Current Cast Members
Huib van der Gaag
Huib was born on a boat less than a mile from here. Not that he counts in miles, as he’s never lived in a country where that was needed (Canada uses kilometres right?) He started doing improv 15 years ago on a Tuesday, and has never taken a break from it. He likes being on bicycles of any kind, unfair games, being on Latvian radio shows, needs new glasses and dislikes shaving. Which really shows in many a character he puts on stage!
Steven is a Welsh person who started improv in Australia and now lives in Nijmegen. Former organiser of the Bris Funny Fest & founder of Brisbane's Comedy Commentary Cinema, he now hosts the standup comedy night LYFAO, is one half of Tru2U and hosts the webseries Real Power Talk. He has performed improv & standup internationally in countries such as the UK, Japan, New Zealand and Australia.
Jenny's first time on stage was playing a sheep in the nativity play at her primary school. 12 years of scripted theater later, she performed a dialogue with a sheep, felt she came full circle and transitioned to improv. Offstage, she is a science communicator, a chemist and someone who is willing to spend weeks solving elaborate cryptography puzzles. Onstage, Jenny enjoys science puns, miming control panels and looking innocent while murdering people.
Nicole comes from Washington D.C. and studied improv in Chicago. She is a founding member of easylaughs and performed with Problem Solved and Blind Date in Amsterdam. She is in her late 40s, Capricorn and left-handed. She teaches and performs improvisation all over the Netherlands. She has directed and performed in Washington D.C., Chicago, Amsterdam and Edinburgh. She went to Las Vegas to learn how to teach yoga, showing a sense of humour even in downward facing dog.
Ben started writing and performing comedy while at University. Spurred on by the overwhelming positive reaction from the audience (ie small groups of his friends) he felt compelled to push it further. He joined the Cambridge Footlights and went on to perform in numerous comedy shows with partners Will Ing and Dan Gaster - including five years at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. He writes and presents for BBC Radio and Television (BBC World's "Fast Track").
At the age of 14 Marith discovered improvisation – and she's never looked back. After developing a strong foundation in theatresports and street theatre, she moved on to train in acting, directing and teaching and is now a theatre teacher based in Utrecht, Netherlands. Marith is also the Artistic Director of Rocky Amaretto, a Dutch group with a unique raw edge, and is a member of the all-female group The Ferocious Four.
Hello, Trista here. I'm 1/2 Kenyan and 1/2 Tanzanian which saves me from being all American. My former past lives include an interactive TV producer for a cable company in Amsterdam, a coordinator in Washington D.C. post-production houses, a film and video grad in D.C., a missile systems engineer in Boston, an electrical engineer grad in LA. My current present lives include an improviser with 14 years onstage experience, an energetic emcee for stand-up shows, storytelling nights, Art Battles, a top improv and stand-up trainer, an on-camera actor and presenter, a role player for corporate trainings, a professional laugher.
easylaughs was formed in Amsterdam in the spring of 2005. Its intention was to have regular, high-quality, shows and build an improv community. In the years since we have performed weekly shows and taught courses and workshops to thousands of eager students.
The group formed out of an existing group with a small following called Problem Solved, who had been performing at Cameleon Theatre in Amsterdam West. As our popularity grew, and with the desire for a regular Friday night slot, we moved to the Crea in central Amsterdam, a stone’s-throw from the red-light district. We started renting the Muziekzaal (music hall) for its more casual, cabaret-style which was better suited to improv than the theatre. At the Crea, the cultural hub of the University of Amsterdam, not only could we continue our popular, regular open workshops, but we also had space to increase our teaching opportunities.
In 2012, the Crea uprooted to a new purpose-built building on Roeterseiland and as part of this, they specifically requested that easylaughs move with them. As part of the move, our weekly performances changed to Saturday night for a while, but soon after we returned to our favoured Friday-night slot. The relationship between the venue and the group continues strong to this day.
easylaughs has been the only Netherlands-based group consistently running classes and workshops in English over the last 15+ years. Previous members of easylaughs include names such as Peter More, Emma Wessleus, John Mabey, Anne de Graaf, Kiki Hohnen, Herman Gambhir, Jochem Meijer and Anna Greaves. Many people who have been through our programs have gone on to great things, forging their own paths in creative and talented ways, and taking our lessons with them and applying them to their daily lives.
Our group offers a wide variety of courses and workshops, and in 2011 we increased our offerings to include stand-up comedy courses and performances, helping launch the careers of many of the rising stars in the Netherlands and further afield. Since then we've expanded our offering to include a wider array both in-person and online.
In recent years, easylaughs has gone international, having been invited as guests in shows and festivals in Spain, Sweden, Finland, Latvia and Russia. Members of easylaughs have performed and taught all over the world in places all over Europe, America and Australia.
Even during the great pandemic of 2020, easylaughs continued, taking our shows, courses and workshops online when no alternative was possible. Ever adaptable, the spirit of improvisation allows us to not only continue our story through troubled times but helps us through whatever the future has in store for us and our community.
easylaughs has become a core of the Expat community in Amsterdam, with friendships formed, collaborations born and valuable lessons learned by people of all walks of life. Our focus on community and giving back is what makes us unique within the city. We've always focused on empowering others to be the best they can be and creating an environment where people can explore their own ideas and create something new. As a group, our alumni range from complete beginners wanting to try new things to bespoke corporate workshops and training targeted at companies who have specific goals in mind. We welcome anyone and everyone to join us on this path and hope to see you at one of our workshops soon.