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Chris Barron

Chris Barron has a Master of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from USC, and on July 21, 1969 was the first person to walk on the moon. Oh, wait, that’s Neil Armstrong’s bio. In truth, Chris does have a degree in aerospace engineering, but after years spent poring over stacks of data in a windowless cubicle, he turned to comedy. Chris has been with Stevie Ray’s off and on for over 30 years, performing and teaching improv, stand-up comedy, and sketch writing. How is that possible you ask when he’s only 29? In a word, magic. Chris graduated from the Conservatory Program at the Second City Theatre in Chicago, where he studied improv under legendary instructors including Stephen Colbert. He was a regular performer for a few years at the famous Hollywood Improv comedy club in Los Angeles. Fun fact, Chris has two belly buttons, ask him to show you some time.

Jonathan Fogel

Jonathan began performing comedy in his elementary school lunchroom and he is proud to say that he has not matured one bit since those early days. He joined Stevie Ray’s Improv Company in 2016. Jonathan also hosts stand-up comedy shows around the Twin Cities. When he is not performing, Jonathan practices yoga and law, but not at the same time.

Rex Isom, Jr.

Rex Isom, Jr. has been an entertainment artist for over 30 years, and he has been involved in comedy improvisation for over 25 years. Along with performing for Stevie Ray’s Comedy Cabaret since 2011, and teaching at Stevie’s since 2019, he is also currently one of the Emcees for the Main stage of the Chanhassen Dinner Theatres. Rex has performed at several other Twin Cities’ venues, including the History Theatre, Penumbra Theater, and the Children’s Theatre Company. Additionally, he has been in several local (and a few national) TV commercials over the years. Rex feels the reason he’s been with Stevie’s for so long is the family feel, or as he puts it, “I’m diggin’ that vibe!” He considers Stevie Ray’s to be a premier comedy improv show, even though he’s a Brave New Workshop alumni, and performed comedy improv in Los Angeles for five years. Rex loves to give the joy of laughter to his audiences, and to his loving family and friends!

Joden Kohls

Joden spends his days downtown Minneapolis working in corporate America and evenings in the burbs performing, teaching, and directing improv at Stevie Ray’s. Growing up a latchkey kid in the 80’s, his sense of humor was developed by watching more cable TV than he would like to admit. The Johnny Carson Potato Chip Lady interview of 1987 is forever etched in his brain.  Can you sing all the lyrics to the Mr. Belvedere theme song? Joden can!

🎶”Streaks on the china, never mattered before. Who cared?…🎶

Joe Lovitt

Chances are you have seen or heard Joe; you just weren’t aware of it. This 25-year veteran of the Twin Cities acting, directing, and comedy community has appeared in or provided voices for hundreds of videos, commercials, audio books, and films (Chaste, Unholy Reunion). Joe appeared in the musicals Deer Camp, Funny Business, Flannagan’s Wake, How To Mow The Lawn, A Don’t Hug Me Christmas Carol, Don’t Hug Me – We’re Married, and the interactive This Election Is Killing Me! for which he wrote the score and lyrics, and co-wrote the book. As a standup comedian, Joe has appeared in clubs and corporate shows for such clients as Wendy’s and Chevrolet. He is currently performing in the 2023 Stevie Ray’s Improv Troupe holiday show. Because he wants young people to be as messed up as him, Joe also directs plays and improv with Diamond Dave’s Cabaret Players at Robbinsdale Armstrong High School. Joe is a published playwright whose most recent work, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, was produced in 2022. He spends his days as a shipping clerk for Hoya Vision because…benefits.

Carl Olson

Carl’s relationship with Stevie Ray’s started way back in 1993 when he took his first improv class at Stevie Ray’s School of Improv.  He left, came back, left, came back, left, came back then left. He’s come back for a stint tickling the ivories for TV Rays. Carl is a lawyer, a math teacher, a piano player and a pretty darn nice guy. He has played piano at Nye’s Polonaise, for various improv groups in the Twin Cities, and for his church. At Stevie Ray’s, you will find Carl onstage, behind the piano, or keeping fellow troupe members laughing backstage (we like Carl wherever he is).

Ellie Walton

Ellie joined Stevie Ray’s Improv Company in 2018 after graduating from the University of Northwestern, St. Paul with a degree in Musical Theatre. She is a licensed realtor. In her free time, Ellie is learning how to play ukulele, and to solve a Rubik’s Cube. One of the most powerful singers in the history of Stevie Ray’s, she has brought audiences to their feet with her musical improv skills.

Joe Harstad

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).

 

joseph@stevierays.org