Comedian Shelley Carling Assisted MHS Drama Students Through Zoom

Faculty member Taylor Wesselman ‘10 and comedian Shelley Carling teamed up to teach Improv techniques through Zoom.
Since returning to eLearning after the school's Easter break on April 20, Maranatha Performing Arts faculty Taylor Wesselman ‘10 requested the teaching assistance of professional comedian Shelley Carling to teach the skills of Improv, a form of live theatre in which the plot, characters and dialogue of a game, scene or story are made up at the moment, to his Drama 1 class. Mr. Wesselman shared, “Shelley has joined us as a guest instructor to teach the kids the building blocks of improv, sketch writing, and stand up. Through virtual Zoom meetings, we have been teaching the students how to create unique characters and begin writing their own comedy sketches. Shelley and I team up to teach improv games, story building exercises, and the anatomy of a joke. The students are able to be active and join together to create hilarious scenarios and craft stories from scratch. Right now, the students are prepping for their final exam, which will be writing and performing their own stand-up routine for the class.”
A native of Utah, Shelley grew up on stage performing musical theater and taught acting and film classes before moving to New York City to attend The American Musical and Dramatic Academy. After graduation, she spent the next few years performing in regional theaters around the country before eventually going back to school in NYC to study screenwriting at The New School University. She then landed an internship in Los Angeles at Ambush Entertainment (now known as The Film Arcade), where she worked in development, eventually heading to The Groundlings, where she studied and performed improv and sketch there for the next five years.