Equally at home on the stage in a short-form competition, hosting a community-building performance, or improvising original rock ballads, Greek odes and Shakespearean sonnets, the power of play and resilience is at the core of it all…
An Experienced Practitioner
Who’s Up to the Challenge
With literally thousands of improvisational performances in Equity and professional venues — in addition to hundreds more on college campuses and hosting community groups — playfulness, community-building and elevating the artistry of spontaneous performance are always at the heart of the work.
Performance credits include work with prestigious improv companies, such as Dunedin Theatresports (New Zealand), Chicago Comedyportz, Players Workshop of the Second City, Astors’ Beechwood, SAK Comedy Lab (inducted to the “SAK Hall of Fame,”) and at Walt Disney World’s Comedy Warehouse. Improvisational collaborations with “traditional” companies include Jester Theater, Winter Park Playhouse, and the historic Annie Russell Theatre, alongside numerous performances with collegiate and self-founded groups such as Baton Rouge’s The Improvisors, the Improv Theatre Company, FreeForm Improv Theatre, and the prolific Rollins Improv Players currently in its eighteenth year of operation.
Performing in the long-form narrative tradition serves as a particular passion and expertise. Whether playing as an onstage mentor alongside university actors in productions such as The Lost Comedies of William Shakespeare, It’s All Greek to Me and Murder We Wrote: An Improvised Whodunit, or improvising high-wire acts with fellow professional improvisers in shows such as FourPlay: The Improvised Musical, Is This Seat Taken, and the company of Gorilla Theatre, the results consistently impress. Just see what the critics are saying below…
Click HERE to read about his 1000th performance at SAK Comedy Lab as featured by the Orlando Sentinel.
What the critics are saying…
“Everyone in the cast has brilliant moments, and the highlight is director Charles, who combines wonderful vocal depth and control with the manic energy and creativity SAK pounds into its students. Without him, the show would still be excellent, but the ideas he contributes are transcendent.”Al Pergande, Orlando Weekly, FourPlay Review 2005
“He’s also got one of the strongest voices of the quartet of actors, and seems well-versed (get it?) at making up songs on the spot…”Charles Martin, East Orlando Sun, FourPlay Review, 2005
“Charles can get up on a stage and improvise a complete Shakespearean sonnet — better yet, one the audience understands. And his castmates are no slouches in the “wouldst” and “didst” department.”Elizabeth Maupin, Orlando Sentinel, 2006
“Who says it’s hard to write a musical? These guys crank out a new one every night, and not only is it funny, it’s in tune.”Al Pergande, Ink 19, FourPlay Review, 2009
“If standard improv comedy is working without a net, long-form improv is working over a lava pit. You’re always in danger of a “bit” not clicking in short sketches, but when you’re stuck with the same characters and situation for a full hour? Well, you’d better hope you’re half as nimble as Jay Hopkins and David Charles…”Tod Caviness, Orlando Sentinel, 2010
“…David Charles and Jay Hopkins must be improv masters, at least if you go by Tuesday night’s performance of Is This Seat Taken? Everything went right in their nearly hour-long comic one-act about two strangers in an empty movie theater waiting for Casablanca to begin.”Elizabeth Maupin, Elizabeth Maupin on Theater, Is This Seat Taken, 2010
“Sak Comedy Lab’s Dave Russell and David Charles, turning three audience suggestions (I admit, I was responsible for bringing up kitty litter) into songs that sounded suspiciously like Les Mis and solving a mystery at the same time. Nobody does improv better.”Elizabeth Maupin, Elizabeth Maupin on Theater, Red Chair Performance, 2010
“The trio of performers — Jay Hopkins, David Charles and Richard Paul — are clearly comfortable performing with one another and making the most of sometimes silly audience suggestions. […] but got the biggest laughs as Paul and Hopkins tried to get […Charles…] to guess some audience suggestions, that he was somehow mowing a lawn with a faucet at the Lido in Venice with Sean Penn. It took a lot of work and some charades, but a breathless Charles eventually got there, bringing lots of laughs with him.”Jay Handelman, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 2011
“…Charles, also a veteran of Sak Comedy Lab in downtown Orlando, provides a steady guiding hand. He ably sets up the scenes and leads his troupe in song with a traditional hey-nonny-nonny-hey! […] Charles is an old pro and a delight to watch.”Matthew Palm, Orlando Sentinel, 2014
“…all have comedic chops, and the laughs are frequent and hearty. Charles is an able ringmaster to the students as he plays both the lord of the manor and the elderly butler.”Matthew Palm, Upton Abbey, Orlando Sentinel, 2016
“And it was a pleasure to hear the fire of Cece Teneal, the down-home harmonies of Matthew Fowler and The Prado Sisters and the lushness of the large orchestra; to bathe in the grace of United Ballet Theatre; to chuckle at the goofy charm of SAK Comedy Lab.”Matthew Palm, Orlando Sentinel, 2022 (writing of Rise and Shine at Steinmetz Hall)
Full resume available upon request.
Currently on hiatus at SAK Comedy Lab: