Christine Alexander is an award winning improv artist and producer. She is a founding member of both Florida Studio Theatre (FST) Improv and Lazy Fairy Improv Troupes performing professionally for over 15 years. She is well known not only for making people laugh but also for her own enthusiastic laughing…or sea-lion imitation, depending on your opinion. 2008 and 2009 Best Local Actress, 40 Under 40 Winner, named one of 28 Most Powerful People in the Arts, and 2016 recipient of the Sarasolo Festival Extempore Award.
Suzanne Beaulieu started improvising as a teen growing up in Maine and started taking classes at FST in 2015. A self-described improv nerd, Suzanne is a founding member of the all-female group Busted. She is also a cast member in FST's On Deck and Treble in Paradise. Her newest project is a two-person improv team with Ryan Simpson called BOGO. Suzanne loves the Sarasota improv community and is thrilled to be teaching at FST. Her view of improv is as a means of personal creative expression and she wants to share the joy and creativity of improv with her students. She has a degree in fine art and has a jewelry line with her husband, Joe. Suzanne enjoys cooking and spending time with her fat black cat, Louis XIV.
Jason Cannon is an Associate Artist at Florida Studio Theatre (FST), where his responsibilities include New Play Development, supervising the Acting Apprentice Program, teaching in Adult Education, and directing and acting in various productions. In the 2015-16 FST season he directed Butler and My Name Is Asher Lev. His performance in the as “Ever Montgomery” in Dancing Lessons garnered him “Best Actor of 2015” awards from both Sarasota Magazine and Sarasota Herald-Tribune. He is a seven-time Kevin Kline Award nominee (and one time winner for Outstanding Leading Actor), an alum of DirectorsLab Chicago, co-founder of the GreenHouse New Play Festival, co-founder and former Board President of the Professional Theatre Council of St. Louis, and former Producing Artistic Director of Ozark Actors Theatre. He holds an MFA in Directing from Lindenwood University, an MA in Drama from Washington University in St. Louis, and a BA in Theatre and English from Greenville College. He has been teaching acting, directing, Shakespeare, and auditioning at elementary, secondary, university, and graduate levels for almost twenty years. Proud member of SDC, AEA, and SAG-AFTRA.
Janet Day attended “The Actors Institute” under the tutelage of Dr. Mark Rose and portrayed Chloe in the “Sheridans Of Chicago” on CAN TV19. She trained improv at Second City and has been a member of 6 different comedy groups from Chicago, Michigan and Florida. She has performed stand-up as her nemesis Doris Schlockman, a character she developed in Second City for over 20 years and took 1st place over 22 other local comics at Visani’s. She has written, directed and starred in dozens of sketch comedy shows. She teaches adult classes on acting, stand-up and sketch comedy and taught theater at the Beaver Island school.
Chris Friday is an improviser with over 20 years of experience. He is an original member of the FST Improv Group, and founding member of the Musical Improv program at FST. In addition to performing at FST, Chris serves as Director of Curriculum and Senior Consultant for Game on Nation. His unique talent for using positive humor to inspire change has helped all branches of the US military, as well as some of the world’s most prestigious athletes and teams, including the Pittsburgh Pirates, NFL Players Association, University of Alabama Football, and over 100 first-round NBA and NFL draft picks. Chris resides in Sarasota, FL with his wife and two daughters.
Sergei Glushonkov (Pianist) has been playing piano since he was a sprightly Ukrainian baby. As his piano skills slightly improved over time, his maturity level remained the same. Thus, he found a fun-ducational outlet as sort of a superhero… “Southside Elementary music teacher by day – FST pianist by night.” Sergei has a few children’s musicals under his belt (or wherever one likes to keep their experiences): Jungle Book, Cinderella, School House Rock, and Sleeping Beauty. Sergei is extremely excited to be a part of FST troupe — just ask his shrink!
Charles Patrick Gooch Known around the world simply by his last name, “Gooch” was raised in Fresno, California. He is the baby and the best looking of his parent’s six kids. Gooch has been in the entertainment business as an actor comedian, singer, promoter, producer and director for nearly 3 decades. In 2016, Gooch moved from the “People’s Republic of Los Angeles California to work at the IMG Academy as the Head of Leadership. Gooch Teaches Improv 101 at FST. You can see Gooch weekly as he performs in the new musical Improv team, ‘Treble in paradise” and with The FST “On Deck” Cast. Gooch lives by the motto, “ Let every day be filled with Peace, Love and Laughter”.
Denee Lortz, a Sarasota native, started acting classes at age 5 with FST. After years of FST training, she continued her theatre studies earning a BFA in Acting from Florida State University. While studying in London, she had the honor of portraying Lady Anne in Richard III at the historic Globe Theatre. Professionally, Denee has performed with the Endstation Company in Virginia, New Works Festival at the Manhattan Repertory Theatre in New York, and the Colorado Shakespeare Festival. As a teaching artist, Denee has taught children of all ages at Atlanta Workshop Players, Christian Youth Theatre, Performer's Warehouse, and the Southeastern Theatre Conference (SETC). Denee is thrilled to return to Florida Studio Theatre - her artistic home.
Will Luera is the Director of Improvisation at Florida Studio Theatre, Director of Big Bang Improv and serves as the Artistic Director Emeritus of ImprovBoston, Artistic Associate of the Chicago Improv Festival, Artistic Advisor to the Women in Comedy Festival and Faculty of ACE at Suncoast Technical College. Will is a globally renowned improv and theater actor, director and instructor that performs and teaches regularly all across North America, South America, Europe and Asia.
Sam Mossler took his first acting class at FST when he was nine years old, shortly after the Punic Wars. Since then he has lived, studied and performed in London, New York, and Los Angeles. He has performed in regional theatres across the country but his heart has always been kept in cold storage, right here at FST. As a writer, his plays have been produced at the Abingdon Theatre (NYC), The New York International Fringe Festival, The ChekhovNow Festival, and The PushPush Theatre (Atlanta). His screenplay "Og's Utopia" was a recent semi-finalist at the Austin Film Festival.
Michelle Neal (Pianist) has been playing piano for the FST Improv since 2015, and loves being apart of such an eclectic, talented, and fantastic group of people. She also enjoys music directing shows at local theatres (such as Manatee Performing Arts Center and The Players Centre for Performing Arts.) She’s excited to have joined an up and coming Salsa band as of October, and feels very grateful for all the amazing opportunities she’s been presented.
Catherine Randazzo joined FST in June of 2014. She serves as Literary Manager, teaching artist, in-residence director, and professional actor. She handles new play development, collaborates on cabaret development, teaches adult education classes, and leads audience outreach programs. She directed last season’s The Wonder Years: The Music of the Baby Boomers, Guitar Girls and Unchained Melodies, as well as last year’s record-breaking Blue Suede Shoes. She also directed FST’s Winter Cabarets Mack the Knife: The Bobby Darin Songbook; Piano Men; Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves; and Yesterday. In addition to directing FST Cabarets, Catherine has been on the development team for Guitar Girls, Mack The Knife, and Piano Men. Catherine also leads the artistic oversight for FST’s Summer Cabaret Sidekick Series. Catherine calls Sarasota her artistic home. She has appeared in plays, musicals, cabarets, new play readings, voice overs, commercials, fundraisers, and toured in national and international productions. She is the recipient and nominee of various awards for education, national arts awards, and local performance awards including “Best Actress in a Musical” for her performance as Fanny Brice in Funny Girl. Other favorite performances include Forbidden Broadway, Cats, The Rocky Horror Show, and The Full Monty, to name a few. Most recently, she appeared as Eve in FST’s Mainstage production of Rich Girl. She was named one of “Sarasota’s Funniest People” for her comedic styles seen in Sarasota’s original political comedy group, License to Bash, which was a part of FST’s Cabaret Fringe Festival in 1996. Catherine is a graduate of Otterbein University in Ohio with a BFA in performance, and she is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association.
Elise Rodriguez is a performer and teaching artist at FST. In 2017 she moved from Miami, FL leaving behind a legal career and a whole lotta cuban bread. She studied improvisational acting at Just the Funny Improv Comedy school in Miami, Florida and later joined the company as a cast member performing weekly in both their English and Spanish improv shows. Elise also performs in SIDE BAR, an improv duo, and directs FST’s all female house team, BUSTED! If you’re not careful, she will offer you cuban coffee- and your life will never be the same."
Natasha Samreny got her start at The Second City in Chicago. She currently writes and performs sketch comedy with Millennial Fresh. Her playful style of stand-up comedy blends cheeky observations of life, relationships, and her mixed upbringing as a multicultural military brat. She’s performed at the Edinburgh Fringe, Camden Fringe, and Boston Comedy Arts Fest. Stay connected @NatashaSamreny and natashasamreny.com.
Sunny Smith has been teaching for 12 years including private acting coaching and teaching at Booker High School VPA, the Theatre School at North Coast Repertory Theatre in Solana Beach, CA, San Diego’s Community Coaching Center working with children on the autism spectrum and adults with Alzheimer’s, and at the University of Florida, teaching Acting for Non-Majors, Oral Interpretation of Literature, and Theatre Appreciation. She holds a BA in Theatre Performance from San Diego State University, an MFA in Acting from the University of Florida and a Certificate in Acting from the British American Drama Academy. Select acting credits include Incognito (Urbanite Theatre) Miss Electricity (La Jolla Playhouse), King O’ the Moon, Wit, Dracula, Hansel & Gretel, Julius Caesar (North Coast Rep), HMS Pinafore, Daughter of the Regiment (San Diego Lyric Opera), Heidi Chronicles, Into the Woods (New Village Arts), Frozen (Ion Theatre), Ruthless the Musical (Starlite Room), Rich Girl (FST, u/s Claudine), Legally Blonde, Footloose (Players Theatre Sarasota). She has directed shows at Sarasota Players, Booker High School VPA, Starlite Room, Coronado Playhouse, University of Florida and Compass Theatre.