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.
The 2021/22 CAMP resident artists are:
Jonathan Cohall; Chase Doggett, Makasha Copeland, & Gabrielle Silva; Sam Kebede; Preston Martin; Emily Olcott & Sabrina Wang
Jonathan Cohall is more than a Comedian, he is a “Coneedian.” He has to make people laugh for it is his life force. Without humor, he is but a mere mortal. Jonathan received the 1st place prize in the NYC Video Festival sponsored by Showtime with a story about a subway comedian entitled Laugh Track, which was screened at The Paley Center for Media. He also appeared in One Girl Two Hairstyles, a web commercial with Broad City’s Ilana Glazer for curly hair care company Ouidad on YouTube. He was named a 2017 Improv Your Life Scholar and Newbie of the year at The Peoples Improv Theater. Most recently he was a winner of the 2018 NBC/UCB Diversity Scholarship.
Makasha Copeland is an actor, comedian and playwright. Their plays include Extreme Home Makeover (2019 Agnes Nixon Award, San Diego REP, Teatro Espejo, FAU Theatre Lab, Capital Rep, Theatre Exile), Fabuloso! (Vertigo Productions, Sideshow Theatre) and Pitbull’s B-Day (The Tank). Most recently, they co-created, co-wrote and performed in sketch-improv-play fusion Madre Mía/Minha Mãe through Ars Nova’s 2020 Camp residency. Makasha is a member of sketch and improv teams Resting Witch Face (iO, Second City) and Social Studies (Brooklyn Comedy Collective). They graduated from Northwestern University, where they performed, wrote and improvised with The Titanic Players, Griffin’s Tale, Mee-Ow and Out Da Box. Despite having long hair, they are nonbinary.
Chase Doggett is a Tejano writer, comedian and artist from Austin, TX. They are a creator, performer and host of various Brooklyn-based comedy shows, including Social Studies, KISS KISS and the ongoing comedy-variety show Kid Biologist. Their work has been featured through Brooklyn Comedy Collective, The Tank and 24 Hour Play Fest. Most recently, they co-created, co-wrote and performed in sketch-improv-play fusion Madre Mía/Minha Mãe through Ars Nova’s 2020 Camp residency. Chase is a graduate of Northwestern University, where they were a part of The Titanic Players, Griffin’s Tale and Out Da Box. They are currently in production on a comedic podcast series, You’re Gonna Remember Me. Chase Doggett is the fourteenth reason why.
Gabrielle Silva is a performer from outside of Boston, MA. She recently completed her first Ars Nova Camp Residency where she co-created, co-wrote and performed in the sketch-improv-play fusion Madre Mía/Minha Mãe. Gabrielle has performed in Fabuloso! (Sideshow Theatre) and Extreme Home Makeover (Agnes Nixon Festival) and sings for the UN’s Global Goal Initiative. She is a graduate of Northwestern University where she directed Out Da Box Sketch and Comedy, and performed with THUNK and Griffin’s Tale.
Sam Kebede is a first-generation Ethiopian/Eritrean American from southern California. Though he used to be a neuroscientist, he now is an actor/playwright/comedian. TV/Film: Venice International Film Festival, Blue Bloods, New Amsterdam, Full Frontal w/ Samantha Bee, HBO UrbanFilmFest. Theater: The Public, Ars Nova, IRT Theater, Chicago Shakes, B Street Theater, Adirondack Theater Festival. As a writer, he has helped create plays at The Public’s DTWG, Ars Nova’s ANT Fest, and had a full production at Victory Garden Theater in Chicago. And as a comedian, he performs all over whether it be a five-minute set at a small bar, or his longer hour-long set titled I’m Ostracized because I’m Ostrich-Sized at venues such as The PIT in NYC or Upstairs at The B in Sacramento. University of Connecticut: MFA Acting, Duke University: BS Neuroscience, BA Theater Studies, Minor Biology
Preston Martin (he/they) is a queer actor, director, writer and video artist based in Brooklyn, NY. Preston has performed in over fifty venues in New York City and in eight countries across the world. They direct The Reality Show: NYU, a musical sketch comedy show centered around wellbeing and community. Three productions are annually devised for each of the NYU campuses in New York City, Abu Dhabi and Shanghai. Under Preston’s curation and direction, The Reality Show has performed at Radio City Music Hall, Madison Square Garden, The Beacon, and Barclays Center, as well as at venues throughout Abu Dhabi and Shanghai. Preston has been a member of numerous sketch comedy groups including Liz Swados’ Political Subversities and Matt Gehring and Shaina Taub’s Shiz. On-screen, Preston devised and starred in The Rest of Us, an ensemble drama produced by Mary Stuart Masterson. They also danced in Greta Gerwig’s Little Women and will be seen in the upcoming Quinn Shephard film Not Okay. In these New Ways, Preston is investigating videography and digital audio skillsets and hopes to show you some stuff if you want? prestonmartin.com has some other stuff to know!
Emily Olcott is a Brooklyn-based actor, comedian, singer, writer and director. As an actor, she’s performed new work around NYC at The Flea, the PIT, 54 Below, NYU, Columbia, Signature Theater, Caveat and The Tank. As a comedian, she has performed original musical comedy at Ars Nova, Joe’s Pub, Club Cumming, Littlefield, Union Hall and more. Emily wrote the short film After You’ve Gone which debuted at the Golden Door International Film Fest, the original web series Garbage Town, solo comedy shows Choose Your Own Adventure and Women’s Healing Circle and the play The Group Chat, commissioned by the addiction education theater group Second Act. She has toured nationally with Story Pirates as an actor and director to venues like Utah Symphony, the Kennedy Center and Lincoln Center, and she is a frequent contributor on the Story Pirates Podcast. BA Northwestern but more importantly, a Sagittarius from New Jersey.
Sabrina Wang is a stand-up and comedy writer based in NYC. Sabrina likes using comedy to discuss the experiences of being Asian American and having lost a parent. In her college senior thesis, Good Luck, Sabrina performed stand-up about her mother’s immigration process, life in America and passing. Most recently she studied sketch writing at UCB. When Sabrina’s not doing comedy, she’s living out her childhood dream of having a pet.
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.
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. Check out the Broadway-Meets-Sketch show, SHIZ he created with Shaina Taub.