Black Dirt Theater is a group of passionate people, who have a vision of the future where using creativity to serve others and create connections in the Hastings area become one in the same.
Connections. Creativity. Community.
Stephanie is ecstatic to be a brand spanking new player for the Black Dirt Improv family. She has been doing improv since 2010. She was a part of Renegade Improv and Improvaholics for 3 years in Duluth and has now made her way into the Twin Cities. You can also find her on Monday nights with the Improv Troupe What's Next at Corner Coffee.
A new member to the Black Dirt Improv. Atim Opoka is a singer/songwriter/actress from Sioux Falls, SD. She graduated from Mcnally Smith College of Music with a Bachelor in Vocal performance. Atim has also taught Improv classes at Steppingstone Theatre this past summer. Atim is will be playing Momma Ogre/Momma Bear in Shrek the Musical at Lyric Arts. performed in eight musical theatre productions under the direction of Erin Schwab. She was featured as “Atim” in Sisters Are Doin’ it, “Lucy” in You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, “Gertie Cummings” in Oklahoma, and “Step-mother” In Into the Woods. Atim is currently teaching at Climb Theatre.
Andrew Gonzalez is so honored to be performing with the Black Dirt Improv troupe for their 2016 season! Andrew first became a socially accepted person when he started improvisation in high school, competing in the Iowa speech contest program and winning the state title his senior year. While attending Luther College he performed with the college's improv troupe Top Banana. After college he completed a year-long course in the Brave New Workshop's Student Union Improv series. While not improvising Andrew works as a business analyst in Minneapolis. Hopefully he can help make you laugh, enjoy the show!
This is Molly’s first year on the BDT Improv Troupe! She has been working with BDT for the past few years as an actor, director, and most recently the Outreach and Education Director. Molly is excited to now play with this funny group of people and be a member of the Improv Team. This past May she graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BA in Theater Arts; and while she doesn't have any formal improv training to date, her grandma tells her that she’s quick witted and always laughs at her jokes...so that's promising! Right?
Logan Martin is ecstatic to once again be a member of Black Dirt Improv. Logan is a founding member of the troupe, joining when it first began nearly 5 years ago. By day, Logan works in local government,and also performs improv with Comedy Sportz in Minneapolis and a public-policy inspired group called The Theater of Public Policy. Logan was introduced to improv during his days at Hastings High School, and thoroughly enjoys sharing this awesome art form with friends and family in his hometown!
Tommy is a founding member of Black Dirt Improv and has risen to leadership role in the troupe, casting vision and booking gigs. Prior to Black Dirt Improv, Tommy was just the funny guy. Now he’s the funny guy with five years of improv experience. So who’s laughing now high school guidance counselor? I am, that’s who. When he’s not at improv, Tommy’s usually rushing home to spend time with his smoking hot wife and two awesome kids. Having grown up in Hastings, Tommy is proud to be a part of Black Dirt Improv, and proud to have Black Dirt Improv in Hastings.
Michelle del Castillo
Michelle loves the process and of comedy improv and could not be more pleased to be a returning member of BDI. In her real life, Michelle can be found working with animals, coaxing a pine tree to grow indoors, and learning to crochet. In her improv life, she's just trying not to fall off the stage. This is Michelle's 4th or 5th season with BDI. Clearly she has a great memory.
Joren has been a member of the Troupe for three years, often being referred to as the 'at least he tries' guy. And in all that time, still hasn't managed to be in a scene about Dungeons & Dragons. He probably won't be in one this season either."He has also been in a number of other BD shows including Hamlet, Guys and Dolls, Annie, and Oklahoma. He's incredibly excited for another year and promises not to look as strange as last year."
Tom has been in and out of improv groups since high school, but is truly delighted and honored to have landed back in Hastings and with the BDI Comedy Troupe a couple years back. It continues to be a highlight for him as a creative outlet, challenge and second family.
This is my 5th year at Black Dirt Improv, and it's great being back. While not doing improv you can usually find me at the Hastings Middle school directing there. If I'm not there I'll be at Black Dirt acting directing or choreographing. Then after looking at all of those places and I'm not there I'll be at home playing video games, and I may give you a gold star for finding me. (There may be treasure involved, but then we would have to bring out a map and deal with pirate crap.)
Tyler has been with Black Dirt Improv since 2014; this is the beginning of his second year. BDI is Tyler’s very first experience with Improv Theatre and he love it. Tyler had had various acting experiences for theatre and dabbled with stand-up comedy. “I love doing Improv Theatre because it’s in the moment and it’s real and unscripted and the audience’s reactions are priceless.”
Dave Wasylik is an enigma. An enigma that rocks you like a hurricane. Part mad genius, part lovable Saint Bernard, Dave is one of the few people on the team that thinks death is the only way to end a scene, and for some reason the rest of us are okay with that. This is Dave's 5th season with BDI. BDI hopes he can stay with the team through his meteoric rise to fame as the voice of Mayo Clinic.
Libby loves beautiful things, having fun, and delicious food. Doing improv is the same thing as having fun. Libby has been having such fun for about four years now. She would highly recommend every person in the world to try it.
Abi Leveille is in her second year with Black Dirt and couldn't be more thrilled! She lives up north in St. Croix Falls, WI where she works with Festival Theatre. At Festival she has stage managed A Christmas Carol and Complete Works and also appeared in A Streetcar Named Desire (Eunice) and performed with Sew Good Improv. Abi also teaches improv classes in WI and has appeared with the Optimistic Feral Children, Hi, I'm Prov, and is a recurring guest on Awkward Dance Wednesdays.
Leah has always loved play acting with her sister and friends since she was a child. Leah grew up doing live action role playing with friends which inspired her to audition for the Black Dirt Theater’s Improv troupe in the fall of 2014. She was delighted to be added to the team and has since enjoyed the fun rehearsals, the great people and the excitement of performances. Leah loves singing and acting in the Black Dirt Theater’s musicals and other productions including Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat, The 24 hour play, and Guys and Dolls.