Lydia Hensler

Lydia has been teaching improv for 10+ years at both UCB NY and LA. She performed weekly in UCB’s flagship show Asssscat 3000, Grandma’s Ashes: We Won’t Tell and Take It Personal: The Hip Hop Improv Show. And performed monthly in The Female Gaze and Characters Welcome.
Creating a safe space and sense of community has been at the heart of her teaching career and served as a Student Advocate for several years.
She also created and co-hosted the variety show Ladies Night: Men Welcome, and was on the original cast of jam leaders for UCB’s The Lady Jam and The Jam!
Outside of UCB, Lydia has guest lectured and facilitated many workshops at noted universities and companies, and has been lucky enough to teach and perform around the UK and Europe

Margot Leitman

MARGOT LEITMAN is the author of the best-selling book Long Story Short: the Only Storytelling Guide You’ll Ever Need, What’s Your Story? & Gawky: Tales of an Extra Long Awkward Phase. She has written for DreamWorks TV, the Hallmark Channel, and the Pixl Network and worked for "This American Life" as the West Coast story scout. She is the founder of the storytelling program at the Upright Citizen's Brigade Theatre and is a five-time winner of the Moth Storyslam and a winner of the Moth Grandslam, receiving the first ever score of a perfect 10. She travels all over the world teaching people to tell their stories. She can be seen regularly on the UCB stage in Asssscat, and various other shows as a guest storyteller.


Marshall Stratton

Hey! My name is Marshall and I am from Memphis, TN and moved to New York in 2008. I have been teaching sketch at UCB since 2017. You can catch my work online on my Instagram page @marshallstratto (couldn't get my full name, darn character limits!) and on TikTok @marshallstratton I don't currently have a podcast but If I make one, you'll be the first to hear about it.

Matt Newell

Matt Newell is an actor, writer, improvisor, and amateur mixologist from the sprawling metropolis of Youngsville, NC. He started his improv “career” over 20 years ago at Comedy Sportz in Chapel Hill, and after moving to LA, studied/performed at The Groundlings, iO West, and UCB. On stage, he was a member of the Harold teams Kid Grift and Outside Dog and the Maude team, The Royal Bermuda Whiskey Club. Other UCB shows include Outside Dog Gets One Star, Shit Tok, How I Met Your Sitcom, and I’m Too Effing High. Outside of UCB, you can see him on your tv in Adam Ruins Everything and Comedy Bang Bang and on the silver screen in Golden Arm and Happiest Season. When he’s not at UCB, you can usually find him hiking with his dog or annoying his wife. He is me.

Matt Price

Hello! My name is Matt Price, and I'm from Evanston, Illinois. For the past decade or so, I've been primarily writing for animated series on the Cartoon Network ("Regular Show"), Adult Swim ("Final Space")," HBO Max, and Disney. I started teaching Writing for Animated TV in the before times (2019). I've also acted on some TV shows, most often as a car salesman.

Mel Cowan

Mel Cowan is a writer/performer from South Texas. Most recently, he wrote on Amazon Freevee's LEVERAGE: REDEMPTION, and has written for multiple seasons of UCP'S THE ARRANGEMENT and IFC's BROCKMIRE. He has sold pilots to 20th Century Fox, FX and Eko and co-created the Emmy-nominated webseries BOONDOGGLE. A weekly performer at Upright Citizens Brigade since 2006, he has taught and performed improv internationally. He has appeared in movies, TV and commercials, including one where he had robot arms.

Mike Leffingwell

Mike Leffingwell has written for Dreamworks Animation Television, Hulu, the Late Late Show, My Damn Channel, Reader's Digest and the Onion. On TV Mike has appeared on The Goldbergs, Conan and in several national commercials. Mike is a longtime performer and teacher at UCB LA, where he was a member of several Harold teams, all with ridiculous names, as well as in his one-man shows "Stupid Husbands" and "12 Angry Men (the One Man Show)." Mike Mike Mike!

Molly Thomas

Monika Smith

Monika Smith is an actor and writer from Canada who modeled internationally for years until realizing she liked smiling and eating. That's the only bit in her bio. Monika was a member of the harold teams: Galleria, Lincoln's Bedroom, Hugboat, and Elroy, and was a writer/performer on the maude team Hot Mess. At UCB she's also performed in The Improv All Stars, Asssscat 3000, Harold Night, Maude Night, Rough Cut, Other People's Stuff, Sketch Cram, Gelmania, Dirtiest Sketch, Prom Night, Comedy For Lovers, Quick 'N Dirty Musical, Cagematch, and many more shows. She got her start performing with The Second City Touring Company in Toronto, and has been fortunate to perform improv for years at Upright Citizen's Brigade Theatre LA & New York, The Second City L.A. & Chicago, Chicago Improv Festival, iO Chicago, iO West, Del Close Marathon, Annoyance, improv festivals across America and more. You can catch her performing in different theaters and indie nights across L.A. with a number of teams including her one woman improv show Smith.Some recent credits include: Blunt Talk, Wanna See A Dead Body?, Who Gets The Last Laugh?, Newsreaders, Newsroom, The Joe Schmo Show, Two And a Half Men, UCB's Inside The Master Class, Nick Swardson's Pretend Time, Disaster Date, Players, and in sketches on The Tonight Show, Conan, and Arsenio and over ten unseen network pilots.

Niccolo Aeed

Niccolo Aeed is a black/palestinian comedian, writer and director based in New York. He is half the comedy duo Marina & Nicco. Their recent plays include Room 4 (The PIT) Unpacking: A Ghost Story Told in the Dark (HERE Arts Center) and If You Do This Right You'll Probably Break Their Chest (Ars Nova). Their pilot Smuchr won best comedy at the 2018 New York Television Festival. His work has been featured on The New Yorker, Comedy Central, Funny or Die and The Moth Podcast. He is a resident writer of The Flea Theater’s Serials. He teaches sketch comedy at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater and has directed the Maude teams Foundation, House of Birds and Pretty Boys. He also teaches storytelling with The Moth. For more check out

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