YES&Co. is a group of comedic improvisers that united their talents in 2019 with a shared interest in performing truthful improvisation, exploring the human experience and making people laugh so hard that they wet themselves. YES&Co.’s improvisers and venues may have changed over time but we will always be dedicated to giving audiences and as much improvisational comedy as they can stand. YES&Co. performs on the Second Saturday of each month at the Portland Media Center in beautiful downtown Portland, Maine. Showtimes are at 7pm.
The current YES&Co. set list may include any of the following games; Hot Spot Monologue, Deconstruction, Dreamscape, LaRonde, Harold.
YES&Co.’s signature show is an “Armando”. To put it in layperson's terms, an “Armando” is like throwing Whose Line Is It Anyway? into a NutriBullet with an episode of TED Talks.* To put it in better terms, YES&Co. invites someone interesting to tell true stories on our stage. So instead of asking audiences for suggestions, our improvisers use the stories that our guests tell as inspiration for scenes. That means you get to hear some cool stories, see some awesome improv, and you don’t even have to participate.
*YES&Co. is not now nor have they ever been affiliated with Whose Line Is It Anyway?, Nutribullet or TED Talks but we are big fans of their tv shows, blenders and radio programs.
Meet the Group
Samuel has been performing, coaching, and otherwise tarnishing improvisational comedy in the state of Maine for over 10 years. The Focus Group are to be finger-wagged for letting Sam join their troupe of improvisers back in 2009. Over the years Sam’s shameful improv habits were further enabled by ComedySportz Maine, The Maine Chamber of Comedy, ImprovAcadia’s Community Well (Guest), Running With Scissors (Guest), and Capitol City Improv (Guest). In addition to being the Founding Director of YES&Co., Sam is currently a performer with The Teller’s Garden.
Mike began his illustrious improv career during an audition for Hello Dolly in fifth grade. The Director had him pivot and do a freestyle dance to the then hit “Movin’ Out” by Billy Joel. Mike got the part but no one spoke of the dance since. Once Mike reached High School he joined the Drama Club and spent most of his Fridays delighting crowds of at least four with his butter knife skills during open Improv night. The experience lead to a Theater major at Nassau Community College. After transferring to SUNY Albany halfway through his sophomore year and realizing he couldn’t memorize his lines, Mike gave up his major and his lust for improv simmered. Nearly twenty years later while living in Maine, Mike finally reignited the fire by taking an improv class with the legend David Lagraffe. It’s been a raging fire ever since. You can now catch Mike performing and working out his demons with his troupe and favorite people in the world, Yes&Co.
Tara has been teaching, performing, and otherwise thinking about improv for over 25 years -- which sometimes feels like a very long time ... and sometimes feels like no time at all. In addition to being a founding member of Yes & Co and producer of the women's comedy collective You Should Smile More (Northern New England), she was a 10-year cast member and former Artistic Director of Stranger Than Fiction (Portsmouth NH). She co-founded the Improvised Puppet Project (Portland ME) and the Un-Scripted Theater Company (San Francisco CA), and has trained with Keith Johnstone, David Razowsky, and teachers at BATS Improv, UCB, Magnet Theater, and ImprovBoston. She has performed at theaters and festivals from Ireland to California, and has taught improv to clowns, shy people, public defenders, and everyone in between.
Adrien Boudreau started expressing his penchant for improv at the age of 4 during bathtime. He jumped out of the tub, tied a towel around his neck, declared “I’ll save you” to no one in particular, and started running around the house singing the Superman theme song and making sound effects for his own imaginary eye lasers. Cut to 2013 when he began studying the art of improvisation with esteemed teacher David Lagraffe. After a couple years, he got the gumption to be silly in front of an audience and has since performed with troupes such as For One Night Only, Mainely Improv, ComedySportz Portland, and Portland Playback. Most recently, he can be seen running around with Yes&Co, saving and being saved by everyone in particular.
Gary “Geep” Amara’s life took an unexpected and joyful turn when he rediscovered acting and improvisation when he met David LaGraffe in 2013. He currently teaches improvisation for all levels to adults in South Portland and is the artistic director for The Teller’s Garden, a playback theatre company, which performs every first Friday at the Portland Media Center. Geep was welcomed into the Yes & Co. family in the summer of 2021, and with the help of his vastly talented cohorts, has embraced the joy of performing long-form comedic improv. Geep has been the co-artistic director for Portland Playback Theatre and he has been a teaching artist for Side X Side, an organization dedicated to teaching arts in public schools. When he is not performing or teaching improvisation, he is teaching mathematics privately, at Waynflete School and at Southern Maine Community College. When asked if his life would be different without improvisation, he responded, “A little bit”.
Charlie has been performing improv comedy for over 8 years. In college, he was the producer of UNH's improv comedy troupe, Improv Anonymous. Charlie also learned under Matthew Russel, frequently appearing in matches at Comedy Sportz Maine. Charlie is a founding member of Yes & Co. and loves to make people laugh with his physicality and just shear ridiculousness. Charlie is a registered nurse and says his improv training and skills help him have more meaningful and authentic conversations with his patients.
Brendan began his improv career by taking classes at the Fresnel Theater in 2018. He fell in love with the the art and began performing with ComedySportz Maine. He then joined YES&Co. in 2020. Yes and co
Erin has been goofing around and practicing improv and theater games for the last 15 years. What started as a way to meet new people through taking a Portland Adult Education class in improv has lead to many different teachers, workshops and friendships throughout Maine. Highlights for Erin include classes from the late great David Lagraffe, time spent with the group For One Night Only, the Fresnel Theater, and of course all the shenanigans with Yes & Co. As a fun twist in the sometimes too serious world of academia, Erin is studying how training healthcare professionals to use improvisation skills could improve their communication and listening skills with patients.
Jen was first introduced to improv briefly in college by one of her theater professors. After college, she took a break from acting and circumnavigated the globe five times in a hand made canoe, finally settling in her home state of Maine. Her improv career started with the Portland based improv group, The Escapists. She went on to co-found The Improvised Puppet Project, which is exactly what it sounds like: improv with puppets. Jen is proud to be a current member, and one of the founding members, of Yes & Co. She is in her 11th season as a member of the improv group Stranger Than Fiction (Portsmouth, NH), and is also part of the all female improv ensemble You Should Smile More (Portland, ME). Having performed on stages and in improv festivals all over New England, she would claim the most notable was being part of the Del Close Marathon, in New York City, in 2018. With training from Improv Boston, Upright Citizens Brigade, Second City, and many memorable workshops, Jen continues to hone her skills whenever possible. Improv has brought immense joy to her life, which she loves sharing with her students. She continues to teach improv to kids and adults, one of her favorite classes being improv with puppets (and humans, of course). In her spare time, you can find her hiking with her husband and their imaginary dog, or playing the ukulele, but never simultaneously.