frequently asked questions
Are there age restrictions for your Improv Shows Taproom / Jams / Open Stage?
All ages are allowed in the establishment. Be aware, however, that we do not censor our performers, and there may be adult language and content (think R-rated movie).
how do we get tickets?
We recommend buying tickets in advance, as our shows often sell out. Our online ticketing is open through 5 pm on the day of the show. All seating is general admission.
Do you serve food?
We serve concession-style snacks, and you are welcome to bring your own food into our establishment to enjoy while watching a show and drinking Pointless beverages.
Do you serve wine or alcohol other than beer?
Our license allows us to serve our brewed-on-site craft beer, but no other alcohol. We also cannot allow our guests to bring in other alcoholic beverages.
Do you have non-alcoholic options?
Yes. We offer a selection of pop, coffee, tea, juice and water.
Co-Founder, artistic director and head brewer: Jason Tomalia
Jason Tomalia has been a homebrewer since 2008, brewing a full range of styles and creating his own recipes throughout that time. His interest in improv began in high school with more formal training beginning at Gustavus Adolphus College where he received his B.A. in Theatre. He went on to study improv and sketch comedy writing at the Brave New Workshop Comedy Theatre in Minneapolis, MN. After completing his training, he was hired as a front-of-house staff member, and writer/actor/improviser by the BNW. He married Tori in 2006 and the two relocated to Jason’s home state of Michigan to start a family in Ann Arbor. After their son Zander was born, Jason studied Creative Writing through Full Sail University where he received his M.F.A. After his twin daughters, Autumn and Mikaela, were born, he completed another improv training program through Go Comedy! in Ferndale and earned an M.A. in Theatre Arts from Eastern Michigan University with an emphasis in improv, and he has taught Improv at Eastern. He brings a strong passion for brewing, improv, writing, family, and laughter to the Pointless team.
Co-Founder and managing director: Tori Tomalia
Tori Tomalia is a graduate of the Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre, and holds Masters degrees in Arts Administration from Boston University and Drama/Theatre for the Young from Eastern Michigan University. She has performed, directed, and taught across the United States, co-managed a small theatre company in Boston, led the Internet team in a marketing research firm in Ann Arbor, and served as the Education Director for a youth theatre in Minnesota. Her accolades include the American Alliance for Theatre and Education Doyle Fellowship Special Recognition Award, membership in the UMS Teaching Artist Training/Enhancement program at the University of Michigan, the Trailblazer Award for her direction the of the Safe Schools Project: LGBTQ, and the Ronald Collins Award for research contributions as a graduate student at Eastern Michigan University. She has worked as an EMU teaching assistant in Fundraising in the Arts, Integrated Arts, and Plays for Young Audiences, and presented her paper “Improving Communication Skills for Medical School Students through Improvisational Theater Exercises” at the EMU Graduate Research Fair. Tori is a proud mother of three, and looks forward to combining her varied skills in supporting this new family-run business venture. Tori is also a survivor of stage IV lung cancer, and advocates for education and research into this disease. She blogs about it at “A Lil Lytnin’ Strikes Lung Cancer.”
Education Director: Gary Lehman
Gary Lehman is a middle and high school teacher during the day and teaches computers, makes the yearbook and newspaper, coaches forensics, oversees the student sketch comedy troupe Voodoo Theatre, and directs the high school improv group. Gary is in the midst of attaining a Masters of Fine Arts in Applied Drama for the Young at Eastern Michigan University. Gary is a five year member of the Resident Cast at Go Comedy Improv Theater in Ferndale, and is the Director of Go U: The Improv Academy. For the past 11 years Gary has been performing improv in multiple troupes and casts at Second City Detroit, Improv Inferno, Planet Ant, Performance Network, Eastern Michigan University, and Go Comedy. He is a founding member of Legend Has It, which completed a 6 month run of shows in the Sunday Buffet after a successful year-long run on Wednesday nights as the featured group in the Proving Grounds, all at Go Comedy. Gary also performed with Legend Has It at the Detroit Improv Festival in August 2013. Gary has been coaching teenagers at Greenhills School in Ann Arbor in improv for the past 8 years, and coaches several improv troupes. He has lead workshops at Eastern Michigan University, University of Michigan, and the Michigan Thespian Festival at Saginaw Valley State University. He has directed one act shows for The Ringwald Theatre’s annual Gay Play Series, getting voted Best Show in 2010, Best Director in 2012, and had a cast member win Best Actor in 2014.
Business ADVISER: James Tanabe
Formerly an artistic director at Cirque du Soleil, James Tanabe is a polymath whose passion lies at the intersection of the sciences, performing arts, and international entrepreneurship. He is a graduate of MIT and of the world-renowned National Circus School of Montreal. He has an MA in international studies from the University of Pennsylvania, and he received his MBA from the Wharton School there, with a focus on “international strategy for creative industries.” His science background includes research in molecular biology and neurology at Mayo Clinic, and in space plasma physics at MIT’s Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space.
As a director, choreographer, performer, playwright, and writer, Tanabe has worked throughout Europe, Asia, North America, and Africa, and has served as a lecturer, instructor, coach and director of projects promoting international artistic collaboration. Multilingual in six languages, and with extensive living and working experience on four continents, Tanabe is a specialist in large-scale intercultural project management. Through IC2, a consulting firm he co-founded to serve firms in the creative sector, he provides business development advice, creative forecasting services, and production management expertise. Tanabe has placed particular emphasis on projects with a positive social impact, such as the Patravadi acrobats project in Thailand. This nonprofit initiative educated high-potential Thais between the ages of eight and 21, regardless of social or financial situation, in acrobatics, aerial arts, dance, and physical acting. CWA 2012 inspired Tanabe to found the novel crowd-sourcing audition platform “The Republique,” which is dedicated to creating online creative communities of international artists and to better understanding the dynamics of their creative process.
Business advisor: Lena Gutschank
Lena Gutschank is a multilingual director, choreographer, and project manager of international performing arts projects across Europe and Asia. She is an award-winning international performer who began training in contemporary circus at age 8 before leaving home at age 16 to pursue professional training in aerial arts and contortion at the prestigious Staatliche Ballettschule Berlin und Schule für Artistik in the former East Berlin. She has directed and produced shows, led workshops, and lectured in countries including Thailand, Taiwan, Japan, India, and the United States.
Jason and Tori Tomalia of Ann Arbor have stopped dreaming about someday. Since they met a decade ago, the couple imagined opening an improvisational theater together someday - after they had established careers, and after the children they wanted to have were all grown up. Someday came when cancer happened.
One of the great things about improvisational theater can also be one of the scariest things about life: you never know where it's going to take you. For Tori Tomalia, and her husband Jason, life has taken them through an unexpected journey, as Tori was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer in 2013.
Beer and improvisational theatre lovers in the Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti area can soon enjoy a space that combines both. Eastern Michigan University Alumni, Tori and Jason Tomalia, will open Pointless Brewery and Theatre, 3014 Packard Road, Ann Arbor, this summer. Tori said the population in the area appreciates the "mind-set" of theater and craft beer.
As reported by The Ann Arbor News's Matt Durr, husband and wife Jason and Tori Tomalia are hard at work planning the opening of their Pointless Brewery & Theatre, a combination microbrewery and improv venue on the city's east side: The Tomalias have signed a lease to occupy space in the former Makkara Sushi grocery store located at 3014 Packard Rd.
If all goes according to plan, Tori and Jason Tomalia will soon be the proprietors of new brewery situated between Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti that will cater primarily to lovers of improvisational comedy.