Noah Gregoropoulos – Improv Teacher, Director and Mentor
Noah Gregoropoulos was an improviser and director, best known for creating Lois Kaz, one of the seminal longform shows ever performed, as well as leading Chicago’s iO Theater’s resident company revue If the White House Is Rockin’ Don’t Come Knockin’ (an ensemble show).
He taught at the theater, helping to arrange teams and shows. He was known as an excellent, principled teacher who focused on longform art rather than comedy as his teaching method.
Early Life and Education
Over three decades, Gregoropoulos instructed and directed hundreds of improvisers. He earned a reputation as an esteemed teacher who focused on long-form improv, encouraging his students to enrich scenes with intellect rather than simple humor.
He taught at DePaul University and served as resident company director of Second City’s national touring company. Additionally, he wrote scripts for TV shows such as Dharma and Greg and Fargo.
He enjoyed playing chess and spending time with Linda. A loving father and grandfather, he is survived by Linda as well as his sister. His life serves as an exemplary demonstration of community spirit.
Between 2006 and 2012, he performed on Harold teams at iO Chicago as well as other groups around town. He trained with Comedy Sportz, Four Day Weekend, Annoyance Theatre and Playground Theatre while also studying under Del Close, Charna Halpern and Gary Austin.
His credits are impressive: appearing on My Mother the Car and Get Smart, directing at Second City, writing for ABC’s Dharma and Greg and teaching improv at Chicago’s iO Theater for over 20 years.
Paul Grondy, an iO alum and former member of his Blue Velveta cast at iO, described Gregoropoulos as an outstanding teacher who stressed the art of improv over comedy as described by friend Paul Gregoropoulos himself. According to Grondy, Gregoropoulos taught an advanced-level improv class as well as helping artistic director Mark Halpern organize teams and shows at their theater, according to Grondy.
Achievement and Honors
Noah Gregoropoulos was an esteemed improv teacher and veteran. He directed Lois Kaz, and co-directed “If the White House Is Rockin’ Don’t Come Knockin.” Additionally, he contributed writing credits to ABC sitcoms such as Dharma and Greg and Fargo.
He was a principal improv instructor at Chicago’s iO theater, teaching performance level classes and helping arrange teams for mainstage shows. He served as an inspiration to generations of performers at iO and was an enduring friend.
He was an exceptional teacher, dedicated to the art of long-form improv rather than simply its humor. He encouraged students to slow down and think before opting for quick laughs; truly one of the great teachers.
Noah Gregoropoulos was an outstanding teacher, director and improviser who had an enormous impact on generations of Chicago longform performers. Additionally he was an incredible friend and mentor; recently passing away at home in North Stonington CT while surrounded by family.
He had been an integral member of Chicago’s esteemed iO Theater for more than 25 years, performing, directing and teaching there. Following Del Close’s death he took over performance level classes and helped train many current cast members.
The biblical patriarch Noah is famous for his godly nature and role in God’s Great Flood of Noah was chosen to save mankind by building an Ark to shelter his family and animals from being washed away into destruction by waters. This tale has had profound influences upon countless cultures and artistic works across time and cultures alike.
Gregoropoulos made waves in entertainment, writing for ABC’s “Dharma and Greg” for one season before appearing on TBS’s “My Boys,” FX’s “Fargo,” and other shows. He is survived by his wife Linda Orr and sister Vilma Gregoropoulos of North Stonington, Connecticut; according to FastPeopleSearch he had no children; instead sharing a home with both brothers and sister before passing away aged 77 in Chicago at his last address of residence.