PSU news by
Penn State's student blog



Penn State Faculty To Perform At State Theatre As Happy Valley Improv

Just a year ago, Andrea McCloskey, an associate professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction here at Penn State, attended a three-day theater improv summer camp. When she returned home to State College, her experience inspired her to find a similar improv group locally. But none existed.

Instead, McCloskey found Penn State economics lecturer James Tierney, Penn State Altoona assistant professor of education Sam Tanner, and an open space in the basement of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church.

The trio began holding improv practices there in the fall of 2016, and soon after welcomed Nathan Rufo from Penn State’s Office of Global Programs to complete their troupe. Happy Valley Improv was born from their combined 30 years of improv experience.

“It is much more concerned with relationships and making connections between scenes, as opposed to ‘who can make the dirtiest joke quickest?'” Rufo explained. Rest assured, though — “There are plenty of dirty jokes to go around.”

Happy Valley Improv follows in the longform improv footsteps of Will Ferrell, Melissa McCarthy, Amy Poehler, Jordan Peele, and Stephen Colbert, so there’s a chance you may one day realize that the new host of the Late Show was your introductory macroeconomics lecturer.

The group is “dedicated to building a community here, above everything else,” Tanner said. “We want to create what we’ve been a part of in other parts of the country.”

Happy Valley Improv will officially kick off with four performances this fall as they graduate from the church basement to The Attic of the State Theatre. Performances will be held at 8 p.m. September 28, October 19, November 9, and November 30. You can purchase your tickets in advance on the State Theatre website for $9 (adults) or $6.50 (students).

Your ad blocker is on.

Please choose an option below.

Sign up for our e-mail newsletter:
Support quality journalism:
Purchase a Subscription!

About the Author

Anthony Fiset

Anthony is a junior majoring in Economics. He, like many others, is from right outside of Philly, and by right outside of Philly, he means Pittsburgh. His only source of pride is being a lifetime Costco Executive Member. You can call him, beep him if you wanna reach him at [email protected]om, or follow him on Twitter @antnyfst.


Other posts by Anthony

Breaking Down This Year’s Creamery ‘Flavor Madness’ Bracket

Let our resident ice cream expert help you win your Creamery “Flavor Madness” office pool, because basketball bracket challenges are old news.

The Big Ten Hockey Tournament Format Is Total Nonsense

Penn State Baseball Off To Best Start Since 1980 With Series Win Over UCF

[Live Blog] 2019 NCAA Wrestling Championships: Semifinals

We’ll have updates throughout this weekend’s championship on this page, including analysis, photos, tweets, and more.

[Photo Story] Candlelight Vigil Pays Tribute To Police Shooting Victim

The community came together Thursday night to remember Osaze Osagie, the 29-year-old man who was shot and killed by State College Police on Wednesday.

Send this to a friend