“Being spontaneous is both the most natural and most difficult of behaviors.”
Kat Koppett, Kopco’s Eponymous Founder, brings to our work a deep commitment to serving the needs of our clients with whatever tools, styles and approach are best suited to them. Kat holds a B.F.A. in Drama from New York University and an M.A. in Organizational Psychology from Columbia University, and continually seeks to combine the wisdom and strengths of both disciplines to create programs that are both practical and transformative. Her book Training to Imagine: Practical Improvisational Theatre Techniques to Enhance Creativity, Teamwork, Leadership, and Learning, is considered a seminal work in the field of Applied Improv and is used by professionals around the world.
Kat has designed and delivered programs for such diverse clients as Apple, Chanel, Prezi, Kaiser-Permanente, GE, St. Peters Hospital, JPMorgan Chase, Eli Lilly, and The Farm Bureau in places such as India, Brazil, Paris, Budapest and Oklahoma. Her areas of special interest include executive coaching, leadership, presentation and communication skills development, creativity and innovation facilitation, teamwork and conflict resolution. An adjunct professor at RPI’s Lally School of Business, Kat has presented at Stanford, UC Berkeley as well as ASTD, ISPI, NSA, the YPA, NASAGA, AIN and many other organizations with initials. She has given two TEDx talks on the use of improv to enhance non-theatrical performance.
Kat performs with and is a Co-Director of The Mop & Bucket Theatre Company the Capital Region’s premiere improvisational theatre company. In 1995, TheatreWeek Magazine named Kat one of the year’s “Unsung Heroes” for her creation of the completely improvised musical format, “Spontaneous Broadway” now performed by companies from New York to California to Australia. She has been seen in television ads for Pillsbury, Quaker Oats, and Dr Pepper (she was a Pepper!). Her most fulfilling improv gig to date is playing Mama to her daughter, Lia, who teaches her profound lessons daily.
Michael Burns, Artistic Director and Founder of our sister company, The Mop & Bucket Company, brings an eclectic mix of talents and experiences to Koppett & Company. Our specialist in programs for those with learning challenges, Michael is well-known throughout the Capital Region for his work in education and human services.
Before settling in the area, Michael studied theatre at SUNY Purchase, and then improv with David Shepherd in New York where he directed for the American Modern Dance Theatre and the American Folk Theatre. He was a member of The Big Apple Experience, a short-lived but cleverly named improv troupe. He has since worked for several upstate theaters including Home Made Theater, The Theatre Barn and Steamer 10 Theatre.
Michael developed (with David Shepherd) the Compass Institution, an improv troupe touring senior centers and hospitals. He directed inmate-written plays for Very Special Arts at Greene Correctional facility, and has created youth theater troupes for several human services agencies. He is the author of First You Sit on the Floor: A Guide to Developing a Youth Theatre Troupe. When he is not designing and delivering training for us, or directing, performing and producing for Mop & Bucket, Michael teaches video production and art at The Charlton School, a residential facility for adolescent girls with emotional and learning difficulties.
Belina Raffy A native of the UK, Belina works closely with blue chip companies around the world, guiding them to be more adaptive, resilient, innovative, delightful and resourceful organizations. She lectures at top business schools worldwide and is working to transform the UK charity finance sector. She holds an MBA from Cranfield University in England and has studied with some of the most renown improvisers in the world. With more organic approach to the field, she has worked with top ‘biomimicry’ experts to explore how insights of thriving living systems can help businesses grow. www.maffick.com.
Dan O’Connor Dan is co-founder and Artistic Director of the critically acclaimed Los Angeles Theatresports Company and a co-founder of four of its branches. He has appeared in numerous television shows, on stage and with renown improv houses, as well as teaching and performing all over the world.
Dan has worked alongside the award-winning actor Kelsey Grammer and has directed critically acclaimed television shows. His teaching credentials include the UCLA, USC, Duke and Pepperdine Universities and the University of Texas. Corporate clients include Price Waterhouse, KPMG, Ernst and Young, SCA TORK, Bank of America, Cadence, Cisco, Foundry, Clarke, Deloitte, Banana Republic, Izusu, Charles Schwab, MGM Grand, DOW, and many others.
Brenny Rabine Brenny is an accomplished actor, director, playwright and corporate trainer, having designed and delivered a wide variety of courses and workshops for such clients as Glens Falls Hospital and the US Olympic Committee. Holding a MA in composition studies, Brenny combines her more than twenty-five years of theatre experience with over a decade of full-time teaching.
Brenny is a member of the Dramatists Guild, a teaching artist for Adirondack Theatre Festival and guest lecturer at Toastmasters, Art ‘n Soul, Siena College, University at Albany, Saratoga County Arts Council and Temple Sinai, among others. As an improv performer, she has studied and/or performed with numerous companies, from New York to San Francisco.
Renu Ramakrishnan Renu brings a global perspective to Koppett & Company’s training programs, combining her international experience with her background in marketing, advertising and journalism. She holds an MBA from the University of Mumbai (Bombay) and Lehigh University.
In the US, Renu has marketed word class brands. In Singapore and now in the US, as correspondent for Clean India Journal, she develops feature stories on an array of compelling international topics. As a cross cultural trainer, Renu teaches and facilitates focus groups, brainstorming and idea generation sessions, as well as conducting creative research for major advertisers, including Crayola and Beech-Nut. To fuel her creative energy, Renu divides her time between the serene surroundings of upstate New York and the bustling bazaars of urban Mumbai, India.
Michael Rock Michael is a veteran director, actor, playwright, trainer and facilitator, having worked with such notable clients as Oxygen Media, Johns Hopkins and the US Olympic organization. An award-winning director, Michael’s performance credits also include numerous years with TheatreSports, Spontaneous Broadway and a wide variety of improvisation shows at the regional and touring production levels. He currently teaches acting and improvisation for Marymount Manhattan College, Comedysportz New York and NYU.
His play, Musical Chairs, has been presented at the New York International Fringe Festival, the Pantheon Theater and Cabrini College. His Theatre for Young Audiences production, Kid Power and The Planet Protectors, toured schools throughout the US. Michael holds a degree in Theatre from Penn State.
Geoff Tarson Geoff is an acclaimed actor, writer and teacher who has performed in theaters across the country. A television comedy writer in Hollywood for many years, his credits include Suddenly Susan and That’s So Raven, as well as an original pilot for the Disney Channel. Geoff has been an improviser for over twenty years, working with some of the best improv talent in the world, as well as teaching at Acme Comedy Theatre and Theatresports in Los Angeles.
Geoff believes practices from the world of television writing can aptly be applied to the corporate arena: pitching ideas, adjusting tactics to make a sale, staying current as the marketplace changes and often managing a wide variety of personalities. His corporate training experience includes such esteemed clients as Eli Lilly, Charles Schwab and Western Union.