Happy Valley Improv finds permanent theatre in downtown State College

Local News

CENTRE COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — Thespians, comedy lovers, and curious theatre-goers can now claim tickets to see Happy Valley Improv in their brand new performance space, Blue Brick Theatre.

Today, the group announced their move to 209 W Calder Way. The space is across from the H&M storefront and formerly housed The Makery, which moved to a new location at the beginning of the month.

“Before this, we were pretty much a nomadic company, and we didn’t have a place to kind of call our home,” said James Tierney, business manager & co-founder for Happy Valley Improv. “Having a centralized place where people will know, ‘This is where I’m gonna go to watch improv and to watch all things comedy in State College,’ is just awesome.”

The group’s leaders say having a central location will help build a community.

“Improv is so much about building a community,” Sam Tanner, co-artistic director & co-founder for Happy Valley Improv. “It’s a natural outgrowth of our mission, which is to just bring improv theatre to the community and to create community out of that improv theatre, so, we’re pumped.”

The facility can house up to 50 audience members and will include lights, sound, and concessions.

“Think of going to New York City, in a back alley, and you go into this, you know, with brick exposed and watching some super fun comedy, that’s what we hope to create here,” said Tierney.

In addition to improv shows and open-mic nights, there will be educational opportunities and workshops.

“We are actually going to try to create a youth improv program that will meet regularly here,” said Tanner.

Plus, Nathan Rufo, co-artistic director & co-founder for Happy Valley Improv said, “We’re going to offer a free improv practice group every Sunday to the community.”

The theatre’s name, Blue Brick Theatre, is a combination of two practices Happy Valley Improv follows. The first comes from sharing a “blue ball of energy” and the second is building their work brick by brick.

“This can be in any collaborative thing,” said Rufo. “You don’t want to come in with a completely pre-determined idea.”

The “curtain” will officially rise on July 9 and 10; however, they will be offering select classes in June.

Right now, if you sign up for their mailing list, you’ll receive a free ticket to a future show.

“Just watching the ways people are transformed by doing improv, there’s nothing that I know like it,” said Tanner.

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