by Temple Lentz
Improvisers from Portland's theaters and groups came together in a self-proclaimed supergroup. These performers are the real thing. Jed Arkley, John Breen, Jay Flewelling, Justin Himes, Jenn Hunter, Jess Lee, Jake Michels, and Janet Scanlon are indeed some of the best improvisers in Portland. They understand the core improv values of listening, collaborating, and creating a scene. They get that truly gifted improvisers don't just troll for a laugh—a mistake many new performers make—but work to develop and understand their craft.
by Megan Burbank
Seated in folding chairs, swilling whiskey and "mystery beer," the audience that crowded into Old Town/Chinatown's Siren Theater for J Names Improv's April show was a reactive one, occasionally punctuated by recognizable performers from across Portland's improv and sketch comedy communities.
by Shannon Gormley
Though the popularity of J Names and Portland improv has been on the upswing for years now, the scene acquired some promising infrastructure last fall. On a blisteringly hot afternoon, Curious Comedy's artistic director Stacey Hallal sits in the airy, newly renovated theater, where J Names starts its bi-weekly residency this Friday.