What is Mettlesome?
Mettlesome is a Durham based performance and production collective. We produce creator-driven Projects across the Triangle.

I thought you were a comedy theater.
Yes! and no, not exactly. We perform weekly at our Okay Alright Theater, but we also produce shows and projects that appear elsewhere (sometimes just online! eek!).

Do you teach classes?
Yes! Check out Mettlesome LAB.

Can you perform at my birthday? Or lead a workshop for my office? 
Sure! We have a portal for that. Many of the participants involved in the various Mettlesome Projects have experience in tailoring a show to meet your needs and in leading workshops for corporate clients. Send us an email and we can talk about details. 

Where are you located?
We teach classes and produce shows weekly at our Okay Alright Theater (401 W Geer St, Durham, NC 27701)— but we also believe in not limiting our Projects to one venue. We find the space that best fits a Project. Sometimes that’s our home theater and sometimes we venture as far as we need to go.

What are your current Projects?
See LIVE for our current show list, or our PROJECTS TAB which features current and dormant projects.

Couldda sworn you were an improv comedy theater…
Many people involved with Mettlesome have experience with comedy (specifically improv comedy) and the ideas of collaborative creation found in improv affect a lot of the creative decisions that get made. We currently produce majority improv projects, but have more Projects in development and are open to pitches from all disciplines.

Why do you keep capitalizing “Project?”
We've put a lot of thought into this. A Mettlesome “Project” is a specific thing. Each Project has been voted on and approved by the Mettlesome Stakeholders to be an official Mettlesome Project. Each Project has a specific “Captain,” whose idea it was to make the Project in the first place. The Captain could be a Project’s director, a performer, or just someone who wants to make something cool. Each Project also has a Stakeholder Sponsor whose job it is to help the Captain see their vision through to fruition. All Projects also have a limited Scope and clearly stated goals or expected outcomes. In the case that a Project is expected to be ongoing (as is the example for Golden Age or The Racket) these Projects have rolling renewal and re-evaluation periods. You may not have wanted all this information, but you got it anyway. We have a fully formed Mettlesome Constitution that was created by committee and is available to anyone applying or currently involved in a Project. 

For fun, you can also listen to this interview that Founding Partner Rose Werth gave on The Artist Soapbox

Can my show be a Mettlesome Project?
Maybe! If it meets all the requirements above. Fill out a Project Proposal form.

Can my improv team be a Mettlesome Project?
Probably not. If you have a team and that team wants to do produce a specific show, we’d love to talk to you. If your team is looking for performance opportunities, you can ask us about performing in The Racket. Or check out to find out who is hosting cool indie comedy nights (like The Racket). If you’ve got a team and you’re looking for a coach, check out

Why should I want my project to be a Mettlesome Project?
Mettlesome provides:

Sweet ass graphic design
Help with online marketing
Help with offline marketing
Cross-promotion with other Mettlesome Projects
 Experienced (but hopefully non-oppressive) mentoring
+ other more dynamic benefits

The general idea is that by working together we amplify each other’s work/ideas/talents.

What if I submit a Project proposal and it gets rejected?
Make it anyway! There are lots of reasons that Mettlesome may not be able to help you create your own Project. Just because we can’t help you doesn’t mean it shouldn’t exist.

Who runs this ship?
Mettlesome leadership is comprised of Partners and Stakeholders. Partners are in charge of the big picture stuff, like financial and organizational vision. Stakeholders vote on management decisions and serve as Sponsors for people’s Projects. Partners are also Stakeholders. (And just so you know, Stakeholders can vote to remove a Partner if necessary. It’s all in the Constitution.)

Mettlesome’s Partners are Ashley Melzer and Jack Reitz.
Mettlesome Stakeholders are Jack Reitz, Ashley Melzer, Hillary Yonce, Jonathan Yeomans, and Lauren Foster-Lee.
Andy Lavender, Rose Werth, Josh Rowsey, and Dan DeSalva are Emeritus Stakeholders. 

There are a lot of other people in the Mettlesome orbit who are key contributors, performers, allies, and teachers. Mettlesome would not exist without Paula Pazderka, Vinny Valdivia, PT Scarborough, Sarah Spencer, Greg Phillips and Bryce Bowden who all attended initial Constitution meetings, among many others who have assisted (and still do) in working box, tech, bar, contributing their talents and labor in ways that make this work flourish.

We are also deeply indebted to the Backroom Shakespeare Project for directly and generously inspiring our constitutional structure.

What if something shitty happens at a Mettlesome event or during a Mettlesome Project?
Projects have their own chain of reporting options if you are involved with one. For anything, feel free to email the Stakeholder email address at hello(at) You may alternatively make an anonymous report here

We are hopeful to create official documents of policies much in line with Huge Theater's Whistleblower Policy. For now, you can refer to our Code of Conduct and Student Bill of Rights (adapted from Huge) to understand our basic values.