Speechless Live— Improv

Austin, TX

As featured in Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, Inc.com, and the New York Times, since 2013, Speechless has been selling out shows at comedy clubs and conferences all over the country and the world. Armed only with a laser pointer and a deck of random slides they've never seen, presenters ranging from stand up comedians to software engineers and Tony Award winners to TED presenters have put their talents to the test in the ultimate improvisational gauntlet–giving a presentation that they’ve never seen before. Fusing technology with comedy, Speechless is the entertainment experience for the Web 2.0 world. Estevan J. (Chuy) Zarate is an actor/director/coach from San Antonio TX that has been improvising for audiences for 29 years. He is a member of The Big Bash at The Hideout Theatre, The Known Wizards (Merlinworks faculty troupe), ¡Zarzamora! and more duos than he can count. If there is a scenario to be performed in, he has probably performed in it. The Founder of Merlin Works, Shana Merlin is one of the most experienced and effective improv teachers in Texas. Presenting and performing nationwide, some of her clients have included Dell, T-Mobile, Silicon Labs, The University of Texas and Deloitte. Winner of “Best Improv Teacher” in Austin from the Austin Improv Collective, Shana founded Merlin Works, in 2003 to provide custom training, interactive presentations, and comedy shows to businesses and organizations using improvisation. Some of her most requested programs are on the topics of team building, communication, sales, persuasion, leadership, making meetings matter, medical communications, and creativity. Shana is a lecturer in the College of Medicine Texas A&M University and an associate at the Center for Health Communication at the University of Texas. Kareem Badr is the General Manager and one of the owners of The Hideout Theatre. He performs regularly in The Hideout’s many shows, including The Big Bash, and is the creator and director of "The Violet Underbelly", a tribute to classic film noir. As a member of the award-winning improv group Parallelogramophonograph, he has taught internationally, originated numerous original show formats, and co-authored "Do It Now", PGraph's book of essays on their approach to instinctual narrative improvisation. Kareem's stage credits include The Actor in "The Woman in Black" (Penfold Theatre), Nazrullah in "Heartland" (for both Vortex Rep and Luna Stage in NJ), and Brigham Young in "For Time and Eternity" (American Berserk). Shannon Stott is a local and international improv teacher. She leads cooperate workshops focusing on female leadership in public spaces here in Austin and advocates for diversity in theater everywhere. Joey Neugart is an Austin-based preschool dad, investor, and improviser. In addition to being the producer/host of Speechless Live @ Austin, he is a member of Escandalo!, The Temprorary People, and the comedy festival-touring show Swipe Right. Through his company Lightside Collective, he shares off stage improv applications with companies and individuals wanting to improve communication and collaboration.

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