Meet The Team

DARREN HELD

CEO & Creative Director

Darren created Held2gether in Long Beach in 2010.  He is the instructor for advanced improv, sketch and writing classes. He has 30 years of experience Darren as comedic writer, performer and corporate trainer.  His improv background includes training and performances at the Groundlings, Second City, and UCB. His favorite part of comedy is teaching students and performing with the Held2gether troupe.

Groundlings, Upright Citizens’ Brigade, Second City, and with his own troupe Held2Gether.   In addition to Improv Comedy, Darren has performed in film, TV, off-Broadway plays, and Stand-Up Comedy. Discovering a void of improv opportunities in his beloved home of Long Beach, Darren was inspired bring improv comedy to people from all backgrounds.   He continues to share this passion with aspiring performers, corporations, and as a private coach.

RICHARD MARTINEZ

Improv Instructor & Social Media Manager

Richard has been a part of the Held2gether community since 2012. He teaches Level 1 Improv as well as specialty Drop-Ins and Classes. He has spent many years learning about Theatre and Improv from fantastic instructors and mentors. His proudest accomplishments with Held2gether are being able to be a part of his student’s development as they bring the elements of Improv into their lives, and producing and spearheading H2g’s online series Held Apart.

LIZ LANIER

Improv Instructor

Liz is a Southern California native and has been performing in theatre, improv and sketch comedy since high school. She is drawn to character, storytelling and empowerment through art. She loves sharing the art of improv with new students and witnessing their self-growth and confidence.

SCOTT SAEGESSER

Musical Director

Singer, dancer, choreographer, and musician, Scott lends his talents as our musical director and accompanist. He has over 30 years of experience as a musical theatre professional and can be heard accompanying Held2gether’s shows, including Broken Legs, their improvised musical. He loves teaching Song Improv creating original works for sketch parodies.

BRIAN PATRICK WILLIAMS

Public Relations

Brian brings his marketing, creative and special events experience to the Held2gether team. He joined the Held2gether troupe in 2022 and has since performed regularly specialty, shows, the online Held Apart Series, and is as a member of the troupe.  He has a degree in acting and promotion and is thrilled to be using his experience to promote Held2gether.

TIM STOLTENBERG

Stand-Up Comedy and Improv Instructor

Tim Stoltenberg has been involved in comedy for over 20 years with sketch, improv, and stand up. Tim has performed, taught, and toured comedy in numerous festivals in the States and in Europe. Tim loves the opportunity he has to work with Held2gether to create comedy in a supportive and positive community.