ABOUT

Our Mission

At Haus of Improv, we specialize in teaching the art of improvisation to enhance effective communication, active storytelling, and collaborative skills in the legal arena.

Rooted in the experience of diverse theater artists, our programs are designed to offer a positive, engaging, and secure learning environment. This “on-your-feet” experience not only fosters skill development but also brings an element of FUN to professional training.

We’re committed to the belief that mastering storytelling and communication is key to overcoming challenges in the courtroom and beyond. Our mission extends to making a substantial impact on our clients, the legal community, and society at large.

Steve Hohman, Creative Director

Hey there, I’m Steve! I proudly graduated from San Diego State University, where I earned Bachelor’s of Art degrees in Theatre Arts and Communications (Media Management). Weirdly, these two degrees have served me well in my professional career.

I’ve had a colorful career as a teaching artist, serving arts education organizations all across Southern California. From the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Orange County to The Old Globe, Playwrights Project, Junior Theatre in San Diego, and All the Arts for All the Kids in Fullerton.  From preschool age to professionals, every class has been an opportunity to see a spark of confidence and expression ignite my students.

As a professional improvisation actor, I’ve polished my skills with the prestigious Upright Citizens Brigade in LA and was also a key member of San Diego’s longest running improv show as part of The National Comedy Theatre’s MainStage cast for over 10 years. In fact, I also held the position of Managing Director there. After thousands of hours in front of an audience, I’ve gained an expertise in the art of live performance and creating a meaningful experience.

Beyond that, I’ve also played a crucial role in the legal realm. For a solid seven years, I took the stage as a witness in Roger Dodd’s Trial Skills Clinics.  It was an absolute rush creating a challenging and realistic experience, so lawyers could improve their cross-examination skills.  I’ve continued this thrilling work by assisting lawyers with their deposition and trial preparations.

My path has not been a traditional one, but my unique background has helped open doors to use my skills and experience to make a meaningful impact on the lawyers we work with and, more importantly, the clients they serve.

Olivia Espinosa, Education Director

Hello, I’m Olivia Espinosa. I’m a true theater enthusiast, wearing multiple hats as an actor, playwright, director, and educator at Haus of Improv. I graduated from SDSU with a B.A. in Theatre Arts, and since then, my theatrical career has been nothing short of an adventure.

One of the highlights was touring with Armed Forces Entertainment across Europe, performing for military families. The energy and connection with the audience were unforgettable. In 2022, I was honored with a nomination for best supporting performer in a play by BroadwayWorld San Diego and I couldn’t be more grateful for the recognition.

Beyond the stage, I’ve found immense joy in education, particularly in group homes and detention facilities. My playwriting workshops aim to make a difference, shedding light on issues within the foster care system. There’s nothing more rewarding than witnessing the transformative power of storytelling in these environments.

A pivotal moment in my career came when I was honored with the Phil Killian Directing Fellowship from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in 2017. Assisting Bill Rauch on the festival’s inaugural production by a Native American playwright was an experience that shaped my perspective and deepened my passion for amplifying underrepresented voices.

I’m proud to be an active member of the Native Voices at the Autry Artist Ensemble in Los Angeles, where I strive to support and uplift Native American, Alaska Native, and First Nations playwrights. It’s essential to me that we continue to diversify and enrich the narratives on stage.

Now, balancing the act of being a mother to two wonderful kids alongside my theatrical career has its challenges, but it’s my greatest achievement. At Haus of Improv, I’m on a mission to empower attorneys by infusing the magic of improv, performance, and storytelling into their professional toolkit.

History

Established in 2015, Haus of Improv was born from a profound realization: the transformative impact of improvisation on both school-age students and professionals across various fields. Our journey began with a simple yet powerful philosophy – the key elements of improv can forge a space for creative expression, effective problem-solving, collaboration, and impactful communication.

The turning point came in 2020. With the sudden halt of theater gigs, teaching, and live performances, we took a moment to reflect on what truly fuels our passion: building confidence in others and elevating underserved voices.

Prior to the pandemic, our involvement with trial skills clinics had us traveling extensively, performing as witnesses to enhance attorneys’ cross-examination techniques. The shift to virtual platforms in 2020 didn’t slow us down; instead, it accelerated our role as witnesses. Our unique involvement in over 1,200 cross-examinations by some of the world’s top attorneys has reinforced our belief in the power of “Yes, And” – a cornerstone of improv – for fostering constructive communication, even in high-stakes legal scenarios.

Our combined experience as actors, educators, and witnesses enables us to offer an unparalleled, customized service. At Haus of Improv, we’re not just teaching attorneys to be better advocates for their clients; we’re also fulfilling our mission as artists to present stories that demand attention and need to be heard.

Haus of Improv clients include: