Happy Valley Improv Company
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 at Penn State Global. When he's not doing improv or working, he can be found competing in Smash Ultimate, playing music, or hanging with his cat Murphy Brown.
Nate is also a published author. You can check out his series, the Salastrom Saga, on his website.
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 runs his own business and enjoys spending time with his wife and dogs.
Dr. Samuel Jaye Tanner is an associate professor of English Education at The University of Iowa. Before that, he was a high school English and Drama teacher for 15 years in the Twin Cities before accepting a position as a professor at Penn State. Sam’s research concerns issues of anti-racism and improvisation. He has been studying and practicing improv theatre for 20 years. Sam was a founding member and artistic director of Happy Valley Improv before moving to Iowa City. Sam is both an academic and creative writer and has written extensively about improv (see: www.samjtanner.com).
Our Company Members
Angel started his journey into the exquisite and subtle art of "Improv", in the post pandemic ruins of State College PA, in the year of our lord, Kahless the unforgettable, 2022. After patiently sitting in the rain, snow, and beer hail for three days outside the theater, he was finally noticed, and let into the building.
Oh what wonders this strange and wonderful theater held! Magical moments, acceptance, community, an incredibly knowledgeable and supportive group of teachers and friends. Angel has since begun this journey to spread joy and has been honored to have become an official company member at HVI. Deep in his heart, he knows that he is just getting started.
Brenden started taking Improv classes after realizing that he needed a new outlet for his excess energy after his recreational league hockey career came to an end. He’d never performed on stage but quickly realized that making others laugh at HVI gave him the serotonin jolt he so badly needed. When Brenden isn’t at the Blue Brick Theatre he’s spending his time with his wife & PA's finest midwife, Katie, and son, who wants you to know that he's a robot and a puppy named Redmond.
Our Staff Members
Front of House Manager and Standup Teacher
Born on his birthday, Corey has moved all around the Centre County area. A graduate of State College Area High School he took a brief hiatus from performing Stand Up Comedy (2005-2021) He may be more familiar to guests as one of the people who help run the front of house. Although he is more experienced with stand up classes he is looking to become more familiar with improv. He is happy to contribute to the community and enjoys every show that he attends.
Meet Kim, the operations director of Happy Valley Improv! She was pushed into the world of improv tech at HVI’s very first show and never looked back. She's been behind the scenes making sure everything runs smoothly ever since. When she's not helping create magic on stage, you can find her spending time with her husband, James, or cuddled up with a book and her two furry four-legged friends. By day, Kim is a school psychologist, but by night (and weekend) she's supporting Happy Valley Improv to bring the funnies to audiences everywhere.
Public Relations Manager
Jacob is a student at Penn State studying Public Relations and Theatre. He is also an actor and director for No Refund Theatre. Aside from theatre, he enjoys collecting baseball cards. After graduating next year, he plans to work in the theatre/entertainment industry as a public relations practitioner.
Tyler moved to State College for grad school and stayed because rent is cheap and she's already vaccinated against rabies. Starting as a pre-pandemic improv student, Tyler switched to stand-up and is slowly realizing her dream of being the favored instructor.
When not at the theatre, Tyler can be found rotating through a growing list of hobbies or running late to the theatre.