstone and more. We have traveled and performed at festivals and events all over North America including headlining shows at The Chicago Improv Festival. We have received the Mayor's Arts award, been voted "Best Theatre" and "Best Live Comedy" by many different publications and sources many times. We love improv; it's what we do and we're not half bad at it.
The Upfront Theatre is a professional organization that provides innovative, high-quality performance and education rooted in the art of improvisation. Guided by the core values of improv, we commit to countinually push the boundaries of our craft while exploring the comedy and truths of the human experience.
Interested in volunteering?
Our theatre is run with the help of volunteers who take tickets, stamp hands, run lights & sound and more. They are students, performers, improv junkies or people who just want to see shows for free. We love our volunteers and if you are interested in getting involved, please contact us at email@example.com for more info or to join our volunteer list.
General Manager / Artistic Director
Billy has been improvising (in the craft sense of the word) for over 10 years. He was the Artistic Director of the Blue Door Theatre in Spokane, WA for a couple of years and has traveled throughout North America and Europe watching, learning, teaching and performing improvisational theatre.
Oona Zoya Sherman
Director of Education & Training
Oona is an arts based educator with more than fourteen years of experience in curriculum dveleopment, teaching, and leadership training. She has a M.A. in Transformative Learning & Human Development from Antioch Iniversity Midwest, and has served as adjunct faculty there in the Individualized Master of Arts program. She also has a B.A. in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of California at Santa Cruz. She has been a member of The Upfront Theatre's Mainstage since 2004.
Sales & Marketing Director
Mario has been with The Upfront community since Winter 2012. He graduated from Western Washington University in Theatre Arts. Mario was the Artistic Director of Fairhaven Theatre Company and ASWWU Communications Director. He also served as the ASWWU Vice President for Student Activities. Mario started Improv five years ago with Western Washington University's Dead Parrot Society.
Janitor & Poster Hanger
Gary has been exercising debris from the floors and hallways of the theatre since 2005. Found sleeping in the alley behind the theatre, he proved to be quite the hard worker with a knack for sorting recycling. He also enjoys hanging show posters on our poster wall because it reminds him of when he was just a lad, working as a child cobbler in the mines of Eastern Washington.
Our Wonderful Instructors
Oona Zoya Sherman
Oona has a master's degree in transformative learning and human development. Her research focus examines the ways that improvisation can be used to improve and transform the lives of adult learners, especially in the areas of collaboration, cooperation and social change.
Teaching improv at The Upfront allows her to combine her love of working with adult learners and her passion for improvisation. She is also a member of The Upfront Mainstage Ensemble and the group A Few Good Women. When she is not teaching or performing she can be found camping, watching movies and guiltily reading tabloid magazines.
Galen has been with The Upfront since it opened in 2004. He is part of The Upfront Mainstage and teaches all levels of performance and recreational improv. He has performed all over North America and was once a guest cast member on tour with "Whose Line is it Anyway?" Galen is more passionate about teaching and performing improv than anything else on the planet. He also started the local non-profit "Pass The Hat" which is pretty cool, you should check it out.
Matt is a Western Washington University graduate and has a Bachelor's Degree in Theatre Arts with concentrations in Theatre Education as well as acting. He has served as a guest educator at Whatcom Community College, contributed to multiple theatre camps, and visited several local schools in Whatcom County as a guest artist. For four years he has collaborated on The Fairhaven Monologue Project, an annual program that has previously been awarded Bellingham's "Mayor's Arts Award."
Matt has been a member of The Upfront Mainstage Ensemble since April 2012 and believes that everyone needs to take an improv class! Do it!
Ben Eisner is an improviser, playwright and director. As part of the Upfront Theatre's inaugural Main Stage, he helped shape the theater's style and was an integral part in the design of Hellingham and other Upfront Theatre formats. His teaching style draws on his nine years of experience performing and studying improv alongside such talented performers as Instant Theater, The Crumbs, The Upright Citizens Brigade, The Cody River's Show, and, of course, Ryan Stiles. He combines this with his writing and directing expertise to challenge students to become better improvisers and performers.
Tim signed up for a class at the Upfront Theatre in 2008 and has been improvising ever since. A member of the Upfront's Mainstage Ensemble since 2009, Tim has improvised throughout North America and performs stand up comedy and scripted work locally. He continues to learn from and perform with instructors and improvisers from around the world.