Instructor Shawn Westfall
The exclusive teacher of improvisational comedy at the DC Improv for more than eight years, Shawn Westfall teaches classes in beginning improv, advanced short-form and long-form improv, as well as improv workshops focusing on character, long form, and non-traditional improv techniques. His classes (and the numerous performances they've generated) have been featured in the pages of The Washington Post, The Washington Post Express, Washingtonian magazine, as well on Washington Post Radio, DC 101, WTOP Radio, Mix 107.3's "The Jack Diamond Morning Show," on The Food Network's "Dinner: Impossible!," as well as on such local media outlets as K Street Kate's video weblog, and other local blogs, including WeLoveDC.com, among many others.
Not only has Shawn taught the principles of improv to individual students, he's also taught improv as a strategy for fomenting creativity, teambuilding and organizational development to various private, public and non-governmental organizations, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Discovery Channel, B'nai Brith Youth Organization, Touchstone Consulting, Booz Allen Hamilton, and The Washington Post Company, among numerous others.
Shawn has performed improvisational comedy for over 18 years with a number of professional improv troupes, including Loose Screws in Honolulu, Hawaii and The Oxymorons, a nationally recognized improv troupe in San Antonio. A former member of both DC ComedySportz and DCUPS (DC Unscripted Players), Shawn founded a sketch comedy troupe, Pretentious Actors Collective (P.A.C.), which played to audiences in Northern Virginia and Washington, DC. He was the founder and creative director of bright young things, an improv troupe specializing in long-form improv that played to audiences in Washington, DC, which also was the very first improv troupe to headline at the DC Improv, as well as in New York City at the venerable Upright Citizens Brigade Comedy Theater. Shawn was also one of the founding cast members of iMusical, a nationally recognized show that improvises a musical (both music and libretto) based on a single audience suggestion. Currently, Shawn is a member of two improvisational comedy troupes that perform frequently throughout the DC area: The Score, which frequently performs as part of Washington Improv Theater's runs throughout the year; and ShawnMikael(s), a two-person troupe he formed with venerated DC improvisational actor Mikael Johnson. In addition to a performance schedule that has them playing to audiences all over the Eastern seaboard, ShawnMikael(s) has racked up a number of accolades during its short time in existence: the show it mounted as part of the 2011 Capital Fringe Festival found the duo being awarded four stars and named "Best of the Fest" by DC TheaterScene; finally, the duo have twice entered the Harrisburg Comedy Improv Throwdown, winning both times against stiff competition from troupes from Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and New York City.
Shawn has has also performed stand-up comedy in Texas and throughout the Washington, DC area, even opening at the DC Improv for comedian Adam Ferrara, host of the U.S. version of "Top Gear."
Shawn also has a day job as an ad agency creative: he's a senior copywriter for Proof Integrated Communications, a division of Burson-Marsteller, where he writes, directs and produces print ads, radio spots, TV spots, as well as online and social media advertising. He's also a freelance writer whose work has been published in newspapers, literary journals and magazines in Utah, Texas and Hawaii.
For information about his the classes he teaches at the DC Improv, visit Classes
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