Joe Bill

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Performer and teacher from the Annoyance Theatre, Chicago. One-half of the improv duo Bassprov.

Joe Bill is widely regarded as one of the best Teachers of Scenic and Comedic Improvisation in America today. He first encountered Improvisation in 1977, when he learned some basic games for performance in his group at Broad Ripple High School in Indianapolis, IN. By 1990 Joe had performed professionally with 5 different Sketch Comedy and Improv groups, studied with Del Close at Improv Olympic, and with Martin DeMaat, Michael Gellman, Bernie Sahlins and others before graduating from The Second City Training Center, Co-founded the Annoyance Theatre (all in Chicago), and was making his living as a Nationally Touring Stand Up Comedian. It was also 1990 when his passion for teaching Improvisation kicked into high gear, and a unique approach to Improvised Scene and Character began to be articulated by a number of teachers at Chicago’s Annoyance Theatre, lead by the visionary Artistic Director of Annoyance, Mick Napier.

Since then Joe and Mark Sutton (his partner in the Nationally Touring Improvised Production, BASSPROV), have evolved the Annoyance approach into POWER IMPROV, which they both have been teaching all over the U.S., Canada and Europe, at Festivals, Theaters and Universities since 2000. Joe has performed, coached, directed and innovated Improv Structure with a vast number of successful groups including The Screw Puppies at Annoyance, Georgia Pacific at iO Chicago, with whom he developed The Bat, The Throwdown at Donny’s Skybox at Second City and The Playground and The Scramble which he has taught and directed in 9 cities in the U.S. using performers from a mix of Theaters and Groups in each city. Joe has taught and or performed at every major Improv Festival in The United States, and in addition to BASSPROV, he also tours and performs with Minneapolis Improv Mastermind Jill Bernard in their 2 person show, SCRAM!, which features 3 different 2 person scenes that happen at the same time.

Joe currently teaches and does corporate training at iO Chicago, is an Artistic Associate for The Chicago Improv Festival, and acts as an Artistic Adviser for a number of Improvisation and Comedy Theaters all over the U.S. and Canada.

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