Bird City Improv was officially founded in 2018, though the company has been in the works for several years, engaging with prominent communities and organizations in the mid-Atlantic since 2014. Working with students ages 8 to 80, Bird City Improv has collaborated with organizations like Johns Hopkins University, Green Globe Theatre, Morgan State University, The Smithsonian Association, SquashWise, ArtsCentric, The Baltimore County Public Library and Womb Work Productions, while also providing freelance instruction for hundreds of individuals and community groups. With our company's launch, Bird City's network of educators and clientele has continued to expand, as we offer nationwide professional and artistic development.
Bird City is a "triple bottom line" business working towards sustainability beyond wealth. This means we measure our success, not only by our revenue, but by our impact on our community and our environment. We refuse to limit our target market to corporate clients, offering accessible, "low-cost to no-cost" community classes. Eco-minded, we are proud of our green business model. By offering onsite training, as opposed to a brick and mortar classroom, we are able to drastically reduce our carbon footprint. Plus, improv is naturally eco-friendly! As an ephemeral art form, we are able to bring performances and workshops to organizations without wasting material resources.
Headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland, our company is fondly named after the city in which we have our roots. Baltimore is the Bird City. Not only is it home to the Orioles, Ravens, and Hopkins Blue Jays, but to a range of progressive organizations who proudly represent themselves with birds: pigeons at the Dovecote Cafe, flamingos at Cafe Hon and corvidae at the Iron Crow Theatre. Bird City Improv has chosen to represent itself with a sparrow, a bird which symbolizes joy, cooperation and creativity, pillars of strong improv and communication.
In Hamlet, Shakespeare analogizes the death of a sparrow to the randomness of life. He concludes that while we cannot control the spontaneous, we can prepare for it. In fact, preparing for spontaneity is all that matters - just like improv. In essence, Bird City teaches how to be ready for the spontaneous, echoing Shakespeare's insight.
"There’s a special providence in the fall of a sparrow. If it be now, ’tis not to come. If it be not to come, it will be now. If it be not now, yet it will come—the readiness is all."
Tavish Forsyth is an improviser and educator based in Baltimore with New England roots. He is the founder of Bird City Improv. He is an adjunct faculty member at Johns Hopkins University where he teaches applied improv to undergraduates through the Center for Leadership Education. He is also a senior teaching artist at the Baltimore Improv Group and a performer with the Charm City Comedy Project.
As an actor of thirteen years, Tavish serendipitously found his love for improv while attending Stevenson University, where he studied Film & Theatre. The most important thing he learned in four years was two simple words. Yes: accept your reality. And: capitalize on your circumstance. That short phrase encouraged Tavish to embrace his insecurities and self-actualize in ways he never thought possible.
Today, Tavish relishes sharing his discoveries with students from across the country, empowering individuals to listen, adapt, and respond, to cultivate awareness and connectivity in the hopes developing a more thoughtful world.
Founder & CEO
Senior Training Facilitator
Kimberly is an improviser of the world, having lived in Los Angeles, London, Singapore and Des Moines before making her way to Baltimore. As a senior training facilitator at Bird City Improv, Kimberly brings a wealth of experience to her work. Before moving to Baltimore, Kimberly was a independent filmmaker and actress. She was instrumental in establishing the Des Moines improv scene, performing with Last Laugh Comedy Club and co-founding Uplifting Comedy, dedicated to spreading the joy of improv to religious communities. In Baltimore, she is a producer, performer and teaching artist at the Baltimore Improv Group, as well as the Charm City Comedy Project.
As much as Kimberly loves performing improvised theatre, what struck her most about the art-form was its core tenets and their usefulness off stage. She discovered the elements of inclusion, non-judgement, self-love, and saying yes readily apply in the real world, positively affecting everyday life. Improv is truly an art form that can heal, and Kimberly has made it her mission to spread that encouraging message to others, while making them laugh along the way.