About Shannon

Shannon Manning studied at the the University of Chicago (BA History), the School of the Art Institute, and with the legendary comedy inspiration Del Close. She produced TV news and weather, wrote and produced a Chicago Bulls scoreboard animation, and started one of the first web publishing businesses in Chicago and directed for fun and for stage, including a play called Dead Dads.

After moving to New York in 1997, she taught and directed improv at the Upright Citizens Brigade TheatreMagnet Theater (which she also co-founded), and Drinkytown, including the political improv show Red All Over and the music and improv show Beauty Love Truth. She has performed onLate Night with Conan O’Brien as a piece of cheese and other characters. She also helped to manage the estate of Charles Mingus, was the corporate cash manager for a major publishing company, webmastered Pathetic Geek Stories, and published and edited Pipe Up! Magazine. Recently she has been a TV writer and producer for LifetimeTV, Fuse, Kraft, the Food Network, and worked with Daily Show creator Lizz Winstead on a weekly stage news satire and interview program.

She is building community through Sparkle Television, a video and web production company.


“I’ve had the pleasure of working with Shannon in many projects over the years. She brings a generous spirit that encourages free play and support to her work. Many people use improv to be funny, but Shannon uses it to create magic, too.”    Doug Moe, UCB Instructor and performer

“Shannon listens to the little moments between people and makes them rich moments.”   Ed Illades, IO Chicago, Beauty Love Truth

“Shannon Manning doesn’t just teach improv for comedians, or even just improv for artists. With Shannon, you’ll become a true improv artisan. You’ll bring your own life and experiences into your improv and bring your new-found improv skills into your life. The results will be holistic, genuine and wonderful!”   Louie Pearlman, Story Pirates, Beauty Love Truth

“Shannon Manning is a talented and hilarious improviser, with the patience and good nature required to teach spontaneous performance to artists of all types and experience levels.”     Liam McEneaney, “Tell Your Friends”

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