Meet The Cast

Meet The Cast

Johnny Kalinowski

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Artistic Director/CEO/Instructor/Player
Teams: Ethel MerMan, More Cowbell, Bach
johnnyk@madcowford.com

Performing and teaching improv since 1998, John has been the Director of Mad Cowford Improv since its creation in 2006. He teaches all levels of Mad Cowford classes including “The Harold.” John has a theatre degree from the University of Florida and spent four years in University of Florida’s Theatre Strike Force. John was a member of “The Sunday Group,” TSF’s long-form improvisation group. He was once the “Alternate Horse” in a stage production of Peter Shaffer’s Equus.

Rachel Stromberg

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Artistic Training Director/Player/Instructor
Teams: More Cowbell
rachel@madcowford.com

Rachel Stromberg became addicted to improv as soon as she saw her first live show. Rachel is a founding member of Mad Cowford in 2006 and has had training with distinguished instructors like Bill Arnett, Danny Mora, and Marla Caceres of iO, Chicago, and Robin Scott, Mary Scruggs, Kerry Sheehan, and Rachel Mason of Second City, Chicago.

In addition to performing as an Ensemble member of the main cast, Rachel performs with More Cowbell, Mad Cowford’s musical improv team, and No Bull, Mad Cowford’s all-female improv team.

Rachel is proud to share the stage with her friends.

Jack Bisson

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Assistant Director/Player/Instructor
Teams: MeeMaw

A self-described improv junkie, Jack began making his improvisational bones on the mean streets of Orange Park. He attributes his street-wise improv persona to the more than 10 years he spent as a stay-at-home dad (S.A.D.) to his two sons: Kyle and Lucas. When not doing the home school thang, Jack entertains himself by reading improv books and going to improv festivals. Performing improvisational theatre led to Jack performing in community theater performances, including his first lead role in Arsenic and Old Lace. Jack is thrilled to be part of Mad Cowford as he makes his way to total improv enlightenment.

Sebastian Inks

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Player/Instructor
Teams: Bach, More Cowbell

Sebastian would like to say hello everyone reading this! He likes improv, pulp fiction and never going to the beach. Sebastian is a fan of trying to get out of plans and avoiding unnecessary social situations. When it comes to improv Sebastian treats it like he does food; getting as much of it as he possibly can as often as he can. His favorite types of improv are Italian and Greek and his favorite type of food is Longform. Sebastian would also like to say goodbye to everyone reading this.

Stefanie Nicholson

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Player

Stefanie, former member of the Jamaican Bobsled Team, has traded in her uniform and helmet to join the improv scene. A household name to many (because of her current reign as Macarena Queen), Stefanie is a dancing member of Mad Cowford. When Stefanie is not traveling the world in her magic bobsled, she spends time with the Mad Cowford troupe in efforts to change the lives of those in Jacksonville- One Laugh at a Time!

Jamie Armstrong

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Player/Instructor
Teams: Beastwood, More Cowbell

Jamie is an incredible actor that started his performance journey by having his McDonald’s cherry pie microwaving job outsourced to India and being embarrassed by singing the Polish version of Divinyls’ “I Touch Myself,” on Germany’s version of American Idol. Jamie is also a former member and instructor of University of Florida’s Theatre Strike Force and The Sunday Group.

Della Weaver

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Player/Instructor

Della has had the pleasure of improvising since 2005 and playing with such fine troupes as Improv Jacksonville, Milk Comedy Crew, and Exploding Bishops Improv Comedy Crew. Della was also personally responsible for the extinction of the Dodo Bird, the Great Auk, and the Passenger Pigeon as well as the simultaneous invention of the world’s first turducken, known then as the ‘doaukon’.

Eustachius Roberts

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Player/Instructor
Teams: Tire Swing

Eustachius joined Mad Cowford in 2016 through his charm and wit. Able to switch from deadly serious to winning smile at a moment’s notice, he is a player to be reckoned with. If you look for him on social media, you won’t find him, because he’d rather get to know you in person.

Sam Cobean

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Player
Teams: More Cowbell, No Felonies

Sam made his Earth debut in Roswell, New Mexico and is still figuring out how to pass as human. He received improv training at Leather Apron Theatre Co. in Baton Rouge, LA and at Mad Cowford here in JAX! Stage credits include Father Flynn in Doubt: A Parable, God in An Act of God, Anatole in Jeeves in Bloom, and Agent Crawford/Papa Starling/Lamb and others in Silence! the Musical. Sam has performed on camera in lead and supporting roles in over two dozen independent features, short films, and commercials and is also a multi-instrumental musician. Upon receiving news of his acceptance into The Herd, he did a little dance, made a little love, and got down that night. Please do not ask to see or touch his antennae. He gets a little sensitive about that.

Lyra Hall

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Player
Teams: More Cowbell, Evening Chill

While Lyra didn’t had any formal improv training, she has followed the route of most Americans and received her improv education from television. As a child growing up in St. Louis, she became a fan of SNL, Second City, Monty Python, Kids in the Hall, The State and many other ensemble comedy troupes. Lyra’s love for improv and impressions have both entertained and annoyed friends and co-workers as they never truly know if they’re talking to Lyra or another co-worker. She’s glad to be among the herd at Mad Cowford!

Craig Spirko

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Musician/Accompanist
Teams: More Cowbell

Craig Spirko is a Jacksonville native who has spent decades in local bands, playing across the Southeast and east coast, and working in audio/music production in studios in Jacksonville, New York, and Nashville.

His theater credits include sound design at Theater Jacksonville, Players By the Sea, and Shakespeare in the Park, as well as sound design at MOSH featured exhibits. He has been a contributing artist at Jacksonville Actor’s Theater and the Joseph Papp Public Theater. He is musical director of the Swamp Radio house band, heard on Florida and Georgia NPR affiliates.

In addition to music, he was a founding member of the Oasis Theater playwriting program, has held staged readings of multiple plays, and writes for Swamp Radio.

His true love, of course, is need analysis and deployment management for healthcare IT, with a Sodexo cafeteria in the adjoining building. He likes to drive aimlessly, listening to ‘70s punk very loud, while stopping for old cemeteries.

Rands Brasfield

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Player

Randi Brasfield (Rands) started improv to break out of a rut in life. Little did she know, improv would become a much deeper and life-consuming rut. Rands worked with fellow Cowford members to bring a monthly show consisting of half sketch, half improv to Jacksonville Beach. She thrives on bringing light and laughter to her community and hopes to see you at a show soon!

Matt Flagler

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Player
Teams: Beastwood, Ethel MerMan, More Cowbell

Matt mistakenly joined Mad Cowford after originally searching for organizations that shared his anger at cows and the Detroit auto giant, Ford. After several awkward meetings/rehearsals, Matt caught on and learned the trade of improvisation. Matt would love to perform with you, hopefully during our performances. Matt also would love to discuss our nation’s crippling cow lobbyist group as well as the ridiculously low miles per gallon of a Ford Escort.

Jered Jackson

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Player
Teams: More Cowbell, Sir Loin and the Heffaz

Jered gets his hair cut by the first available lady at Supercuts and his wardrobe is assembled at Belk’s. He turns his Mini Wheats frosted side down before laying them on his tongue and he nibbles the edges off his Kit Kat before starting on the wafer. He’s been known to roll through stop signs and accelerate beneath yellow lights. Have you ever sneaked a quick little three-step jog at the public pool when the lifeguard was looking the other way? Well, guess what. Jered has. His exhilarating life experiences and unwonted lust for danger underscore all of his Mad Cowford performances. Sometimes the palpable emotion becomes so great that patrons walk out on his performances early, no doubt to regain their composure.

Dawn Crawford

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Player

Teams: More Cowbell

Donna White

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Player

Jass Laxer

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Player
Teams: Evening Chill, More Cowbell, Sir Loin and the Heffaz

Born the love child of “In Loving Color” and Nickelodeon’s “Roundhouse”, Jass was then raised by “The Golden Girls” quenching her thirst for knowledge and her times tables with the product formally known as Pepsi Vanilla.

She enjoys rubbing elbows with the Mad Cowford crew, laughing at lemons, and crying in the presence of clowns. By day, Jass is the President of the company in her head, collecting old issues of Teen Beat, BB, and Tiger Beat. Whether she is losing her mind, gaining perspective, or singing/rapping in her car, Jass has her eye on that bowl of ice cream and keeps regrets to a minimum.

Terry Ray Wirth

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Player Teams: Tire Swing

Terry Ray has been on and off the stage since he started singing and dancing for Ne-hi grape sodas at the Polaski Hall at the age of 4. He spent much of his youth watching SNL, Steve Martin, Peter Sellers, etc, and every Sunday watching Abbott & Costello, Laurel & Hardy and Martin & Lewis. This lead to many unauthorized performances during class in High School, followed by many after school detentions of cleaning floors, washing black boards, and clapping erasers.

He continued performing and training during a brief 25-year stint in Corporate America, in which his dance and comedic talents were honed through training at Princeton University, numerous dance/comedic instructors & venues, and most recently with Atlantic Beach Exp. Theatre, The Comedy Zone, and of course Mad Cowford, among others.

He is thrilled to be performing improv, an art form that closely resembles his life: full of variety, wonderful to share and experience, and jumping off and never knowing what’s going to happen next!!!

Patrick Snyder

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Player
Teams: Beastwood

Patrick is from the great state of New Jersey, where he once played Ali Baba in a grade school presentation of that medieval Arabic legend’s eponymous folk tale, but is pretty sure his only line was “Open Sesame.’ Then, Patrick had to get glasses, so he figured that he would become an engineer, which took him through Pittsburgh and Delaware on his way to Jacksonville. Then, he got hipper glasses, so Patrick decided to try his hand at improv. Ever since, he’s been improv-ing, and finds it interesting that improving and improv-ing are the same word. He thinks Mad Cowford is awesome, and is incredibly excited to have the opportunity to entertain or upset y’all.

Joe Anderson

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Musician/Accompanist
Teams: More Cowbell

Joe was born and raised in Jacksonville and has been here his entire life except for a few years in Orlando while attending UCF. After a stint as UCF mascot Knightro during the 2001/2002 school year, Joe graduated and moved back to Jacksonville. He enjoys traveling whenever he can and prefers the back roads to the interstate. Joe is an avid musician and huge music fan. He picked up his first instrument, the harmonica, at age 12 and has been playing guitar since 1995. He also plays a few other instruments including piano, bass, and mandolin. Joe is the latest addition to the musical accompaniment section in More Cowbell and has been part of workshops and house teams since 2015. Prior to seeing him on stage, you were most likely to see him in the tech booth or otherwise hanging around the cool kids. He hopes to someday make enough money to permanently travel the country in an RV with a full take of gas, a mobile recording studio, and nowhere in particular to be.

Brad Berghof

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Player
Teams: Ethel MerMan, Beastwood

Brad is originally from Spring Hill, FL and considers himself to be a true Floridian; having lived in each major region of the sunshine state. When it comes to sports his loyalties lie as follows: Florida Gators, Tampa Bay (Buccaneers, Rays, & Lightning), Chicago Bulls, and Tottenham in the EPL. He has been practicing improv since 2008 and is a graduate of both Theatre Strike Force and the iO Training Program in Chicago, IL. He loves performing, and is proud to be part of such a thriving improv community in Jacksonville!

Gabs Magid

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Player
Teams: Tire Swing

Gabrielle Magid was basically born on stage. Her acting career began at age 7 when she burst onto the scene as Gretl Von Trapp. Born and raised in Jacksonville, FL she briefly ditched Duval to attend the University of Florida and perform with Theatre Strike Force and the Treble Makers. Now she’s back in Jax and way too excited to be a part of Mad Cowford. She’s a big fan of eating guacamole and writing thank you notes. Neither of which she anticipates doing on stage. But, never say never.

Shavone Steele

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Player/Instructor
Teams: Sass, Beastwood

Shavone started her stage life in an awful 8th grade production of A Christmas Carol. Her return to the stage came nearly 20 years later when she moved back to Jacksonville in 2010 and took an improv workshop. It was love at first “Yes.”

Mike Smith

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Player
Teams: Mike’s One Man Show

A native of Gainesville, FL, Mike moved to Jacksonville after a 7 year stint in Connecticut. He is excited to be back in Florida and enjoying life near the beach. Mike once took a theater class at a community college, so he’s practically a professional actor. He is, currently, taking applications for president of the Mike Smith Fan Club. He likes chocolate, the Gators, grilled bovine, and green pictures of Benjamin Franklin. Mike is excited to be a part of Mad Cowford Improv and hopes that he can make you laugh as much as he cracks himself up.

Scott Monroe

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Player
Teams: No Felonies, Underdog

From the tech booth to the stage, Scott has studied every facet of improv that he can.  A real student of the craft, he continues striving to learn more on a daily basis.  Recently he learned that peanut butter and tuna do not mix well together.  How this relates to his on-stage persona has yet to be determined, but, like many misunderstood supervillains before him, there’s always a cause and effect.

Matt Shuman

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Player

Matt Shuman is more or less a native of Jacksonville and has been with Mad Cowford since 2007. After graduating from William M. Raines Sr. High, he became involved with acting while studying theatre at Jacksonville University under the instruction of Debbie Jordan and Devlin Mann. At JU he was involved in such productions as “You Can’t Take It With You”, “The Threepenny Opera”, “Twelfth Night”, and “Buried Child” for which he received the honor of the best actor of 2005 from Jacksonville University’s fine arts department. During a brief absence from the stage he studied art as well as stage lighting.

He returned to the theatre scene in “Biloxi Blues” at the Limelight Theatre in St. Augustine and “Home On Deranged” at Players by the Sea.

Kevin Schaich

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Player

Alumni

We must honor those who came before us.
May their legacies live on forever in Jacksonville.

Could Be You!

Everyone's journey starts somewhere.
Taking a class is the best way to see how improv can benefit you!