Scranton Improv & Comedy
Let's Gather, Laugh & Thrive!
Northeast Pennsylvania has a rich tradition in the performing arts and our goal is to engage and continue to grow an inclusive and supportive improv and comedy community. We all need more laughter!
Launched in 2019, we offer classes, workshops, drop-in improv jam sessions, performances and unique events. Scranton Improv welcomes actors, non-actors, seasoned pros and beginners to a world of possibilities where individuals will learn about acceptance, teamwork and the benefits of an action mindset. Play, laughter and learning are what we are about.
We are inspired to bring people together and encourage an improv way of life that enriches people's optimism, creativity and connections.
Whether you are a curious new student, seasoned performer or an audience member, together we will create something fresh, fun and engaging.
“Creativity takes courage”
Laughter, Learning & Community
What People Are Saying About Scranton Improv!
”I just took an improv workshop last weekend with Scranton Improv. I had a blast! The instructor Conor was knowledgable, easy going and delightful. The other participants in the workshop all so much fun. I cannot wait till Improv 102!” -Lauren C.
“It's playtime with smart, brave, funny folks! Improv refreshes the body, mind and spirit.” - Cheryl S.
“Just took their Improv 101 Class and it was fantastic. If you are looking for an opportunity to do improv, meet new people or strengthen your people skills, this one day class has something for everyone. I cannot say enough great things. Thank you:)” - Michelle M.
Committed to Educate, Enlighten & Entertain
Scranton Improv was born out the idea to connect and grow the Northeast PA improv and comedy community offering education, gathering and performance opportunities. We bring people together with the intention of educating, enlightening and entertaining. Get to know us and get involved. Feel free to reach out with questions.
Comedy Lead - Instructor & Performer
Mary Rapach is an award-winning comic, playwright, and author with an extensive background in writing for performance. Mary, a NEPA's Best Comedian award winner and frequently featured host brings wit, compassion, and keen observation skills to the stage and classroom. Whether hosting corporate events, drag performances or hitting the stage, you can count on Mary to deliver. Twice a featured reader/performer at the prestigious Printer's Row Book Fair in Chicago, Mary also has had pieces published in multiple anthologies and periodicals, as well as produced comedy and improv at the Second City Training Center in Chicago and Theatre at Marymount Manhattan College in NYC. Mary was a key player in Chicago's Tall Grass Writers Guild where they led writers' feedback workshops and acted as a director of the literary performance group. Mary regularly hosts and performs throughout the NEPA region delivering spot-on observations of this funny life we live while also fostering environments of inclusion where everyone is guaranteed an equal opportunity for fun and laughter.
Diana Scott Shields
Diana Scott Shields is a humor and play advocate and founder of Scranton Improv & Comedy. As a transplant to Northeast PA and former improv & comedy performer, Diana found herself among others searching for local classes, she set to work recruiting improv & comedy teaching talent, building a community, and creating a home for others looking to develop and expand their skills. Thanks go to Nick Armstrong's Camp Improv Utopia and Conor O'Brien's Scranton Fringe Festival for reigniting Diana's passion for sharing improv & comedy and creating a space for others to flourish.
As a performer, Diana has hit the stage at The Comedy Store - Los Angeles, New York Comedy Club, Scranton Fringe Festival, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and The Space at Olive Garage Scranton. Always eager to learn more, Diana has taken workshops with many top coaches including Astronomy Club (Ray Cordova/Monique Moses/Keisha Zollar), Joe Bill, Ashley Comeau, Gerry Katzman, Louis Kornfield, Brian O'Connell, Brian Palermo, Wendy Penrod, Lance Werth, and John Windmueller to name a few. As an executive producer, Diana curated the comedy & improv for past Scranton Fringe Festivals and sold out Scranton Improv & Comedy shows and holiday events. Diana's greatest joy is shining a bright light on talent and bringing people together.
Beyond Improv & comedy, Diana is an executive coach, positive psychology consultant, communication and connection workshop facilitator, and UC Berkeley graduate. Creating Scranton Improv & Comedy was her way of giving back to the community and creating more opportunities for laughter, learning, and fun whether through producing workshops or shows. Her goal for Scranton Improv & Comedy was to build an inclusive community where members work together to become better performers, better communicators, and better humans. Diana has taken her show on the road and relocated to Paris, France. Who knows maybe studying mime or clowning is next.
Improv Lead - Instructor & Producer
Lauren Esposito is an experienced improv teacher, performer and creator. Having worked with teachers and coaches at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre and Magnet Theater in NYC, Lauren has learned from the best. Lauren hits the stage every chance she can with her improv teams including The Bus Stops Here,, Susan Be Anything and Heavy Metal Heat Wave, and has performed at improv festivals including the Del Close Marathon, NYC Improv Fest, Ithaca Festival of the Arts, Hartford Improv Festival, the Ocean State Improv Festival, and the Scranton Fringe Festival. Lauren is also an engaged director and producer helming women’s improv shows and curating improv content and workshops for the Scranton Fringe Festival.
With Scranton Improv, Lauren teaches introductory and advanced improv classes and offers applied improv workshops with non-profit organizations, businesses, school districts, and universities. Lauren, a professor at Marywood University, earned her PhD at the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University where she learned ways of using improv to help scientists and medical professionals develop skills in communication. Lauren enjoys helping her students and others connect on and off the stage through the joys of improv.