A huge congratulations to Elana Fishbein and her one person improvised show Pepita! SDIF attendees voted via social media for the 2017 SDIF Best of Fest and Pepita came out on top!
Pepita and Elana are invited back again next year to headline the SDIF 2018 and we are so excited to have her! Audience members called Pepita “brave”, “vulnerable”, and “one of the best improv shows I have ever seen.”
Pepita is the fictional alter-ego of Magnet Theater performer and instructor, Elana Fishbein. In her improvised one-person show, Pepita shares stories from her life based on an audience suggestion. This original form breaks the forth wall, interweaving storytelling and scenes with Pepita imitating all the characters along the way. Her cosmic like-ability and zest for life will inspire you to reach new heights. Also, she has an accent.
Elana is an actress, improvisor, and teacher based in New York City. She has been performing improv at the Magnet Theater since 2005 and can be seen with Ariana Grande, the Armando Diaz Experience, Magnet Theater TourCo, and her solo improv show, Pepita. She has performed and taught workshops at festivals all over the United States, Canada, end Europe.
Red Door, the fast playing duo out of Los Angeles comprised of Justin Michael Terry and Ryan Marisco, have been named “Best of Fest” for the 2015 San Diego Improv Festival.
The award is chosen via social media. Teams that submitted to the festival from outside San Diego are eligible.
Red Door’s set was inspired by the suggestions, “Hedge Fund Manager,” “Welder,” and “Gnome Wrangler.”
“We are so honored to receive ‘Best of Fest’ in the midst of such immense talent,” said Red Door’s Justin Michael Terry. “The improv community in San Diego is phenomenal. So welcoming and warm, with an energy and laughter that was infectious, joyous and a pleasure to play to. We had an amazing time and can’t wait to come back next year.”
This is just the latest award for Red Door. Previously, they’ve won the Los Angeles Two For The Money Judges Pick competition and the 12th annual Los Angeles Improv Comedy Festival Cage Match Tournament of Champions. They were also winners of the iO West Cage Match for 38 consecutive Weeks, finalists in the 3rd annual Los Angeles Dual Duel competition, and received a Del Close Award Nomination for Best New Show.
Outside of Red Door, Justin and Ryan are accomplished improvisers, teachers, and coaches. Justin Michael Terry has been improvising for the last 15 years and has studied at many of the major comedy institutions including the iO in Chicago, iO West, The Groundlings, UCBLA, Second City Hollywood, The Miles Stroth Workshop and ComedySportz. He is a member of the iO West House Harold team Wheelhouse as well as the critically acclaimed team, The Resistance, performing full length improvised action/adventure movies. He teaches Space Work and Physical Storytelling as well as Specified Genre work at ComedySportz LA, and is a new faculty member of NOW theatre in Silverlake, CA, where he teaches, coaches and leads workshops.
Ryan Marsico has been improvising for the last 8 years. He is an original member of Drunkards & Dragons, an improvised role-playing inspired drinking show, a founding member of the critically acclaimed team, The Resistance, performing full length improvised action/adventure movies, and a proud Main Company member of ComedySportz Los Angeles. He co-teaches the Red Door workshop across Southern California, and coaches independent performance teams throughout LA.