SAG/AFTRA/AEA Actor+Writer+Improviser



Oregon, here we come!

Sometimes, it’s good to leave New York in order to miss it. The vibrant art scene, the trash, the midnight pho, the subway rats, the buildings, the best people. They’ll still be there in July, right? I am delighted to be heading to the southern tip of my home state of Oregon for several months to breathe, work on my ongoing video project, write, and teach a course on Performance Art at Southern Oregon University in Ashland. Dusting up on my Yoko, Tino and Aki as we speak.  Looking forward to the creative reprieve in the wild!


Teaching, teaching, everywhere

This winter has brought a ton of teaching opportunities as my orientation to my work and its potential has transitioned. My thoughts on improvisation have evolved as its processes have slowed. The relationship between the mind and the body have become more prominent and the therapeutic implications of ritual, spontaneity and ritual have expanded.  I am excited to teach just as I am to learn.

Recent classes include lectures on drama therapy for NYU’s Silver School of Social Work, the use of photography and imagery in drama therapy at NYU’s Steinhardt School of Global Education, improv and the unconscious at Pratt Institute’s PIC (interdisciplinary) program and MY class, ‘Improv for the artist’ in the fine arts department at Pratt. I feel so fortunate to work with some many thoughtful, motivated and curious artists this year!

Link Link Club Lecture Series

Remember that time I got really into female cult leaders? Apparently, if a fantastic artist and performance space invites you to speak on a topic of your choice, this is the deep dive you pursue. I loved presenting my research on ‘She Cult’ for the 5th season of Link Link Club’s lecture series. I have new inspiration for my latent female cult leader project (TBD) and learned a ton about how they’re all basically untrained therapists gone awry in the process. Stay tuned for their next season.



So I’m a therapist now?

The past two and half years have been a blur of classes, thesis writing, and clinical hours and now here I am, on the other side, calling myself a drama therapist. It feels both hard won and the beginning of a very long life journey.

  • In May, I completed my Master’s thesis for NYU on the use of relational image-making in drama therapy self-supervision. I spent over six months making response art after individual client sessions. It was rigorous, fulfilling and reconnected me to the material form. NYU will now teach my thesis theory in their yearly internship class.

  • In June, I was offered a staff position at New York Creative Arts Therapists, where I completed my clinical hours the year before. I join an exceptional team of creative arts therapy practicing dance movement, art, music, drama and expressive arts modalities with a psychotherapeutic lens. I continue to see a roster of individual clients in Bushwick and Brooklyn.

  • My colleague and I created a ‘Wild Women’ therapeutic improv group, using the text from Dr. Pinkola-Estes seminal book Women Who Run with Wolves. We combine meditation, music, drama therapy and improv to encourage risk and connection in a safe and supportive environment.


NADTA Conference Presenters

It’s the gift that keeps on giving. I had the chance to rewrite and re-present a version of Feast of the Famished for my colleagues at the North American Drama Therapy Association’s 40th annual conference in Philadelphia!

Feast of the Famished, NYC and the UK

One of the most meaningful experiences in the roller coaster that has been grad school was the opportunity to write and perform in an original therapeutic theatre piece. The question remains as for ‘whom’ it is ‘therapeutic’ but I was intensely proud of our efforts to articulate the complex themes of ‘chosen family’. I co-wrote the script for the dark and wild fairy tale “Feast of the Famished”, an invitation to a feast of sorts, at a table that exists for all the lost children, should they choose to stay. I played ‘the Butler’ serving face and ridiculous courses. The gorgeous ensemble debuted at NYU’s Black Box theatre as part of the Health and Theatre Lab. In February, our chosen family traveled to the UK to present at a European forum on Theatre and Mental Health at Edgefield University.  We had a lovely visit to Liverpool, at a proper English Breakfast, and had fabulous time performing for our host university.


Nash Cash Casino performance at the Ethereal Summit

There’s nothing like working with family, especially when it intersects with a particularly weird moment in late capitalism (cryptocurrency). I was pleased to collaborate with my partner artist Grayson Cox and mad-genius brother in law Brian Gruber for their interactive project commissioned for the Ethereal Summit at the Knockdown Center in Queens, NY.  ‘Nash Cash Casino’ was a built installation that utilized disorienting atmosphere, live actors, game theory, and Ethereum smart-contracts. Participants were challenged to consider their incentives via interaction with abstractions of value, fellow players, and the digital ether. As ‘Dealer’, I got to introduce and facilitate the games for various participants and culminated a very strange weekend with a meditation with Deepak Chopra.

The Animation Project (TAP)

I embarked on my clinical internship as part of the most amazing organization. TAP is a NYC based non-profit that mentors youth in the art of animation for storytelling and life preparation. I worked with seasoned art, dance and drama therapists and professional animators in group at high schools, middle schools and community based organizations. 

Corpse will Drink @ Pratt’s PIC course

I enjoyed my time translating the neural pathway enhancing effects of improvisation for my colleague Mike Levin’s interdisciplinary class on processes and the unconscious, ‘Corpse will drink’. Students participated in a two week experiential workshop, culminating in a ‘group mind’ dance party. It’s was way more fun than it sounds.

‘Improv for the Artist’ approved as permanent courses at Pratt!

The course on improvisation and the artistic practice that I have developed over the past few years has been given a *permanent* seat at the table in the Fine Arts Department at Pratt Institute. It has been such a joy and learning experience working with both the graduate and undergraduate sections and I cannot wait to continue to evolve this course on a regular basis in the years to come. 

Drama Therapy Graduate Program at NYU

My external projects have essentially come to a stand-still as I have embarked on the incredible journey that is graduate school. For the next two years I will be immersing myself in the work of drama therapy, studying various modalities such as Developmental Transformations (DvT), Role Method, and Psychodrama with some of the great pioneers of this field.

{Insert incredible summer spent in Italy and Germany seeing ART. Looking, seeing, experiencing at the Venice Biennale (Venice, Italy), Documenta (Kassel, Germany), and the Skulpture Projekt (Munster, Germany)} I am forever grateful for this life of adventure and curiosity and all the incredible people I get to share it with along the way.


Improv for the Artist Undergrad Edition

It was *such* a pleasure to work, for the first time, with undergrads at Pratt. I had a cozy, enthusiastic cohort for my first semester teaching ‘Improv for the Artist’ to this section. There is nothing like intense improv and Meisner games at 9am on a Friday. After a meaningful semester together, the students collaborated on a final visual painting/drawing, and participated in some beautiful improvisational dancing on Pratt lawn. I was proud and impressed by their chutzpah!

New and Improved “Untitled Anthropology Project”

After a few editions of original character encounters, I discovered that some of my friends have better equipment and sense of direction than me and my iPhone. I teamed up with uber-director and artist (and dear friend) Zefrey Throwell to film four new original character. Can’t wait to see what will come of them.

Homewinds Book + Record Launch

This is the year of being thanked in the acknowledgments of art books! Back when I was working with the fiercely creative Katie Michel at Planthouse Gallery, she was dreaming up a visual art/music collaboration to honor her family’s gorgeous and historic property in NJ. I introduced her to my childhood pal, the talented singer-songwriter Heather Woods Broderick, and they teamed up for the incredible book/music experience called Homewinds. Thrilled to have played a part in such a perfect collaboration and looking forward to the book launch and concert this weekend at Planthouse and at the Riverdale Yacht Club. Bravo!

Counting Backwards Play Reading

Lovely playwright Kate Bell invited me to Brooklyn Arts Exchange to play the part of Melissa in a reading of her new play Counting Backwards. Kate and I worked together on her play Seeds several years ago. I am constantly inspired by amazing women creating incredible work.

Flames premieres at Tribeca Film Festival!

What an exciting night to witness the WORLD PREMIERE of Zefrey Throwell’s “Flames”, co-directed for a looooong time by Josephine Decker. This one, man. It’s gonna be the talk of the town for some time to come. Friends and collaborators got to walk the red carpet wearing indie starlet masks (I was Greta Gerwig) and apparently the paps were piiissssed, according to PAGE SIX. All press is good press!

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Actress Obsession Blog Shout Out

Well, sometimes it’s just nice to hear someone write about you in terms of “glowing”. My uber-brief appearance in the feature film “Flames” garnered a little blog shout out. I’ll take it.

Tribeca Film Fest 2017 Spotlight: The Women Of Flames

Lady Parts Justice takes over SKETCH CRAM for Sketch Clam @ UCB!

Is there anything better than working your ass off for a profoundly good and human cause and having the best, most fun time doing it? (nope). My dream of social justice and good comedy was realized this weekend when I got to perform with Lady Parts Justice, a fabulous organization, for UCB’s monthly Sketch Cram. We rehearsed for 5 hours straight and headed onstage at midnight. Highlights include Salem Witch Trials of women’s farts, bad etiquette at the women’s march, an abortion/bowling ball metaphor written by a man, and a musical Angela Merkel to cap it all off. All proceeds of the show went to raise $ for the NY Abortion Fund. And I met a lot of rad women (and a dude!) I want to hang out with all the time.


This Guy…

I don’t know much about him, other than perhaps his name is Jonah and he runs a start up? More to come for sure…

Flames @ Tribeca

Super Congrats to my pal Zefrey Throwell on his film Flames, with Josephine Decker, that is making its WORLD PREMIERE at Tribeca this April. I make a short n’ sweet appearance, but still get credited in the cast, awesome! Last time I was at Tribeca was for my first feature film, The American Ruling Class, many moons ago. You can see my (edited out) scene, here:



Flames, directed and written by Zefrey Throwell and Josephine Decker. (USA) – World Premiere. Filmed over five years, Flames follows real-life couple Josephine Decker and Zefrey Throwell from the white-hot passion of first love to the heartbreak of breaking up. But for these two filmmakers, the end of the relationship wasn’t the end of the story. As they continue filming, reconstructing what happened and where it went wrong, lines begin to blur between what was real and what was “the film” — if there’s even a difference anymore. With Hollis Witherspoon, Michael Melamedoff, Joe Swanberg, Matthew Levy.

Spring/Break Art Fair

I’ll be hanging out with my dear friend Avi Whort, helping him sell of his Guy Richards Smit collection. Curated by Carol Bove. SPRING/BREAK, baby! 4 Times Square (Entrance on 43rd) and Feb 28th – March 6th. I’ll be there 3/1 – 6!

Do you want to buy this Art?

Do you want to buy this Art?

Volta Salon 2017 x Artnet – “Improv for Artists” Panel

Teaser Video:


The kind people at artnet have invited me to host/moderate a panel for 2017’s Volta Art Fair on the intersection of Art + Comedy + Improvisation. We will discuss So MUCH! I’m thrilled to be joined on the panel by artists Jill PangalloGuy Richards Smit, and Morgan Bassichis, all of whom are hilarious, talented, and thoughtful people. Here’s the rundown of all the complete 2017 Salon and my portion, below.

Saturday March 4:

2–3:30 p.m.

Comedy is never more important than during uncertain times. Actor, artist, and improv teacher Hollis Witherspoon opens a dialogue about the role of risk, play, and laughter in art, and learning to “follow the fear, follow the fun.”

Moderator: Hollis Witherspoon, actor, artist, and improvisor

Guests: Jill Pangallo, artist and performer; Guy Richards Smit, artist and performer; Morgan Bassichis, writer and performer

Miss Governed Visits D.C.

Turns out, politics IS personal, and a lot of America got that wakeup call when the nightmare of Ivanka’s dad’s ‘reign’ began on Jan. 20th. I don’t know if this qualifies so much as a ‘project’ as surviving these times, but I was super fortunate to be able to get to D.C. and march alongside my sisters (and some brothers) of this nation in protest of this regime and, most importantly, in support of each other. The signs, if nothing else, were incredible. My friends and I went as beleaguered beauty contestants, “Miss Governed”, “Miss Judged” and “Miss Represented”. GET IT? Huge thanks to the incredible female collective of Russell Janis for printing our suffragette sashes and for Planthouse Gallery for providing them!

“Miss Governed”, y’all!


New Video: Predictions for my Past Self from Natalya, the 2nd ave Psychic

In breaking a bit with my ‘Anthropology Project‘ tradition, my latest video is less based on what someone else has said, and rather a bunch of memories compiled and performed. Natalya is a kind of bad at her job; she tells me things that already happened as if they will in the future. I enjoyed her quite a bit, though my accent, based on a Romanian 2nd ave psychic who once tried to sell me $300 worth of crystals, veers lazily into a Russian-German hybrid (as things to tend do in these times….) Video coming to a vimeo link near you soon.


Hello, Brave New World

The latter part of this past year made me want to bury my head in the sand, but I am buoyed, as always, by new beginnings. 2017 is the year of making art, of being humble, of showing kindness, of doing the right thing, of less screen time, of more friend time, of meeting new people and of not burying my head in the sand. I started my year off pretty correctly, with a Monday night Dynasty Handbag show at Joe’s Pub. She never fails to make me laugh and to kick my ass, mentally, for her total, balls-out commitment to whatever she’s doing. Anyone working in performance should go see her perform, or, at the very least, spend a moment with this gem: Fascist Dictator Makeup Tutorial.

SVA Visual & Critical Studies: Improvisational Practices

There’s nothing like seeing your bio and course description in a giant course catalogue. Thrilling, I tell you! Come take my open level course at the wonderful School of Visual Arts: Improvisational Practices for the Visual and Performance Artist!


New Video: The Tomato

Culling from my favorite humiliating life experiences, I made another video! This one has been bouncing around a while. A casting director teaches me the importance of special moments in commercial copy. You can check out this loving homage to the daily humiliations of acting, here: THE TOMATO.

This is a very professional contact.

This is a very professional contact.

Seniors Workshop at SVA 

I’m delighted to be back at SVA, leading the fearless seniors in an Improv for the Artist workshop on December 8th.

ACLU Benefit Class @Skowhegan

The world feels like it’s ending but we all have to do what we can. I believe that improv is intersection and I’m happy to teach a class at Skowhegan on Sat., December 10th, where all the proceeds go to benefit the ACLU and their vigilant efforts to protect our civil liberties.

Material Polyphony Show @ Pratt

I’m delighted to be included in the Pratt Faculty Art Show, Material Polyphony, that opens November 10th. I’ll be showing my video pieces from the summer (Untitled Anthropology Project) in the company of some estimable colleagues. Hope they let me stay!


Verizon/NFL Commercial

If you have the Internet and you look up things on it, my face may ambush you on screen soon! I just had a completely enjoyable shoot for a Verizon/NFL bundle commercial (you know, my demographic), during which I honed my comedic listening skills. It was a joy to play with some other great improvisers.

Notebook Show #2: Redlight Redlight

Curator Kerry Cox curated me into her super cool video show in Orlando, Florida. Check out the fantastic (virtual) company I keep, including a featurette in Grayson Cox’s before-its-time commentary on cultural v. economic capital.


Monthly Workshops at Skowhegan

My favorite thing in life is getting together once a month with a fabulous group of hilarious artists and laughing for three hours straight. My face hurts and my mind is exhausted and it’s simply the best. If you want to join the ever-evolving, always fun group that meets at Skowhegan’s beautiful Chelsea space at the end of every month, email me at hollis (dot) witherspoon (at) gmail

Back at Pratt

Those Fall jitters I feel every September are finally justified! I’m thrilled to be back teaching Improv for the Artist in the Graduate Fine Arts department at Pratt Institute. I look forward to expanding the class to work with undergrads this Spring!

Auto Body Emotives Book Launch

I was so pleased to be invited to contribute text to artist Annette Knol’s lovely artist book Auto Body Emotives.  I worked with Annette at Pratt on the Meisner technique, which she so skillfully applied to her printmaking practice and was delighted to give a little talk about the technique and other modes of ‘presentness’ in improvisation at her book launch at the Sunview Luncheonette Art Space in Greenpoint.

Summer of Love (Making Videos in Oregon)

As I’m wont to do every July, I escaped the smelly heatbox of NYC for the peaceful wilds of Oregon, setting up shop and starting an exciting video art project with the vague working title of “Untitled Anthropology Project (Left to My Own Devices)”.  I’ve been stealing text (as verbatim as possible) from people I meet in life and using them to perform and record monologues. It was fun to play dress up in the woods and the pieces are currently in a show in Florida. More to come!

Let's call him Phil...

Let’s call him Phil…



Joan teaches drama…

Liberty Mutual VO

I finagled my way into the Voice Over world! Excited to record a demo this week for Liberty Mutual. Maybe I should get some insurance.

Huffington Post Shoot

It’s hard to call it ‘work’ when it involves hanging out on the beach with friends. Check out our cool little photo accompanying this very prudent HuffPo piece on decluttering your kids’ schedules. Enjoy!

“Third Wheel” Episode is out!

There’s nothing more gratifying than playing the villain…Check out my guest star turn as philanthropic fun sponge Cecily in episode 7 ‘Lost Causes’ of the hilarious web series ‘THIRD WHEEL’. Lauren Boston wrote a hilarious script and I got the pleasure of improvising at least 15 ridiculous charities.

SVA Juniors Workshop

I’m delighted to join Emily Weiner’s class this week at School of Visual Arts, leading the juniors in a three hour introduction to improv for the artist. Recruiting time!

Zefrey Throwell’s “Flames”

I shot a few scenes for dear pal and fellow improviser, artist Zefrey Throwell, this past week. He’s finishing up his long term feature film ‘Flames’ with Josephine Decker, and I’m thrilled to be a part of what surely will be a fantastic and provocative piece of cinema. Next up for Zefrey: Cannes!

Refinery29’s “Vote  Your Values”

First of all, let me just say how honored I am to still be considered a “Millennial” when my thoughts/values align more with Winona Ryder’s character in 1994’s seminal “Reality Bites”. Yes, that’s from 1994 and it remains the best movie of all time. In any case, one of my favorite sites for all things womanly, millennially, and modern, Refinery29, featured me in a cool video piece “How Millennial Women Actually Feel About The Election and interactive infographic called “Vote Your Values”, which highlights what millennial women care about in this upcoming election. It was nice to share my strong opinions about income inequality, women’s rights, healthcare and the second amendment with someone other than my husband and toddler.

Modern Baby at the PIT’s NY Improv Fest

Of course, I’m out of town once again. Last year, I was gone while my fabulous team Field Trip, murdered at NY Improv Festival and this year, my super adorable awesome gang Modern Baby was invited back again. I was on Spring Break, but I know they killed. New shows coming up soon!

Pratt Faculty + Workshops

At the end of February, I finished up my first semester teaching in the Graduate Fine Arts Department at Pratt Institute. I had a wonderful class with thoughtful and brave students and I am excited to report I’ll be returning to teach again in the Fall with a graduate class and the Spring with an undergraduate offering! It’s exciting to now see many of the students’ thesis shows as they are staggered throughout the spring. I’ll be contributing a text on Meisner repetition (which I use in improvisational training) for a book artist Annette Knol is publishing for her show.  I also had a blast conducting a Pratt Fine Arts Faculty workshop as well this Spring, connecting with artists and colleagues I admire.

Shootin’ Comedy Shorts with Claire

I had a blast meeting and working with the hilarious Claire Cooper on some sketch comedy she’s written. Here’s a go of her sketch “The Craziest Thing You’ve Done we shot last week. Password to view: crazy

Hilarity ensues with an episode of “Third Wheel”

I was delighted to join the cast of the the hilarious web series Third Wheel, which follows the hijinks of down-on-her-luck Lu and her reluctant roommates Kate and Geoff. I shot a second season episode as  former high school nemesis, current mean girl Cecily, and got to improvise again with some favorite performers and filmmakers Sarah DuRivage-Jacobs and Stephanie Iscovitz, and awesome director Darin Quan. Third Wheel just got picked up for funding and won a bunch of awards and was written/created by Lauren Boston.

“The Girl in the Book” is streaming on NETFLIX!

The Girl in the Book opened in NYC and other cities at the end of 2015 and garnered a lot of buzz for challenging the tropes of Lolita and pretty much every Woody Allen film and telling the young girl/older man relationship story from the female protagonist’s perspective. I had a small but critical part and was delighted to be part of this important film. I was pleased to see it flash across my Netflix “Recommended For You” page and hope you get a chance to check it out!

“Pennsylvania Holy Ghosts” is streaming on AMAZON!

Like any self respecting TV connoisseur, I am obsessed with Jill Soloway’s brilliant show Transparent. I gobbled up season two in approximately 1.5 sittings. So, I’m extremely excited to announce that a little indie feature film I did back in 2010 is in great company as it is now available to stream on Amazon! Pennsylvania Holy Ghosts, shot on location in snowy mid-March Scranton, PA, was one of those rare projects where I actually got to spend a ton of time rehearsing and filming with the excellent director, Ryan Pomeranz, kick-ass producing twins Allie and Becca Kenyon, and super talented actor Kevin Laibson. I play the disgruntled girlfriend, Laura, to his main character, Clare. I am so happy and excited for the whole crew at Moving Picture Party. Now go see it!

Improv at Skowhegan

It was with SUCH pleasure that I got to reconnect with old friends and new to start a monthly improv workshop at Skowhegan. They have a beautiful space in Chelsea and teaching this class has been the highlight of the new year so far! I’ll be back in early February, so let me know if anyone wants to join!

Improv Workshop for Hampshire College

Super amazing artist Sara Greenberger-Rafferty invited me to do a workshop with her super cool and engaged art students from Hampshire College. I said YES. It was awesome.

Happy 2016!

2015 was a whirlwind of travel, crazy intense projects, teaching, performing, and a whole lot of juggling. I got to go to Europe for months and California for days; I had a long anticipated film premiere in the East Village; taught graduate students at Columbia and Pratt; played a bunch of hilarious shows Field Trip; and directed a phenomenally challenging improvised performance piece for an artist I admire. According to my horoscope, 2016 is supposed to be “exciting”. Frankly, it will be hard to top 2015, but I’m looking forward to some focus, good health, and more writing, film, and acting projects. I’ll also be retiring my phantom assistant and referring to myself in first person. It’s time. Happy 2016, everyone. Go get ’em.


Girl in the Book Opens in NYC!

Making movies is a long, tough, collaborative process. Two years ago, Hollis shot a little movie written and directed by the lovely Marya Cohn, opposite the sweet and talented Emily Van Camp (TV’s “Revenge). The Girl in the Book opened to critical acclaim, LA Film Festival buzz, and New York Times love. Hollis plays the small (but pivotal) role of writer Karen Malone. She is so proud to be part of such an excellent and important little film. If you’re in NYC, The Girl in the Book is currently playing at East Village Cinemas. Check out the trailer, here.


“Protocols” Final Performa Performances + Talk Back + Art Forum

Hollis wrapped up month three of collaborating with artist Lior Shvil on his performance piece “Protocols” at Art in General with two final performances in conjunction with Performa 2015.   On November 21st, a packed Performa audience sat for a talkback with Hollis, Lior, and curator Kristen Chappa, where she discussed her method for choreographing and shaping the behavior that went into the piece. Hollis is so grateful to have worked with the wonderful Lior Shvil, the supportive people at Art in General and Performa, and the incredible artists who dedicated their time and energy to the performances. Art Forum covered the piece in a profile here.


Skowhegan Artist Improv Workshop

Hollis has been invited to teach an upcoming beginner intensive improvisation workshop at the New York location of the famed summer artist residency in Skowhegan, Maine. Hollis got acquainted with the space when her film with Birgit Rathsmann, “Warm Whiskey in a Fancy Cup”, was screened at the center last Spring. The workshop will run from November 7-8th and is currently open to Skowhegan alumni.


Lior Shvil’s “Protocols” returns to Art in General

This intensely challenging improvised project is BACK, this time out of the desert and into a Soho art gallery. Hollis reunites with artist Lior Shvil to continue their collaborative performance. Using military training exercises as inspiration, Hollis is directing a three part cycle of performances with bi-monthly workshops with different groups of performers at Art in General. Performances are schedules for: Oct 24th, 4-6pm; November 14th and November 21st. The final two performances are in conjunction with Performa 2015.

Columbia Mentor Week with Rona Yefman

Hollis returns to teach a workshop for Columbia Mentor Week with mentor (and dear friend) Rona Yefman. She conducted the workshop with artists totally unfamiliar with improvisation and totally amazing at it. They worked in the space at Art in General, getting an idea of how Lior Shvil’s performances will run.

Web MD Spot….I’m Not a Doctor but I Play One with a Teleprompter

Hollis uses her dubious medical knowledge to diagnose diseases as she returns to film a WebMD spot with the great WebMD family in NJ. A fun time had by all!

Lior Shvil’s “Protocol X” at High Desert Test Sites

Lior Shvil's "Protocol X"

Lior Shvil’s “Protocol X”

Hollis is thrilled to head to the desert of Joshua Tree, California, in early May to direct artist Lior Shvil’s “Protocol X”, a 24-person improvised performance piece based on military protocol exercises.  “Protocol X” will be presented at Andrea Zittel’s High Desert Test Sites. Check out Lior’s Hatchfund page here!

“Field Trip” takes lots of Trips


cuties at THE PIT’s NYC Improv Festival



me and teammate Paul Paklar as French exchange students

It’s been a crazy busy month of performing all over town for my team, Field Trip. A few weeks back we made our mark (sadly, without me!) at The NYC Improv Fest, and have been performing at Queen’s Secret Theatre with the super hilarious Modern Baby. Coming up: on 4/9, we’ll be playing the final “Fear Corner” at The Tank (where we explore our improv fears in front of a paying audience), and one week later, we’re back at our beloved Treehouse Theatre for some Thursday night fun on 4/16.


“Mom Jeans” fashion blog feature

Hollis chats with the lovely Steph Cinelli Celaya about vintage finds, high heel cemeteries and picking the right clothes for the part for her style blog Mom Jeans

“Field Trip” does ACT ONE at the PIT.

We did it; we survived our second show. Doing the dreaded monoscene. And look how adorable we are:

This is what improvisers look like right before a show

This is what improvisers look like right before a show

“A Girl, A Cat, A Bomb” at the Philip K. Dick Festival

So much fun to be had in the world of Sci-fi! Hollis’ one woman/one cat short “A Girl A Cat A Bomb” is making festival rounds and she got to catch up with her excellent director Laura Maxfield and some fabulous international filmmakers when the film was featured at The Philip K. Dick festival at Tribeca Cinemas. Here’s a review of the piece!

Step and Repeat

Step and Repeat

Premiere Stages Bauer-Boucher Readings

Hollis is excited to return to the NJ stage to present the final works of student playwrights from Kean University, barring Juno the semi-agreeable blizzard.

“Field Trip” goes to class.

The almost alliterative five-some, Coco Conroy, Matt McLeod, Molly McCluskey, and Paul Paklar (and Hollis) have joined forces as “Field Trip”, and awesomely fun and playful improv team. We’ll be putting on “First Day of School” at The Treehouse Theater, Jan 22, and doing some monoscene work in The PIT’s Act One show on Jan. 25th.

The best improv team of all time.

“This Is Where I Am Now”  Reading

Hollis is thrilled to work again with playwright Jeff Tabnick (thrice this year!) on his hilarious and cutting comic drama This is Where I am Now, which will be presented Jan. 19th at Shetler Studios, in NYC.

Oh, hey. Happy New Year!


Kean University/Premiere Stages Reading

Hollis is delighted to be invited to Kean University (where Premiere Stages is in residence) in good ol’ NJ (where she went to college) to perform some of the work written by student playwrights.

Web MD Britain

Hollis and Winnie just booked their first mother/daughter job for British Web MD. Hollis is working on her ‘continental accent’ as we speak (usually reading bedtime books). Thanks, Carol Nadell of Selective Casting! You’re the best:)

Fealty Reading for the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Hollis is honored to be invited by Premiere Stages‘ artistic director John Wooten for a staged reading of  Fealty by Caitlin Fryers for the International Academy of Television Arts and Science  (THE EMMYS!!) on November 23rd. Fealty is the winner of the Peter Ustinov Screenwriting Contest sponsored by IATAS. She is terrified/thrilled to try out her cockney accent for the role.

“Tonight at Noon” Reading

Hollis reunited with some of her favorites collaborators from the Fringe Festival’s An Idiot, playwright Jeff Tabnick and director Eric Nightingale, to play ‘Emily’ in the staged reading of Jeff’s fabulous dream play Tonight at Noon for The Drilling Company.

Pratt Institute Improv for Artists Workshop

Hollis is thrilled to start to her three week workshop teaching improvisation for the visual artist thesis students at the beautiful Pratt Institute. #YesAnd

The PIT: Class Show

On November 3rd and November 8th, Hollis had her class graduation show at The PIT. We improvised some pretty improvisational improv. Thanks, awesome teacher Nate Starkey!

The Beauty of Disaster

Hollis was just offered the lead role of clairvoyant twin “Claire” in the upcoming short film The Beauty of Disaster, produced by Glimmer Girl productions and shot in NYC. Thanks, Backstage!

Columbia University Graduate School Mentor Week

Hollis is delighted to be invited by revered performance artist Aki Sasamoto to teach a class for her visual arts grad students during Columbia’s mentor week. Fun was had by all.

A Girl A Cat A Bomb

The short, psychological thriller in which Hollis starred (give you a hint, she’s the girl) was just accepted into its first Festival – the New Hamsphire International Film Festival. Check out the trailer here. Hollis was delighted to work with up and coming director Laura Maxfield.


Chloe without Chloe

Hollis shoots “Chloe without Chloe” in Montauk, NY with collaborators Miriam Katz and Leslie Synn.  The short film follows three characters, Lee, Anna and Jules (created by the collective), as they meet up for a beach weekend reunion, only to run into an old and famous friend who may or may not show up for dinner. Hollis wrote the script and acted in the film.

Beginner Intensive Improv Workshop

Hollis teaches her first beginner intensive workshop at Triskelion Arts in Williamsburg, Brooklyn with some incredible artists! Like camp, they all promise to become pen pals after the summer.

Pennsylvania Holy Ghosts

The feature film that Hollis shot on location in Scranton, PA back in 2011, finally made its way to New York City at the People’s Film Festival in Harlem.  Hollis played the disgruntled girlfriend of the main character, Claire. Check out clips from the film, HERE.



Billy on the Street

Hollis appears with TV’s favorite over-caffeinated interviewer and wins (twice) in a pregnant woman know-how contest. They did not, however, let her keep that life sized picture of Cher.

My Father’s Captives

Hollis works with director Colin Sonner and Boardwalk Empire’s Jacob Ware on the post-apocalyptic documentary thriller while seven months pregnant.

Start the Car: Getting Lost

Hollis contributes the to third Star the Car series at Galapagos Art Space. She tells a tale of when she and her three sisters  barely survived political assassination in Zimbabwe.

Start the Car: Getting Lost Poster

The Girl in the Book

Hollis co-stars in the independent feature film opposite Revenge’s Emily Van Camp, as the young writer Karen. The film was written and directed by Marya Cohen, based on her personal memoir.

with Emily VanCamp on set of "The Girl in the Book"

with Emily VanCamp on set of “The Girl in the Book”

The School of Making Thinking

Hollis returns to the idyllic countryside of upstate NY for her second year as a School of Making Thinking resident. She teaches an improv class to her fellow residents and completes an intimate bedtime storytelling performance using a book she wrote and illustrated during her time there.

Cheerios Commercial Parody 

Following the brouhaha surrounding a lovely Cheerios commercial, Hollis reunites with comedy director Kenji Lee, comedienne Joyelle Nicole Johnson, and an adorable little girl in a parody ad that reaches over 1 Million (!) viewers on youtube and is featured on ABC, HuffPo and The View (amongst many many other news outlets). Eat it, Haters!


Mass Mass Mass at the School of Making Thinking

Hollis joins former members of Old Kent Road Theatre to form the ensemble core of the new HedgeHog Theater Project as they explore an exciting new interpretation of The Oresteia in the Catskills woods at the School of Making Thinking residency. Hollis play Clytemnestra in Mass Mass Mass.



Room for Storms

Hollis impersonates legendary director Werner Herzog in a one0night cinematic art piece created by artist Birgit Rathsmann. As Herzog, Witherspoon introduces, a looped and altered version of an NOAA video that condenses satellite imagery from the 2008 hurricane season, combining it with various soundtracks (of music both commissioned and found).