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Doug Rothgeb brings more than two decades of improv experience to the Omaha stage and cofounded Big Canvas in 2014. He’s also heavily involved in the Boy Scouts of America, Lofte Theatre, and some upcoming local films.

What I do: I perform short form improv with Lighten Up (KC), W.I.T (NE) and Big Canvas (NE). I got my start back in the mid-1990s after a successful audition with Lighten Up Improv Company (KC) and started performing with the Kansas City Theatresports League. Shortly after that I was one of the original coaches for the KC High School Improv League. I was also the Festival Director for Spontaneous Combustion FIVE which begat the KC Improv Festival. I also perform with several long-form troupes including Lighten Up (KC), Funny Outfit (KC), Backline (NE), Shades of Yellow (NE), and PodProv (NE). For the last several years, I've coached award winning teams including Chantilly Mace (NE) and regularly teach troupes, teams, corporate groups, and assorted other bunches of people improv skills, teambuilding and how to just plain have fun and play. 
Background & Influences: I'm an improv geek. I've studied improv for hundreds of hours in various forms— intensives, festival workshops, private coaching, and classes—with a who's who of improv, including (but not limited to) Del Close (iO Chicago); Mick Napier, Joe Bill (Annoyance Productions), Dan Izzo (Improv Inferno) Trish Berrong (Lighten Up and Comedy City) Armando Diaz (Magnet Theater, Upright Citizens Brigade, iO), and Rob Reese (Amnesia Wars). I also am a podcast, blog and book nerd when it comes to improv, self-help and teambuilding. I really enjoy the honesty in iO's approach to improv, but after all these years prefer the Annoyance style.
Teaching philosophy: Anyone that takes a class, workshop or has me as a coach will find that I am your biggest fan! My approach in coaching and performing is to always Be Real, Be Honest, BE REAL HONEST! Support! Find the game to beat the hell out of the game in both long and short form. Del taught me “it’s not about YOU, it’s about the scene.” Don’t force the funny because through real honesty the funny will come. React honestly and the audience will react in kind. Be in the moment at all times! The second your brain starts working the joke is the second the scene dies. Turn off your brain, tune into the scene, and tune out the urge to be the center of the scene, but for gosh sakes do something.
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