We’ve got your Saturday morning covered
The second Saturday of every month, Gnu Tales has been delighting audiences with brand-new, never-before-seen, improvised fairy tales created before your very eyes! Our shows are recommended for ages 2-102 (but especially geared toward ages 3-8), so bring anyone you know who’s looking to add a little childlike wonder to their world—one ticket covers the whole family! And don’t forget the camera—the kids are welcome to join the cast on stage to help create the adventure! Come out to our show and let us add some magic to your Saturday morning.
Run time is about 60 minutes. Come early for coffee and coloring, and appearances by our mischievous puppet crew!
We offer improv workshops for kids of all ages! Click the links below to register.
Teen Playshop (Ages 13-17) – Saturday, Jan. 27, 10-11:30 a.m. Join us for 90 minutes of improv games and exercises intended to entertain, challenge, and inspire. This is a space to allow teens to step out of their comfort zone, forge new friendships, and cultivate confidence in a fun, supportive environment. Sorry grown-ups, this one is just for the teens!
Kids Playshop (Ages 4-8) – Saturday, Jan. 27, 10-11 a.m. Join us for an hour of improv games and exercises led by improvisers with a passion for early childhood development. This is a space for families to play and laugh together.
Youth Playshop (Ages 9-12) – Saturday, Feb 24, 10-11 a.m. Join us for an hour of improv games and exercises led by improvisers with a passion for youth development. This is a space for families to play, connect and laugh together.
Let us bring the party to you!
Gnu Tales offers private kids shows and workshops–and we’ll come to you! Let us help make your child’s next birthday party a magical, memorable experience. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for info and inquiries.
MEET THE CAST:
Austin Garrison, Ensemble
A Seattle native, Austin started directing children’s theatre right after he completed his Theatre degree in 2005. To date, he has directed 52 productions of Annie, and he isn’t stopping anytime soon! When not on the stage, he can be found teaching Theatre in Nashville Public Schools, or creating harmonious melodies alongside his wife, Tai Shan. He also loves pretending, playing with dolls and imagining with his daughter.
Elle Becker, Ensemble
Elle left her job at the US Department of Justice to wander and explore many magical lands. She eventually settled in Nashville, where she took improv classes to help with social anxiety and enhance her other super powers. She’s not saying that she has the power of invisibility, but she is the youngest of seven, and that’s kind of the same thing. While Elle doesn’t have children of her own, there are three littles that claim Elle as their fairy godmother. She has fourteen niblings who also fuel her joy and imagination!
Jessica Davis, Ensemble
Jessica is an excessively curious and energetic overthinker who has lived in the suburbs of Nashville since before it was cool. She is on a mission to make the world a kinder place and is thrilled to spark the imaginations of children as part of the Gnu Tales team…especially since her own kids are still surprised she is funny.
Joe Mobley, Ensemble
Originally from southeast Missouri, Joe Mobley is a recent graduate of Belmont University where he studied theatre and coping with sleep deprivation. When he’s not putting beans on a plate at Calypso Cafe, he’s probably teaching at the Nashville Children’s Theatre or playing a board game. Or a video game. Or a word game. You know what, he’s probably just playing a game. Joe is new to improv, but he’s trying his best!
Josh Martin, Ensemble
Joshua Martin Has worked in children’s entertainment for over 15 years. Has a passion for imaginative characters and building confidence and self esteem in working with kids of all ages. He has worked in puppetry for television and shows here Nashville. Was part of the puppet company at the Nashville Public Library, and works with the Nashville Jazz Workshop for their children’s program Jazz A.M. Is working on Improv Comedy Here at Third Coast and is ready for fun and adventures with everyone who is willing to use their imagination.
Katy Hennen, Ensemble
Like most children, Katy started playing make-believe at a young age, specializing in such creative characters as “sister” and “Hermione Granger.” However, unlike most of her peers, Katy never outgrew this pastime. She likes to think her younger self would be impressed that she has learned how to play more than two characters, and has somehow found a way to get people to pay for what she used to do at home for free.
Kelsie Craig, Ensemble
Kelsie moved to Nashville from Arkansas in 2011. While in Arkansas she was part of Improv Little Rock! She loves improv and telling stories. While in college she traveled to New York for a Second City intensive. She teaches 4-18 year olds at Nashville Children’s Theater and Centennial Performing Arts. She especially loves the little ones and their vast imaginations. When Kelsie is not on stage you can find her around town attending births as a certified birth doula, napping with her cats, and helping folks at The Turnip Truck Natural Market. She’s happy she’s found a home with Gnu Tales at Third Coast.
Mahaillie Griffith, Ensemble
Once upon a time a girl was born who loved stories. That girl was Mahaillie. Ever since she was a tiny tot, Mahaillie has been on a journey to find epic stories. She’s bombastically taken the stage to sing, act or dance a tale. She clawed her way into the Great Pyramid of Giza and tumbled through her French learning about history and culture. She currently works at Paramount in the technology department discovering the secrets to a good show. No story is complete without a trusty sidekick – her 18 year old cat Milo! Mahaillie can’t wait to imagine with you and help you tell your stories.
Sadie Jo Harris, Ensemble
During the day Sadie can be found in a spooky tower at VUMC, performing a role that she has never been able to describe to the outside world very successfully. But in the evenings and weekends she enjoys gaming of all kinds, traversing mountains with her partner, rescuing pregnant guinea pigs from the shelter, and pretending she’s a short-order cook. Thanks to her sister Katy, she was recently introduced to Third Coast’s improv classes, and has greatly enjoyed taking them and witnessing all the amazing shows the club has to offer. After watching her first Gnu Tales show with her daughters (7 and 4), she immediately knew she would pursue opportunities to perform improv with kids. And although she’s fairly certain she only got here through a systems error, she’s incredibly excited to join the talented cast of Gnu Tales!
Sam Brewer, Ensemble
Sam is a Computer Scientist (he has been called a Mad Computer Scientist in the past). He currently teaches Computer Programming at the high school level. He’s been studying and performing improv since 2018 after he moved to Nashville from his hometown of Memphis, TN. His hobbies include Video Games, Tabletop Games, Card Games, Board Games, and… wait… it’s just games isn’t it. Sam is a Nerd, and proud of it!
Max Kemp, Director & Producer
Max is a Nashville transplant from a small town in northern Connecticut. She caught the improv bug back in 2007 and hasn’t been able to shake the habit since! She performs with Gnu Tales and Cherry Bomb at Third Coast and teaches classes at the Third Coast Training Center, where she also serves as Assistant Director. Working with and helping kids has always been a passion of hers, from serving at camps to working at a preschool company to volunteering with the foster care review board and CASA. She’s excited to have the opportunity to positively impact the lives of young children through the magic of improv with Gnu Tales.
Dylan Kinney, Original Founder
Dylan accidentally began his improv career in 2003, when he registered for (and won) the first annual “Mr. Star Wars” contest at Dragon*Con in Atlanta. In the fifteen years that followed, he performed hundreds of shows with multiple teams in the Nashville area. He met his wife while he was performing improvised Shakespeare at the Tennessee Renaissance Festival. His daughters were his inspiration to create the improvised fairy tale show “Gnu Tales” for families with young children of their own.