First Saturday


The Graduates

Cast: Adam Smith, Anna Hernandez, Ceasar Udave, Emily Mauser, Priya Rajdev and Victor Irizarry

The Graduates are a Phoenix based improv group. Their format can best be described as "recommended but not mandatory" as they explore interpersonal relationships and the sillyness that stems from them. In their free time they like to discuss topics like "best ways to get injured" and Incan Earth goddesses.


Cast: Billy Brandes, Danielle Friedman, Jeremy Schwartz, Laurie Shellenbarger and Stewart Gross

Schmeckle - A conglomerate of Jewish improvisers that kvetch and kvell their grievances with you in a most hilarious way. Come see us, why? Because you never call. A little joy. A little oy.


Second Saturday

Hearts on Fire

Hearts on Fire

Cast: Billy Brandes, Jeremy Schwartz, Matt Francis and Stewart Gross

Google: What improv team takes audiences down a fast-paced, no holds barred, internet rabbit hole of scenes, characters and relationships all inspired by search questions? One result found: Hearts on Fire.

Salmon Shane

Cast: Sam Haldiman and Shane Shannon

These two have been performing together for more than seven years. Their improv style is based heavily on the straight/absurd dynamic in the most unconventional way. They are always pushing the envelope on grounding their characters' worlds with the most ridiculous points of view.

Salmon Shane photo by Mindy Keeling

Third Friday


Skewed News Hour

Cast: Clifton Gray, Eric Storie, Jacque Arend, Javier Gilmore, Liz Hutchman, Michael Ziman, Sam Haldiman, Shane Shannon and Stacey Clark

The Skewed News Hour is a new take on the news!
Every third Friday at 7pm, you select news articles of the day and SNH performers will use them as inspiration for their improvised scenes. The Skewed News Hour takes some of the best improvisors in the Valley and throws today’s hottest headlines their way to create great comedy. Turn off your TV, throw away your laptop, and stay up-to-date in a way you never imagined!

Third Saturday

Birds and Broads

Birds and Broads

Cast: Jacque Arend and Liz Hutchman

Starting as a one-night-only performance, Birds & Broads have now been performing together for four years. They focus on a single location scene, creating a strong relationship at the top after which they may or may not explore the other rich characters who inhabit that space. Their shows bounce from being utterly hilarious to edge-of-your-seat engaging.


Cast: James Hoffmaster, Michael Ziman, and Sam Haldiman

RPM started with the three of them talking each week in the parking lot after classes at Second Beat. The connection they were developing quickly led them to decide a team must be formed. Their speed and energy keeps this well-oiled machine running in the red. One thing is for sure: This engine will never overheat and the audience will want to come back for a test drive every month.


Fourth Saturday

New Heart


Cast: Bryan Gerdes, Clifton Gray, Laurie Shellenbarger, and Rachel Tullio

From audience suggestions, NewHeart builds scenes with strong characters and points of view, allowing relationships to drive the discovery of concepts and connections throughout each show.

From the absurd and playful, to the real and ridiculous, shows often tackle complex themes such as renewal, loss, hope, stagnation, death and other hilarious tragedies that define the human spirit. NewHeart strives to bring love, honesty, and passion to the world, one set at a time.

Ninja Shrimp

Cast: Jessica Abbott, Lisa Akorli, Morgan Carpenter, Anna Hernandez, Emily Mauser, Manu Moeller, Adrienne Wendt and Alicia Williams 

Team bio coming soon!


Recent Blog Posts

Pandemic Precautions

By Sam Haldiman | May 28, 2020

I’m eager to get improv going again, but with abundant precautions to keep our improv family safe.

There’s no place like (our new) home

By Sam Haldiman | September 10, 2019

It’s so easy to get comfortable on the couch and settle in for a night of Netflix, but we’d like to invite you to our place. Second Beat Improv Theater has a new home! Check out our new location starting October 1, 2019. Come on in and take a class, enjoy a show, or jump…

Jellies and Improv Jams

By Sam Haldiman | September 16, 2018

We’ve recently started two new improv jams at Second Beat. Every 2nd Saturday at 8:30pm we have the Log Roll Jam, a fast-paced jam of randomly drawn teams of two doing a scene, taking on another duo. The audience votes and the winners keep playing. The other team’s names go back in the bucket to…

Keep swimming!

By Sam Haldiman | August 6, 2018

As I have seen people in my life continue to put themselves out there and try new things and reinvent themselves, I have been inspired. As artists, we should continue to keep learning and trying new things. I am working on providing new opportunities for people at the theater that go beyond improv. There have…

Get Out

By Sam Haldiman | April 5, 2017

I recently saw the movie Get Out. This post has nothing to do with the movie but everything to do with the title. The point is say yes to things and get out of your house and out of your comfort zone. I recently went on a hot air balloon ride for my anniversary, and…

If I had a baby…

By Sam Haldiman | February 26, 2017

I imagine this is how I would feel if I had a baby. This theater keeps me up at night. I never get any sleep and I’m always exhausted. It drains my money. There is always a mess to clean up. I should hate it but everything about it continues to make me smile and…

What Type of Improviser are You?

By Sam Haldiman | September 10, 2016

Each person’s playing style is determined very early in their improv training. Improvisers driven by intellect use their mind to come up with smart and clever retorts in a scene. Emotion-based performers will often respond with “when you say that it makes me feel…” to show how their scene partner’s response affects them. Someone who…

Why I Still Love to Improvise After 16 Years

By Sam Haldiman | September 10, 2016

I think I began improvising to have a creative outlet and show everyone how funny I could be. When I first started to improvise it was a lot about myself. I didn’t realize the power of really being a part of an ensemble. Over time I realized it was so much more than what I…

Class Registration Open

By Sam Haldiman | August 27, 2016

Registration is now open for Level 1 classes beginning in January 2017. Levels 2 through 4 will open up as students complete Level 1. Visit our class schedule and registration page.

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Second Beat Improv Theater
1130 E Missouri Ave Ste 590
Phoenix AZ 85014

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