our ensemble

Karen Craft

Head Clown and Discoverer

Born at a very young age, Karen had her first taste of acting in college and has been answering the call ever since. While recovering from flu back in 2000, she watched 24 hours of the British version of Whose Line Is It Anyway? and at that very moment decided to embrace the dark arts known as improv. Several years later, she formed Polite Ink. sketch & improv.

 

Karen adores many of the characters she is able to play with Polite Ink,. but her favorites include: Dominica Bonventre-Tamburello of the saucy Italian cooking show al dente, Michaela Daly, the ginger columnist of the Shaughnessy Group, and basically any character with a British accent.

 

When not on stage with Polite Ink., Karen performs with several theatre groups throughout Rochester. Some of her credits include: Candida in Classics Theater of Rochester’s production of Candida, played with the Penfield Players as Billie Dawn in their production of Born Yesterday, Ms. Martin in The Bald Soprano, and co-wrote and performed in the Rochester debut of the epic fantasy The Kingdom Next to Fid, which she and her co-writer are currently turning into a novel. She also co-hosts the Polite Ink. comedy talk show on WAYO 104.3 FM with her favorite funny people.

Karen is also a writer, producer, and director—and tapped into all those talents to establish the annual MuCCC benefit show, which finished in 2016, its fifth year.

Karen is happily married to her biggest supporter, next to her mother of course and has two rescue dogs. (Little known secret, dogs love improv.)

Corrie Spike Carter

Head PR Guru and Wit Master

Corrie is a total improv fan girl turned performer and writer for Polite Ink. She was hooked the very first time she said "Yes and" at a workshop with Bobbi Block of Comedy Sports in Philadelphia. 

 

Corrie is known for her reoccurring characters: Vencenza Bonventre from PITV’s public access Italian cooking show Al Dente; Debbie Donna—the controversial (and whacky!) talk show host to the stars on Privately Public with Debbie Donna; and folk singer and political activist Catherine O'Reilly on The Shaughnessy Group. 

 

She regularly performs at MuCCC in Rochester and with Bravo! Creative Arts Production Company in Fairport. She was recently seen as Drypenny the evil witch in a successful run of a Rochester original: The Kingdom Next to Fid, and as Mickey the cop in The Female Version of the Odd Couple. 

 

Corrie is one of four local women who brought the national phenomenonListen to Your Mother to Rochester and serves as its producer and publicist.  

 

She also co-hosts the Polite Ink comedy talk show on Rochester’s WAYO 104.3 radio and secretly wishes her voice was as low and dreamy as Don's.

 

Corrie is married to her high school sweetheart and they have two crazy awesome daughters.

 

She is currently working on publishing her first children's picture book and often wears a vile of Billy Bob Thorton's blood around her neck (who doesn't?!?!?). 

Don Beechner

Nicest Guy and Funny Accent Expert

Every hero has an origin story.  Don's started as inconspicuously as any other: lightning flashed into some chemicals on a barren planet causing basic protein and organic chemicals to form, etc. But instead of the standard route most heroes take involving bright spandex tights, he took a different path. A path that lead him to acting. Then, instead of spandex, Don wore costumes

(including the occasional dress and even tights, but no spandex). 

 

Instead of showing off his super powers, he portrayed characters who may or may not have super powers. His most favorite characters he has played include the debonair Elliott Lovberg in “Hedda” and the dashing swashbuckler Jacques in “The Kingdom Next to Fid”. He enjoyed playing characters that others created enough that he decided to create his own in the improv-verse.  


With Polite Ink, he gets to improv to the in”fun”ite power and play many recurring characters like the lovable Devon McGrath in the Shaunessey group, the lovable Slender Denim in the Artesian Fountain, and Ennio, that loveable husband of Dommie. 


Don also partakes in the Polite Ink radio show on WAYO 104.3 with some awesome co-hosts

Michael Anthony

Enthusiasticist and Champion Celeb Impersonator

In 2001, no not the Space Oddesy but the actual year, Michael had the strong desire to try out for Norton in a local production of the Honeymooners. Given he had no previous experience, when open audition time came fear won out, he did not audition. (don’t worry, it all turns out okay).

 

Many, many, many years later, okay just a few, he asked a friend what she thought about what a Russian Death Metal band doing Beach Boy's covers would sound like?  He then of course demonstrated for her by singing “Ch'ee toohk her Daddy's car und' cruise thro' dah Ham'burger' Stand Nowwe” As all good friends do, she encouraged him to explore this humorous off the cuff talent of his. In the following days she told him about an Improv troop that holds classes.  12 weeks later, he got the call,  “Mike do you want to play tonight?” Ahhhhhh... fear hit him like it did before....he shouted....HECK YES. He has been answering the call of the Improv Gods ever since, as accepting the offer is something you are taught in your very first class.

 

Before joining Polite Ink., Michael performed with The Village Idiots and Photo City Improv. He also performs occasionally with Mystery Company LLC where he has played a 1920's Playboy Chef, 1920's Talkie Flamboyant Director, and 1930's Cheeky Gangster.

 

His major pet peeve is slurping your coffee. He recently got engaged to his girlfriend Beth, who not only is his biggest forwardthrift-seeking and always remaining positive. You can often hear him saying ABMF! which means “always be moving powers include Michael was born and raised in Rochester. His special fan, but an amazing audience volunteer.

Reuben Tapp

Virtuoso Crooner and Preeminent Emoter

From near galaxies where problems are abundant Tapp joins Polite Ink; infusing it's politeness with the energy of the gods. Never one to let the dew rest upon his feet,  Tapp summons the creative atoms of an h-bomb and the fierce stealthiness of a long distance drone to keep audiences and players off balance.

 

When his Tappness rests, he does so by researching the marvels of Sociology, participatory theater, and African American history.  He continues to grow in his improvisational skills, primarily by not watching the scene unfolding while on stage and forgetting that he should be actively participating in it.

Tapp is also the artistic director of the Maplewood Performing Arts Centre and produces numerous shows and channels on youtube.  For more info see mpactoday.com.

Bolan Graham

Newbie and Ultra Talented Troubadour

What is a Bolan? Is it a creature from the deep, come to feast on the souls of the guilty? Is it a leaf blown on a soft breeze through the meadow grass that signals the coming of autumn? No. It's a dude. Just a regular guy.

 

Bolan is thrilled to be involved with Polite Ink. He has been involved with Theatre, Music, and Comedy Improvisation from a young age. He attended School of the Arts in Rochester as a Drama Major, where he was a fixture on the SOTA Improv team for several years. He trained at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting at New York City’s Tisch School of the Arts, where he was involved with the student improv troupe 'Home Improvment'. He took a leave of absence from college for a year, during which he participated in more Rochester area community theatre. He enrolled at Allegheny College studying Psychology and Theatre in 2015, where he joined the Comedy Council, the house improv team. He has appeared on the Stages of School of the Arts, Geva Theatre Center, the Penfield Players, RAPA's Kodak Center Stage, and the Playwright's Horizons Studio.

 

He thanks Polite Ink. for the opportunity to play music and make people laugh, as well as his family for their support.

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