Faculty for 2015 One Year Comedy Program

catalog_rosenfieldStephen Rosenfield, Director

Stephen Rosenfield is the Director and corporate owner of American Comedy Institute. He coaches and directs performers ranging from beginners to Emmy and Tony Award-winning and Oscar-nominated star talent. The accomplishments of Stephen Rosenfield’s students include starring roles in movies, network and premium cable television series, commercials, Broadway and off-Broadway productions, and hosting their own radio programs. His students have made development deals with CBS, ABC, Fox, HBO, Paramount, the Henson Co. and Tribune Entertainment. They have made appearances on Letterman, Leno, Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, SNL, Last Comic Standing, and Comedy Central Shows including Comedy Central Presents, one hour specials, and Comedy Central’s Premium Blend. They have appeared in the Montreal, Aspen, and Las Vegas Comedy Festivals. They have appeared in both the Edinburgh and New York International Fringe Festivals, and in every comedy club in N.Y. and L.A., and in clubs throughout the U.S. and around the world. They have written for Saturday Night Live, the Late Show with David Letterman, The Chris Rock Show and have written and starred in their own one-person shows off-Broadway, and at Caroline’s on Broadway, the Gotham Comedy Club and the New York International Fringe Festival. Stephen Rosenfield has produced, written and directed comedy shows at Caroline’s on Broadway, Gotham Comedy Club, PSNBC, Stand-Up New York, The Comic Strip, Don’t Tell Mama and The Improv. For three years he produced, directed and wrote for Rubber Feet, the sketch comedy group that appeared regularly at The Comic Strip. He directed and co-authored the Obie Award-winning musical comedy review, The Present Tense. He has directed plays at the Roundabout Theater, The Ensemble Studio Theater, The Actor’s Studio, Manhattan Class Company and the Intiman Theatre. He received the Los Angeles Drama-Logue Award and a Robby nomination for his direction of the musical, Charlie and Algernon.

Stephen has been a guest artist and lecturer in comedy at Brigham Young University, Virginia Commonwealth University, Barnard College, University of Washington, The New School, New York University, and the Union Theological Seminary. He was the founding Artistic Director of Humber College’s Program in Comedy, a former Professor of Theatre and Comedy and the former Director of the Comedy Program at William Patterson University. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST). Stephen has a BA in Theatre and Drama cum laude from Lawrence University and a MFA in Theatre Direction from Stanford University.

ACI_Faculty_Cullen_Baker2Lexi Cullen-Baker, Associate Director and Teacher

Lexi Cullen-Baker teaches stand-up. She has had the privilege of working alongside of Terrence Mann and Christopher d’Amboise at the Minetta Lane Theatre as well as worked with Lewis Black at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. She regularly performs at clubs and colleges all over the country.  She has been featured in Stamford Advocate and Next Magazine.  She has been seen on Bravo TV and Comedy Time TV. Lexi has a BA in Theatre and Dance from Washington University in St. Louis and is also a graduate of the American Comedy Institute’s One Year Program. She is a professor in the Theatre and Comedy Department at William Paterson University in New Jersey.

Ted GreenbergTed Greenberg, Guest Lecturer

Ted Greenberg teaches late night talk show writing. He is an Emmy Award winning comedy writer formally a staff writer for Late Night with David Letterman. He also was an editor for the Harvard Lampoon humor magazine. Mr. Greenberg is a stand-up comic and the star of the hit off-Broadway show, THE COMPLETE PERFORMER. It has played weekly at the Soho Playhouse since August of 2008 and is co-written and directed by Stephen Rosenfield.

markgrenier (1)Mark Grenier, Teacher

Mark Grenier is an actor, director, and teacher in New York City. He has taught at many schools and organizations, including The All Stars Project, The Barrow Group, Columbia University, Fairfield University, Magnet Theater, Marymount Manhattan College, The New York Film Academy, The Peoples Improv Theater, Polaris North Theater Company, and Stand Up Showcase. Students have appeared in commercials, television shows such as Boardwalk Empire and The Colbert Report, in films, and on Broadway. In addition to studying improv extensively with instructors from Annoyance Theatre, iO, Second City, and the Upright Citizens Brigade, he has studied acting at The Atlantic Theater Company, The Barrow Group, and Michael Howard Studios, and has a degree in film from Brooklyn College. http://www.markgrenier.com/

ACI_Faculty_DebRabbaiDeb Rabbai, Teacher

Deb Rabbai has been performing professionally for the last twenty years. She’s a producer, co-creator and performer in the critically acclaimed improvised musical comedy, “Broadway’s Next Hit Musical!” www.broadwaysnexthitmusical.com and performs with the National touring company of Chicago City Limits. She is an experienced teacher of improvisation who has taught at New York University, Marymount Manhattan, Humber Comedy Center, New York Improv Festival, Funny Women Festival, Orlando Fringe Festival, Improv etc. & Weist Barron. She has led workshops on “Teamwork and Creativity” to corporate executives with Revlon, Oxygen Network, Merck, Pfizer, AAA, Bristol Myers Squibb, Credit Suisse and Genentech among others. She has created programs which teach curriculum through improvisation and has taught improvisation through Arts Connection, Arts Horizons, Young Audiences and Theatre for a New Audience in the New York, New Jersey & Connecticut public schools. She’s appeared on Late Night with Conan O’Brien and in a commercial for Mastercard. She’s done voiceovers for television and radio for products you love and created the voice for “Shenfa” in the SEGA Dreamcast game “Shenmue.” She is well known as a voice actress among anime fans having voiced over 40 anime films. She is a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. www.misspeep.blogspot.com

ACI_Faculty_JoeSchiappaJoe Schiappa, Teacher

Joe Schiappa teaches comedy writing. He is a writer/performer based in New York City. Joe recently directed Steve Buschemi and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio in a video for New York’s Inner Circle revue. He is a winner of the Sierra Mist Creative Lab. He most recently wrote for MTV’s Silent Library and Money From Strangers. He has worked as a theatre director specializing in developing shows that have gone Off Broadway, to the HBO Comedy Festival in Aspen in 2003 and 2007 and the Strip in the Las Vegas. Joe trained with the Second City Training Center and Shira Piven of The Piven Theatre. He currently performs and teaches sketch and improv at The People’s Improv Theatre in New York City. Joe received his BA in Writing from Emerson College. http://www.joeschiappa.com/

ACI_Faculty_ZimmermanStan Zimmerman, Guest Lecturer

Stan Zimmerman teaches Sitcom Audition Technique. Stan’s extraordinary television comedy credits include: Writer/Producer: Gilmore Girls (WB), Roseanne (ABD) WGA Nomination- Best Comedy Episode for the infamous “Kiss Episode.” The Golden Girls (NBC) WGA Nomination-Best Comedy Episode and Writer: Annie (ABC-Movie of the Week). His film credits include: Writer: The Brady Bunch Movie and A Very Brady Sequel.

ACI_Faculty_DorfmanRick Dorfman, Guest Lecturer

Rick Dorfman teaches Career Planning. As a talent manager, he has discovered and managed the careers of some of the best comedians in New York City. Over the years he is responsible for discovering and managing the careers of Greg Giraldo, Ed Helms, Demetri Martin, Amy Schumer and John Mullaney just to name a few. He has developed and created TV deals for a multitude of comedy stars such as Mike Birbiglia, Richard Jeni, Mario Cantone and many other clients. Dorfman’s management and production companies continue to push the entertainment boundaries, and as a result he became an adjunct professor at Drexel University teaching his new approach to management.