Rachel Bouton - Director

Rachel Bouton is the Director of PowerSuit Improv.

While working as a professional improviser in New York City Rachel discovered that the tools she was using on stage were the same tools she used in life to build relationships, communicate effectively, and create an attitude of collaboration at work. After working for several years as a corporate communications and leadership trainer, Rachel decided to apply her skills as an improviser to address the unique challenges challenges of the modern workplace.

Rachel has facilitated training sessions for companies such as Astra Zeneca, Microsoft, The Direct Marketing Women's Network, MENG, and HP. She is also an active performer, appearing with the touring musical improv company Broadway's Next Hit Musical and the musical improv team Vern (People's Improv Theatre). 

Rachel has studied improv at The Second City (Chicago), Upright Citizen’s Brigade (NYC), Manhattan Comedy School (NYC), Magnet Theatre (NYC), Annoyance Theatre and The People’s Improv Theatre (NYC) and has completed graduate work towards a MA in Intercultural Communication at the University of Denver. 

When she isn't facilitating workshops across the country, Rachel produces live events for the public radio show Science Friday.

Deb Rabbai - Curriculum Manager/Facilitator

 

Deb Rabbai is a native New Yorker who's been acting, singing, teaching and improvising professionally for the last twenty five years. She’s a professional facilitator, role player, corporate trainer and certified coach. She’s created and led workshops in Team building, Selling Excellence, Transformational Leadership, Difficult conversations, Speaker training, Living Leadership and customer service. She’s facilitated and coached for Rutgers Institute for Ethical Leadership, Mount Sinai hospital, Oxygen media, Price Waterhouse Cooper (PWC), Molson Coors, Credit Suisse First Boston, RJ Reynolds, and Washington Mutual among others. She is an experienced teacher of improvisation and acting who has taught at New York University, Marymount Manhattan College, The American Comedy Institute, Humber Comedy Center, New York Improv Festival, Funny Women Festival, Orlando Fringe Festival, Acteen, New York Film Academy & Weist Barron. She has helped create programs which teach curriculum through improvisation and has taught improvisation to children in the New York, New Jersey & Connecticut public schools. She has entertained and hosted at corporate general sessions for EMD Serono, Revlon, Western Union, Merck, Novartis, Bristol Myers Squibb, Bank of America, Celgene, Dannon, Cisco, Glidden, Covidien, Solvay, Novo Nordisk, AB Inbev & QBE. She's a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and trained improvisationally with Chicago City Limits. She's a former member of Freestyle Repertory Theatre where she performed and taught improvisation for them for nine years. She's a co-creator, co artistic director and performer in the MAC nominated and critically acclaimed musical comedy awards show "Broadway’s Next Hit Musical” and has toured the country with this show. She's an accomplished voice over artist who has done voice overs for products you love in addition to creating the voice for "Shenfa" in the SEGA Dreamcast game "Shenmue". She is well known as a voice actress among Japanimation/anime fans having voiced 35 anime films. She hosted the cable show "Live from Downtown" which featured downtown theatre, music and dance.

Katie Hammond - Facilitator

Katie Hammond, a Michigan native earned a BA in Theatre from The College of Wooster in Ohio. She moved to Chicago to study and perform improv at The Second City, iO and The Playground Theatre. She relocated to Florida to improvise full-time at Disney World, and was an ensemble member of SAK Comedy lab in downtown Orlando. In NYC she studied and performed at The Magnet Theatre and The People's Improv Theatre. Katie performs with The Story Pirates, writing for her sketch comedy web-series Skittered, every Friday night at The Pit with her musical house team, VERN, and touring the country doing musical-make-em-ups with Broadway's Next Hit Musical.  She works in HR, writes musicals and spends any down time with her tiny rescue dog. www.katiehammond.com

Tessa Hersh - Facilitator

Tessa Hersh received her B.A in psychology from Carleton College and M.A in counseling psychology from Santa Barbara Graduate Institute. She has over 15 years of professional education and facilitation experience working in a variety of settings. Tessa has facilitated workshops in Large Corporations, Advertising Companies, NGOs,  pregnant teen programs, juvenile hall, orphanages in Ethiopia, and teachers, parents and children all over New York.  She has consulted with the Theater Development Fund on Autism friendly performances of Broadway Shows and on inclusion programming with various arts based programs in NYC and Los Angeles. She is a professional actor and comedian  in New York City and can be seen performing regularly at Upright Citizens Brigade and was in the critically acclaimed  off-Broadway show BLANK, the improvised musical.  She leads workshops on improv and creative writing to children and adults all over the east coast. 

Annie Schiffmann - Facilitator

Annie Schiffmann uses improv skills to help you connect better, faster, and clearer. She has been an improviser for more than fifteen years and has performed in award-winning shows like Chicago City Limits and Broadway’s Next Hit Musical. Annie has led workshops on improv for many companies including Astra Zeneca, Marquis Jet, and Crayola. She is fearless onstage but is afraid of the butterfly room in the zoo.

 

 

Lauren Ashley Smith - Facilitator

Lauren Ashley Smith is a veteran improviser and TV writer. She performs regularly at the Magnet Theater, for whom she has led corporate workshops. TV credits include "Best Week Ever" on VH1, Bravo's "Fashion Queens," and many more series and specials for Bravo, Lifetime, and VH1. 

Rebecca Vigil - Facilitator