the laughing academy FACULTY


KIM GREENE HILLER - founder/head teacher

Kim earned her improv comedy pedigree from Chicago's lauded Second City Conservatory, where her teachers included Steve Carell and Stephen Colbert. Kim also studied under improv legends Del Close and Charna Halpern at Chicago's ImprovOlympic (iO), sharing the stage with classmates Amy Poehler and Tina Fey. 

Kim began her professional comedy career at The Second City Chicago, and went on to perform and write at Second City Detroit, as well as teach classes at the Second City Detroit Conservatory.​  She was a member of Annoyance Theater's mainstage  improv troupe Screw Puppies, made regular appearances with long-form improv groundbreakers The Free Associates, and acted in a wide range of industrial videos, voice-overs, and commercials.


In addition to work as a corporate trainer, a Session Director at O'Connor Casting in Chicago, and a freelance theater director, Kim's non-comedy background includes teaching positions at Hawthorne Scholastic Academy, Northside College Prep, Apachi Preschool, and substitute work for Chicago Public Schools.

A native of California (and now a resident of Glenview), Kim holds a BA in Humanities from Menlo College, a Masters of Education from DePaul, and has studied acting at San Francisco's American Conservatory of Theater, and the Stella Adler Conservatory and Michael Howard Studios in NYC.

Kim is also a writer, regularly featured on


In this interview,  LAC founder Kim Greene Hiller joins WLS Radio host Jen Weigel in-studio to talk about her career --From discovering The Second City to performing on their mainstage alongside Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, to the deep personal rewards of sharing the transformative power of improvisation with her students at The Laughing Academy.



 Assistant Director Of Curriculum and a Dean of Drollery with THE LAUGHING ACADEMY since 2013, Jill is a graduate of both the Second City Conservatory and iO Chicago (where she performed with the Harold Teams Airborne! and SoundCzech), and holds a BA in Theater from Towson University.

In addition to teaching  work with Dream Big Performing Arts Workshop and Compass Creative Dramatics,  she has served as Chicago Director for Funny Bones Improv, Program Coordinator for This Is ME, and Child Whisperer for The Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival.  

Jill is also the founder of Storytown, a fully improvised, interactive musical for children and their families. 



 A LAUGHING ACADEMY Mentor of Merriment since 2017, NY native Jean Bonavita is an improvisor, actor, and director who can be seen performing throughout Chicago in MINt,  Anarchy: An Improvised Rock Opera, Chicago Doo-Wop Dreams, and Project BROADWAY at MCL. 

Jean is also a founding member and performer for The Comedy Dance Collective.



A former Chicago Tribune journalist, and current writer/actor, Kelly  has   performed her own one-woman shows in cities across the country including New York, Montreal, Orlando, Minneapolis, and Chicago.  A Sage of Snickers with THE LAUGHING ACADEMY since 2017, she is currently on the house team at Improv Playhouse in Libertyville. 

A graduate of both the Second City Conservatory and iO Chicago, Kelly also holds a BA in Journalism with minors in Theatre Arts and Women’s Studies from Penn State.  



 An alumnus of Lyon, Pleasant Ridge, 

Attea, and Glenbrook South, LaShae  became a LAUGHING ACADEMY Guide to Giggles in 2018.

LaShae is currently attending Northeastern Illinois University,  where she is studying Communication, Media, and Theatre. 



 A Coach of Craziness since 2018, Kathy studied at The Second City Conservatory, iO Chicago,  and Players Workshop - where she was also a teacher and member of their corporate troupe.    

In addition to successful work as a commercial voiceover artist, Kathy has been a preschool teacher in Wilmette for over ten years.



THE LAUGHING ACADEMY's newest Tutor Of Tomfoolery , Zach is a graduate of iO Chicago and The Second Conservatory, and coaches, directs, acts and improvises across Chicagoland. 

He is a founding member of the sketch group, SAME, and his solo sketch show Lost Boy recently debuted at The Annoyance.

professor hoo's on first

A native of the Arctic Tundra, Professor Hoo's On First pursued several branches of higher learning before discovering his true passion - improv comedy.  

In a well-known story, The Professor initially rose to fame on the infamous "Caribou Circuit,"  where he performed with the harolded Strigiforme long form troupe, and leveraged unique comedic trademarks including Staring Wisely, Blinking Majestically, and Surprise Mouse Regurgitation to become a breakout star.

Although now retired from the stage, Professor Hoo's is very pleased to contribute to THE LAUGHING ACADEMY's ongoing status as a vibrant, nurturing, and 100% mouse-free comedy school environment.