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Emily Barrett

Emily got her start in improv when she volunteered to fill in for a sick kid who was supposed to perform improv at an Iowa high school Thespian Festival. She was immediately hooked and, as her director put it, “Emily, you found your thing!” Several years later and it’s still her thing! Emily performs improv and stand-up comedy all over the Twin Cities. She started taking classes at Stevie Ray’s in 2007. When she’s not moonlighting as a comedian, she enjoys being a mom, a mental health therapist, and discovering new things that can go wrong with owning an 1800’s historical house.

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.

Lydia Borchert

Lydia’s theater career started in the pits—literally. Being the star (only) bassoon player in pit orchestra throughout high school meant she could only move up from there! After attending a Stevie Ray’s Comedy Cabaret show in 2018, friends encouraged Lydia to try one of their classes, and she has stuck with it ever since. Besides performing, Lydia’s passion is visual arts. If she is not trying to make someone laugh, she is probably trying to make art. (Keyword: trying.)

Aaron Cook

Aaron was born and raised in the Twin Cities. His improv career started in high school at the age of sixteen. After high school, he studied in theater at St. Olaf College and the British American Drama Academy in Oxford, England. Aaron has performed at various theaters in Minnesota, like the Old Log, Park Square Theater, and the Paul Bunyan Playhouse. He is happy to be back performing improv with Stevie Ray’s Comedy Troupe.

Erin Clarkin

Erin’s love for improv started when she would sneak out of bed and watch late-night airings of Whose Line is it Anyway? on school nights. After numerous family outings to local improv shows, she couldn’t help but take a shot at improv classes in 2022 and have just as much fun as her idols. She almost threw in the towel after her first class because she was so nervous. Her Dad’s motto of “If you start something you finish it” kept her in the ring. Thanks to her instructor and all the amazing friends she met along the way, her love for improv grew and grew. After auditioning several months later, Erin was cast in the Stevie Ray’s Touring Company. She recently had the honor of performing on the main stage in the holiday show, “Dashing Through the Snow (plows)” and later the annual all-women show. When she isn’t goofin’ on stage, you can find Erin in bed cuddling with her two kitties, belting out smash hits at karaoke, hanging out with her improv friends and going to improv shows in the Twin Cities to support all the other amazing people she has met in the community (You know who you are!). In the future she hopes to land a spot on the Second City cast in Chicago and later on in the writer’s room for SNL.

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.

Kip Hathaway

A consensus five-star recruit and Weisman trophy winner from Lawrence University, Kip Hathaway drew comparisons to Ryan Stiles and was listed as a three-clown laughback that had a “rare combination of quick wits, corniness, vision, height, gag-running and heckle-breaking skills,” and that he “…should come out of the gates as one of the most productive young punning backs in the league.” In the 2018 Draft, Kip was selected in the first round with the eighth schtick by the Stevie Ray’s team. For the 2018 season, he primarily played a back-up role but showed flashes of excellence when given an occasional spot-start. In the 2019 season, Kip won the starting role after teammate Lars Midthun was traded to the L.A.-based fABBA show for draft compensation. Kip immediately shined from the Wisecrackfield, finishing his rookie year as the NIL’s top rusher with 1,731 guffaws, the third most by a rookie (behind Chris Farley’s 1,808 in 1988 and Del Close’s 1,774 in 1956). His elite 3.9 LPM (laughs per minute) smashed Wayne Brady’s 1989 record of 3.2, and  Hathaway’s 864 yards after callback (YAC) ranked first among all players. Bolstered by the best OL (one-liners) in the league, his strong play continued through the next four seasons, helping propel Stevie Ray’s to a Star Tribune “Best Comedy Club” win in 2021. Now franchise tagged in his fifth season with Stevie Ray’s, Kip continues to be an elite option on the stage and should be drafted as a rock solid PB1 in Fantasy Improv drafts. Keep up with all your daily Kip news at @kip.pix on IG.

Caroline Hitt

Part of the Stevie Ray’s family since 2015, Caroline is a born-and-bred Minnesotan hailing from the western ‘burbs of Minneapolis. Caroline, or CJ, is a proud graduate of Benilde-St. Margaret’s High School and Providence College, Rhode Island. Since graduating, she has had a whirlwind career spanning from advertising to video production to improv comedy theater. Currently, Ms. Hitt enjoys spending her free time working downtown at Benchmark Reporting Agency—finally joining her family’s tradition of working in the legal profession. Her favorite things include her dog Kirby, sour Starbursts minis, and paper towels.

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?…🎶

AJ Kueppers

AJ had his stage debut at age two, singing a moving rendition of “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” to an adoring audience. This led to a string of musical theater performances, as well as directing and performing with Take Note A cappella (before Pitch Perfect made it cool.) A couple of years ago AJ stumbled upon improvisational comedy by taking classes at Stevie Ray’s; he has been hooked ever since. When he is not on stage at Stevie Ray’s, AJ can be found browsing Reddit, playing Dungeon & Dragons, and belting out Hamilton lyrics. At Stevie’s he is best known for writing and performing songs on the fly. By day AJ is a numbers geek with a CPA license. He currently works as an Accounting Lead for a Minneapolis based tech startup.

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.

Alex O’Brien

Alex has been interested in improv since birth, or at least since watching Whose Line Is It Anyway as a kid. He took his first improv class in college, before ultimately abandoning it to focus on academics (a huge mistake). He revisited improv in 2021, taking classes at Stevie Ray’s, and has been obsessed ever since. When compelled to earn money, Alex works as an engineer in the medical device industry. In his free time, he enjoys hanging out with other people’s dogs and forcing his haggard body to exercise.

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.

Brett Williams

Brett started training at Stevie Ray’s in October of 2000 and rose to join the troupe very quickly. His stage energy has been used to power small townships, and the Xcel Company is considering a franchise option. He is the creator and star of the hit trivia game show, MatchWits with Brett Williams, performed each week at Tuttle’s in Hopkins, and is a star performer in the Gangster Tours at the Wabasha Street Caves.