Jonathan Walters

Jonathan’s life as a pianist began shortly after discovering the piano in his house and realizing he had hands. Through years of lying to his piano teachers about how much he had practiced, he continued to tickle them ivories through high school until he moved from North Dakota to Minneapoils for college. He first played piano for improv comedy when he joined a group “Meat and Cheese”. This improv ensemble performed multiple clubs and venues throughout the twin cities until they either broke up entirely or just stopped calling Jonathan, he’s not sure which. He also performed regularly as the house pianist for “Yes…and Food”, an improv comedy club in Coon Rapids that, ya know, closed. Besides improv comedy, Jonathan also writes original songs, plays bass guitar and piano, and sings lead vocals for an unsuccessful punk band “Dingus.” Jonathan is honored and stoked to join Stevie Ray’s Comedy Cabaret.

Kip Hathaway

The tallest and most repulsive member of the troupe, Kip is an Improvisor and Actor in the Twin Cities. An artist since birth, Kip loves all creative pursuits, excelling in Cartooning, Singing, and the Theater. Kip started doing improv when he was 14 at the Minnesota Institute of Talented Youth, and continued through High School and College, graduating from Lawrence University with a major in Theater Arts. Unsurprisingly, he has never made more than 25,000 dollars in a year. When not wasting away in his parent’s basement, he can be found wasting away in the upper floors of his parent’s house, where he lives. One day he hopes to move out and become wealthy and famous — HA! Kip joined the Stevie Ray’s Company in 2018 and has “delighted” audiences ever since. Outside of Improv, his theater credits include The Porter in Wayward Theater’s MacBeth, produced at the James J. Hill house, which won City Page’s 2020 Play of the Year, and caused the paper to fold shortly after. He loves pro wrestling, and his favorite food is gingerbread houses.

Joe Lovitt

Joe’s voice and visage (© 2021, Joe Lovitt Voice and Visage. All rights reserved.) have appeared in literally hundreds of radio and TV ads and videos, including a stint as an online chef for Johnsonville Sausages (keep the jokes to yourself). In addition, he was a field reporter for HGTV’s TIPical Mary Ellen for four seasons, and a film critic for all ABC News North American affiliates for four years (he’s normal now). Joe is a published playwright whose play Winter Rose was performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, whose play Return of the Christmas Kid has been performed in churches across the US and Canada and who writes and directs an original play annually (and joyfully!) for the children of Christ Presbyterian Church in Edina.

Besides his corporate, classroom, and stage work with Stevie Ray’s, Joe’s improv skills have been used as director and instructor for Diamond Dave’s Cabaret Players at Robbinsdale Armstrong High School where he has also written and directed the State One-Act Play Competition entry for four years.

Joe is a 23-year veteran of the Twin Cities standup comedy scene, performing throughout the Midwest at clubs and corporate gatherings. His stage work includes Deer Camp: The Musical; How to Mow The Lawn, Holy Bells: A Deer Camp Christmas Musical; Flannagan’s Wake; Funny Business; Don’t Hug Me, We’re Married; and four seasons with A Don’t Hug Me Christmas Carol. Films include Unholy Reunion (2008) and the viral video series Undead Nation (2010), long before all this “walking dead” crap started.

Joe remains one of the industry’s top undiscovered talents.

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 the 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.

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 literally brought audiences to their feet with her musical improv skills.

Brett Williams

The senior member of the company, 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 host for the Stevie Ray’s summer performance series, Improv in the Park, and is also the creator and star of the hit trivia game show, MatchWits with Brett Williams, performed each week at Tuttle’s in Hopkins.

Nate Weingarden

Nate has been performing with the Stevie Ray’s since 2015, right around the time he moved out of his parents basement. You may also recognize him from such local television appearances as MNDOT’s safe driving campaign, and Buggin’s Insect Repellents (road construction and mosquitos, how very Minnesotan of him). Nate was a collegiate-level hockey player and continues to play regularly to stay in shape. He recently got engaged, since he was told getting married would bring a wealth of new comedic knowledge into his world. Congrats to Nate on his first marriage!

Joden Kohls

Joden has been performing with Stevie Ray’s Improv Company since 2012. Besides entertaining audiences, he occasionally teaches improv classes at Stevie Ray’s School of Improv. Joden is a resident of Chanhassen and works a daytime job in the exciting world of insurance. Fun fact… Joden graduated from Rockford High School (go Rockets!) where he was voted “Most Likely to Host a Game Show”.

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).

Caroline Hitt

A 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,” as she likes to call herself, is a proud alumna 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 industry. 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 25 years and has been involved in comedy improvisation for almost 20 years. Along with performing and teaching for Stevie Rays, Rex also teaches on-camera acting, and can be seen in a number of local TV commercials. He also performs as a history player for the Minnesota African American Museum. Rex feels the reason he’s been with Stevie’s for over three years is the family feel; or, as he puts it, “Diggin’ that vibe, homies!” Rex has performed in several theatres around the Twin Cities over his career, including Penumbra Theatre, the Brave New Workshop, and the American History Theatre. He also performed comedy improv and sketch theatre in Los Angeles for five years. He loves to bring the joy of laughter to the Stevie Ray’s audiences; and to everyone else he knows and loves!

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 years ago AJ stumbled upon improvisational comedy by taking classes at Stevie Ray’s, and 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.

Ben Heer

In 2016 while attending college, Ben Heer attended an improv workshop conducted by Stevie Ray’s Improv Company. After graduating that year from the University of Wisconsin River Falls, Ben started taking classes and was cast in Stevie Ray’s Touring Company in 2017, and has served as both onstage performer and technical director. Ben is an actor in the Twin Cities and has performed with companies including Theatre Elision, National Theatre for Children, Theatre Unbound, Daytrippers Dinner Theatre, and Zephyr Theatre. In his spare time, Ben is a cartoonist. His single panel comic 40 Days Fresh and his strip Flat Lids have been posted on social media and his website since 2019.

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.

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, she was encouraged by friends 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.)