Meet Philly Improv Theater’s Staff

These are just some of the incredible people who keep the comedy community moving forward in Philadelphia.

Office Staff

Day in and day out, the folks below help to keep thousands of audience members and hundreds of students passing through our doors happy every week of the year.

Image
Derek Hayes
Artistic Director
Derek Hayes (he/him) is an alum of the Washington, DC comedy scene, where he interned and trained at Washington Improv Theater. Amongst multiple WIT projects during his time in DC, he is a founding member of the all-Black troupe Lena Dunham. Since moving to Philadelphia in 2017, he has been a performer, instructor, and director at PHIT, while also a producer for the We The People Improv Festival in 2018 and 2019. Since the start of the pandemic in 2020, Derek’s digital comedy projects have included co-producing four full length online sketch shows with the DC based Cookout Collective, as well as becoming a Features Contributor for The Onion. He also co-created and hosted over 30 online episodes of Hold Up!: a Black Book Club, which has been performed live at Washington Improv Theater and as a part of Contemporary Theater Company’s Ocean State Black and Funny Improv Festival. 2021 brought Derek’s most rewarding project thus far: his son, Kenny.
Image
Kelly Jennings
Education Director
Kelly Jennings (she/her) has worked as a professional actor, improviser, director and teacher in the Philadelphia region for over 30 years and is a member of Actors Equity. She studied acting at Syracuse University. She trained in improv with ComedySportz Philadelphia including independent classes and workshops with Dave Razowsky, Rick Steadman, Jill Bernard, Joe Bill, Jeff Wirth, Mick Napier, Miles Stroth, Paul Grondy, Mike Young, Michael Jeffrey Cohen (to name a few).

A member of ComedySportz Philadelphia since 1992, in addition to playing, Kelly has served as an instructor for all levels of classes at CSZ from high school through adult and the corporate applied improv team. She has also served as CSZ’s Business Manager, Co-Artistic Director, and most recently Minor League Coach.

As a teaching artist, Kelly has taught improv and acting workshops at Marywood University, The University of The Arts, C.W. Post Long Island University, and numerous award-winning arts education organizations including 1812 Productions, Philadelphia Shakespeare, InterAct, and The Walnut Street Theater.

Currently Kelly directs and performs in TIMEPROV-the improvised Doctor Who parody. Kelly was a founding member of the long form group LunchLady Doris, the all-women’s improv-sketch group 13 Skirts, the all-women’s cast of She-Quel improvised movies directed by Mary Carpenter, co-creator of, and Cecily in, Cecily and Gwendolyn’s Fantastical recipient of the League of Cincinnati Theaters’ ‘Outstanding Improv Award’ as well as numerous ‘Best Of’ nominations and critical acclaim across the country. Additional Philadelphia performance credits include Swim Pony Performing Arts, Pig Iron Theater, Lantern Theater, Philadelphia Shakespeare, et al.

Kelly is a passionate fan of The Tour de France and bike racing in general, all things sci-fi, especially Doctor Who and Star Trek. She has a wife, 2 dogs, 4 cats, and a not-so-secret huge crush on Red Reddington (the character from ‘The Blacklist’), and Alexander Skarsgård who she lovingly refers to as her “boyfriends.”

Image
Haley Fluke
Operations Director
Haley Fluke (she/her) is an artistic producer and dramaturg originally from Astoria, Oregon (yes, the one from the Goonies). On the West Coast, she held administrative positions at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Washington Ensemble Theatre, Seattle’s Gay City Arts Project, and Our Shoes are Red/The Performance Lab. She most recently served as the Marketing and Box Office Manager of Quintessence Theatre in Philadelphia’s Mt. Airy neighborhood. Prior to moving to the city, Haley worked as a Project Manager for PatronManager, a Salesforce based ticketing CRM, and the Literary Manager of Company One Theatre in Boston. She is a member of LMDA and has helped with new play development projects at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, the Seven Devils New Play Conference, Fresh Ink Theatre, and TC Squared, among others. In her spare time, Haley runs Shakespeare on Tap, a troupe that performs interactive Shakespeare in local bars, along with her partner. They live in West Philly, have no pets by choice, and enjoy complicated cooking projects and making puppets.
Summer Workshops Enrolling Now!
Musical Improv and Movement classes start August 20th
x