Judith Amsenga – Chief Operating Officer
Judith is an actor who graduated from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA, BA Hons) in 2008, after which she appeared in various off-west end, international and fringe productions. Her latest performances include Mike Leigh’s Mr Turner, Bold Tendencies Festival, Merge Summer Shorts and Theater Utrecht. She also works as a voice-over artist and has a production company, Back’s Broke, with some of her yearmates from LAMDA.
In 2009, she founded the Nursery with Robin Steegman and Jules Munns, and is now responsible for its day-to-day running. She also (co)organises and runs the Nursery’s flagship festival, Slapdash International. Judith has extensive experience in the organisation and running of public and academic events, both in the UK and the Netherlands, where she worked for TV (NPO), museums (Amsterdam, Delft), magazines and the University of Utrecht.
Jules Munns – Artistic Director
Jules Munns started improvising at the Guildhall School where he was a founder member of the Improsarios. After graduating, he co-founded the Nursery, where he is now Artistic Director. He performed with Music Box (5* FringeGuru and Remote Goat) and Friendly Fire before joining the Maydays in 2012. He directed the first run of Impromptu Shakespeare (5* Broadway Baby and Playstosee), which he now performs in and is one half of Ten Thousand Million Love Stories and Sitting in a Tin Can. He has performed and taught at festivals across the UK and in countries including the US, Pakistan, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Finland. He also runs the Nursery blog and podcast and is working on a book on improvisation. Jules specialises in emotionally-grounded, physical improvisation which leans towards theatre. He loves a Harold and a Deconstruction, as well as working with group dynamics in teams and personal feedback for individual improvisers.
Heather Urquhart – Co-Artistic Director
Heather trained in Physical Theatre but after graduation started her lifelong affair with improv joining Kepow Theatre with Kevin Tomlinson in 2004 and has been with the Maydays since 2006.
She has co-written a book on the subject of musical improv called ‘Sing it!’ and has a series of associated podcasts. Heather is also part of a two person improv team with Jules Munns. Their show ‘Ten Thousand Million Love Stories’ is a multi-character longform improv show around the theme of love which they took to the Improvised Play Festival in Austin Texas April 2013. Heather is winner of Foghorn’s UK Improv Smackdown 2013 and winner of The Latest Brighton Festival and Fringe awards Best female performer 2013. She compliments her improv career with acting, sketch comedy and singing. She has been a performer with Brighton’s satirical comedy sketch company The Treason Show since 2007, as well as a sometimes singer with the mercury music prize nominated Electric Soft Parade.
Chris Mead – Co-Artistic Director (Nursery Originals)
Chris’ first exposure to improv was at the Edinburgh Festival when he stumbled across Baby Wants Candy: The Improvised Musical by sheer coincidence. What he saw that night was so monumental it seared itself onto his brain. After years of stumbling through scripts and following someone else’s directions it became very clear that improv was his mothership. Luckily, Baby Wants Candy had forgotten to bring anyone to tear tickets for them. Chris seized the job and promptly watched every one of their performances for a whole glorious month.
Travelling back to London, Chris immediately started looking for a local improv scene, but failed miserably. This was either because they were hiding from him, or because the internet was less sophisticated back then, comprising solely of US military infrastructure and Hamster Dance.
Nearly a decade later, Chris was surprised to find a massive, thriving improv community had silently grown up around him, like ninja plants. From that moment on he threw himself into training like a man possessed. Chris has studied with Second City, The Annoyance and iO in Chicago, as well as teachers from Baby Wants Candy, Dummy, Crunchy Frog, Hoopla Impro, Free Association, Monkeytoast, UCB, Bad Dog and The Hideout Theatre.
He has performed as part of a regular team with The Ministry, 8-Bit, Music Box, Curt Hatred, Silly String Theory, The Cartel, Destination and Project 2 as well as making guest appearances with Grand Theft Impro, Hoopla, Baby Wants Candy, The RH Experience, At Home with Katy & Tony, The London and Liverpool Improvathons, Dad’s Garage and The Maydays.
Away from improv, Chris co-writes, performs and produces cult Doctor Who comedy podcast The Ood Cast, which somehow attracts thousands of listeners worldwide.
Jonah Fazel – Producer, Thursday Night Lights
Jonah is an experienced theatre maker and comedian and has appeared at in the West End as well as being a veteran of the London Fringe and Edinburgh festivals.
He has created work at The Battersea Arts Centre, Royal Court and The National as well as many site-specific venues and toured the UK as a performer, director and workshop leader and currently teaches Improvisation at The Nursery.
Jonah trained at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and the Webber Douglas Academy.
He has studied clowning under Philippe Gaulier, stand-up comedy under Logan Murray and improvisation under Keith Johnstone.
Stephen Davidson – Training Centre Manager
Stephen Davidson is the Artistic Director of Improvable, QI: Queer Improv, Carmen: A gender-swapped Film Noir Fantasy, Love and Misinformation: An Improvised Play in the style of Caryl Churchill, and co-director of Zeal: The Pride Improv Festival. He currently also plays in Boxed in, Castles in the Air, an improvised Studio Ghibli film, in The Nursery Theatre’s mainstage ensemble, and in duo The Happiest People in the World with Erick Castellan. Stephen teaches improv through Improvable and the Nursery Theatre, and is also a diversity officer for Hoopla Improv. He has taught and performed all over the world. He is also the author of Play Like an Ally
Stephen loves improv and one of the world’s most cheerful people when playing or teaching. When coaching and directing improv he prides himself on creating a positive environment so that players can perform at their best. Stephen likes his improv like he likes his partners; silly, clever, and emotionally connected. Stephen has studied improv through i/o Chicago, The Nursery, Annoyance, UCB, Hoopla, The Maydays, Music Box, Showstoppers, and with many visiting artists including Dave Razowsky, Bill Arnett, Kaci Beeler, Heather Anne Campbell, Deanna Fleysher, and many more.
Juwel Haque – Theatre Manager
Juwel Haque wants people to enjoy and realise themselves through improvisation. He achieves this mission at The Nursery, where, as Theatre Manager, he ensures that our space is ready to put on great improv shows and warmly welcome and delight audiences, students and performers. Juwel hosts and produces shows at The Nursery and elsewhere, including the bit show Bits And Pieces. He joined the Nursery team as a producer of Slapdash International Improv Festival.
Juwel is also an accomplished improv actor and director. He performs improv regularly with The Nursery’s house ensemble Dinner From Scratch and absurdist theatrical long-form group Somewhat Theatre, and features on many other projects including Story Kitchen and former Nursery Original productions Magicked!, Castles In The Air, and The Hero’s Journey. Juwel created and directs the pirate radio-flavoured improv show Tag FM, and former Nursery Original United, an improv show with the spirit of a sports team. He has trained with Hoopla, The Free Association, The Nursery, The Maydays, UCB, iO, and the likes of David Razowsky, Patti Stiles, Joe Bill, and Armando Diaz.
You can find Juwel beatboxing and humming tunes while plodding after two cats or agonising over his fantasy football team.
Jennifer Jordan – Theatre Bookings & Website
Jennifer trained in Acting at Bretton Hall and, after ten years of performing and workshop facilitating professionally, she then discovered improv in Vancouver where she trained & performed with Vancouver Theatre Sports League, Instant Theatre, Second Storey, and The Fictionals. Now living in London, Jennifer teaches/performs/works at The Nursery. She has also trained with iO Chicago, David Razowsky, Joe Bill, Lee White, Free Association and Showstoppers. Jennifer has been a cast member in Nursery Original shows The Restaurant and Magicked! (Improvised Harry Potter show), and currently performs with The Concept, Impromptu Shakespeare, Actor’s Nightmare, and The Society.
She also super likes Shakespeare, and when she’s not improvising she’s filming Sonnet Sisters – a webseries she co-created with Anna Rose James in which Shakespeare’s sonnets are analysed and performed in little bitesized videos.
Kate Cotruvo – Transition Project Manager
Kate hails from San Francisco, California where she worked in film and theatre for over a
decade. In 2013, she founded the aerial theatre company Volare Variety and went on to
produce nine shows with them. She moved to London in 2016 and completed her M.F.A. in
Creative Producing from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. Kate is currently
the founder and director of AloeArts, a creative producing and consulting service. In her free
time, Kate spends her days fermenting bread and pickles.