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Our courses are taught by individuals who have been through different training programs and have a wealth of experience performing. They are trained and selected to teach the level or course that best suits their specialist skill set.


Recognized for her enduring positivity, explosive shows, and unparalleled work ethic, Stacey has worked in the field for over a decade. She is currently a mainstage cast member at the famous Boom Chicago Theater in Amsterdam and as of September 2022, she is the Artistic Director. Stacey is also the creator of Stacejam, an improvised solo musical extravaganza that has earned her critical acclaim. 

Comedy, music, and theater have always been part of Stacey’s professional and personal life. Originally from Long Island, New York, Stacey grew up in music and musical theater and studied theater and Speech and Music at university, later moving to Chicago to pursue a comedy career. While working as a nanny, Stacey took improv classes at The Second City, iO, and The Annoyance. She received her first full-time gig, touring on cruise ships with The Second City at the end of 2012.

As a performer, Stacey has toured with The Second City and was a featured performer for two of the company’s theatricals, Life Hacks and #DateMe. She has performed shows with renowned talents like Jason Sudeikis (SNL/Ted Lasso), Brendan Hunt (Ted Lasso), Taran Killam (SNL), Arjen Lubach, Chris Redd (SNL), Amber Ruffin (Amber Ruffin Show), Terry O’Quinn (LOST), Kevin McDonald (Kids in the Hall) and Dickie Smothers (The Smothers Brothers).

As a teacher and education director, Stacey has created programs for multiple schools and has designed specialized workshops, including a program for young female-identifying students called S.H.E. (Sisterhood Humor Empowerment). Before joining BoomChicago, she taught and managed training centers in Chicago and Boston, including ComedySportz Chicago, ImprovBoston, The Second City, and iO Chicago.

Stacey is also an accomplished comedy producer. In 2015, she founded The Chicago Musical Improv Festival at the iO Theater in Chicago, and before this, she worked as an assistant producer on the Chicago Improv Festival, Chicago Women’s Funny Festival, The Teen Comedy Fest, and The Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival. Stacey has produced countless shows in Chicago, including the long-running musical comedy show The Musical Armando and Fraudway. In 2021, she became the artistic director of The Boom Chicago Comedy Festival.


Matt Castellvi is a Cuban-American comedian, writer, and improviser from Chicago who is thrilled to be the newest cast member of Boom Chicago. Matt trained at Second City and iO Chicago where he played regularly with Baby Wants Candy and The Musical Armando. Voted Best Standup of 2019 by The Chicago Reader, Matt has headlined comedy festivals internationally including the Adelaide Fringe Festival, The Miami Improv Festival, Big-Little Comedy Festival, Omaha Improv Festival, Chicago Musical Improv Festival, and The Oslo Improv Festival. Matt is a regular emcee in Amsterdam and produces shows with Lo-Fi Comedy.


Simon Lukacs has been improvising for 7 years, and has trained with Second City, The Free Association, Monkey Toast, The Spontaneity Shop, as well as iO’s Brian Jack, UCB’s Billy Merritt, Showstoppers’ Pippa Evans and Patti Styles. He has also trained in clowning with the Edinburgh Comedy Award winning Dr Brown.

As well as being a Boom Chicago actor, Simon is part of the improv teams The Petting Zoo (described by Time Out London as an “improv supergroup”), The 838 (a house team at The Free Association), Equine Extravaganza, and has performed regularly with the FA players in their flagship show Jacuzii, in London, Edinburgh and Birmingham. He also performed 3 sold out runs at the Edinburgh Festival.

He also created the improv show Parky: The Improvised Chat Show for the 2015 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and has performed in New York (as part of the Del Close Marathon), Berlin and Dublin. He has taught improv at The Free Association in London, as well as being an approved coach for both them and for Monkey Toast, as well as coaching several teams in London and running his own workshops.


Katie Nixon (she/her) is an American comedian, actor, instructor, host, and writer based in Amsterdam. A Boom Chicago cast member since January 2022, Katie can be seen on stage 5 nights a week high-kicking, singing, and spouting off random bits of trivia. She loves teaching for the Boom Academy and introducing improv to students from around the world. She also hosts the monthly “Queer Community Night” in the Attic.

Before moving to Amsterdam, Katie spent ten years in Chicago where she appeared regularly at The Second City, iO, and The Annoyance. She has written and performed sketch comedy with several groups at festivals across the USA. Named Logansquarist’s Best Comedian in 2016, Katie has appeared solo at The Laugh Factory and the Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival.


Rob AndristPlourde has been professionally performing and teaching short form improvisational comedy since 1989. After three years of performing with Comedy Sportz Chicago, Rob moved to Amsterdam to work, improvising, writing and teaching comedy with Boom Chicago. In addition to his solo shows “Rob It Like it’s Hot!” and “Legends of Rob”, Rob is one of the creators of “Yo! Here We Go”, Boom Chicago’s longest running, hip hop freestyle piece. Bringing a serious sense of joy and wonder to comedy, Rob loves short form, beat boxing and watching students get improv. When not doing comedy, Rob pursues the music scene and recommends music you will like.


Yep, just Jake! Not ‘Just Jack’ from Will and Grace, although you might encounter some similarities…

Jake is a Belgian all-round creative, improvisor and performance coach. At the Boom Chicago Academy he teaches anything from Taster Classes, all the way up to the Short-Form curriculums. So far, he has been part of the trailblazing Boom Chicago house team Grover, he performed in various Boom Chicago shows and taught several corporate workshops. He also created “BEING EXTRA with Jake”, a workshop focusing on having an over-the-top stage presence. Big emotions, big reactions, big delivery!

Jake is the Head Trainer of the Interacting program, where students on the Autism spectrum learn to deal with our unscripted society through improvisation.

Apart from comedy, Jake has embarked on many creative endeavours as a singer/actor/dancer/MC/host and held behind the scenes roles such as event programmer, producer, marketeer and video editor.


Jamal first took improv classes at the Free Association in London and went on to play on a Harold team and all poc team Minority Report. He moved to Amsterdam in 2020 and was a member of Boom’s first Harold team ‘Grover’ for one entire show before 2020 struck again. He has written about comedy for the Guardian and cohosts the But Is It Funny comedy writers podcast. He is also a cool dad and a radio host, mostly playing songs that involve yodelling.


Sacha Hoedemaker has been involved with Boom Chicago’s Music Department for over a decade. As the Music Director at Boom Chicago, he is responsible for the selection and production of (original) music for live shows and other creative projects. You’ll also see him play live during our shows! 

In 2010, Sacha was introduced to improvisational theater and was hooked right away. His professional experience combined with an eye and timing for theater made him a highly sought-after Musical Director and improviser across Europe. He is considered one of the best Music Directors in Europe. Sacha loves teaching, playing live, producing and working with people on creative and/or musical projects! He is an improviser at heart and always looking for new stories to tell, through his music.

In 2020, he became the head of our Tech Department and made sure Boom Chicago was brought into the future with a live stream setup.

In 2020, he started releasing music under his own name on streaming services and his music is being streamed by more than 300,000 listeners on a monthly basis. He is the bandleader of the Frenchcore orchestra, Dr. Peacock, in Concert, playing on major Hardcore festivals like Defqon.1. Oh, AND he won an Emmy for HitRECord’s #CreateTogether.


Jules Dekker was born on April 13th 1988 in Leiden, the Netherlands. After graduating from high school in 2007, he departed to Paris, France to study music. He also participated in the Summer Performance Program of Berklee College of Music back in 2008. At first, Dekker was hopeful of being a singer-songwriter, but it didn’t take too long before he became more comfortable purely as an accompanying pianist.

In 2017, Dekker decided that he wanted to learn more about the technical aspect of music recording and production. So, he studied at the Abbey Road Institute in Amsterdam to expand his expertise. There Dekker was also introduced to improv comedy and ended up getting a job as a part-time pianist in Boom Chicago in 2018.

Falling in love with improv, he has continued working and improving with all kinds of groups in Amsterdam and beyond.


Mimi van Amerongen is a Half American / Half Dutch performer and teacher who has been onstage since the age of 8. A musical theatre queen at heart, Mimi began her improv journey in 2016 at the Dallas Comedy House. She quickly became a regular player in Dallas performing Short Form, Long Form and Musical Improv. Since moving to Amsterdam, she began to perform and teach improv and acting all around the city. She also travels with her improv teams to perform at international festivals around Europe. Mimi loves to see students let go of their fears and embrace the silliness and beauty of improv. Mimi also loves to geek out over great design, delicious food, and dogs.


Originally hailing from New York, Raquel Palmas is an Amsterdam-based improviser, actress, and musical comedian. Joining Boom in March 2023, she is as musically talented with her quick lyrics and songs as she is witty with her jokes. Whether she is wowing crowds with comedic freestyling or hosting corporate gatherings, her joy is infectious.

Raquel proudly focuses her comedic energies on bringing her diverse voice to the stage and the screen She studied theatre at Brooklyn College before shifting her focus to comedy and touring internationally. She is overjoyed to be able to make art that consists of laughter and heartfelt whimsy. She has hosted events with several organizations most notably Netflix, The US EMBASSY, Facebook, and Bank of America.

Filmed Credits: VH1: Love and Hip Hop (2022), Until I Met You (2022), Broke Boi (2021)

Stage Credits: Baby Wants Candy (2022, 2023), Shamilton (2022, 2023), Thrones: Musical Parody (2019), it’s not a trip it’s a journey (2019), Cartography (2017).