About Us

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Our Mission

Our mission is to provide the art of theatrical improvisation to the community of Hawai‘I through education and performance events. We believe that the improv provides a wealth of benefits. It is not only a form of entertainment, but also a tool that teaches social skills applicable in the professional corporate setting as well as in an individual’s personal life.

Our Story

Founded by members of Hawaii’s Think Fast Improv Company, Improv in Paradise focuses on creating educational opportunities for children and adults of all levels of experience and community benefits.

Improv in Paradise has hosted successful fundraisers for non-profits including “Aloha Tonight” benefiting Aloha Harvest, the all female cast show “Wahine of Improv Comedy” highlighting the women in Hawaii’s improv community and benefiting Women in Need, and St Baldrick’s Foundation. “Slippas For Keiki” was a benefit show created by Elson John to gather and purchase footwear for elementary school students in high need areas of Oahu.

Meet the Board

Aaron Pughes

President / Chairman

Aaron is the founder of Mr Aaron Presents and Think Fast Improv. Mr Aaron Presents created the longest running comedy open mic night in the history of Hawaii and Hawaii’s most active improv team. As a producer and performer Aaron has been nominated for 6 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards. He is a Volunteer Event Organizer with St Baldrick’s Foundation, his teams raised over $37,000 in 5 years for childhood cancer research.

 

Larissa DLG Franzen

Vice-President | Secretary

Larissa has been playing steadily in Hawaii of the past 7 years starting in 2007, been training improvisers in Hawaii since 2009, and has been a prevailing force in the Hawaii improv community. Larissa began her career studying in Honolulu with the foremost improvisers of the time, and trained with some of the best improvisers from Chicago and New York. She has studied improv through Second City master improviser Jeff Griggs and Chicago Improv Festival Executive Producer Jonathan Pitts.

 

Rory Franzen

Director

Rory has over 20 years of theater and performance experience. Rory’s first introduction to improvisation was as rehearsal warmups for plays. It wasn’t until Seattle’s Unexpected Productions launched a high school theater sports tournament that Rory got formally trained as an improviser. Rory has coached many improv teams, which have played at local theaters and venues, as well as international festivals.

 

John Cambereri

Director

John Cambereri has over 35 years of experience in music, stage and on-camera acting and has been performing in Hawaii since 2012. He has coached and performed with several improvised theater teams, including the creation of  the first high school improv program at a Honolulu high school.

 

Shain Miller

Director

Shain Miller is the former manager of Ong King Arts Center for 5 years, responsible for rebranding the space from an unknown struggling empty room to one of the biggest First Friday events. Under Shain’s management multiple long running programs and classes were created that still operate today from Kung Fu to Swing Dancing to Open Mic Nights.

 

Matt Miller

Instructor

Matt Miller has been a powerhouse in the Improv Theater Community for over 10 years. He returned to Hawaii after studying at Second City in Chicago. He brought back his drive, energy and experience into teaching and a unique performance mentality that drives other performers to adapt and push their limits on stage.

 

What can you do?

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