The artists from Ars Nova’s comedy residency take over our untamed monthly variety show-meets-party. Mahayla Laurence and Matt Gehring host this special Showgasm introducing us to each of the comedy creators in CAMP who will be returning with their own full-length shows in Spring 2023.
Hosted by Matt Gehring & Mahayla Laurence
Featuring Catherine Bloom & Sofia Dobrushin, Michelle Chan Bennett & Josh Nasser, Gara, Natalya Samee & Chet Siegel
Catherine Bloom (she/her) is a Brooklyn based actor, writer, and comedian. She is originally from Carlisle, Pennsylvania where she won “most witty” as her high school senior superlative alongside the only other Jewish kid in her class. In 2018 she graduated Bard College with a BA in theater and has since shown original work at Second City, iO Chicago, Brooklyn Comedy Collective, Williamstown Theater Festival, The PIT, The Fisher Center, and other places. You can stalk Catherine on instagram at @yeast_queen, or simply visit her website catherinebloom.org.
Sofia Dobrushin (she/they) is an actor, director, musician, and only child which is why she does all of these things. She has acted in TV shows like Apple TV’s WeCrashed and HBO’s High Maintenance. Her theatrical work includes: On the Rocks production of Edelweiss at Ars Nova and César Alvarez’ The Elementary Space Time Show. Some of their directing work has been official selections of Brooklyn Women’s Film Festival, Austin Comedy Short Film Festival, New Filmmakers Festival, and Nobudge. Her music consists of romantic harmonies inspired by The Roches and comedic verses echoing the style of Bo Burnham or Whitmer Thomas. To keep up with her projects and life you can find her on the app that runs our lives aka Instagram @_neonbabushka_
Michelle Chan Bennett (she/her) is an NYC-based writer and actor whose work has been featured in Vulture, New York Sketchfest, Montreal Sketchfest, and Chicago Sketchfest. Most recently, you could find her starring as Cheryl Locke in the play The Art of Killin’ It. She was an actor on UCB’s Maude Night and continues to perform around North America with the team, Yes Chef! She writes and produces digital sketch with Hatched NYC. She also performs original characters on Characters Welcome and around the city.
Josh Nasser (he/him) is an NYC based comedian/musician. His comedy has been featured on Comedy Central’s YouTube Channel. Vulture and onmogul.com have both named Josh as one of the best up and coming comedians in NYC. Josh previously co-hosted the NYTimes recommended comedy show, “Oh, Such a Good Show, Oh!” Currently he’s a member of the Webby Award winning writing team behind Story Pirates Podcast, which adapts children’s stories into musical comedy sketches. You can find his previous work at joshnasser.com. And of course his favorite food is plain cheese pizza. He knows that’s a boring choice and he will work on it.
Gara (they/them) is a performance artist, writer and comedian based in NYC. They started performing in the New York City nightlife scene at 19 and now, 6 years later have shared their stories on many different iconic stages like MoMa PS1, LaMama, The Edinburgh Fringe Festival and more!
Natalya Samee (she/her) is officially 5’6, but when you get to know her, she’s more like 5’8. She is currently workshopping her Off-Broadway one woman show, Saturn Return, at Ars Nova in New York City, premiering in Spring 2023. In addition, she is an artist-in-residence in SFFILM’s 2022 Filmhouse Residency for her project, DOHA GIRLS, an original TV series based on her adolescence in the Middle East. She was formally trained in improv and sketch as a member of Off-Off Campus (originators of The Second City) at The University of Chicago. She previously performed at Leela in San Francisco, and now at Brooklyn Comedy Collective in New York. Born in Pakistan but raised in oil-rich monarchies, Natalya is interested in telling stories that illuminate the world she grew up in. She is currently represented by Colleen Washington and Bella Bagatelos at Fourth Wall Management.
Chet Siegel (she/her) is an actress, comedian, and cook. Performing credits include – Uncle Peckerhead, Alternatino (Comedy Central), Search Party (HBO), Chicago Med (NBC), and many independent projects that have appeared in Sundance, SXSW, Palm Springs Film Fest, NY Fringe, ANT Fest and other really cool festivals. She directed, wrote, performed, and taught improv and sketch comedy at UCB theater and Magnet Theater, and was the artistic director of Magnet’s Sketch Comedy program. She is the co-creator and co-host of the food podcast, Nibbles And Bits, available on Spotify and Apple podcasts!
Mahayla Laurence (they/she) is a multidisciplinary artist engaging in work that creates space for conversations around mental and spiritual health, joy, humor, stewardship, and community. Credits include: HBO, Clubbed Thumb, Pioneer Works, Gimlet. mahaylalaurence.com
Matt Gehring (he/him) is a performer, writer and director of comedy. He’s been on Amazon, Netflix, Comedy Central and has spent years on the UCB stage. Check out the Broadway-Meets-Sketch show, SHIZ he created with Shaina Taub.