Unscripted Learning is a unique set of programs that uses improv comedy in an educational setting.
Developed in conjunction with the National Comedy Theatre, Unscripted Learning uses improvisational theatre to teach the concepts of teamwork, leadership, creative problem solving as well as teaching improv skills and theory.
Our team has decades of experience working with students and adults, both neurotypical
as well as those on the autism spectrum.
Meet the Team
GARY KRAMER – EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Gary Kramer is a producer, director and actor and is the Artistic Director and founder of the National Comedy Theatre. His production of the National Comedy Theatre is currently the longest running show in San Diego history, with over 5000 performances since opening in 1999. In addition to the San Diego production, Gary also directed the New York company of the show and has taught extensively for over 25 years. He has participated in countless shows across the country as well as internationally through 4 USO tours, where he performed in places such as Iraq, Kuwait, Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain and Belgium. As a performer, Gary has also appeared on television, film, commercials and radio and earned a BFA degree from Emerson College in Boston. Gary is sat on the Board of Directors of the cancer foundation Cancer411 and currently serves as Executive Director and Vice President of the Board of the San Diego Performing Arts League.
RICHIE PLOESCH – PROGRAM DIRECTOR, CONNECTIONS
Richie Ploesch, M.A., BCBA has been working in the field of special education for over 10 years. His specialty is educating students and young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder. He earned his teaching credential in 2006, a Masters Degree in 2008, and became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst in 2009. Since then, he has not only taught in special education classes but also has taught as an adjunct professor, consulted with family members internationally, and provided in home behavioral therapy to improve social skills and increase independence.
JOSH HERMSMEIER – CONNECTIONS TEACHING ARTIST
Josh Hermsmeier earned his B.A. in History from Point Loma Nazarene University in 2000 and his M.A. from San Diego State University in 2002. In 2014, his passion for teaching and learning from students with disabilities led him back to PLNU where he earned his multiple subject, mild/moderate, and moderate/severe teaching credentials as well as his adapted physical education authorization and a M.A. in Special Education. He has experience teaching students ages 3 years old through college. Josh currently works as an adapted physical education teacher and musician.
JEFF FRANK – HIGH SCHOOL LEAGUE COORDINATOR
Jeff Frank has been performing with the National Comedy Theatre since 2005. He got his start in Improv from the NCT High School League for Ramona High School, and has been the High School League coordinator since 2015. Jeff has worked for a local television station, directing the morning news and often freelancing for local sports venues. He currently teaches film and TV at Chula Vista High School. A third generation San Diegan, Jeff graduated from UCSD with a Bachelor’s Degree in Visual Art: Film and Video.
CAITLYN MCTAGGART – BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
Caitlyn McTaggart, a native of San Diego, earned her B.A. in Communication and Professional Writing from the University of California, Santa Barbara and her M.A. in Nonprofit Leadership and Management from the University of San Diego. Caitlyn has over thirteen years of experience in nonprofit management, primarily in fundraising, accounting, strategic planning and board development. She has raised millions of dollars for various nonprofit organizations, including Autism Tree Project Foundation, the San Diego RiteCare Childhood Language Center, Scripps Ranch Theatre, the YWCA of San Diego, the Magdalena Ecke Family YMCA, the San Diego Hunger Coalition and the Rotary Club and Foundation of Honolulu. Caitlyn also founded Girls on the Run of Hawaii in 2012 and helped establish the chapter of Young Nonprofit Professionals Network here in San Diego in 2008.
DAVE PRESSLER – BOARD MEMBER
Dave is a Los Angeles based artist and character designer who has used sculpture, illustration and animation to fuse his primary passions: fine art and the world of pop entertainment. In the past 20 years he has designed characters and worlds for such companies as Kid’s WB, Disney, Fox Kids Network, Wild Brain, and The Jim Henson Company to name a few. In the last decade Dave has shifted his focus to the universe of TV animation, where he has co-created and designed for the Emmy Nominated “Robot And Monster” for Nickelodeon. Dave is currently working at Dreamworks TV Animation, and has just illustrated his first picture book for kids, “Back To School With Bigfoot,” published by Scholastic. He is busy at work preparing for an exhibition with the Lancaster Museum of Art and History in 2018.
CLIFF BORO – BOARD MEMBER
Cliff is a Managing Partner and Co-Founder of the Simplexity Ventures. Previously, Cliff served for six years as the Co-Founder and CEO of Zui.com (the leading search engine and web browser for children) until its sale to Saban Capital. For his work at Zui, Cliff was named a White House Champion of Change. Prior to Zui.com, Cliff was the Managing Partner of CVT Ventures, a venture-development company that was dedicated to helping entrepreneurs form and accelerate their businesses. On behalf of CVT, Cliff was the founding Chairman of Say Media, the founding Chairman of mSnap (sold to MarketTron). Cliff is also the former CEO and Co-Founder of Infogate until its sale to AOL Time Warner. Cliff began his career working in the hedge fund industry and worked at both Steinhardt Partners and Soros Fund Management. Cliff is on the Board of Temple Beth El in La Jolla and also serves as a member of the Board of the San Diego Performing Arts League.
JONAH WEINBERG – BOARD MEMBER
Jonah Weinberg brings nearly two decades of leadership experience with nonprofit and public sector organizations across the US, and internationally, with experience working across a range of issues and sectors, including disability, economic development, social service & public health, disadvantaged & minority communities, and philanthropy. He is an experienced public speaker, who is fluent in both English and Spanish, and has facilitated numerous public and technical programs, and have worked extensively with clients focused on the Latino community in the US, as well as organizations in Latin America and Europe. Jonah is also the past Executive Director of the Autism Society of Minneapolis.