Making it up as we go since 1989.

Leadership Team

Stevie Ray

Co-Founder & Executive Director

Stevie is a successful keynote speaker, corporate trainer, entertainer, author, happy husband, and frazzled stepdad.

In addition to his role as Executive Director of Stevie Ray’s Improv Company, he has been a nationally recognized speaker and corporate trainer for over 35 years. The author of eleven books, he was a national columnist for the Business Journal Newspapers for twenty-five years.

Stevie has traveled the country helping organizations master the art of influence and sharpen professional skills. His clients include Fortune 500 companies and small organizations alike.

Stevie performed his first comedy show at the age of nine and has been making people laugh ever since. Touring the country as an improvisational and stand-up comedian, he has opened for such stars as Paula Poundstone, Marsha Warfield of Night Court, Rich Hall of Saturday Night Live, and “Weird Al” Yankovic. He also serves as master of ceremonies for fundraisers and major events.

More fun facts about Stevie Ray:

  • The only person in the country to design his own college degree in Theory and Performance of Comedy at Minnesota State University-Moorhead
  • A martial artist since 1977 and holder of four black belts
  • A former bodyguard for Pee Wee Herman (yes, really)
  • The owner of Steve’s Bees Minnesota Honey, producing natural honey from his own beehives (actually, the bees do all the work)
  • A volunteer for the Minnesota State Services for the Blind, recording books for the blind and visually impaired
  • An award-winning blues harmonica player
  • His home-made baklava won 3rd Place at the Minnesota State Fair.

Pamela M. Mayne

Co-Founder & Director of Operations

A pioneer in Twin Cities comedy, Pamela began her association with Stevie in 1988 when they co-directed a Minneapolis comedy- variety club. They eventually took over the club to create Stevie Ray’s Improv Company. Over the years, Pamela has directed thousands of performances at Stevie Ray’s Comedy Cabaret. She has also taught hundreds of new improv artists, giving new funny folks their start in the business. She helped produce three Comedians Who Care comedy marathons for charity, and two Minneapolis Improv Festivals that brought troupes from across the country to the Twin Cities.

Pamela holds the distinction of being the only person allowed to tell Stevie he’s not as funny as he thinks he is. As Director of Operations, Pamela oversees all aspects of Stevie Ray’s Improv Company.

Joe Harstad

Artistic Director

Joe Harstad’s first improv class was at the ripe young age of one. Though he didn’t pick up much at that time, crawling around the classroom space was just the beginning of his improv career. Growing up in a household with Pamela Mayne, improv was a daily activity.

Joe took his first real improv class at the age of fifteen, and he has been in a class every week since then. He soon began teaching improv classes. In the fall of 2015, Joe moved from performing to directing. As Associate Director, Joe directs performances at Stevie Ray’s Comedy Cabaret, and directs the School of Improv; training new instructors and continuing to teach classes himself. You will often find Mr. Harstad in the sound & light booth during shows; lending his talents as a technician (it also allows him to keep an eye on the troupe).

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