Ben Bowman is an improviser based in Chicago. He teaches and performs with the ensemble at Under the Gun Theater.
Ben’s directing credits include the sketch and improv groups Taco Tuesdays, Geek Show, Lady Parts and KC Redheart. He has performed at improv festivals in New York, Hawaii, Chicago, Carbondale (Illinois) and Kalamazoo (Michigan).
When he’s not improvising, Ben writes, directs and edits short films with his fellow improvisers. “Dropping the Question” won the 2011 Audience Favorite award in Chicago’s 48 Hour Film competition. “Rimshots & Romance” was a finalist in the 2010 Chicago Short Comedy Video and Film Festival. You can see his work here, and here, and here. Ben honed his video pedigree working in television news, earning Emmy awards in 2012 and 2015.
Ben Bowman officially began his journey into improvisation in January of 2000. While living in Kalamazoo, Michigan, he started taking the beginning levels at the Second City Training Center in Chicago. Making the 300-mile round trip for more than two years, he finished the theater’s entry levels and graduated from the Second City Conservatory. His teachers included Dan Izzo, Abby Sher, Michael Gellman, Tim O’Malley and Anne Libera.
Ben moved to Chicago in 2004, enrolling at the iO training center. He studied with Jet Eveleth, Susan Messing, Seth Weitberg, Mike O’Brien and Noah Gregoropoulos.
In 2007, he joined the new iO Harold team, Whiskey Rebellion. They would become a finalist for the 2008 Del Award for “Best New Team.” Over the next three years, Whiskey Rebellion carved a niche as an aggressive, playful, physical and supportive group. Mark Raterman, Bill Cochran, Matt Manley and Adal Rifai coached the Rebellion during its run. The team disbanded in May, 2010.
In 2010, Ben graduated from the Annoyance Theatre. His teachers were Dan Jessup, Rich Sohn, Rebecca Sohn, Mark Sutton and Mick Napier.
From 2010 until 2013, Ben performed with the iO Harold team, ButchMAX. That team also earned a nomination as the theater’s “Best New Team.” Matt Young and Ryan Patrick Dolan coached the team during its run.
In 2014, Ben joined the Under the Gun Theater ensemble. His show, Porn Minus Porn, won the 2015 Tournament of Shows and became a successful live podcast hailed by The Onion A.V. Club, Newcity Stage, and the Chicago Reader. Ben’s credits at Under the Gun include Comedy Against Humanity, #Trending, Based on a True Story, Never Have I Ever, and the Slawomir Mrozek play, “Out at Sea.”
Ben began teaching at Under the Gun in 2016 and was instrumental in the creation of the theater’s 2017 Power Up program. He also directed the Under the Gun show Deleted Scenes, which was highly recommended by the Chicago Reader. In 2017, Ben also taught a workshop at Trinity High School in River Forest.
In 2012, The Boiling Point was nominated as “Best Blog Series” at ImprovisationNews.com.
Ben is available to teach workshops in your city. He’ll also field your questions for this blog. Contact him at boilingpointimprov[at]gmail.com.