Request for Protest is a long-form improv ensemble featuring: Pat Bragan, Mary Canter, Scott Hopmann, Emily Markle, Brandon McTavish, and Chris Rampolla. Character-driven and full of quirk, RFP shows are like a string of feral ponies high-stepping across the not-so-nice-end of the beach: a little unruly and a lot of fun, even with the strong likelihood of strolling over a used syringe. Since meeting in a DC Improv class in the winter of ’15, RFP has been honored to play on several of the District’s mainstay comedy stages including: The Unified Scene Theater, DC Improv, ShawnMiakel(s) in CoHi (Studio 1469), Improvapalooza (Source Theater), and DC Arts Center. RFP is coached by Shawn Westfall.
A transplant from Pittsburgh, Chris is an aspiring comedian, writer, and adult. You can find his collected written works if you ever visit his apartment – check the blue journal under the mattress (NOT the green one because that’s personal). Chris knew he was destined for a life of improv after his high school classmates voted him the third runner up in the “most talkative senior” category. Waiting the requisite near-decade after such an honor, he took his first formal improv classes with Shawn Westfall and Chris Ulrich at the DC Improv in 2014, became a founding member of Request for Protest in 2015, and is widely considered by himself to be “classically trained.” If he could have any superpower, it would be a nice glass of Cabernet.
Brandon is a native of Winchester, Virginia and is currently waiting for Dominos to be delivered so that his kids can eat dinner. But let’s back up…After briefly studying theater at James Madison University, Brandon eventually graduated with a degree in Biology and English Literature, which he hasn’t yet framed. After his studies, Brandon moved abroad and eventually turned his interests to Comedy, taking classes at Boom Chicago in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Brandon has since studied in NY and performed across the City at the PIT, Gotham City Improv, UCB as well as Second City in Chicago with Indie group, MacGuffin Comedy. After spending the last few years not laughing in Germany, Brandon was recently “Born Again” and has returned to comedy with DC Improv!
Emily Markle, a Northern VA Native, began her improv journey way down south in Miami (pronounced ME-AM-EE), Florida (FLO-RIDE-UH) while attending the prestigious party school known as The U. In between sunbathing and chilling poolside with Pit Bull, Emily found time to take her first improv class at Just The Funny theater and she hasn’t stopped since – despite pleas from her friends, family and local law enforcement. In addition to JTF, she has studied at DC Improv, Washington Improv Theater and most recently at Second City in Chicago! Emily dedicates all her performances to her son Reggie. “Mama loves you, Reg! Now be a good boy and tinkle outside.”
Pat hails from the deep suburbs of South Shore Massachusetts. After being forged in the fire pit of the Marine Corps, Pat decided to take himself less seriously. He was lucky enough to land himself a fine lady (out of his league) who got him his first Improv class because he clearly needed an appropriate outlet for his jackassery. Pat has studied at the DC Improv, Washington Improv Theater and Unified Scene Theater. He is a founding member of Request for Protest and has also performed stand up all around the DMV. If you like big white guys with ginger tendencies, you’ll probably like Pat.
Mary is a Northern Virginia native and erstwhile New Yorker. She got her start in improvisational comedy after friends, tired of her “buffoonery,” bought her a class at DC Improv. Mary’s mom thinks it’s so nice that Mary has a creative outlet now, but hopes her daughter, who makes a living as a lawyer, won’t take this improv stuff too seriously. Mary loves it and claims not to care what anyone thinks (but really, please, laugh at her jokes). She has studied/studies improv and sketch writing at Second City (Chicago), Annoyance Theater (NYC), The Unified Scene Theater (DC), DC Improv and Washington Improv Theater. She is the founding momager-member of Request for Protest. If you love Taco Bell and dance parties, Mary wants to buy you a drink.
Scott’s former athletic prowess was honed in Annapolis, MD, where he grew up playing lacrosse and earned himself a scholarship at the Division I level. Entering his final year of collegiate play, he had a Humpty Dumpty-esque fall and immediately stopped caring about the sport and began embracing his newfound weirdness and dad bod. In his final year of college where he studied Film, he enrolled in a boot camp class at DC Improv in hopes of finding funny people for his senior film project. Unbeknownst to him, he would continue to learn at the DC Improv and has since furthered his studies at the Unified Scene Theatre (DC) and Second City in Chicago. And he can’t smell. Seriously, he only wears deodorant for the courtesy of others.