The PIT office is located at 154 W 29th St between 6th & 7th Ave.

Not sure who to reach out to? Check out our Contact page!

Staff

Anthony Allocca

Anthony Allocca

Director of Classes

Anthony Allocca is Theater Director + Educator, from Madison, NJ. After receiving his BFA in Theater Education, and a minor in Business Studies from Emerson College, he’s truly so excited to work at The PIT as Director of Classes. Currently, Anthony also teaches Musical Theater (Song Interpretation + Audition Technique), and Improv at The Neighborhood Playhouse’s Junior School for students ages 8-17.

Previously, Anthony has worked in schools in the Boston Area as a Theater teacher + Administrator. He founded his own Musical Theater organization at Emerson College for students across the greater Boston area, known as Musical Theater Against the Grain (MTAG), where he served as Artistic Director for 3 years, directed 5 musicals, and worked on over 8 more productions serving as Assistant Director, Producer, Scenic Designer, and more in his time at Emerson and in Boston at large.

Feel free to check out his website for more information about him and find ways to contact/collaborate with him!

Fletcher Bonin

Fletcher Bonin

General Manager

Fletcher is thrilled to join the PIT as the theater’s new General Manager. Prior to the PIT, Fletcher served as the Managing Director of Shop Studios, a TV/Film soundstage located in Hell’s Kitchen. Having loved his experience as a PIT improv student, he is excited to continue advancing the PIT’s goals alongside the staff and administrative team. Fletcher grew up in Rhode Island and has been writing and acting in New York City since 2018.

Tisza Evans

Tisza Evans

Director, Business Partnerships

Tisza comes to the PIT with over 15 years experience in improvisational instruction, language instruction, script writing, event management / event production for Renaissance Entertainment Productions, Preferred Brands International, and Mid-Atlantic Promotions. She is also a Co-Founder and Artistic Director for Megara Media & Entertainment.

Ali Reza Farahnakian

Ali Reza Farahnakian

Founder of The Peoples Improv Theater

Writing and Auditioning for SNL

Ali Reza Farahnakian was born in Esfahan, Iran in the fall of ‘68. He came to America in the summer of ‘69. He is an immigrant. He is not eligible to seek the office of the presidency in America and is therefore a second class citizen in this country. Maybe that’s why he got into “comedy”. His teachers include Michael McCarthy, Charna Halpern, Del Close, Maryanne Thebus and Wynn Handman. He is an alumnus of ImprovOlympic, The Second City Chicago and SNL. He was a founding member of UCB and The PIT. He has acted at The Steppenwolf, BAM, and Playwrights Horizon. He has been in numerous TV shows, commercials, films and voiceovers. He has been doing this work for over three decades because he loves it and because it doesn’t seem like work. We started The PIT in 2002 in New York City.

You can check out his website at www.AliRezaFarahnakian.com.

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John T. Haller

John T. Haller

Tech Whisperer & Community Leader

John is an award-winning actor, award-winning software engineer, award-winning mathlete, award-winning little-leaguer, and award-winning participant in numerous summer camp activities. His life philosophy is Paragon from the Mass Effect video game trilogy. He is perhaps best known for singing the Tiny Tunes theme from the special summer episode live on Z100 before putting on his suit for his job at a corporate bank one morning.

Steph Jacobson

Steph Jacobson

Resident Photographer

Steph began her improv and sketch comedy journey in 2009 in Chicago, where she trained at The Second City, iO, and The Annoyance and performed all over the city with various improv teams. She moved to NYC in 2022 and began classes at The PIT, where she met her current improv teammates. When not hosting the Acting Out improv jam or performing in shows, she can also be found taking photos or in the tech booth for other shows at The PIT. She is a member of the all-female improv team B-side and the producer of Inspired By: A Variety Show. Instagram: @stephahahaha_
Susan E. Lamb

Susan E. Lamb

Assistant General Manager & Marketing Associate

Susan, Suzie, Suzer, Duder, Suz proudly hails from the hills of Upstate NY and the slopes of South Central Pennsylvania. (Garbage Plates and Dill Pickles. Name a more iconic duo, she’ll wait.)

After attending Finger Lakes Community College and Binghamton University, she had a venerable career in museum retail. But, wanting to make use of her BA in English: Global Culture, she made the jump to a supporting role in comedy.

She is excited to join the team at The PIT in this behind-the-scenes role, as she’s the least funny, but most anxious, person who’s employed here.

Last, but not least, she is an enthusiastic devotee of craft beer, occasional purveyor of handmade novelty earrings, and perpetual absentee dog-mom to the sweetest basset hound, Lady Bug.

 

James Navan

James Navan

Resident Pianist

James Navan is a pianist, singer, actor and improviser. As a musician, James holds an M.M. in jazz piano from Queens College, has toured the world with groups such as The Glenn Miller Orchestra, and also has performed at many of NYC’s finest jazz clubs.

As you may have heard though, musicians tend to take things way too darn seriously, so he’s really glad to have gotten into improv over the past few years. And now, he’s finding it hard to not take improv too seriously. Stop it, James! In particular, James really gets a kick out of musical improv, both as a pianist and improviser, and you can usually catch him accompanying the PIT’s musical improv jam every Monday night.

Kihresha Redmond

Kihresha Redmond

Associate Artistic Director

Improv

Kihresha is an improviser/actor who hails from Cleveland. After earning her BFA in Acting from Ohio University she went on to study and perform improv at Florida Studio Theatre (FST Improv).

In addition to teaching here at The PIT, she produces, co-hosts the monthly Slow Burn improv jam, and performs regularly. On stage Kihresha has recently performed new works with Tantrum Theater and Shakespeare in bars with Backroom Shakes here in NYC.

Last but not least she is an occasional poet, amateur ukulele player, and an Adam Sandler enthusiast. To learn more and see what she is up to next you can check out her Instagram @redefinedby_k.

Jason Tyus Smith

Jason Tyus Smith

Staff Producer

From Texas, not of Texas (yes, there’s a difference), Jason Tyus Smith is here to do his absolute best to not do his absolute worst. Catch him at a constant 11 in the PIT office, his sketch team the Bjjörks or in Brooklyn buying Hal’s Lemon Flavored Seltzer water.

Sean Christian Taylor

Sean Christian Taylor

Artistic Director

Sketch

Sean Christian Taylor @schristiantaylor started producing original work with the renowned narrative theater group Voices of the South in Memphis, TN.

For 10 years the Peoples Improv Theater (New York, NY) has been home.

Sean received his BFA from the University of Memphis, where he teaches as a guest artist.

As a director and producer his work includes, Love is Live! NY’s newest hit dating show w/ Producers and Hosts Mackenzie Jaquish Erin Gonyeau and Olivia Benedict., Cantatore & Allen A Comedy Cabaret  staring Seann Cantatore & Reagan Allen, the solo show Kid In Church created by Timmy Hart Barron which has received critical acclaim at NYCSketchFest, Chicago Sketchfest and the LookOut Series at Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago.

He is one former producer of Old School Sketch Show! one of the  longest running sketch shows in New York – with a rotating cast of New York’s best comedians.

Also as an artistic team member of The PIT, Sean’s focus is original Pit Programming like 2 Min Drill! Tv Sketch Show Audition Show, Unfinished Business, Free POC Series, Wolfs Lair, Characters, Characters, Characters! PITizens Showcase, Fresh Faces and Duel with founder of The PIT and Ali Farahnakian.

Director credits include, resident Sketch House Team – RunDMV. Guest Director of Road Pizza, Old School Sketch Show, TreeHaus: A Latent Coming of Age Story, Virginian Brides, and Back Door BBQ.

Sean also has developed new material for, Timmy Barron (Chicago, IL @timmyhartbarron), PitTv, Jen Clark’s Mein Kunt Kult and BoomShot Productions (New York, Ny, Nashville, Tn).

He is a founding member of improv and sketch groups Vivian Delano, OSSS B-Sides, Food Fight, Caldwell & Taylor, Blonde Roast, and RunDMV.

Seeking to amplify voices, and be an asset to developing new work!

Ava Whiteley

Ava Whiteley

Assistant Director of Classes

Ava Whiteley is a comedy writer and performer originally from Peachtree City, Georgia. She recently graduated from Emerson College with a BA in Media Arts Production and a minor in Comedic Writing and Performance. During her time at Emerson, she was heavily involved with on campus comedy organizations including the campus’ premiere sketch comedy troupe Emerson Comedy Workshop, The Emerson Comedy Special, and The Emerson Channel sitcom Third Bird. She is beyond thrilled to be joining the PIT team and beginning her career in the funny business!

Artistic Team

Kihresha Redmond

Kihresha Redmond

Associate Artistic Director

Improv

Kihresha is an improviser/actor who hails from Cleveland. After earning her BFA in Acting from Ohio University she went on to study and perform improv at Florida Studio Theatre (FST Improv).

In addition to teaching here at The PIT, she produces, co-hosts the monthly Slow Burn improv jam, and performs regularly. On stage Kihresha has recently performed new works with Tantrum Theater and Shakespeare in bars with Backroom Shakes here in NYC.

Last but not least she is an occasional poet, amateur ukulele player, and an Adam Sandler enthusiast. To learn more and see what she is up to next you can check out her Instagram @redefinedby_k.

Jason Tyus Smith

Jason Tyus Smith

Staff Producer

From Texas, not of Texas (yes, there’s a difference), Jason Tyus Smith is here to do his absolute best to not do his absolute worst. Catch him at a constant 11 in the PIT office, his sketch team the Bjjörks or in Brooklyn buying Hal’s Lemon Flavored Seltzer water.

Sean Christian Taylor

Sean Christian Taylor

Artistic Director

Sketch

Sean Christian Taylor @schristiantaylor started producing original work with the renowned narrative theater group Voices of the South in Memphis, TN.

For 10 years the Peoples Improv Theater (New York, NY) has been home.

Sean received his BFA from the University of Memphis, where he teaches as a guest artist.

As a director and producer his work includes, Love is Live! NY’s newest hit dating show w/ Producers and Hosts Mackenzie Jaquish Erin Gonyeau and Olivia Benedict., Cantatore & Allen A Comedy Cabaret  staring Seann Cantatore & Reagan Allen, the solo show Kid In Church created by Timmy Hart Barron which has received critical acclaim at NYCSketchFest, Chicago Sketchfest and the LookOut Series at Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago.

He is one former producer of Old School Sketch Show! one of the  longest running sketch shows in New York – with a rotating cast of New York’s best comedians.

Also as an artistic team member of The PIT, Sean’s focus is original Pit Programming like 2 Min Drill! Tv Sketch Show Audition Show, Unfinished Business, Free POC Series, Wolfs Lair, Characters, Characters, Characters! PITizens Showcase, Fresh Faces and Duel with founder of The PIT and Ali Farahnakian.

Director credits include, resident Sketch House Team – RunDMV. Guest Director of Road Pizza, Old School Sketch Show, TreeHaus: A Latent Coming of Age Story, Virginian Brides, and Back Door BBQ.

Sean also has developed new material for, Timmy Barron (Chicago, IL @timmyhartbarron), PitTv, Jen Clark’s Mein Kunt Kult and BoomShot Productions (New York, Ny, Nashville, Tn).

He is a founding member of improv and sketch groups Vivian Delano, OSSS B-Sides, Food Fight, Caldwell & Taylor, Blonde Roast, and RunDMV.

Seeking to amplify voices, and be an asset to developing new work!

Classes Team

Anthony Allocca

Anthony Allocca

Director of Classes

Anthony Allocca is Theater Director + Educator, from Madison, NJ. After receiving his BFA in Theater Education, and a minor in Business Studies from Emerson College, he’s truly so excited to work at The PIT as Director of Classes. Currently, Anthony also teaches Musical Theater (Song Interpretation + Audition Technique), and Improv at The Neighborhood Playhouse’s Junior School for students ages 8-17.

Previously, Anthony has worked in schools in the Boston Area as a Theater teacher + Administrator. He founded his own Musical Theater organization at Emerson College for students across the greater Boston area, known as Musical Theater Against the Grain (MTAG), where he served as Artistic Director for 3 years, directed 5 musicals, and worked on over 8 more productions serving as Assistant Director, Producer, Scenic Designer, and more in his time at Emerson and in Boston at large.

Feel free to check out his website for more information about him and find ways to contact/collaborate with him!

Ava Whiteley

Ava Whiteley

Assistant Director of Classes

Ava Whiteley is a comedy writer and performer originally from Peachtree City, Georgia. She recently graduated from Emerson College with a BA in Media Arts Production and a minor in Comedic Writing and Performance. During her time at Emerson, she was heavily involved with on campus comedy organizations including the campus’ premiere sketch comedy troupe Emerson Comedy Workshop, The Emerson Comedy Special, and The Emerson Channel sitcom Third Bird. She is beyond thrilled to be joining the PIT team and beginning her career in the funny business!

Corporate Team

Tisza Evans

Tisza Evans

Director, Business Partnerships

Tisza comes to the PIT with over 15 years experience in improvisational instruction, language instruction, script writing, event management / event production for Renaissance Entertainment Productions, Preferred Brands International, and Mid-Atlantic Promotions. She is also a Co-Founder and Artistic Director for Megara Media & Entertainment.

Marketing Team

Susan E. Lamb

Susan E. Lamb

Assistant General Manager & Marketing Associate

Susan, Suzie, Suzer, Duder, Suz proudly hails from the hills of Upstate NY and the slopes of South Central Pennsylvania. (Garbage Plates and Dill Pickles. Name a more iconic duo, she’ll wait.)

After attending Finger Lakes Community College and Binghamton University, she had a venerable career in museum retail. But, wanting to make use of her BA in English: Global Culture, she made the jump to a supporting role in comedy.

She is excited to join the team at The PIT in this behind-the-scenes role, as she’s the least funny, but most anxious, person who’s employed here.

Last, but not least, she is an enthusiastic devotee of craft beer, occasional purveyor of handmade novelty earrings, and perpetual absentee dog-mom to the sweetest basset hound, Lady Bug.

 

Operations Team

Fletcher Bonin

Fletcher Bonin

General Manager

Fletcher is thrilled to join the PIT as the theater’s new General Manager. Prior to the PIT, Fletcher served as the Managing Director of Shop Studios, a TV/Film soundstage located in Hell’s Kitchen. Having loved his experience as a PIT improv student, he is excited to continue advancing the PIT’s goals alongside the staff and administrative team. Fletcher grew up in Rhode Island and has been writing and acting in New York City since 2018.

Susan E. Lamb

Susan E. Lamb

Assistant General Manager & Marketing Associate

Susan, Suzie, Suzer, Duder, Suz proudly hails from the hills of Upstate NY and the slopes of South Central Pennsylvania. (Garbage Plates and Dill Pickles. Name a more iconic duo, she’ll wait.)

After attending Finger Lakes Community College and Binghamton University, she had a venerable career in museum retail. But, wanting to make use of her BA in English: Global Culture, she made the jump to a supporting role in comedy.

She is excited to join the team at The PIT in this behind-the-scenes role, as she’s the least funny, but most anxious, person who’s employed here.

Last, but not least, she is an enthusiastic devotee of craft beer, occasional purveyor of handmade novelty earrings, and perpetual absentee dog-mom to the sweetest basset hound, Lady Bug.