About East Side Story
East Side Story Improv was founded in 2013 and started performing after open mic music nights at the much-missed Sliders Cafe in Carnation, WA. Perhaps it helped that our audience had usually been drinking for two hours before we even started, but we had a great time and the group continued to grow and expand.
The Seattle area has long had a vibrant and creative improv scene, but most of the performances were across the bridges. ESS started running regular four-group monthly improv shows in Bellevue in early 2016, bringing improv to the growing eastside population. Our cast has grown, and today's cast includes performers with training from Unexpected Productions, Jet City Improv, Second City, iO West, and other well-known improv theaters.
Beth started improv in 2013 and joined ESS in 2014. She’s been involved with drama since junior high and high school, and she loves watching live theatre. Her favorite Broadway musical is Les Misérables, which she’s seen 9 times in various cities around the US. Not surprisingly, she can sing the whole play word for word. Outside of theatre, she enjoys riding horses, snow skiing, CrossFit, shopping, and wine tasting.
Our youngest cast member, Carter Atkin has been performing improv since age 10, and he’s still not old enough to drive. He’s appearing in the new season of the syndicated TV show “Biz Kids,” and he’s also done a short for “Funny or Die” along with numerous theater productions. He’s also half of The Next Generation Gap. He enjoys drawing, photography, and suddenly being taller than his dad.
Joining ESS in 2014, Christine’s been 'a character' ever since learning the powers of being an only child. Starting with high school drama, she dabbled in theater and then moved on to grab improv by the horns. While she loves Wicked and Avenue Q, she's starting a campaign to have the Walking Dead turned into a Broadway musical. She enjoys hiking, CrossFit, drinking, and people-watching.
Denny Atkin has been with ESS since the start, and is also half of the father/son improv duo The Next Generation Gap, and a member of short-form improv group Split Second Improv. He’s appeared in local theater productions including “Noises Off” and “Shrew’d” with Cascade Community Theater. When not performing, he enjoys writing, photography, and explaining that his drone is taking sunset pictures, not spying on you.
Hailing from the oxygen-deprived Littleton, Colorado, Greg’s been performing improv since 2011, in several groups in Denver and Cincinnati. In 2016, he moved to Seattle to see what the West Coast hype was all about. Joining East Side Story in early 2017, he quickly became smitten with the group. He loves the free flow and risk-taking that embodies ESS, and can’t wait to bring our talents to a theater near you!
Haley was first discovered by East Side Story in early 2017 as a wide-eyed ingenue/cynical stand-up comedian. She also appears behind you in the mirror when you say her name three times. Her hobbies include intending to get back to various writing projects, being non-competitive during obstacle course races, and having very strong opinions about Real Housewives.
A founding member of ESS, Jeremy started his on-again/off-again romance with improv in 1988, taking classes from Matt Smith and Roberta Maguire. Following a steamy affair with Cascade Community Theater, he returned to his first love in 2013. After enticing fellow Unexpected Productions students to join him on stage at Sliders Café, they became East Side Story, and the party’s been rolling ever since.
Originally from Minneapolis and most recently LA, Patrick is part of the 2017 class of ESS cast members. In LA, he studied at iO West, Westside Comedy and Monkey Butler. He enjoys analyzing narratives (talking stories) and having psychological/existential conversations while he's drinking. Needless to say, he's currently single.
Discovered while drinking nearby the ESS founders’ table one night, Rupa immediately found a way into the group’s hearts and livers after buying them shots. Rupa started improv classes in San Francisco back in ‘02, and re-ignited her training in Seattle in 2012. She grounds her scenes with whatever wit and sophistication she has left after tending to her young kids.
One of ESS’s founders, Scott’s had improv training from Viola Spolin’s protégé Gary Schwartz, at Unexpected Productions, and various workshops. Noteworthy public performances: His 2017 featured appearance with his wife on Treehouse Masters; his 1994 version of Johnny Carson’s Carnac routine at a company holiday dinner; and his meaty role as a pizza delivery boy in 1983’s softcore classic “30 Minute Delivery.”
Steven has been a member of ESS since 2013, and feels like ESS is his second family. You may also have seen him playing with Split Second Improv, or in live stage performances such as "Beauty and the Beast"' at Snoqualmie Falls Forest Theater and various shows at SecondStory Repertory. He believes that ESS is not a group you should miss, and he can't wait to perform for you.
Sky hails from the wilds of western Montana, and has trained at both Unexpected Productions Improv School and the Jet City Improv Academy. Sky is thrilled to be a part of East Side Story and performing on the SecondStory Repertory stage. When she’s not ’provin’, Sky works in TV/Video production. She has produced reality TV, educational children’s television, and most thrilling of all… corporate videos!
Valarie is thrilled to have joined the cast of East Side Story in 2017. Hailing originally from Michigan, she found her way to the Seattle area in 2009. As a proud graduate of the Jet City Academy, she’s been developing her craft with supplemental courses from the Freehold Theatre and Unexpected Productions. On a non-improv day you'll find her watching Netflix with her cats Ron and Lucy.