About Us

We think we're a pretty cool and funny group of folks, let us introduce ourselves...


Production Team and Ensemble


Matt Lyle, Artistic Producer/Head Writer/Host

Matt is the co-founder of Bootstraps Comedy Theater, a member of The Dramatist Guild and a graduate of the Sketch Writing Program at Second City. In 2007, The Dallas Observer named him as Best New Playwright and Bootstraps as Best Small Theater Company. His award-winning play, THE BOXER a Silent Film On Stage had its New York Premiere in 2009 and was featured in “TOP OF THE AUGHTS” on TheaterJones.com among other accolades. In 2010, he premiered a follow-up Silent Film On Stage, THE BETTER DOCTOR. Acting credits include 365 DAYS/365 PLAYS and THE MISANTHROPE at Dallas Theater Center, DEATH OF A SALESMAN and EVERY TRICK IN THE BOOK at Classical Acting Company, TAB A, SLOT B... and SUNNY AND EDDIE.. with Bootstraps. Originally from East Texas, Matt is a Summa Cum Laude graduate and winner of the Outstanding Theatre Graduate Award from Stephen F. Austin State University School of Theatre. Watch Matt's Living Portrait


Kim Lyle, Executive Producer/Talent

Kim is the co-founder of Bootstraps Comedy Theater. Her producing credits with Bootstraps inlcude the world premieres of DWARF TOSSING by Jack Heifner; THE BOXER, THE BETTER DOCTOR, SUNNY AND EDDIE SITTING IN A TREE, TAB A, SLOT B: A NEW-AGE SEXIOLOGY all by Matt Lyle; as well as THE BOOK OF LIZ and WASP. She is an award winning actress and properties designer. Favorite roles include: Velma in THE BOXER and THE BETTER DOCTOR, Sheila in TALES OF A FOURTH GRADE NOTHING, Sylvia in THE TYPISTS and Woman in DWARF TOSSING. By day, Kim is a free-lance graphic designer specializing in Entertainment Marketing, working with clients such as John Leguizamo, Eddie Izzard, Dallas Children’s Theater, New York’s WestBeth Entertainment and CAP21 Theatre Company. Watch Kim's Living Portrait


Jennifer Youle, Producer/Writer/Talent

As a performer, Jennifer has worked with Bootstraps since its inception. Roles include Sunny (SUNNY AND EDDIE SITTING IN A TREE), Sis (WASP), Waitress (THE BOXER), Slings (THE BETTER DOCTOR) and Timmy (HELLO HUMAN FEMALE). She directed the remount production of TAB A SLOT B. Other roles include Mary (A PERMANANT SIGNAL), Girl (THE PLAY ABOUT THE BABY) and Ophelia (ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD). Jennifer holds a degree in Theater from Stephen F. Austin State University and works in marketing


Phil Garno, Audio Director/Musician/Talent

Philip John Garno has worked in many aspects of production both in front and behind the scenes. Originally from Saginaw, MI, He holds a BA in Music and a BA in Theatre from Saginaw Valley State University. Having spent half of the last decade in Dallas, honing his Production skills with the Dallas Children's Theater, doing Voice-Over work with Funimation studios, and evolving his musicianship. He hopes to learn, adapt, and acquire new skills while bringing to the table his own brand of talent to this unique and worthy endeavor. Here in Chicago, He is a Project Manager for Sound Investment AV. He is thrilled to be involved with such a talented assortment of peers and friends with whom he holds the utmost respect. Watch Phil's Living Portrait



Eric Loughlin, Pianist

Eric has been in and around the Chicago theatre scene since he moved from Buffalo, NY. During his time here he has worked mostly as an actor with multiple companies including Jedlicka Performing Arts, HoBo Junction, Hubris Productions, and Waltzing Mechanics where he is a company member. As a musician, Eric has been playing piano and other instruments casually for the past 14 years, most recently as the accompanist for The Better Doctor by Bootstraps Comedy Theatre, a live silent movie. A specialist in jazz/blues piano, Eric has also played some open mike nights when he can find a bar that is desperate enough to let him in. Watch Eric's Living Portrait


Alan Nielsen, Musical Contributor

Alan Nielsen is an award-winning composer/lyricist and playwright based in Texas, where he served as Professor of Theatre at Stephen F. Austin State University.  His songs have been performed in theatres and clubs from New York to Las Vegas.


Jack Birdwell, Talent 

A native of Jourdanton, Texas, Jack received his BFA from Sam Houston State University. He was last seen in Sideshow Theatre’s STRANGERLAND. Other Chicago credits include MESSIAH ON THE FRIGIDAIRE & THE UNDERPANTS (Hubris Productions), A DOLLS HOUSE (Buzz 22), THE BETTER DOCTOR (Bootstraps & Silent Theatre), MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING (Chicago del’Arte), THE GLASS MENAGERIE (The Drama Group), and THE ELABORATE ENTRANCE OF CHAD DEITY (Victory Gardens Theatre).  Selected regional credits include TAMING OF THE SHREW, ANGELS IN AMERICA, SWING!, PARADE, THE CRUCIBLE, THE DAY AFTER THE FAIR, ROSENCRANTZ & GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD, THE NORMAL HEART, and the national tour of AND THEN THEY CAME FOR ME.


Mike Brunlieb, Writer/Talent

Mike is from Milwaukee, WI, and currently lives with two angels in the lovely Ukrainian Village. He improvises every Monday night at 8pm with 'Sand' at Quenchers on Fullerton & Western, and on other days with the teams 'Thank You, Dr. Science' and 'Jajaja' at iO on Clark and Addison. He performs sketch as half of the duo 'Be Good Boys'."


Billie Bryant, Talent

Originally from Texas, Miss Bryant performed with Dallas Children's theater and Omaha Theater's national touring company's for the past three years in addition to performing with various theaters in the Dallas/ Fort Worth area. Billie Holds a BFA from the University of Texas. She is super excited
to be a part of The City Life Supplement and is very happy to be putting down roots in the Windy City. Big thanks to Phil and Peanut for their support and love.


Matt Coleman, Writer

Matt Coleman works in the field of education and dabbles in the world of writing. He comes to The City Life Supplement with eleven years experience in public education, a career that has prepared him for circus life and/or a part time gig with public radio. He is currently a school improvement specialist at Arkansas High School in Texarkana, AR. He is married, with two daughters, five dogs, two cats, and a dwarf hamster, all of which were alive and well when last he left the house.


Dan Forsythe, Talent

Dan Forsythe, a Chicago native, returned to his hometown two years ago after working four years as an Assistant Professor of Drama at the University of Dallas. Dan has performed on many stages across the country and can be seen in several commercials and films. Recently Dan discovered a new passion in food and wine and works as a professional server at Benny’s Chophouse, one of Chicago’s premiere steak houses. Dan holds a MFA in Acting from West Virginia University.


Heather Forsythe, Talent

A native Floridian, Heather grew up in West Virginia and graduated from WVU with a BFA in Acting.  After graduation, Heather joined Hampstead Stage Company where she brought Shakespeare to kids across the country. Heather took a four year pit stop in Dallas before finally landing in sweet home Chicago. Select acting credits include: Merchant of Venice, Macbeth, Much Ado About Nothing (Shakespeare Dallas); NeverEnding Story, Emperor’s New Clothes, Secret Garden (Dallas Children’s Theater); and The Better Doctor (Bootstraps Comedy Theater). Watch Heather's Living Portrait


Evan Hatfield, Writer/Foley Artist

Originally hailing from Mendocino County, California, Evan is now well into the sixth year of his Chicago experiment. He's proud to be working with such a talented group of people who have such a collectively nice way about them.


Jack Miggins, Writer/Talent

Jack Miggins is a writer, actor, and scientist in Chicago. Theaters he's worked with include The House Theatre, Redmoon, Griffin Theatre, The Inconvenience, and Collaboraction. Inventions of his you might have seen include The Perfect Peanut Butter Knife, The Frugal Humidifier, and the Splash-Less Urinal.


Allison Tolman, Writer/Talent

Allison graduated from Baylor University with a BFA in theatrical performance before moving to Dallas, where she spent her time acting and helping to found and foster the independent non-profit Second Thought Theatre. Allison moved to Chicago in the summer of 2009 and was accepted into Second City's Conservatory Training Program. Since graduating in January of 2011, she has written sketch and satire with several groups throughout the city including Second Day Party Hair, Unattended Packages, and Joe Dobbin’s Comedy School. Throughout her career, Allison has played a veterinary receptionist, personal assistant, children’s theatre teacher, vocal coach, phone sales associate, client services representative and dog walker - never while acting, but in her real life in order to pay her rent and be able to afford more tank tops from Target than any human actually needs.  She can be seen beginning in April of 2014 in the FX series, Fargo, where she appears as a series regular. She is represented by Stewart Talent. Watch Allison's Living Portrait


Erin Cook, Costume Consultant

Erin is currently Company Manager at Steppenwolf Theatre Company where she was previously the Staff Dresser for three seasons.  In addition to Steppenwolf, she has done wardrobe work with The Utah Shakespearean Festival, The Milwaukee Repertory Theatre and Million Dollar Quartet among others. A graduate of Theatre Studies at The University of Wisconsin – Green Bay, Erin acted in, built and designed many a show in her time there. Most recently, she designed and built the costumes for 500 Clown’s Trapped!, an original children’s show at Adventure Stage.


Matt Webb, Web Ninja and Branding Badass

Matt is an art director and graphic designer originally from Colorado, but is now based in Chicago. For the past 7 years he's worked on design and advertising campaigns for many major companies including AirTran Airways, Porsche, Corona, Edward Jones, Coca Cola, Hilton and Crocs. Matt has recently started working independently, freelancing for advertising agencies, designing fine websites like the one you're looking at and designing furniture and other products.


Roseann Bishop, Music Recruitment

Roseann is very excited to join the City Life Supplement as our music recruiter. She developed a love for music at an early age, having spent her childhood listening to music and attending festivals, fairs and concerts with her parents. She studied public relations at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo. There the world of local, independent artists opened up and a deep love of the live music experience formed. In 2007 she made the move from small town Michigan to big city Chicago. The large number of music venues focusing on local and small-scale touring artists made the Windy City feel like home right away. Her passion for music and involvement in the local music scene make her the perfect fit for scouting live bands for the show.

Special thanks to George Aye for his expertise in shooting our Living Portraits. Learn more about George here.


Who is this Bootstraps Comedy Theater?

The City Life Supplement is produced by Bootstraps Comedy theater, a Chicago-based 501(c)3 organization which was founded in 2004 in Dallas, TX. In 2008 the company relocated to Chicago and in 2010 produced The Better Doctor in collaboration with the Silent Theater Company. Allow us brag on ourselves a little: We have produced over a dozen shows and have a track record of quality productions that are innovative and enjoy both critical and audience acclaim. WBEZ listed THE BETTER DOCTOR in the Top Five Most Overlooked shows of 2010.


Bootstraps Comedy Theater was born from our love of laughter. We feel that laughter IS the best medicine and a way to break down the walls that exist between people shackled by societal norms. We believe strongly in the literary value of comedic drama and the effect of a well-produced comedy on an audience of humans. We believe in silliness, irony, goofiness, double entendre and laughing even when you’re not sure what you’re laughing at. The mission of Bootstraps Comedy Theater is to put joy in the heart, a smile on the face and laughter on the lips of each and every audience member.

board of directors

President: Emily Berman
Secretary: Jennifer Youle
Registered Agent: Les Geiter
George Aye
Sara Aye
Kate Birdwell
Dan Forsythe
Heather Forsythe
Evan Hatfield
Kim LyleMatt Lyle
Matt Webb