Who is the team behind Safe Play?
Safe Play was born in 2020 to work on concrete actions we could take to build a better community. Since then, we’ve met, shared, and collaborated to launch this resource.
We are a growing network of individuals determined to inspire change in the European improv world.
Gael has practiced improv for about 14 years in Strasbourg and then Amsterdam. He is the co-founder of Flock Theatre, Anananas & Pampamplemousse (formerly La Carpe Haute), as well as the SIN, an international network of improvisers in Europe.
As a member of the community, Gael is trying to make his classes, shows and the school in Amsterdam a safe and healthy place. Being an independent traveling improviser, he had the idea of Safe Play in 2020 after touring the world with Laura. Asking a group of international artists if they would be willing to work on the project, he also started in parallel a section in Status—the improv magazine—called A Better Playground.
He is excited to discover the community of tomorrow, locally, regionally and internationally, where anyone is welcome and feels empowered to be who they want to be.
Chris Mead is a full-time improviser.
He lives in the Surrey Hills with his wife, Laura and his newly acquired Cavapoo puppy friend, Radio.
He passionately believes that improv can make us better humans as well as better artists.
Chris is part of the senior teaching team at Hoopla Impro, the UK’s biggest improv school. He also teaches & performs in festivals and shows across the UK and worldwide.
Chris is one third of SciFi improv team, Project2 & co-founder of Unmade Theatre Co. He shares his thoughts on improv, puppies, and life at chrismead.co.
Kevin Miller performed, coached, and taught improv in Austin, Texas for over 18 years, including as the dean of the Merlin Works Institute of Improvisation. He has teaching experience around the US and the world, from Alaska to Finland to South Africa. Kevin moved to Amsterdam in 2020 to be with his girlfriend and learn how Nederlanders improvise.
Clém is a french teacher, dancer and improviser. She loves improv for the values it transmits : listening, respect, team spirit, co-building, care, connections. She aims to share these values to her students and on stage, because for her, it is the true base of a beautiful world. By the way, Melu, her cat, totally agrees with that and loves going to different improv events with her across the country. Clém is also part of Improfrance team, an organization which intends to create connection between improvisers, promote improv towards events and formations, and create resources.
Irina Wilder is a director, actor, improviser, and writer, working in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Her past improv affiliations included Impram (Gothenburg), The Nursery Theatre (London), and A Thousand Ways to Break Your Heart (Vienna). She is also a founding member and artistic director of Nonplussed and the creative director of The Logical Muse.
Irina teaches courses on directing improv, storytelling, and villainy for groups and festivals across Sweden and worldwide. She loves both short- and long-form improv, but her heart belongs to narrative shows, grounded in emotional truth and exploring universal themes with a comedy twist. She advocates for held spaces and respectful play as a basis for unlimited creativity, better theatres, and greater stories.
Improviser, actor, director, singer and teacher, Loïc Valley plays on the stages of the improv and theater world in addition to teach those arts. First, they study philosophy and art history in the Fribourg University, then follow a singing school in Paris and a theater school in Lausanne. In addition of that they are a queer activist working on the field and with differents associations.
Today, they focus their artistic research around the links between gender and stage and continue to play with the codes of the different disciplines they artistically grew up with. They are convinced that the improvisation scene is a rich and accessible place to talk about complex subjects!
Laura is an Amsterdam-based trainer, coach and performer. In the Netherlands, she studied training and coaching, as well as theatre.
Together with her improvising husband Gael, she travelled the world and now runs improv company Flock Theatre. Laura has 19 years of teaching experience and teaches improv teachers online.
To the Safe Play project she brings her interests and knowledge on the topics of feminism, inclusive teaching, and the European improv scene.
Odile Cantero was born in Madrid but grew up in Switzerland. She first tried to find her passion in karate, swimming and dancing, but was not at all convinced. Finally, it was an improvisation theater course at college that led her to her big passion. Since that day in 2000, she has never stopped improvising. Today her job is performing, directing and teaching. She is based in Lausanne with Lausanne Impro, La Comédie Musicale Improvisée and la Cie Prédüm. And she’s a member of Eux Cie d’Improvisation in Paris too. In 2016, she wrote with one of her Belgian improv friend Christelle Delbrouck A guideline for and by improvising womxn, which has had a certain impact in the french-speaking improv community.
©photo: Mathilda Olmi
Stephen is an improviser and inclusion advocate, and has written two books about inclusion in improv (Play Like an Ally and Improvising Gender). As both a trans/gay man and an assault survivor himself, he feels deeply connected to this cause. Stephen is interested in both victim support and effecting a meaningful cultural shift within our community.
Anne Rab lived and worked as an actor, director, and theatre educator for 12 years in Leipzig, Germany. She is part of the leading team for ‘Momenta’, the international festival for improvisation in Leipzig, and is a long-standing member of the Theaterturbine.
Currently, Anne resides in Vienna, Austria, where she continues her work teaching, directing and performing regularly with the improv community in Vienna.
Internationally, Anne gives workshops, as well as performing and developing improvised shows with several duo-partners, including: Sarah Arndtz (Heroes), Ursula Anna Baumgartner (BemmeMelange), and Jim Libby (The Messengers).