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About Us

Finding Inspiration in Every Turn

The Scranton Improv & Comedy team is dedicated to the mission of bringing positivity and laughter to NEPA through the arts of Improv and Comedy in all of its forms. 

The Players

Mary Rapach

Program Director/Comedy Lead 

Mary has a passion for fostering new talent, and brings over 25 years of experience in the arena of writing for performance to their role at Scranton Improv & Comedy.  

Having honed their skill at the Second City Training Center in Chicago and Theatre at Marymount Manhattan College in NYC, they went on to be a twice-featured reader/performer at the prestigious Printer's Row Book Fair in Chicago, alongside having pieces published in multiple anthologies and periodicals, all the while racking up more stories to share as they made their way across the U.S.

Since the inception of Scranton Improv in 2019, Rapach has also picked up awards for NEPA's Best Comic, and back-to-back trophies as the winner of the Big, Gay, Storyslam.

 

Outside of the classrom, 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.

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Sharon Phillips

Improv Lead 

Sharon. another transplant to the region who's discovered the thriving NEPA comedy and performing arts scene, , is thrilled to have the opportunity to teach, coach, and perform with Scranton Improv and Comedy. 

Sharon’s improv career began in Chicago where she studied and performed at the IO Theater.  During that time, she had the opportunity to learn from the best and perform alongside amazing improvisors and comedians.  
Having been a part of the Chicago Improv community for over a decade, Sharon has now set her sights on helping to continue to build a thriving improv scene in Scranton.  She has a passion for long form improvisation and is eager to bring more of it to the Scranton stage.


 

 

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Gail Adamitis

Short Form Coach

Gail started her career in comedy early on, spending countless hours in detention for class clowning. Later, she studied acting under A.C.T. and thru the years has performed in film, television and stage. Gail's spent the last 10 years devoted solely to short form improv and sketch comedy. She has recently returned to the area and is excited to share the joys of improv with others.

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Diana Scott Shields

Founder

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!  

Whatever the next adventure may be, everyone at Scranton Improv & Comedy is excited to witness what comes next for this creative Mastermind! 

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