TORP Improv Comedy announces fall Comedy Night show dates

The weather may be cooling down but the laughs will be heating up this fall with TORP Improv Comedy during two newly announced comedy nights.

The unscripted, live-in-the-moment show will hilariously entertain audiences on Friday, Sept. 29, and on Friday, Oct. 27 for a special Howling Halloween show. Both performances take place at The Oak Room at The Citadel – in the heart of the Benton Harbor Arts District at 91 Hinkley St. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.; performances begin at 7 p.m.

The fall shows will feature a streamlined cast comprised of Meredith Frank, Stephen Kadwell, Amy McWhirter, Mike Nadolski, Andy Sawyer, and Joel Smiedendorf.

“This is the most talented group of improvisers I’ve ever had the privilege to work with,” states Nadolski, who is also the troupe’s director. “Because we work from audience suggestions and participation, the evening is unpredictable and fresh every time. The cast is as surprised as the audience is about the direction each scene takes!”


TORP began its reign of improvisational comedic revelry in 2011. The troupe has been causing fits of laughter while entertaining at charity events and public performances throughout southwest Michigan including for Lory’s Place, the Morton House, The Mendel Center’s Living Room Series, the Lake Michigan College Hospitality and Fine Arts programs, One Hundred Women Strong, and more. They are the house comedy troupe of The Oak Room at the Citadel in the Benton Harbor Arts District. Troupe members have over 100 total years of improv comedy experience (some of us are old).

Meredith Frank is a long-time comedian and actor. She has performed with teams Fun Dumpster, Small Victories, and Oh Hey! Improv and has guested on many podcasts.

Stephen Kadwell is married with two dogs and lives in Niles. He grew up in several places on the west side of Michigan and graduated from Western Michigan University. He spent a decade in Orlando where he was on a first-name basis with several hurricanes before returning to Michigan where fall is an actual season.

Amy McWhirter is an international emcee, event host, and moderator, energetically inspiring audiences to connect to the heart of messaging at conferences, award galas, and meetings. She’s a soulful communicator who catalyzes content, instigates engagement, and ties everything together, driving focus and business outcomes. She also assists with projects as a producer and scriptwriter for her husband’s company, Bolin Video Communications. Amy has a lifelong passion for dance and performing on stage. She has appeared in numerous plays, musicals, and stage productions. Amy teaches and choreographs Adult Repertoire at the Benton Harbor-St. Joseph YMCA, where she and her ladies prepare one or two dance numbers per year to perform for film and in person. She is excited to be a part of the TORP improv comedy troupe!

Mike Nadolski studied improvisational theatre with The Players Workshop of Second City in Chicago back in ye olde days. He has been an improvisational theatre student, performer, and instructor for over 40 years, conducting improv workshops for a wide array of schools and organizations throughout Southwest Michigan. Mike has produced, directed, and performed with The Practical Theatre Co. in Chicago, Southern Streets Theatre in Atlanta, Bridges Theatre and Workshop and Smarty Pants Theater Co. in Benton Harbor, and a few other even more obscure Midwest improv troupes through the years. He is the founder and artistic director of TORP and owns the Citadel Dance Center building with his loving, patient, and supportive wife Sarah.

Andy Sawyer began his improv comedy career close to 40 years ago, using comedy as a tool for teaching environmental science at Stone Environmental School in Portland, Maine. After moving back to the Twin Cities to woo and eventually marry the one true love of his life, Nita Nicholie, the two collaborated to help establish the “Calling all Colors” program. Andy again applied improv comedy to this program, using it as a tool for children to begin dialogues on issues of race, stereotyping, and skin color. Improv continued to be a passion of his and he soon began working with Mike Nadolski at Bridges Theater, then Smarty Pants Improv, and finally as a founding member of TORP.  Andy also enjoys weaponizing Improv to torment phone solicitors. Try it sometime.

Joel Smiedendorf is a St. Joe native who has studied improv acting in both Chicago and Los Angeles. He has also performed in local community theatre productions at Twin City Players, Lake Michigan College, and The Ghostlight Theatre. When not performing, Joel pays the bills as a freelance video production assistant and dreams about the day he can get paid to be funny. He hopes you enjoy the show and will continue to support your local arts!

Tickets are $15 and are available online at and at the door. In addition to public performances, TORP is available for hire to perform at charity fundraisers, conferences, galas, and other private events. For more information, contact Mike Nadolski at


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