Happy Valley Improv Company
Director of Community Outreach
Andrea’s improv journey began with a Google Search: “Is there such a thing as comedy camp for adults?” That search turned up Camp Improv Utopia, which Andrea attended in the summer of 2016. She realized that improv was what she needed in her life, even though her life was already full of very fun things such as her career in Curriculum and Instruction at Penn State, her family, and her friends. She’s mostly interested in improv as a way to get her husband to do all of the chores. Yes, and!
Nate has been doing improv since 2013. He got his start as a company member at Theatre 99 in Charleston, SC, and quickly fell in love with improv as an art form and a way to build community.
Nate is a communicator in Penn State's Global Programs. When he's not at work or improv, he can be found playing games, yelling at the Philadelphia Eagles on TV, or spending time with his wife Nicole and dog, Goose.
James has been studying improv theatre since 2006 and has been part of teams in Massachusetts, California, New York, and now Pennsylvania. James trained with Spectacles Improv Engine, iO West, and ImprovUtopia. Off stage, James teaches economics at Penn State and enjoys spending time with his wife and dog.
Sam Tanner is an assistant professor of literacy education at Penn State Altoona, and graduate faculty in Curriculum and Instruction at Penn State's University Park campus. Improvisation deeply informs Sam's scholarly agenda, and he has been directing and teaching improvisation for nearly 15 years. Sam was a high school English and drama teacher in the Twin Cities before moving to State College. The high school improv troupes that Sam directed grew out of the tradition of Brave New Workshop in Minneapolis. Sam likes doing improv. He's also a creative writer. Buy and read his work here: https://www.samjtanner.com/
Our Company Members
Andrea Boito is an aspiring improv performer. You can catch her shows daily in statistics classes throughout the buildings of Penn State Altoona, where she enjoys several rounds of mandatory laughs each semester. Some days, she can even bring students to tears.
Dawn was raised in State College PA and gets most of their improv experience through their Collegiate experience in New England and acting in Harrisburg, PA. When not on stage, Dawn spends time enjoying food, cooking, and outdoor activities with their significant other Brant, and their two amazing dogs, Watson and Ham.
Radio personality, video-game streamer, and expert-hotdog maker, Jason is always ready to hop on stage with the squad and share the joy that is improv. Humbled to be a part of such a talented team.
Luke always wondered how people got into comedy. One day, he saw an ad for Happy Valley Improv classes and went for it. Craving spontaneity, an outlet from daily stress, and a way to overcome self doubt, boredom, and anxiety, improv immediately became his new passion.
Luke is a mailman by day and a creative writer by night. In addition to writing and improv, he enjoys nature, creating, reading, and spending quality time with his wife Liz and baby ham Luke III.
Scott began improv in Happy Valley Improv classes, and he enjoys continuing to learn and practice within the growing improv community in State College. His wife and two kids are thankful he finally found another outlet for telling his bizarre stories.
Dan’s mission is to make people laugh. So, when Happy Valley Improv began offering classes, he said “Yes, and!” and hasn't looked back! Dan loves discovering new worlds with the hilarious and supportive improv community.
Dan moved to State College pursuing a career in public service. He enjoys helping out people in need, so that means he is relying on his student loans being forgiven. Outside of improv and work, Dan will be with his wife (Jill) and son (Jonas) or volunteering with local and state organizations.
Jackie caught the improv bug after doing a faculty workshop with Happy Valley Improv through the Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence at Penn State. When not teaching at the university's Intensive English Communication Program, you might see Jackie leading a sip-and-paint, doing community theatre, or picking up and putting down heavy objects at Crossfit Nittany.
With her two daughters grown and moved away, Lori thought she'd try something new. She took Happy Valley Improv classes and met lots of amazing people. She's pretty darn excited to be a part of Happy Valley Improv!
When not practicing improv, she's busy teaching in the Communication Arts and Sciences department at Penn State, working as part of the SCASD School Board, or hanging out with her silver fox husband and entertaining friends. Cheers to new adventures!
Rich De Luca
Born and raised in State College, Rich De Luca went to Lock Haven University to learn Computer Science. But not long after, he arrived at the college's theatre department. There he was bitten by a radioactive acting-bug, and mild mannered geek Rich De Luca developed incredible improv powers. He uses these powers to entertain and amuse onlookers and mildly annoy his wife.
Seeking an uplifting gift for her 48th birthday, Susanna’s husband signed her up for an improv class. And while Susanna came to improv for the laughs, she stays for the stories.
A professional fundraiser and freelance writer, Susanna knows the power good stories have to bring people together and inspire hope. Through Happy Valley Improv, she’s also learned that
the best stories spring from curiosity, collaboration, and a spirit of adventure. She’s grateful for every opportunity to suspend disbelief and enter the magical realm of story with others. Also, improv gets her out of the house at least one night a week, and she suspects her family is secretly very thankful for that.