Company Member since 2000
Coach since 2001
Kasey has served as BATS Artistic Director since 2011. He is a frequent director of Theatresports™, Director’s Cut!, This Just In (the News Show), and other formats including Improvised Shakespeare and Gritty Improvised Western.
As a coach, Kasey has been at the forefront of bringing the work of Sanford Meisner to the improv stage — using repetition to achieve natural and authentic acting and emotion in improvisation.
Kasey’s first exposure to live theatre came when he was in middle school and would spend summers with his aunt, Lianne Roddewig, who was a regular actor with the Woodland Community Theater ensemble. The first play he ever fell in love with was You Can’t Take It with You.
Kasey was first exposed to improvisation in high school. After discovering BATS Improv (via True Fiction Magazine), Kasey and his frequent accomplice, Mike Barnett, founded Devil Mountain Improv League in early 1997, the same year Kasey began taking classes at BATS. In the fall of 2000, Kasey was invited to join the BATS Main Stage Company at the tender age of 20 — an invitation he gladly accepted. Since then he has performed in hundreds (thousands?) of shows at BATS and represented BATS Improv in Theatresports tournaments in Austin, Edmonton, Los Angeles, and Ventura.
In addition to performing with the BATS Main Stage Company, Kasey has performed with BATS Sunday Players, the Belfry, and the longform groups People of Earth! and Improv Factory Outlet. Kasey is an original cast member of The A**hole Monologues and performed the show’s only improvised piece during a heralded run in New York.
Q & A
What do you like about improv?
Anything can happen on any night. I really love not knowing what will happen next! I love being surpised onstage.
What was your first BATS Show?
Monday Night Theatresports in 1994. My high school teacher took our class as a field trip.
Your first improv class?
Foundation 1 with Barbara Scott in 1997.
What are your favorite formats?
While I love it all, I particularly love the freedom that comes with directed improv formats (such as Super Scene and Director’s Cut!). I also love the variety that comes with shows like Theatresports.
Best moment on the BATS stage?
During a Micetro show, getting the direction from Keith Johnstone to “dare to bore the audience a bit.” That was the moment I finally understood that improv is not about working to be funny.
How do you use improv skills in your life off-stage?
I listen better than I did before I was an improviser. It’s amazing how far good listening can take you.
Any improv advice?
Do less; be more. Trust that what is obvious to you will be thrilling for the audience. Like Keith says, “Dare to bore the audience a bit” (because that’s when the funniest most authentic things happen).
Who are your artistic influences?
Steve Martin. David Letterman. Monty Python . . . but not in that order