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About Us

About Us

What is improv?

From the Latin improvisus meaning 'unforseen,' the verb to improvise means "to act, speak, or perform without any preparation."  When you attend an improv show, every scene that you see is being created live in real-time without a script.


Improvisers take suggestions from the audience. Actions, characters, relationships, and storylines are shaped and defined by the offers they receive. It is a truly interactive theatrical experience. At any moment an audience member may be asked to join the action onstage, or to offer up a new idea, changing the trajectory of a scene instantaneously. The results are often unexpected and hilarious!


Since everything we do is created from moment to moment onstage, no two improv shows are ever alike.  This is truly what makes improv such a captivating experience; the creative collaboration with the audience and the unrepeatable magic of each individual show.

Who are we?

Established in the spring of 2004, Stranger Than Fiction is the premier improvisational comedy troupe for the Granite State. Every year we strive to provide audiences with shows that rival improv clubs around the world. Our cast is a diverse collection of talented actors and comedians, united by the shared passion to make the world a funnier place.

Meet the Cast

Meet the Cast


Jon Wellington

Cast Deputy - Senior Cast Member

Jon has been performing for over 15 years including college and afterwards with many different troupes all around New England. He is a fan of peanut butter and magnetism.


David Chevalier

Co-Artistic Director - Finance Chair - Senior Cast Member

David is a veteran of Stranger Than Fiction since 2009, and has suffered from a lifelong love of improv. In addition to his work with STF, he is a writer of science fiction and fantasy and an indie computer game designer.

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Jacqueline Martell

Producer - Promotions Chair - Senior Cast Member

Jacqueline moved back to the seacoast area in 2008 after attending the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, and joined Stranger Than Fiction that same year. She was also recently accepted to a resident cast at Improv Boston. She just really loves improv. When not on stage, Jacqueline can be found pursuing her other passion: music.


Tara McDonough

Cast Member

Tara has been teaching, performing, and otherwise thinking about improv for over 25 years -- which sometimes feels like a very long time and sometimes feels like no time at all. In addition to being a long-time STF cast member (after a pandemic break), she also performs in Portland with Yes & Co and is creator and co-producer of women's comedy collective You Should Smile More. Tara co-founded San Francisco's Un-Scripted Theater Company and has trained with Keith Johnstone as well as teachers at BATS Improv, UCB, Magnet Theater, and ImprovBoston. She has taught improv to clowns, shy people, public defenders, and everyone in between.

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Jen Whitley

Senior Cast Member

Jen has been improvising on stage, with humans as well as puppets, for several years. She can't imagine a life without improv. When not performing or teaching improv to kind New England folks, she can be seen teaching yoga or helping laboratory animals escape in the dead of night. 


Evan Willis

Senior Cast Member

Evan's been a fan of improv for years, and began taking classes in 2016 with Stranger Than Fiction. He is so excited to be a member of the cast! He loves all forms of improv and is thrilled to be able to practice being playful and spontaneous on a regular basis.


Tim Englert

Co-Artistic Director - Senior Cast Member

Tim has been goofing around on stage since taking a class at Lin-Wood High School. He spent four years at the University of Maine at Farmington performing short-form with the Lawn Chair Pirates and later went to train in Chicago at the esteemed Second City. Tim happily joined STF in 2018. In his free time he is juggling many hobbies like brewing beer, designing board games, and shooting cowboy guns.


Kara McSweeney

Senior Cast Member

Kara fell in love with the world of improv and the community that comes with it in 2018 after starting classes with Stranger Than Fiction. If she’s not doing improv, she is most likely found working with children, outside in the woods somewhere, writing poems, or pretending to be a wacky inflatable tube man. She’s beyond excited to be cast as a member of Stranger Than Fiction.


Mike McCarron

Education Chair - Senior Cast Member

Mike has been an improviser for 19 years and has played with many troupes and in many styles along the way.  He trained at iO and The Annoyance in Chicago and feels just jazzed about dramatic improv and impro en español.  He's taken the stage at The Lowell Comedy Festival, Columbus is Funny Festival, Columbus ComFest, The Chicago Improv Festival, and The Dramatic Improv Festival.  Also, he'll teach you Spanish if you need that.

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Seth Waters

Cast Member

Seth Waters is an improv fan who has tried to be involved in spontaneous artforms for as long as he can remember. Most recently, he was the coordinator of the Rooftop Jam and the director of the Rooftop Improv Troupe in Hong Kong. He was also the improv pianist for TBCImprov HK. He is happy to be back in the New England air, rich in the smell of whoopie pies, mussels, suburban sprawl. It's a real treat for him to get to play with STF, the first professional troupe he got to see live!


Dan Schiffmacher

Cast Member

Dan Schiffmacher has been improvising for 15 years. He's trained at iO Chicago, performed at Second City, as well as dozens of other stages around the Chicagoland Area. His passions outside of Improv include producing podcasts (Improv Nerd, Talkin' Wild with Dan) video production, and making homemade pretzels.

Photos & Video

Photos and Videos


2016 Cast Photo - Star Wars style


No You Didn't Jill!


Stephen King show.


2016 Cast crossing the Delaware


Cast, Summer 2015


Getting our puppet-prov on!


Summer 2015


Connell and Dave shenanigans.


Patriotism. Eagles. America.


Behold the mighty Laura!


Best looking improv troupe in NH.


Our lovely audience participants.


Hogwarts Christmas show.


Andy and Laura


Time Battle!


we lost something . . .


Hey guys!


Jen contemplates marriage.


The Dating Game.




Upcoming Events

  • Open Improv Jam!
    Multiple Dates
    Thu, Jul 06
    Jul 06, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
    Newmarket, South Entry, River Level, 55 N Main St, Newmarket, NH 03857, USA
    Want free improv? Want to meet new people, expand your creativity, stretch your comfort zone, and laugh your socks off? Look no further! Stranger Than Fiction is happy to be holding a FREE open jam every first Thursday of the month.


Improv is theatre without a script. Scenes, characters, and storylines are all decided via suggestions from the audience. At any moment a new idea may be introduced and change the trajectory of a scene - all based on input from YOU the audience member. The results are unexpected and hilarious.

Since everything is made up on the spot, no two shows are ever alike! Help us create the show in real time and enjoy the unrepeatable magic of an improvised comedy show.

When visiting the KCC website, please click the blue Ticket button at the top of the page.

Friday, March 15th

Kittery Community Center

120 Rogers Rd., Kittery, ME 03904

Tickets are $12.00 in advance or $15.00 at the door

Doors open at 7:30PM, show begins at 8:00PM



Join us each and every week from June 4th through August 27th as we bring the laughs to Portsmouth, NH every Tuesday night at 8:00PM. We are thrilled to be returning to the Players' Ring theatre for our 16th season of Tuesday Night Improv. Come see a show where we got our start.

Each week a new show will be produced and created before your very eyes based on audience suggestion. This month our first few weeks of shows will be:

June 30th - Your Weirdest Relative

August 6th - The Rumble

Tuesdays 6/4-8/20

Players' Ring Theatre

105 Marcy St., Portsmouth NH

Tickets are $14.00

Show begins at 8:00PM

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Celebrate all things love and laughter at our 2nd annual Head Over Heels improv comedy night! Our cast will use real-life love stories from couples in the audience to inspire scenes made up on the spot. We might collectively cringe at someone’s Tinder fail, or bask in the triumph of a blind date that actually went well – everything on stage will be based on true tales from YOU the audience! Played to a full house last year, so reserve your seats early!

Whether you are a hopeless romantic, or a cynic with a sense of humor, there is something for everyone to love!

Friday, February 15th

Newmarket Millspace

55 Main St, Newmarket NH

Tickets are $10.00 online or $12.00 at the door

Show begins at 8:00PM

No classes are being currently offered at this time. Please check back in with us soon for education updates! Classes are held in seacoast Maine and New Hampshire, as well as in Manchester, NH.

If you have questions about potential upcoming sessions, please email our education chairperson here



"Attend a Stranger Than Fiction show and you're assured of seeing something that has never been done before. You might even help in its creation."  - The Wire



"Comedy and theatre collide on one stage with Stranger Than Fiction, a NH-based improv comedy troupe that's been getting a steady following since its founding."  - The Hippo



"Look out, cast of "Whose Line Is It Anyway," Stranger Than Fiction is catching up, offering up a more sophisticated brand of improv right here in good ol' New Hampshire."  - The Keene Sentinel


"It is comedy without a net; walking the high-wire with all the thrills and potential splats that infers; weird, screwball and curious. Like a box o’ chocolates, sometimes it’s sweet caramel, others it’s nuts. Give it a go."

- Jeanné McCartin,  

Links to recent full reviews:

"Superb in-tandem team"

"A troupe to see!"

"Stranger Than Fiction turns 15"

"You can bet on Tuesday Night Improv"



Stranger Than Fiction offers classes and workshops for performers of all ages and skill sets. Our offerings are designed to give local performers the opportunity to experience the same rigor and focus of a New York City or Chicago improv comedy school. Experienced instructors teach all of the classes we offer. We provide performers with confidence so they hit the stage with creativity and presence.

In addition to formal classes, we also offer corporate training and bonding workshops, educational shows, and improv intensives.


Please check back here often and become a follower/fan of Stranger Than Fiction on Twitter or Instagram (@stfimprov), or like us on Facebook (Stranger Than Fiction Improv & Comedy) for future updates. Links to our social media can be found on our "connect" page.

To stay up-to-date on all of our improv educational offerings, add yourself to our classes mailing list.



Everyone would benefit from taking at least one improv class in their lifetime. [Improv] helps you think on your feet, be completely present, and welcome strange situations with a sense of humor! - Laura Cleminson, Level 1


This was such an awesome experience, I am so glad I joined this class. I had a lot of fun with my classmates and pushed my boundaries. - Kalvin Poland, Level 1


The highlight of my week! Improv is a spiritual practice for me, a tool of growth, and I felt myself growing every week. Thank you so much for creating the safe, fun, nurturing space for us. - Jim Readey, Level 1 and Level 2


I didn't want either class to end! I would certainly recommend taking a Stranger Than Fiction class as it is structured in a fun group setting that is sure to make you catch onto the "improv bug." The scene work and feedback helps you grow start to finish. Go for it and enjoy the journey along the way! - Lauri Izzi, Level 1 and Level 2


Improv is life! This [class] has been so much fun and I would never have guessed I would learn so much from a 6-week course. Great teachers, great camaradarie, a great class! - Julie Nye, Level 2


We're out to deliver a brand new improv comedy show to Jupiter Hall’s stage. Improv is a collaborative theatre experience where everything is made up on the spot based on suggestions from the audience. Suggestions are given to the players continuously throughout the night which keeps improv fun, fresh, unexpected and hilarious!

Since everything is made up from moment to moment, no two shows are ever alike. This kind of unrepeatable magic will keep you laughing and coming back for more!


Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 at the door                                     NEXT DATE TBA 

Doors open at 7:00PM, show starts at 7:30PM                                 TICKETS COMING SOON!

JUPITER HALL, 89 Hanover St Manchester, NH

Corporate Training

SEACOAST Level 301: The La Ronde - The La Ronde is a character and relationship driven longform. The name is based on a play by Arthur Schnitzler in which characters are in two sequential scenes each with a new partner. The two-person scenes are edited by the next player in line and the format goes until we have come full circle. Focus will be on exploring the kaleidoscopic shades of relationships, status, and character dynamics. Attention will be paid to creating two-person scenes that take place in fully realized environments and which incorporate emotional choices, and physical scenework.

The instructor will be Jacqueline Martell.  Jacqueline Martell has been doing improv professionally with Stranger Than Fiction Improv & Comedy for the past 12 years. Before that, she was classically trained in music, musical theatre, Shakespeare, and acting at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. While in California, she also completed extensive training at the Voice One Academy for voice over artists. A master of accents and body language, Jacqueline could likely work for the CIA, but she prefers comedy to counterintelligence. She is a firm believer that improv is not only fun and challenging, but it takes us deeper into our imagination and ultimately strengthens our empathy for our fellow human beings.


Prerequisite: Student must have passed our 201 curriculum or a level 2 class at another qualified improv training center. Must be 18+ to participate.

Class meets Monday evenings, April 15th - May 13th from 6:30-9:00PM. (5 week 2.5hr class)

An optional Performance Showcase for family and friends will be held on Friday May 17th at 8:00PM.

For questions about this class, please email

Location:                                                   Price:  $150.00

The Newmarket Millspace

55 Main St. Newmarket, NH

Corporate Events and Training

Please contact us for pricing information. Pricing is dependent upon multiple variables such as number of workshop attendees, number of instructors needed, workshop duration and type, as well as travel. All workshops are customizable and pricing is a la carte! We look forward to making your next event engaging, memorable, and full of fun & laughter!

1 hour Improv Fundamentals Class (one instructor)
This fast paced class squeezes the fundamentals of improvisational theater into a neat one hour package. Students are introduced to the tools and techniques they need to explore what they see on improv stages and popular television shows such as Whose Line Is It Anyway?

2 hour Improv Lab (two instructors)
This intensive workshop in improvisational theater is designed to encourage the free expression of sound and movement, fostering self-confidence and interpersonal awareness. Activities involve team building, the clarity and content of their speech, nonverbal communication, blocking and accepting, spontaneity, and much more. Focus is on empowering students, building trust, and gaining stage confidence.


Evening Performance
Stranger Than Fiction travels to your venue and performs our award winning unique brand of improv comedy .


Improv Lab + Evening Performance
Our most popular workshop guides students through the full process of putting together an improvisational theatre performance, beginning with the improv fundamentals. Students will work together as a team to
learn the tools and techniques to unite as a productive ensemble. The program concludes with the Stranger Than Fiction cast joining the students for a communal performance.

Corporate Training

Improv principles can greatly assist you and your employees in a multitude of ways, leading to higher levels of trust, confidence, and creativity. Experience valuable, meaningful coaching guaranteed to be more exciting than traditional training and more impactful.

Emphasis will be on mastering the following skills:

Public Speaking


Trust and Support

Creative Problem Solving

Presentational Skills


Removing Creative Roadblocks

Promoting Innovation


Relationship Dynamics

Active Listening



We have been honored to work with the following clients for a variety of workshops, charity shows, educational events, performances, and corporate training:

Dunkin' Donuts               


Brooklyn Brewery           

Optima Bank                   

Grappone Auto               

Dartmouth College

Babson College

Westbrook College

York Community College

Rye Junior High

Boston Athenaeum

Manchester Library

Keene Library

Merrimack Library

Hampstead Library

Vets First Choice

Rabbit House Network


York Arts Association

Camp Teyva


We had a great time!  Tara and Jillian were awesome.  The improv exercises were a great way to use the other half of our brains after spending 3 hours sitting down and talking sales numbers.  Even though we were a group of out-going sales people a number of the exercises got us out of our comfort zones which I think will help when we have to deal with uncomfortable situations in our jobs. - Patrick Paulick, Brooklyn Brewery


Dartmouth had a blast performing with Stranger Than Fiction. Would we do it again? We did!

As a coach, Jacqueline's patience, performance knowledge, and infectious warmth brought us to a new level of improv technique and general all around happiness. - Zach Weed, Dartmouth alum and former coach of Dartmouth's improv troupe Casual Thursday


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Introduction to Musical Improv with Tyler Paterson - Veteran musical improvisor Tyler Paterson will lead teach you to improvise a musical in this very interactive class! From understanding song structure, to emulating vocal and character styles, to incorporating movement, both beginning and experienced improvisers will discover new ways to stand in front of a crowd and confidently belt out a song. Each week will build upon previous work, and by the end of six weeks, you’ll know everything you need to know to improvise a complete musical!

Prerequisite: Students must be 18+ to participate. Must have completed Improv 201, be currently enrolled in our 201 class, or have equivalent experience. No musical experience necessary. Space is limited!!

Class meets Thursday evenings, April 11th -May 16th from 7:00-9:00PM.

An optional Performance Showcase will be held Friday May 17th at 8:00PM at the Newmarket Millspace.

For questions about this class, please email

Location:                                                     Price:  $150.00 

Kittery Community Center

120 Rogers Rd., Kittery ME


Location:                                                   Price:  $40.00

Kittery Community Center

120 Rogers Rd., Kittery, ME





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Direct-Feedback Audition Prep with Laura Scafati - Planning to come to STF Auditions on March 9? Whether you’re working on a particular skill or just want to shake off the winter blahs before you strut your stuff, this is the class for you! Class is limited to 7 students for maximum workout and honest feedback.


Laura Scafati joined Stranger Than Fiction in 2014 and is a graduate of ImprovBoston’s 7-level curriculum. She has taken improv classes and workshops from teachers such as Armando Diaz, David Razowsky, Craig Cackowski, and Susan Messing. She is happy to bring her wealth of improv knowledge to the Seacoast.

Workshop meets twice: Wednesday, February 27 and Wednesday, March 6. Prequisite: Must be registered for Stranger Than Fiction Auditions on Saturday, March 9. Must be 18+ to participate!

For questions about this class, please email



Camprov is a volunteer-run international comedy retreat and festival hosted by Stranger Than Fiction. It's an adult summer camp for improv! The retreat will celebrate its fifth gathering when we next convene. In the past, we have hosted illustrious improv educators like Jill Bernard, and Asaf Ronen. Troupes from all over the United States and the globe are invited to come to this incredible, immersive weekend of fun and education!



We are currently looking for a location to host our Camprov experience, post pandemic!


We are looking for a camp in the New England area that would be available in the off-season September or October. In the past we have rented campgrounds with enough beds to accommodate for 50+ improvisers. A stage would be a welcomed feature, but mostly we just need a handful of common areas so that we can hold small group lessons. We also require the camp to be staffed with kitchen attendants to provide meals for Friday evening, all day Saturday, and breakfast Sunday morning. Unfortunately we can not provide any further details or pricing until we have secured a venue for our next Camprov.


Please contact us through email by pressing the button below if you can recommend any potential areas we can rent for camprov, or if you would care to join us as an educator.


Contact/Hire Us!

SPRINGVALE Teen Improv -Teens learn the basics of theater improvisation in this 6-week sampler class. From the idea of YES-AND to collaboration, cooperation, and confidence, this class will cover the building blocks of improv in a fun, supportive environment. All students are invited to participate in a showcase with Stranger Than Fiction on Saturday, October 20, where they can show off their new skills to family and friends.

The instructor will be Tara McDonough.  

Class meets Wednesday evenings, September 12 through October 17, from 5:00PM-6:15PM.

An optional Performance Showcase for family and friends will be held on Saturday October 20 at 8:00PM.

For questions about this class, please email

Location:                                                   Price:  $80.00

Nasson Little Theatre

457 Main Street Springvale, ME 

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Please email Tara McDonough at to add your name to our waiting list.


Level 301: The Harold - The Harold is a long-form improv structure that is regarded by many as the purest form of improv. Developed by Del Close, this form is now used all over the world. This 8-week class will tackle the form and many of the tools that make the form so great and so much fun including Game, Tag Runs, Callbacks, Group Game and most of all, strong scene work. Please note, there will be NO class held on Monday, October 8th.

Pre-Requisite: Student must have completed 201 with STF or another qualified improv training center.

6 people minimum, 16 maximum.

The instructor will be Chris Klemmer.  Chris is a member of Stranger Than Fiction and has been performing improv since 2010 in NYC, Boston, and New Hampshire. He was accepted into the Advanced Program at Upright Citizens Brigade (NYC) in 2013 and has been fortunate enough to have been taught by Armando Diaz, Lydia Hensler, Ashley Ward, Brandon Gardner, John Herman, and more. He has also written and directed sketch comedy locally and is currently co-host of the New Hampshirecast podcast. Chris lives in Portsmouth with his dog Wakefield and is obsessed with expansion baseball teams which consistently bores his friends and family.

Class meets for 8 weeks on Mondays evenings, September 10 through November 5 from 7:00-9:00PM.

Please note there will be no class held on Monday, October 8th.

For questions about this class, please email

Location:                                                   Price:  $175.00

The Newmarket Millspace

55 Main Street Newmarket, NH

Connect/Hire us!

Please fill out the form below to hire us for shows. Our producer Laura will gladly answer any questions, and will handle all bookings. Please allow 1-2 business days for a response to your inquiry.

Success! Message received.

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Location:                                                   Price:  $30.00

Kittery Community Center

120 Rogers Road, Kittery ME

Scenework - Great improv scenes start with solid beginnings - establish the basics right away and create scenes that shine! This class will focus on strong initiations and who/what/where as the basic building blocks to use in every scene, every time.

Prerequisite: Completion of STF Level 101: Improv Fundamentals or equivalent experience. Must be 18+ or have parental permission.

The instructor will be Laura Scafati. Laura joined Stranger Than Fiction in 2014 and is a graduate of ImprovBoston’s 7-level curriculum. She took an intensive JTS Brown workshop with the original director, Craig Cackowski, and continued JTS Brown training in class at ImprovBoston. Laura wants to learn everything about improv and she's taken workshops with teachers from across the world. She loves teaching just as much as learning and looks forward to having you in her class!

Workshop meets for one night only, Sept 20 from 6:30-8:30PM

For questions about this workshop, please email

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