Welcome to Synergy Theater!
Synergy Theater performs full-length improvised plays in a variety of styles and formats. We strive to create theater with wonderful stories, compelling characters, and the vibrant spontaneity of the art of improvisation.
In addition to our innovative performances, we share our passion for improvisation by teaching classes through our well-renowned training academy, bringing innovation to companies and organizations, hosting community improv jams, and providing ongoing theater enrichment programs in our local schools to ensure the next generation of performer and audience.
Who’s Who in the Cast
Kenn Adams is the Artistic Director of Synergy Theater and the author of the book How to Improvise a Full-Length Play; The Art of Spontaneous Theater. He is the creator of the classic short form improv games Sit, Stand and Kneel and The Family Dinner (a.k.a. Ding/Buzz or Biography) as well as The Story Spine, a simple exercise for understanding story structure that has been embraced by improvisers, writers and teachers the world over. Kenn began his career in New York City with Freestyle Repertory Theater, the New York Home for TheatreSports, and has been performing, directing, and teaching improvisation for . . . wow . . . almost 30 years. He is proud and delighted to be working with the cast of Synergy Theater.
Adrián is a proud Mexican immigrant with a background in Animation. His passion for improv began on 2011 in Los Angeles as a member of the Improv Masters. In 2014 he moved to San Francisco, where he studied with Leela Improv and preformed consistently with the YUM! Improv Ensemble, Black Box Improv Fusion, Armando Company and Mispronounced Spurs and Chaps. Currently, he can be found teaching improv with Leela and Berkeley Improv, as well as performing with Synergy Theatre, Armando Company and Mispronounced Spurs and Chaps.
GRIFFEN DAVIS BIER
Griffen Davis Bier is a Bay Area native who has been improvising and performing since 2013. He was the director of the improv group, UHOP, at the University of Redlands where he also worked with the Upright Citizens Brigade. His other passions are writing novels, designing board games, and styling his hair.
Much like modern theatre, Justin got his start in the church, where he was a cherub in the Christmas Pageant. Throughout the years Justin has been in many shows, classic and modern, musical and straight. Justin’s love of stage acting forged a path through his school years all the way to college where he earned his BA in Theatre from UC San Diego. Improvisation for him began as a warmup game, mostly done in classes, then after college that changed; he joined San Diego Theatresports and learned what a diverse and wonderful artform improvised theatre can be. Since moving back home to the East Bay Justin has continued his love of improvised theatre with his work as as a director/performer of SomeAntics Improv before finding his home as a member Synergy Theater.
Arastoo has been an active composer, producer, teacher and performer in the Bay Area for fifteen years and has a degree in Applied Science with an emphasis on Sound Arts. An alum of Berkeley Improv, Arastoo performs improv with The Berkeley Players and Synergy Theater. Arastoo has acted for the Discovery Channel ID Network, Lexus, and the Academy of Art College in San Francisco. Beyond acting, Arastoo is an avid composer, photographer, writer, and artist. His work has been featured on multiple albums by various artists, magazines, and businesses.
A relative newcomer to improv, Alev got her start in 2016 at The Annoyance Improv Comedy Theatre in Chicago. By day Alev is a foreign affairs and international business aficionado having worked for American and European foreign government agencies for the last 12 years. In addition to improv and all things global, Alev enjoys singing, dancing and is an avid meditator.
Mallory has been performing since she was six years old. She is a Bay Area native and proud graduate of the Theater and Performance Studies department at UC Berkeley. Mallory is the founder of Working Better Together Lab. Using her improv knowledge and experience, Mallory helps her clients strengthen communication and leadership skills in the workplace. In addition to her work as a communication and leadership specialist, Mallory is also a teaching artist at Tomorrow Youth Repertory. Outside of work and improv Mallory enjoys swimming and spending time with friends. There is no place Mallory would rather be than onstage with her fellow company members of Synergy Theater.
Ben Piper started doing improv in 2001 at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and has since been blessed with the opportunity to perform with groups in Edinburgh, Seattle, and Concord. Ben lives in the East Bay with his wife and daughter and is overjoyed to have found an improv home as a company member with Synergy Theater! Ben loves high fives, so give him one after a show, and he’ll know you read this far into his bio.
Valerie first fell in love with improv while performing in her high school’s “Major League Improv” troop. After a long hiatus through college and her early professional career, she returned to improv in 2019 and has enjoyed exploring the long-form structure. Valerie holds a Masters in Accounting from UC Davis and is a CPA who works exclusively with non-profits. Valerie is an avid amateur runner, and she enjoys writing and illustrating children’s books about her dog Milo. She is thrilled to join Synergy Theater.
Lisa is an improviser, actress, singer/musician, composer, author and former stand-up comedienne. She has studied at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, ACT, Jean Shelton, BATS, and with numerous private coaches. She is a former member of several improvisation troupes, including The Too Many Larry’s. Recent improv performances include Genre 7 (Western and Period Romance) and last season’s Cave Match (Master Puss Theatre). In addition to performing, Lisa owns ImprovConsultants, a training and development company that provides unique staff training to businesses, organizations, and schools that incorporate improv. Recent accomplishments include leading a 3-day training in Bali, producing a CD, Dreams that Matter– a compilation of original music, and publishing a book, Reading and Writing Come Alive: Using Improvisation to Support Literacy.
Lynn’s love for comedy dates back to the days of watching The Dick Van Dyke Show, Carol Burnett and, of course, Saturday Night Live. Although she flirted with the idea of becoming a sketch-comedy writer ala SNL, Lynn ultimately chose a career as a clinical psychologist—a career which she has enjoyed for over twenty years. Working in this field provides a lot of inspiration for her character work—both comedic and serious. Lynn started her formal training in improv at the Pan Theater in Oakland where she, together with several of her fellow improv students, formed the short form troupe Ace of Hobos with whom she still performs on a regular basis. In October of 2013, Lynn was delighted to attend a Synergy Theater production (Z is for Zombies) and knew immediately she wanted to be part of what they were doing.
Eileen Tumlin has performed with Synergy Theater since 2018. Prior to her work with Synergy Theater she performed with Blackbox Improv Fusion in Berkeley. She began studying improvisation in 2013 and has never looked back. The skills she learned in improv have not only provided her with the joys of performing but have also enhanced her personal life and her professional work as an architect and an educator throughout the Bay Area. Eileen also enjoys making kalimbas, masks, puppets, and anything else she can imagine.
Nikki Vilas has a BA from UC Berkeley in Theater Arts Dance and Drama. She has been a proud member of Synergy Theater since 2017 both as a mainstage performer as well as a teaching artist in Synergy Theater’s Youth Outreach program. In addition to Nikki’s work with the theater company she can be seen singing and playing her guitar at local venues in the Bay Area.