The Bright Invention Ensemble
The Bright Invention ensemble practices and performs longform improvisation, expanding the genre, and deepening the connection between actors and audience in all we do. We are a fun and diverse group having a blast getting laughs, provoking tears and transforming lives.
Coming soon . . .
New shows downtown!
Tokio Headhouse Sushi, Philadelphia, 122 Lombard Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147
Sushi and improv . . . they go together like . . . well, they just go together! Especially now as Bright Invention launches our downtown shows upstairs in the Tokio Ballroom at Mademe Saito's!
Come at 7 for drinks and sushi downstairs, then come up to the ballroom for our special brand of intimate long form improvisation!
Pay On Your Way! See the show for free and then donate as you leave!
Full cash bar upstairs!
Easy to remember dates: first Saturdays!
Easy to locate venue: just off of Headhouse Square in Society Hill, Philadelphia!
Let us make some magic for your party, event, fundraiser or nonprofit!
Room with a Clue, our interactive, living Clue game!
Objects of Affection, our private party form using objects guests bring to celebrate the cause or guest of honor!
Improvathon! Let us raise money for your organization or cause - we begin improvising and we don’t stop until the goal is met!
The Bright Invention ensemble:
Ben (Artistic Director) created White Pines Productions on 2009. He he co-founded Bright Invention: the White Pines Ensemble with Jennifer MacMillan in 2013. Ben has produced and directed several independent theater productions: in New York; Beckett3, Extras and Q1 Hamlet; in Philadelphia, Psycho Drama, Eccentrics and William di Canzio’s Johnny Has Gone for A Soldier, the first White Pines Production; in New York City, Life Without Parole, Please!; in Scotland, Psycho Drama; in The Czech Republic, The Dreamer Examines His Pillow. In 2013 he directed White Pines’ two world premieres: Jerry Perna’s The Music You Remember and Martha Kemper’s Luckiest Kid – the playwrights were both members of Bright Invention. And he facilitated White Pines’ two Original Practices Shakespeare co-productions: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2015) and Much Ado About Nothing (2016). He has a B.A. in Theater Studies from Yale College and an M.F.A. in Acting from the Yale School of Drama and he lives in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania.
Bob is a founding members of Bright Invention - he has been with he ensemble since its original inception. A local Philadelphia actor, he has been performing on stages for over 20 years, and has also been a director, writer, and producer for projects on both stage and screen. He holds a BFA in Theater Arts, focus on Acting, from the University of the Arts. Some recent credits include: Beauty and the Beast(Gaston), Turn of the Screw(Man), My Fair Lady(Freddy), Soldier Bear (Petyr), The Crucible (Proctor), SideShow(Terry), Bridges of Madison County(Bud), 1776(Dickinson), Travesties (James Joyce), and To Kill a Mocking Bird(Atticus Finch). Beyond the stage, Bob has also been a collaborator with some of the independent film makers working in Philadelphia, working as not only an actor, but also a writer and associate producer for future projects. For more information, please visit www.bobstineman.com.
Leah is a writer, performer, and teacher living in South Philadelphia with her wonderful husband Aaron. She has acted Off-Broadway, on film, and with many Philadelphia theatre companies, including the Walnut Street Theatre, Enchantment Theatre Company, and Tribe of Fools. Her years spent performing on national tour have brought her to 49 of 50 states (look out, Alaska, here I come!) She and Aaron are creating an original puppet show called The Dragon and the Wanderer, to tour internationally on their honeymoon this summer. She is also a circus aerialist, and trains trapeze, rope, and silks at Secret Circus in Philadelphia.
Aimee is a proud Philly native! She graduated from Temple University with a degree in theater in 2014. In addition to being a member of Bright Invention, Aimee is also the founder and a current member of the The ChaiLights: Jewish A Cappella of Philadelphia. She is also the founder of Jewkebox: Jewish A Cappella of Temple University. She has worked at various regional theaters in the Philadelphia area, and was the Company Manager for a world-premiere musical at Bucks County Playhouse in New Hope, Pa. She currently works in the box office at Bucks County Playhouse as a sales associate. When Aimee isn’t performing or working, she enjoys working out, writing poetry, and playing classical guitar. Aimee strongly believes in making all types of music, theater, art, and dance readily available for people of all ages and from all walks of life. Aimee also hopes to produce her own work one day.
Aaron is an actor living in Philadelphia with his beautiful wife Leah. He has most recently been seen as Mac Sam in The Miss Firecracker Contest, and Fountainhead in Water by the Spoonful at The South Camden Theatre Company; he is also a member of the Enchantment Theatre company and has just finished up a production of The Bremen Town Musicians. Aaron is thrilled to be working again in improv with Bright Invention and cannot wait to see what this next year holds in store.
Shea is a Philadelphia-based actor/singer/all-around creative-type. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Theater with a concentration in acting and a minor in English Literature from Skidmore College in 2015, where she discovered her love of improv and sketch comedy as a member of the Ad-Liberal Artists. With the Ad-Libs, she participated in the Chicago Improv Festival College Tournament, the Brown University Comedy Conference, and four National College Comedy Festivals. Outside of the Ad-Libs, Shea spent her time at Skidmore performing in theatrical productions, workshops and student films, while dabbling behind-the-scenes in directing and makeup design. She also spent a semester studying Shakespeare at the British American Drama Academy in London. Locally, Shea has completed internships at the Hedgerow and Arden Theatres, and taught theater at the Upper Main Line YMCA’s summer programs. During the Fall, you can find her among the ghosts and ghouls haunting Eastern State Penitentiary’s nationally acclaimed Terror Behind the Walls attraction. Outside of the theater world, Shea enjoys reading, writing, spending time with her rescue dog, Lulu, hanging out in nature, and picking apart TV shows on the internet. As someone who is passionate about improv and committed to making the arts accessible to all people regardless of gender, race, age, ability or socioeconomic situation, Shea is absolutely thrilled to be a part of Bright Invention.
Kiersten is a trained musical theater actress from Philadelphia PA. She has participated in a number of singing competitions and has been seen on stages in PA, NJ and NC. She has appeared in roles such as, Aldonza in Man of La Mancha, Magenta in The Rocky Horror Show, and Stuart Little in Stuart Little. She has worked with people like Troy McLaughin, Heitzman and Reid, and Tracy Thomas honing her skills . She is constantly adding to her bag of tricks to become a more diverse performer. Kiersten enjoys acting and teaching as a member of Bright Invention. She also runs her own health and wellness business focusing on general health and weight loss. Offstage, she enjoys yoga, aerial arts, painting, clothing design, and being a mother.
One of the newest members of Bright Inventions, Suzanne has been improvising since the 8th grade when she took her first Improvisation class. Suzanne is currently completing her training at PHIT (Philly Improv Theater) and is very excited to be part of the Bright Inventions/White Pines Productions team. Suzanne has performed throughout her life: as an attorney litigating criminal cases, as a psychotherapist leading individual and group therapy and as a comedic improviser with local Improv Team, Time Bandits. Often funny, Suzanne brings a quick irreverence to her work while being able to connect with her scene partners on a deeply emotional level. Suzanne lives with her husband, daughters and dogs in West Philly/Best Philly and is very active in her local community organization.
A born, bred and fed Philadelphian, Eric has been on a quest to entertain audiences with his poetry, music, and comedic stylings. Performing under the name MC eNDee(Eric never disappoints eager ears), he has hit the stage in University City, Manayunk, and Rittenhouse to share his love of lyricism with the city's open mic crowds. After reading Neil Strauss' The Game while on holiday in Amsterdam, Eric decided to take a bit of Neil's advice on breaking out of his shell by taking an improvisation class. Afterwards, he formed the improv group Wit Jongen Dronken with long time friends and performed multiple shows across Philadelphia. Now as a member of Bright Invention, he hopes to bring his experience and talent to the stage, and make beautiful scenes with a wonderful, knowledgeable, and dedicated cast.
Born in Nashville, TN, raised in Lancaster, PA, and currently living in Philadelphia, Josh Kirwin is farm-to-table. Aside from his expansive work as a singer/songwriter/bassist in the studio and on the road, he was know for playing many broody boy roles, like Melchior in Spring Awakening, Biff Loman in Death of a Salesman, as well as many original dramas on local stage and screen. However, moving to Philadelphia got him back in touch with his love for improv, comedy, and DIY production. Some highlights in Philly include producing a short run of The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui underneath the South Street Head House, a string of bizarre staged episodes of the animation show Bob's Burgers inside Dive bar/graffiti museum Tattooed Mom's, and reading the last original script on the stage of Society Hill Playhouse. He is a founding member of Liberty City Radio Theatre, which performs about thrice a year in various locations along South Street. Writing, demoing and performing music as Tubey Frank are some of "Joshy's" more noble pastimes, as opposed to fiercely debating general nerd culture.
Carlo is a Philadelphia native. He is a founding member and Artistic Director of Theatre In The X as well as a member of SAG-AFTRA, he has been in a number films and commercials. He has also worked with theatre companies all throughout the Delaware Valley including Go Kash On Stage, Ego Po, Simpatico, Pennsylvania Shakespeare, Delaware Shakespeare and First World. Theatre, Curio Theatre: Death of A Salesman, Piano Lesson, Othello, Richard 2, While the Getting's Good, Topdog Underdog, The Nigga Files, 12 Angry Men, Delaware Young Playwrights, Moon Man Walk, V to X, The Meeting, King John, Richard 2, All My Sons. He has worked with children and young adults of all ages, from kindergarten to 12th grade as a teaching artist and director. Also a Poet an MC (AFLOE), Carlo has published a book of poetry entitled Afloematic.
Kaitlin is an independent performer as well as the co-owner of the touring aerial show Draiku and the director of the immersive performance company The Night Circus, born out of the You Are So Lucky production company. She has been studying and performing dance since the age of three. She began training at the West Side Performing Arts Academy in Middleton, WI, and later trained with Monona Academy of Dance under JoJean Retrum and briefly danced with the Madison and Monona Ballets in shows such as “Sleeping Beauty”, “The Nutcracker”, and “Winter Fantasy”. Kaitlin appeared in Shakespeare in the Summer’s production of Twelfth Night last summer as Viola, which was co-produced by Bright Invention.
The following artists acted and rehearsed with Bright Invention for a significant time, and their contributions to the ensemble are lasting.