Debuting in 2020/21, CAMP deepens Ars Nova’s commitment to early career comedy artists at a time when their support systems in NYC have decreased.

CAMP launched January 2021, and provides an eclectic group of creators with peer support and artistic feedback as they work on developing new comedic work in weekly meetings facilitated by Co-Program Directors Mahayla Laurence and Matt Gehring. Resident comedy teams, including dance, sketch, or improv collectives, or individuals such as character comedians and storytellers will culminate their CAMP residencies in full-length performances on Ars Nova Supra.

Join us for the CAMP Bonfire Series — the thrilling culmination of our 2021 CAMP residency. Gather ’round the virtual bonfire as the eight comedians/comedy teams share what they’ve been up to for the past 6 months in brand new, made-for-digital shows on Ars Nova Supra! LEARN MORE & GET TIX.



CAMP deepens Ars Nova’s commitment to early career comedy artists at a time when their support systems in NYC have decreased. After our inaugural year, CAMP is back and ready for new applicants!

This residency supports comedy-based artists in generating and developing a brand new show during weekly meetings facilitated by Co-Program Directors Mahayla Laurence and Matt Gehring. Over the course of the program, residents will cycle through several types of in-person developmental support: generative exercises, in-house sharing days, casual open readings of new material called a CAMPFire, and facilitated discussions about craft with industry guests. Resident comedy artists and teams will end their CAMP residencies with a full-length performance at Ars Nova in June 2022.

We encourage any kind of live comedy artists to apply: dance, sketch or improv collectives, character comedians, storytellers, humorists, you name it. Individuals and teams/groups are welcome to apply, however groups should not be larger than four people total.

Ars Nova recognizes both that it is a predominantly white institution and that our institutional practices have led to the exclusion of Black, Indigenous and People of Color from our team. We are actively working to become a more diverse, anti-racist, inclusive organization; please see our commitments and progress towards these objectives HERE.

CAMP will gather in person the evening of Tuesday, September 28th, 2021 and will continue nearly every Tuesday evening through June (except major holidays). Residents are expected to attend every meeting.

CLICK HERE to apply.



The CAMPers

Click each headshot for an artist bio.


  • Ely Kreimendahl is a queer comedian, actor and writer. She studied improv, sketch writing and acting at Upright Citizens Brigade, HB Studio NYC and Brooklyn Comedy Collective. She has performed stand up with The Tiny Cupboard, Glass Houses, Don’t Call Me Sweetie, NYC Comics and Women Behind Glass, and regularly posts original sketch/character videos on instagram and twitter @elykreimendahl. Ely was a 2010 RADAR Lab Fellow through RADAR Productions, a literary and arts organization dedicated to supporting emerging queer artists.  In 2020, Ely’s sketch Women for Biden won Funny or Die’s Best of the Web competition Volume 3 and was featured on their website. In their other life, Ely is a nationally registered drama/creative arts therapist, and has provided therapy and created therapeutic theater with young people and adults in inpatient psychiatric settings, a specialized PTSD clinic, public high schools and community mental health centers.

    Ely Kreimendahl
  • Gus Laughlin is a writer, director and theater artist based in Brooklyn, NY. He’s a recent graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and the Experimental Theatre Wing where he was the director of Hammerkatz, NYU’s premiere sketch comedy group. He is currently a member of the sketch, improv and filmmaking group Lisa, and is someone who proves that you can love both dogs AND cats.

    Gus Laughlin
  • Christian Luu is a nonbinary first-generation Vietnamese writer and performer from Dallas, Texas. Their work can be found on Reductress and Awf Magazine. They are also a member of Overstep Comedy, a sketch team made up of all Asian Americans. Other favorite credits include Thomas Paine in Violence, Addy & Dahlia and Make Them Hear You, a virtual benefit concert for Black Lives Matter they self-produced and hosted during the pandemic. They graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma in 2017 with a Bachelor of Music in Musical Theatre. 

    Christian Luu
  • Gabrielle Silva is a performer from outside Boston, MA who loves comedy and singing. She is a graduate from Northwestern University where she co-directed, performed and wrote for Out Da Box and was a member of Resting Witch Face at Second City. She currently works in marketing but doesn’t really want to.

    Chase Doggett is a Tejano writer, comedian and full-time protagonist from Austin, TX. He is the creator of the running comedy-variety show Kid Biologist through the Brooklyn Comedy Collective. He is a graduate of Northwestern University, where he was a member of The Titanic Players, Griffin’s Tale and Out Da Box. He is currently in production on his comedic podcast series You’re Gonna Remember Me.

    Makasha Copeland is a writer, actor, comedian and your babysitter during those formative years. Their plays Extreme Home Makeover and Fabuloso! have been developed and produced with San Diego REP, Vertigo Productions, Agnes Nixon Festival, Teatro Espejo (upcoming) and Sideshow Theatre (upcoming). They are a member of femme sketch group Resting Witch Face at iO and Second City. They graduated from Northwestern University, where they performed, wrote and improvised with The Titanic Players, Griffin’s Tale, Mee-Ow and Out Da Box.

    Gabrielle Silva, Chase Doggett
    & Makasha Copeland

  • Joél Pérez is an award-winning actor and writer living in NYC. His theater work includes Fun Home (Broadway, The Public), Kiss My Aztec! (Berkeley Rep, La Jolla Playhouse) and Sweet Charity (New Group; Lortel Award Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical). TV work includes Jesus Christ Superstar Live! (NBC), Person of Interest (CBS) and Odd Mom Out (Bravo). Broken Box Mime Theater ensemble member. He performed with the UCB Maude sketch team Peach and is a writer and performer for the musical theater comedy sketch show SHIZ which has performed at UCB, The Pit, Improv Asylum and 54 Below. His play, The Church of the Holy Glory, premiered at Ars Nova ANTFest 2018. He is in 2020 Ars Nova Playmakers Lab for his Untitled Sabado Gigante Project. He participated in the Actors Who Write Fellowship at Rattlestick and is a 2019 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellow in Playwriting from NYFA. Follow him at @misterjoelperez and visit

    Joél Pérez
  • Eleanor Philips (she / her) is a Mad actor, singer, storyteller and lifelong New Yorker. She’s performed at New World Stages, Joe’s Pub, Club Cumming, The Flea, The PIT, JACK, The Wild Project, New Georges & more, and often makes mayhem with Mondays in the Club with Lance at Club Cumming and beyond. @ecphilips

    Jessie Cannizzaro is an actor, writer and director, born and raised in NYC. She was last seen at Ars Nova in If You Do This Right You’ll Probably Break Their Chest (ANT Fest) and The Royal Pyrate (Uncharted). Select theater credits include The Gods of Comedy (The Old Globe), Puffs (New World Stages), Romeo and Juliet (Lincoln Center Education), The Mysteries (The Flea), The Haunting of Ichabod Crane (Park Avenue Armory), and the title role in Hamlet (American Theatre of Actors). Select film/TV credits include Selah and The Spades (Sundance), Nella the Princess Knight (Nickelodeon), and Puffs: Live Off-Broadway (Amazon). As a writer, Jessie’s work has been seen in comedy festivals nationwide, and her comedic pilot is currently being developed as part of the inaugural Story Institute at Catalyst Content Festival. Her original songs can be heard in commercials, on the stage and on the screen. She trained at Upright Citizens Brigade, and writes and performs sketch comedy with her team Infinite Sketch at The Peoples Improv Theater. Jessie graduated from Swarthmore College with high honors in Theater and Political Science, and from Space Camp with high honors in model rocketry.

    Eleanor Philips
    & Jessie Cannizzaro

  • Marina & Nicco are TV/screen-writers and comedic playwrights based in New York. As the duo “Marina & Nicco” their work has been featured by Fusion, Comedy Central, The New Yorker, Funny or Die, and College Humor. Their pilot, Smüchr, won Best Comedy at the New York Television Festival in 2018. Their four-episode audio drama series, The Off Season, was included in The Guardian’s list of Best Home Entertainment and Refinery29’s list of Best Podcasts of 2018, and was praised as “subtle and slyly funny” by The New York Times. They were playwrights in residence at The Peoples Improv Theater in 2015, where they wrote and produced new plays each month. Of these plays, Room 4 was a New York Times critic’s pick and received numerous glowing reviews, and their play Unpacking had a successful three-week run at HERE Arts Center. Their recent collaborative creation, If You Do This Right You’ll Probably Break Their Chest, was part of Ars Nova’s All New Talent Festival 2018. They recently co-wrote a sketch comedy pilot for Fusion, and they were resident writers at Serials at the Flea Theater from 2018 to 2020. They both teach at The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre.

    Niccolo Aeed is a Black/Palestinian comedian, writer and director based in New York.  He is half the comedy duo Marina & Nicco, whose sketches have appeared on The New Yorker and Funny or Die. Recent plays include: Room 4 (The PIT), Unpacking: A Ghost Story Told in the Dark (HERE Arts) If You Do This Right You’ll Probably Break Their Chest (Ars Nova) No King in Israel (Hudson Guild Theater) and One Morning Soon (Fire This Time Festival.) Nicco was a resident writer at Serials at The Flea Theater from 2018 to 2020. He teaches storytelling with the Moth and sketch comedy at the UCB Theater. 

    Marina Tempelsman is a writer and director based in New York. Her work has been featured by Comedy Central, Fusion, The New Yorker, College Humor, Funny or Die and many other places. She is half the comedy team Marina & Nicco, whose work has been featured by HERE Arts Center (SubletSeries), ANT Fest at Ars Nova, The New Ohio Theatre (ICE Factory Festival), The PIT, The UCB, The Flea and many other places. Their play Room 4 was a New York Times critic’s pick, and their pilot, Smüchr, won Best Comedy at The New York Television Festival in 2018. Their four-episode audio drama series The Off Season about the #MeToo movement was included in The Guardian’s list of Best Home Entertainment and Refinery29’s list of Best Podcasts of 2018, and was praised as “subtle and slyly funny” by The New York Times. She is currently teaching at The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre and is co-writing an original series for Audible.

    Marina & Nicco
  • Kuhoo Verma is an NYC based artist who is seen at Joe’s Pub, 54 Below, Lincoln Center and countless developmental workshops. Some favorite roles include Velma in Dave Malloy’s OCTET, (Lucille Lortel Award, Drama Desk Award) and Zubeida (X-Files Girl) in the Academy Award Nominated film The Big Sick. Upcoming: A show at The Public and the film Plan B on HULU. Gratitude to family, friends, Innovative & Soffer/Namoff. Much love and light!

    Kuhoo Verma
  • CAMP Co-Program Directors

  • Mahayla Laurence is an actor and a writer based in Brooklyn, NY. She’s a natural-born empath and loves connecting with people through comedy and storytelling. Mahayla currently writes for the Story Pirates Podcast and SHIZ.

    Mahayla Laurence
    (CAMP Co-Program Director)
  • Matt Gehring is a performer, writer and director of comedy. He’s been on Amazon, Netflix, Comedy Central and has spent years on the UCB stage. Currently, he is collaborating with National Lampoon on his Broadway-Meets-Sketch show, SHIZ.

    Matt Gehring
    (CAMP Co-Program Director)