laugh, play, and learn all weekend from some of the most talented people in our field


Introducing Premiere Workshop Instructor and Festivus Headliner Instructor

Elise Rodriguez

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Elise Rodriguez is a Cuban-American performer, teaching artist, & trainer. After transitioning out of a legal career, she decided to pursue the creative arts full-time and never looked back.


Elise is a teaching artist at Florida Studio Theatre (FST) in Sarasota, Florida, USA, where she is on the mainstage & touring improv casts. She also performs in Treble in Paradise, FST’s musical improv cast; and her self-produced Monolise: a friend-ly monoscene with Elise. She studied improv in Miami, FL at Just the Funny (JTF) improv comedy theatre where she joined the company as a cast member performing in the ensemble cast as well as performing in JTF’s Spanish improv team, Que Pasa Improv?.


Along with John Gebretatose of HUGE theatre (MN, USA), Elise hosts The Elise & John Show, a podcast showcasing creative BIPOC voices and bringing BIPOC culture and awareness to the forefront (with an improv twist of course!). She is also on Inside Improv, a weekly Facebook live show presented by Curious Comedy Theater out of Portland, OR, USA, that explores the ins and outs of improv off the stage. From inclusion and equity, to business models, to artistic approaches and international perspectives, Inside Improv explores what it takes to create space for improvisational theater across the globe.


Elise speaks fluent English & Spanish and teaches and performs improv nationally and internationally. She is passionate about empowering improvisors to revel in their own authentic creativity and joy in every scene, and believes that every scene should be conducted with kindness. If you’re not careful, she will offer you Cuban coffee- and your life will never be the same.

Introducing Premiere Workshop Instructor and Festivus Headliner

John Gebretatose


John has been performing stand-up, improv, and sketch comedy in Minnesota's Twin Cities for over 10 years. He is an instructor and Director of Diversity & Inclusion at HUGE Improv Theater in Minneapolis, MN and has taught improv workshops in theaters, hospitals, corporate workspaces, K-12 schools and colleges. He has also led and facilitated diversity and inclusion programming for improv theaters all over the world through his mission to uplift all voices. John trained and worked at the Brave New Workshop and is a founding member of Blackout Improv, Late Nights Minneapolis (a sketch comedy show), and co-founder of the Black and Funny Improv Festival. He has traveled the world performing, teaching and directing improv



Improv Identities- All Together Now!

Sat Dec 11, 11-1pm

with Elise Rodriguez

Yep. Another improv workshop. So. many. workshops. As improvisors we are eternal students- always ready to grow and expand our wheelhouse with classes, podcasts, books, and shows. And although all of this information essentially boils down to “Yes &,” there are so many approaches and schools of thought to take in that we can find ourselves dramatically exclaiming “I’M AN IMPOSTERRRR” on a street corner after a show. This workshop will feature a series of exercises focused on finding, and staying grounded in, your personal improv identity and style of play. We will work on staying confident and true to that personal style while playing and learning from any scene partner and the styles that they bring to the stage. 

Sat Dec 11, 2:30-4pm

Hard Topics
with John Gebretatose

In this workshop, we will highlight what happens to us as performers when a scene becomes scary, offensive or insensitive and we freeze or lose ourselves. We explore some approaches to get agency back when we find ourselves somewhere uncomfortable, tools for improvising mindfully and finding a proactive voice for you and your show.

TRIGGER AND CONTENT WARNING: this class is based on scenes when you find yourself dealing with topics of race or socially and politically charged situations - which means it will include discussions and scenes dealing with race, gender and other very personally sensitive areas and how to move forward thoughtfully, respectfully and meaningfully when you find yourself there.