Kita Mehaffy, Managing Director
Kita Mehaffy has a MA in Public Administration and an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College. She has produced award-winning independent short films and been involved in most aspects of theater, including working as a dramaturg, playwright, and script consultant. She’s a dramatic editor for Clockhouse, a national literary journal, and a freelance literary editor. She has a varied background in teaching both adults and teens.
What Kita sees as paramount is the opportunity to provide a venue of learning and socially conscious growth. One where the goals are to be present for each other and to feel safe using our own words creatively, spontaneously, and truthfully. That’s Santa Fe Improv. And it’s her great pleasure to be a part of a team of incredibly creative and talented educators and artists.
Charles Gamble, Senior Instructor
Charles Gamble trained in physical theater at L’Ecole Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq in Paris, at the Roy Hart Institute for Voice in Malérargues, France, and at Shakespeare and Company in Lenox, Massachusetts.
In New Mexico, Charles has performed with the Tricklock Company, Fusion Theater, Theater Grottesco, The Santa Fe Opera, Shakespeare Santa Fe, Moving People Dance, Theaterwork, the National Dance Institute, and NO HOLDS BARD, an improvised Shakespeare troupe. Outside of New Mexico, Charles has developed original work and toured with Angel Exit Theater in Dublin, Ireland, and acted with Shakespeare Santa Cruz (CA), the Houston Grand Opera (TX) and the Colorado Shakespeare Festival.
Charles toured Canada with the Tricklock Company, garnering an award for best original work at the Ottawa Fringe Festival. Screen credits include the noir western Heat Lightning, In Plain Sight, and From Dusk Til Dawn. Charles teaches drama at New Mexico School for the Arts and manages the Active Learning Through Opera outreach program for the Santa Fe Opera.
Gabe Smith, Senior instructor, Artistic advisor
Gabe Smith received his B.A. in theater with an emphasis in directing from UC Santa Barbara and his JD from the University of Wyoming. Gabe started at ComedySportz –High School League when he was 14 and graduated to the ComedySportz performance team.
At UCSB he founded their first improv group, Major League Improv, which he directed and played in, focusing on both short and longform improv. Gabe has also trained at UCB Los Angeles where he completed their program and wrote sketch comedy for UCB Late Night. Gabe is a District Attorney.
Pamela Thompson, Instructor
Pamela Thompson has facilitated workshops across the country as the Executive Director and Founder of The Life Monologue Project. Her work has been featured in Rosie Magazine, Spirituality & Health and the CBS Early Show. Her book, The Cancer Monologue Project (MacAdam/Cage) was created from these workshops. “O” Oprah’s Magazine applauded Pamela’s work and this book calling it “a necessity and a gift.” Thompson was also a founding member of The ARK, in Madison, Wisconsin, an Improv/Repertory theater company, and two improv companies in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Thompson has written and performed in a two-woman show (Pregnant Pause) and a three-woman show, (A Woman’s Work…). For the past six years Thompson has gratefully and happily been a Life Coach at Second Arrow Coaching in Santa Fe.
Scott Plunket, Performance Director, Instructor
Scott Plunket studied Theatre Arts at Dartmouth College. After arriving in Santa Fe in the mid 90’s he wrote and produced plays with Montessori students and ran creative writing groups. For the last 14 years, he’s worked on film production teams including Longmire, Crazy Heart, Sicario, and Terminator. Scott studied improv with Ben Taxy, and has been lauded as our most highly rated beginner’s teacher.
Brian Crane, Instructor
Brian Crane has been teaching, studying and performing improvisational theater for over twenty years. As a performer, he cut his chops at the Improv Olympic in Chicago, under the direction of Del Close as a member of the first Harold team, Barron’s Barracudas. He has created and taught workshops for established improv companies, corporate clients, and high school students, with an emphasis on long form. Brian creates a fun and supportive environment in which he encourages relaxed, honest, and playful work. On the other hand, he says: “I will not gently nudge you in the direction you need to go. I will push you. Hard. But with love.”
Sounds like a perfect combination of fun, learning and love to us!
Donna Connolly, Performance Coach
Donna Connolly has a BA in Media Studies from Hunter College, a JD from American University, and began her improv training with Ben Taxy in 2011. She has studied and performed at the Box in Albuquerque and taken workshops with improv greats Alan Arkin and Dave Razowski. Donna works as an attorney representing Tribal groups.
Kaki Kelly, Instructor
Kaki has a B.S. in Math and Computer Science from Gonzaga University and an M.S. in Computer Science from Colorado State University. She spent many years performing on stage and working behind the scenes with the Los Alamos Little Theater. She also spent three years on their Board of Directors, included serving as President. She began studying improv with Ben Taxy in 2011, and has subsequently studied and performed as a student at the Box in Albuquerque and worked with several teachers in Santa Fe, including having the honor of attending a hosted workshop by Alan Arkin. Kaki works as a High Performance Computing system administrator at Los Alamos National Laboratory.
Catherine Lynch, Guest Teacher
Catherine is a teacher, editor, and casting director. She taught for over a decade at the renowned The Piven Theatre Workshop teaching improvisation, story theatre, scene, and on camera, to students all ages. The Piven Method’s emphasis on finding the balance between self-expression and responsibility to the group has not only been the guiding principle of Catherine’s improv and acting, but inspires all of her work to this day. She is honored to have worked with and been directed by founders Joyce and Bryne Piven. Catherine also has eight years of diverse experience in the film and production industry in Chicago, ranging from commercial casting with The Cast Station, and background and feature with CKL Casting with credits including feature indie-horror, Chicago Rot, TV Pilot The Red Line and many other local productions.