Founder and visionary behind the acclaimed Annoyance Theatre, Mick Napier is known both nationally and internationally as an innovator and creative force in comedy, improvisation, and theater. His belief in the element of risk-taking that is at the core of improvisation influences his work and his direction, inspiring genuine creativity in any project with which he is involved.
With the Annoyance, Mick has spent more than 20 years developing and cultivating a style of work and production that has been both acclaimed and imitated. As a Director and Artistic Consultant for the internationally renowned Second City he made his mark having directed more than 10 revues there, including the 40th and 50th Anniversary revues, and Paradigm Lost, which earned him a Joseph Jefferson Award for direction. Mick’s has also directed such high profile actors and writers as Martin Short (Martin Short & Friends,) Jeff Garlin (I want Someone to Eat Cheese With,) and David & Amy Sedaris in their Obie Award Winning hit One Woman Shoe.
In film, Mick directed and edited Annoyance Productions’ first feature film Fatty Drives the Bus, which was released by Troma Pictures in November 1999. For television, he was writer/performance director for the Cable Ace nominated Exit 57, which aired on Comedy Central for two seasons, Creative Producer on the nationally syndicated sketch TV show The Sports Bar, and for HBO/Comedy Central, he directed the live pilot, T.B.A. His original animations have appeared on the cable programs Tame Show, and R-Rated, as well as in the Chicago Comedy Film Festival.
In addition at The Annoyance, Mick has directed over 20 original productions. Notable ones include Coed Prison Sluts, the longest running musical in Chicago, Splatter Theatre, an annual Halloween blood bath, The Tragedy of Balloon Boy, That Darn Antichrist, and more recently The Boy Scout Musical and Swear Jar.
As an Actor, Mick has appeared in the films Ice Harvest and Let’s Go to Prison, Watch, and Talent, and on television as a talent judge in the Canadian reality show Second to None, and in Shrink, a SeeSo television series. The documentary Second to None chronicles Mick’s process of directing a show for The Second City.
Mick’s first book, “Improvise. Scene from the Inside Out” (Heinemann, 2004) reached its 10th printing, and is widely regarded as a seminal work on the subject of Improvisation.
It was re-issued with three additional chapters in 2016 under Meriwether Publishing. Meriwether also published Mick’s second book, “Behind the Scenes: Improvising Long Form“, in 2016, as well.
Mick worked with many companies and organizations over the past 15 years in areas such as Communication, Collaboration, Innovation, Leadership, and Presentation.
Mick also enjoys a mentalist act with his partner and partner, Jennifer Estlin, and go by the name Napier and Estlin.