Inclusion Program

We think diversity and inclusion are essential parts of great improv. We’re always working to increase the diversity of our students, performers and faculty to more closely reflect the population of the city we entertain – Los Angeles!

Hello and welcome!

Our mission is to advance the art of improvisation and cultivate the next generation of funny, talented, and creative professionals. At iO West, we believe we have a responsibility to maintain a safe environment that promotes a high level of artistic achievement. By developing an inclusive community, we aim to create a theater where everyone is truly welcomed and supported.

Our Inclusion Director, together with our Inclusion Panel, are working to:

  • increase the diversity of our students, performers, faculty, and staff to more closely reflect the population of Los Angeles
  • provide classroom and performance opportunities to underrepresented groups
  • create a theatre culture that prioritizes inclusiveness

To work toward these goals, our program includes:

  • scholarships
  • classes & workshops
  • training
  • special events & panels

Inclusion Scholarships

A limited number of full and partial scholarships are given to diverse individuals who attend an Inclusion Workshop. Taught by our diverse faculty members, workshops are free introductions to the world of improv comedy at iO West. No experience is required. Scholars are selected based not on skill, but instead on enthusiasm, willingness to listen, and positivity. All attendees will receive a discount for a future class.

Who can attend? Everyone is welcome, but we especially invite anyone who identifies as one or more of the following: POC (person of color), female, LGBQTIA, differently-abled, over the age of 60, ESL learner, has an eligibility, or were born outside the US. If you identify in a category not listed here, but think you would contribute to an underrepresented group, join us! Former workshop attendees are welcome to return!

Our next workshop dates are TBD–be sure to check back or follow us on social media to get the most up-to-date announcements.

For more information, please contact Marina Mastros at marina@ioimprov.com.


Inclusion Jam

We have our very own improv jam! Take the stage and raise your voice! Everyone is welcome, but we especially invite community members who are female, POC (person of color), LGBQTIA, differently-abled, over the age of 60, ESL learner, have an eligibility, or were born outside the US. Let’s party!

Inclusion Jam hosted by Elixir!
Thursday, Oct. 26th, 2017
The Main Stage
7 – 8 PM


Meet our Inclusion Panel

 

Marina Mastros, Inclusion Director

Marina is an iO West teacher and member of MAX. She has been improvising professionally since 2004, and teaching since 2008. She is a graduate of iO Chicago and UCB Los Angeles. In 2011, she created the Inclusion Initiative at the Old Town Improv Co. in San Diego, and served as the founding Inclusion Director until 2015. For the past two years, Marina has been a speaker at Our Cities on Our Stages, an international symposium on diversity in improv at the Bad Dog Theatre in Toronto. She is proud to be a queer, biracial Chicana on the iO stage.


Nancy Moricette, Inclusion Consultant

Nancy identifies as a Haitian American actorvist (actor/activist). She is a recent iO West alumnus and is glad to return to the place that helped her overcome her fear of Improv. Her roots lie in performance art and social advocacy. She works extensively with nonprofit and for profit organizations to create socially conscious, inclusive programs. She has her own consulting firm, Ase Power Consult, that specializes in helping organizations build authentic and sustainable relationships across cultural and gender divides. In addition to her work as a community consultant, she is also an actor.

She has performed at The Public Theatre, Lookingglass Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, Chicago Dramatists, Writer’s Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre Company, The Wilma Theatre, Woolly Mammoth Theatre, The Williams Project, and most recently, the Magic Theatre in San Francisco. She’s got some commercials running too. For more information about Nancy, visit one of her nifty websites:
www.asepowerconsult.com
http://nmoricette.wixsite.com/nancymoricette


Nate Sherman, Panelist

Nate is a teacher and current member of The Armando Show. He is a founding member of The Late 90’s and 3Peat from iO Chicago. He’s toured, written, and performed in several Second City Chicago theatricals and three Norwegian Cruise Line ship contracts.



Cat Kaine, Inclusion Showcase Manager

Catherine Kaine is a mixed-race Asian-American actor, director, and producer based in Los Angeles. She has been an activist since 2000, acting professionally since 2014, and is a graduate at iO West. Kaine co-produced and directed a six city, socially conscious comedy tour with Laughtivism in fall of 2016. She currently leads the LaughtivismLA Diversity division and coaches socially conscious storytelling for homeless advocacy at CSH. She is the founder and director of Hi Mom! Improv at Absolute Live Studios where she taught and produced a live-streaming improv show.


Contact our Inclusion Director with any ideas, concerns, or questions about the program at marina@ioimprov.com. If you need assistance or have general questions, please call (323) 962-7560 or visit us at 6366 Hollywood Blvd. 90028, weekdays between 10AM and 5PM.