STATE COLLEGE – Surrounded by family, supporters and company members, James Tierney and Andrea McCloskey, founding members of Happy Valley Improv (HVI), cut the ribbon at the new Blue Brick Theatre, located at 209 W. Calder Way in downtown State College.
“We’re excited to celebrate having a home for the improv community here in State College,” Tierney said. “A place to learn, to grow, to laugh – and to make people laugh!”
So, what can the community expect?
“People will have a weekly opportunity to come downtown, grab dinner at one of the delicious restaurants and see live, unscripted comedy,” explained McCloskey.
The venue serves as HVI’s permanent home and will host regular, live improv shows, comedy open mic nights and workshops.
Youth Stand-Up Comedy Camp wrapped up recently with more classes and workshops on the horizon.
“Along with classes, shows and workshops for adults, we will also be starting a weekly after-school improv program in August,” added Tierney.
Additionally, comedy festivals are also in the works. An “XS Improv Festival” is planned for September while an “XL Improv Festival” is being planned for 2022.
The commonly-used “yes, and” methodology of improv comedy also has applications in corporate settings, according to Tierney, whose day job is working as an Economics Professor at Penn State.
“Happy Valley Improv will also offer corporate workshops,” Tierney noted. “We are now able to accommodate up to 50 members of your team and facilitate a session on topics such as team building, creativity or communication.”
From building teamwork and communication skills in a business setting to providing a creative outlet and entertainment venue, the company members of HVI are certainly a value-add to the community.
“We know that the quality of life—especially the live/work/play balance—is an often-cited reason for residents’ happiness and also why they choose to live in this area,” noted Vern Squier, president/chief executive officer of the Chamber of Business & Industry of Centre County (CBICC).
“Happy Valley Improv’s new location in downtown State College will be an enjoyable addition to our growing arts atmosphere.”
“We couldn’t have done this without the support of the community,” acknowledged Tierney. “Being a member of the CBICC and The Happy Valley Adventure Bureau has helped tremendously, as well as having the support of The State Theatre and 3 Dots enabled us to get to where we are now.”