Our company consists of seasoned players with a magical chemistry that comes from nearly 2 decades of working together and a broad range of experience from all across the performing arts spectrum.


Dan Castellaneta, a Chicago native and member of “The Second City,” co-starred on the Emmy-winning Tracey Ullman Show, where he originated the role of Homer Simpson on The Simpsons. He has received four Emmys for his voice work as Homer, Krusty, Grandpa, among many others. Among Dan’s other television work: Entourage, Reno 911, Arrested Development, Stargate SG-1, Everybody Loves Raymond, Futurama, Frasier, NYPD Blue, and Friends. Feature film work includes: Super 8, The Simpsons Movie, The Pursuit of Happyness, The Cat In The Hat, The Client, Forget Paris, Love Affair, War Of The Roses, Nothing In Common, My Giant, Neil Simon’s Laughter On The 23rd Floor for Showtime, and “Aaron Spelling” in NBC’s Behind the Camera: The Charlie’s Angels Story. Theater work: The Bicycle Men in LA and London; Nighthawks at the Kirk Douglas Theatre; Steve Martin’s The Underpants at the Geffen Theater; Tom & Jerry, as part of Showtime’s Act One series (Dramalogue Award); Harvey Pekar in American Splendor at Theatre/Theater in Hollywood; Deb & Dan’s Show at The Improvisation; The Alchemist, Classic Stage Theater, New York; and his one-man show Where Did Vincent Van Gogh? in LA, New York, Chicago, Edinburgh Theatre Festival, and Aspen HBO Comedy Festival.


Casey Campbell studied with Viola's son, Paul Sills, at the Wisconsin Theatre Games Center in Door County, WI. He continued studying improvisation in Chicago, IL with the Second City, Annoyance and Improv Olympic. He also performed with Comedy Sportz. In 2007, Casey was nominated for a Jeff Award for his performance in Oklahoma! at American Theatre Company in Chicago. He moved to Los Angeles in 2010, and has appeared in dozens of national commercials, as well as other TV and film appearances. His writing work has been recognized and shown at the New York Television Festival, the Los Angeles Independent Television Festival, the Chicago Comedy Pilot Competition, DePaul University and American Blues Theatre in Chicago, where he is also an ensemble member. He recently wrote a horror feature titled Followed, which will be released in late 2013. He is honored and humbled to be a member of the Spolin Players.


Donna Du Bain has spent most of her life on stage. In San Francisco, she was a lead actress with the prestigious Circus theatrical family that did west coast premiere’s of many successful productions such as Tom Paine and Futz. After over 25 productions on the San Francisco stage, she moved to LA to begin her notorious career as a “serial” improvisational actor. She is a founding member of The Groundlings and then later found her Improv home with The Spolin Players. She has written comedy vignettes for television and was the director of the award winning, original play Loveable Blonde Seeking. While at the prestigious American Film Institute, she was instrumental in implementing The Academy Internship Program, The Independent Filmmaker Program and the Directing Workshop for Women. She has also produced an award winning Independent film, David Lynch presents… I Don’t Know Jack. Her love of the craft of acting and compassionate support of the artists has culminated in being a guest artist for The Virginia Avenue Project which helps “at-risk” children through creative exploring. She says her experience of working under the tutelage of Viola Spolin and the wonderful creative support of the Spolin Players has positively influenced every part of her professional and personal life. She loves Shakespeare, and will recite it at any given moment—don’t get her started.


Deb Lacusta, writer and improv actress; she directed, wrote and starred in the independent comedy film Starring Marlon Brando. She has performed improvisation as a member of The Spolin Players, The Second City Alumni Jam, Totally Looped in Los Angeles, and Deb & Dan’s Show, with Dan Castellaneta in LA. She has written numerous Simpsons episodes with Dan Castellaneta. Theater projects include: Lock Up the Grass, the Organic Theater, Chicago; The August and The Statue, Bailiwick Theater, Chicago; and Earthers and Pieces Of Eight in LA. She, along with Castellaneta, founded the Chicago improv scenario group “Instant Theater.” Deb’s video performance art has been seen at the UCLA Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, MOCA in North Miami, P.S.1 MOMA and Deitch Projects in New York, Art Basel in Miami Beach, Vendanta Gallery in Chicago and Bar Wells Institute in London.


John Mariano: Veteran Character Actor and Emmy Award winning Voice Actor John Mariano was Born in Astoria New York, where at one time linoleum was a status symbol. For the last 25 years, he has been honing his craft in film, television, animation, theater and night clubs. From such Hollywood legends such as Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas, Clint Eastwood, Blake Edwards and Steven Spielberg to George Clooney, James Gandolfini, Gary Sinise and Edward Norton, John has had the good fortune of working with them and developing his skills as an actor, comedian and improvisor. With a long list of credits, John has appeared on such show as CSI: Miami, The Sopranos, Desperate Housewives, The West Wing, The Tonight Show, and recently It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. When he's not appearing on television, John can be found in the recording booth voicing many characters for cartoons like Batman Beyond, Extreme Ghostbusters and Transformers or video games such as Godfather 2, Call of Duty: World at War, Final Fantasy and Star Trek. John can be seen performing live around town with the acclaimed Improv group The Spolin Players.


Anna Mathias has appeared at the Royal Court Theatre Upstairs in London, The Pasadena Playhouse, ACT in San Francisco and Antaeus in Los Angeles. Favorite shows include Peace In Our Time, Deathtroupe, Patience, Trial by Jury, Of Thee I Sing, Bullshot Crummond, and Dracula: A Musical Nightmare and Spokesong. Anna won two Drama-Logue Awards for her roles in Footlight Frenzy and The Metamorphosis. Recent film and TV credits include Domestic Import, Mary Mother of Jesus, Mother Theresa, McBride, and Jack & Jill. Anna is also a member of Antaeus, Fred Willard's MoHos and The Second City Alumni Jam. Anna’s voice has graced Water for Elephants, The Hangover, Funny People, 2012, Borat, 24, Taladega Nights, Grey Gardens, Alice Mitchell in the cartoon series Dennis the Menace, as well as countless computer games. Anna has a degree in Dramatic Arts from UC Berkeley.


Gail Matthius: After a season on Saturday Night Live, Gail crossed the pond and laughed her way through Assaulted Nuts, a British/American co-venture followed by Laugh Trax. She then wrote, produced and starred in a 2 woman show, Beside Ourselves. National TV commercials, radio spots, Airplane II and other films as well as guest starring TV roles fill out her resume. Nominated for an "Annie", she gave life to the Norsky accented mom, Martha Generic, on Bobby's World for 8 seasons. She starred in several cartoon series including Tiny Toons & Animaniacs as well as Molly Coddle on Bump in the Nite, guest starring roles in Ren and Stimpy, CatDog, Snorks, and The Tick. A twice produced children's playwright, Gail has recently been cast in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum where she can display her talents in both comedy and opera. As producer, she handled The Buddy Holly Story to wide acclaim. The Spolin Players has always been a part of her professional career, even as she raised two glorious young ladies and stayed married to her high school boyfriend, writer/producer, John Wirth.


David McCharen has a classical stage background as an actor/director in Hamlet, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Tartuffe, West Side Story and The White House Murder Case. He found improvisation decades ago with the Committee and Viola Spolin’s zen-theater-mind altering book, Improvisations for the Theater and was fortunate to be trained by her. He has performed improv at The Comedy Store, The Improvisation, LA Connection, Theatre Palisades, Morgan/Wixson Theatre, Chicago Improv Festival and Edison Theatre. His one-man show in L.A. and New York, inspired by Spolin's space object exercises, boasted "Master Mime Wonder to Watch." Films include Popeye, Cheech and Chong's Nice Dreams, and Larry the Cable Guy. He was a TV regular in Shelley Duvall's Faerie Tale Theatre series, Short Story Classics "The Luck of Roaring Camp," and Rick Dees Late Night film noir take-off, "Deesville." He can be heard as a voice over actor from Shredder in the Teenage Ninja Turtle films to thousands of fight scenes– “That guy who got shot, screamed ‘Ugh’ and ‘argh’... that was me.” Currently developing a comedy series for Spike TV and reveling in each 'Spolin Players' show.


Edie McClurg began her professional life in her hometown of Kansas City, MO as a Classical Music DJ and reporter/producer of quirky stories for the NPR Series All Things Considered. Coming full circle, Edie now does political commentary on nationally syndicated Stephanie Miller Radio Show Mondays 8-9am PT on KTLK-AM or listen online. Through odd circumstances, she became an actress in Los Angeles, performing her original characters at The Groundlings, The Comedy Store, The Improv, The Merv Griffen Show, and The David Letterman Show. Her movie career started with a nude scene in Carrie. Other films: Planes, Trains & Automobiles, Natural Born Killers, A River Runs Through It, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, and Elvira: Mistress of the Dark. She has been a staple on TV series: The Hogan Family, 7th Heaven, Rules of Engagement, CSI, Mad About You, Faerie Tale Theatre (Cinderella), Malcolm in the Middle, and Providence. Animation: Cars 1 & 2, A Bug’s Life, Little Mermaid 1 & 2, The Secret of NIMH, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Bobby’s World, Fish Hooks, and the voice of Mrs. Butterworth (talking syrup bottle). In addition to Spolin Players, Edie regularly plays with The All Girl Revue at Fanatic Salon in Venice CA. All honor to Viola Spolin, the mother/creator of all improv games and mentor to us all.


Pat Musick has been working in film, television, voice-over, and has produced and performed with the same improv group for the last twenty-five years. Most recently, she has appeared on HBO’s Real Time With Bill Maher, Fox’s hit series House, and Rodrigo Garcia’s acclaimed indie feature film Nine Lives. Voice credits range from Batman to Boondocks to Nickelodeon’s Avatar, The Last Airbender and Barnyard to animated features and innumerable commercial voice-overs. She credits a great deal of her success to the mother of improvisation, Viola Spolin - the creator of theatre games. Pat and her group, The Spolin Players, were the last to workshop with Viola, thereby learning the games at the hand of the master herself. Viola once said, “We are never more ourselves than when we are at play.” Pat is currently teaching teaching improv in Hollywood and is looking forward to passing these games and techniques along to a whole new generation. She would rather be heard and not seen.


Jonathan Schmock began his career studying with Stella Adler and the Royal Shakespeare Company in New York. As half of the comedy team The Funny Boys, he appeared on The Tonight Show and in theatres and clubs across the country. Moving to L.A. he became a writer and director, co-creating such shows as Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, and serving as an executive producer/writer on Dharma & Greg and Good Girls Don’t…, among others. As an actor, Jonathan has been seen in many TV series including Terriers, Dirty Sexy Money, Samantha Who, Malcolm in the Middle, Arrested Development, and Star Trek: Enterprise. Film roles include Some Kind of Wonderful, City of Industry, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and the soon to be released Bright Day. On stage he’s been seen in The Importance of Being Ernest at the LATC, The Illuminati at the San Diego Rep, Richard III at The Antioch Shakespeare Festival and The Shaggy Dog Animation with Mabou Mines at New York’s Public Theatre. In addition to The Spolin Players, he’s a regular performer at Hollywood’s Sit ‘n’ Spin. Most recently he was a segment producer and Emmy nominated writer on Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO. His editorial cartoons can be seen at The Huffington Post and at


Gary Schwartz's mentor and teacher was Viola Spolin, known as the mother of Improvisation. In the 1950’s, she and her son Paul Sills developed the first improv group in the United States that later became Chicago’s famed Second City. Gary began his association with Ms. Spolin in 1977 and continued to work with her throughout the remainder of her life. He has conducted hundreds of improvisation workshops to various groups and companies all over the world. He is co-founder and director of the award winning Spolin Players, a group of established actors performing Improv in Los Angeles since 1988. He directed The Spolin Players Northwest, a second incarnation of the successful LA production. They performed regularly in Seattle from 2001-2005. He maintains the website honoring the work of his mentor. He is Executive Director and Founder of INTUITIVE LEARNING SYSTEMS, offering improv workshops for professionals in all fields as well as conducting special workshops for business, to enhance communication and creativity in the workplace.


Jim Staahl began his improvisational career in the resident cast of Chicago’s Second City Theater. Worldwide appearances with the comedy trio The Graduates lead to numerous TV appearances including The Tonight Show. Jim first worked with Gail Matthius when he hosted and co-write Laugh Trax (with Howie Mandel). Jim can be seen in a number of features including Spies Like Us, Max Dugan Returns, Here Come The Munsters and Night Shift. Jim has written for dozens of TV series, and most of your favorite Saturday morning cartoon shows. Since first being a series regular on Mork and Mindy, Jim has appeared in multiple TV series, where he’s crossed paths with most of his fellow Spolin Players; recent appearances include King of Queens and Curb Your Enthusiasm. Jim first improvised with Anna Mathias as a member of the Comedy Store Players (with Robin Williams, Martin Short, Cheri Eichen and Taylor Negron). Jim recently appeared in Los Angeles musical productions of Don’t Hug Me! and created the role of Carl in Polyester, The Musical. He lives in Studio City with wife, Dani, two sons and a dog.