A Funny Thing Happened

on the way home from the theater...


David Koff


I've been on or around the stage for over 40 years, in one capacity or another. My love affair with the stage began with a performance of "Free To Be, You and Me" in 4th grade with Bob Goltz at Myers Elementary School. I sang the "William Wants a Doll" song, in case you're curious. Just a few years later, for my 11th birthday, my folks took me to see "A Chorus Line" at the Forrest Theater in Philadelphia and I knew right then that I was hooked on the magic and power of the theater, forever.

At The University of Pennsylvania, I became a member of the famed Mask & Wig comedy troupe for four years, eventually becoming the lead writer and director of the undergraduate's Fall production. After graduation, I moved to Los Angeles and began pursuing professional acting and writing. I co-wrote my first screenplay with author Stuart Gibbs and sold it to Fox Family Films. Not long after, I joined SAG/ AFTRA and eventually appeared on a such TV shows as "The West Wing", "The John Larroquette Show" and "Sesame Street". As you do.

But it was my journey into Improvisation that truly changed my life. I began my studies at The Groundlings Theater in Los Angeles back in 1992 and spent four years in their conservatory/school system. When I completed the entire Groundlings program, I trained for over a decade with Groundlings alumni Stan Wells at his innovative "Empty Stage Theatre". There, I began to also direct and produce improvised formats, including an improvised sitcom and improvised one-act play. I spent my last two years in LA in the master class of Bill Steinkellner, the executive producer of “Cheers” and “Just Shoot Me”.

In 2001, I became the Artistic Director of Fake Radio, LA’s Premier Old-Time-Radio Comedy Troupe. Since then, I’ve had the honor of working on stage with some of my comedy heroes including, The Kids in the Hall, Ray Romano, John Larroquette, Fred Willard, Marcia Wallace, Larraine Newman, Jeff Garlin, Mindy Sterling & George Wendt. You can see a few production pictures from past performances further down the page. 

After moving to Portland in 2014, I joined in the main ensemble and taught improvisation at Curious Comedy. Since 2016, I've done the same at The Brody Theatre, working there with both Domeka Parker and Tom Johnson as Artistic Directors. In 2016, I began teaching improv as a life skill to students at St. Andrew's Nativity School in Northeast Portland, a Jesuit School which provides a free education to underserved youth. As there was no formal program at that school, I was honored to first develop and then refine a curriculum for over 18 months. In 2018, I was invited to teach a version of that curriculum to students at Portland’s Catlin Gabel school. In 2019, I’ll do the same at The Nueva School in SF.

In 2018, I was selected deliver a TEDx styled presentation about my work at St. Andrew Nativity at the International Applied Improvisation Network (AIN) in Paris to 200 attendees.