Some Nice Things People Have Said About Me

Chicago Public Schools Teacher Feedback:

“You did a great job! I appreciate you coming and showing teachers with no theater background, that theater exercises can be used in the classroom and amongst peers.”

“This professional development provided great opportunities and examples of team-building activities for teachers as well as students.”

Second City (Chicago) student evaluations:

“[The program] exceeded my expectations. I have a journal full of notes to take home. Mark breaks things down and works them one at a time. While working scenes he reminds you what to work on. He hammers in the basics! Mark is also a delight to be around.”

“Awesome! It was fantastic and Mark was super-supportive.”

“My expectations were exceeded. I have never done improv before, and Mark made the entire experience comfortably life-changing.”

“The program exceeded my expectations. From the very first day, Mark created a very open and welcoming environment. Even though I was a little anxious to come, I felt very comfortable. I also feel like I learned a lot in such a short time!”

Jose Alatorre, Northwestern Settlement House (Non-Profit in Chicago):

“In-Services are held 4 times a year at Northwestern Settlement for approximately 90 staff members; one of the primary goals is to build community within a broad spectrum of staff: from the President of the Settlement, to teachers with PhD’s, to theater staff, to Group Leaders, to janitorial staff…  on 2 of In Services, Mark opened with a 20- 30 minute segment that highlighted his warm personality, improv skills and the ability to ask permission from staff to be themselves: barriers were taken down and the staff discovered that through teamwork, difficult problems and situations can be successfully resolved.  Mark possesses the wonderful ability of bringing out laughter while at the same time keeping on task.”

From ensemble members I’ve coached:

“I’ve studied improv in Chicago for over five years at The Annoyance, iO, and The Second City, and never have I come across a more insightful and effective coach than Mark Piebenga. He excels at examining group dynamics while simultaneously identifying individual performer strengths and areas of growth resulting in feedback that creates better improvisers and better improv teams in an astonishingly brief period of time.”

“Mark Piebenga brings integrity and intellect to improvisation. He has the ability to articulate abstract ideas into tangible, proactive, and empowering moves for actors. Above all else, Mark is an artist and treats you like one.”

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