Introducing Scranton Improv & Comedy
Keeping NEPA laughing!
THANK YOU to all the producers, performers, workshop leaders, students, audience members, Scranton Fringe team, Meals on Wheels NEPA team and community who made our 8 show + 6 workshops at 2019 Scranton Fringe Festival a SUCCESS. We are grateful for the support, encouragement and feedback on what we are beginning.
GET INVOLVED. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know if you would like to volunteer, teach or attend classes.
We look forward to meeting you!
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.
Diana Scott Shields
Founder, Executive Director
Diana Scott Shields is an improv and comedy advocate, perpetual student and creator of experiences. Having studied and performed improv and stand-up in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York many moons ago, Diana's passion for performing and producing was reignited after attending Camp Improv Utopia and getting involved with the Scranton Fringe Festival's productions at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Diana knows firsthand the benefits those who experience improv receive including boosts in confidence, public speaking, creativity and happiness.
Diana is a UC Berkeley graduate, former internet industry executive and a positive psychology life and business coach. Creating Scranton Improv is 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 is to build an inclusive community where members work together to become better performers, better communicators and better humans. If you have an idea for Scranton Improv & Comedy, Diana wants to hear it.
Instructor & Producer
Lauren Esposito is an improv teacher and performer with over ten years experience. She has worked with teachers and coaches at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre and Magnet Theater in NYC, and currently performs with the Syracuse Improv Collective in Syracuse, NY. As a member of two improv groups, Susan Be Anything and Heavy Metal Heat Wave, Lauren has performed at improv festivals including the Del Close Marathon, NYC Improv Fest, Ithaca Festival of the Arts, Hartford Improv Festival, and most recently, the Ocean State Improv Festival. In addition to performing, Lauren has directed and produced an all-women’s improv show, and coaches beginning and experienced improv groups.
Lauren teaches introductory and advanced improv classes, as well as applied improv workshops with non-profit organizations, businesses, school districts, and universities. She has also trained with 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 stage through the joys of improv.
Instructor & Performer
Mary Rapach is a comic, playwright and author with an extensive background in writing for performance. Twice a featured reader/performer at the prestigious Printer's Row Book Fair in Chicago, Rapach 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. Rapach was a key player in Chicago's Tall Grass Writers Guild where she led writers' feedback workshops and acted as a director of the literary performance group. Having returned to the comedy stage in January '19 has become a recurring comic for the post-modern vaudeville troupe Bedlam Productions.
Conor Kelly O'Brien
Conor Kelly O’Brien is an actor, writer, and creative arts producer with over ten years rich improv experience having performed at The Philadelphia Improv Theatre, The Comedy Dojo and Upright Citizens Brigade to name a few. Conor has also performed Off-Broadway with The Actors Company Theatre's (TACT), 59E59 Theatre, The Cell and in other TV and film roles. Conor's most recent adventures have taken him across the US and to Scotland as part of the International Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Conor is also the Co-Founder and Director of the Scranton Fringe Festival and a proud member of the New Vintage Ensemble.