Deana Criess on Musical Improv and Beyond

Deana Criess PhotoJoin me and meet my friend Deana Criess, as we talk about the magic of musical improv and her work using improvisation games and techniques with her students at the Perkins School for the Blind. Deana is a professional improviser, master instructor, director, writer, and performer with a specialization in applied improvisation. Deana’s work has been featured on PBS, NPR, KBS (the Korean Broadcasting System), The Boston Globe, CNN, and Her original musical comedy, Lube had a sold-out premiere run in Boston.

Click to Listen on Apple Podcasts

During her years in comedy, she has worked with some amazing artists including Dan Castellaneta (The Simpsons), Laura Hall (Whose Line Is It Anyway), Kevin McDonald (The Kids In The Hall), Shantira Jackson (SNL), Lauren Ash (Superstore), Ryan Styles (Whose Line Is It Anyway), Eric Drysdale (Full Frontal), Dave Razowsky (The Second City), Josh Gondelman (Last Week Tonight), Anthony Atamanuik (The President Show) and many more. 

She has developed applied improv programs for a variety of audiences including corporate training, adults living with dementia, brain tumor survivors, children and adults diagnosed with ASD, and victims of domestic violence.

Deana has also created improv-based school programs in anti-bullying, STEAM, 21st Century Learning Skills, and Diversity & Inclusion. In 2019 Deana joined Career Launch@Perkins, a career training program for young adults with visual impairments, where she uses improvisation to teach Customer Success strategies and job readiness skills.

Deana believes fully that improvisation can transform lives, and she gets up every day excited to find new ways to do just that.

Learn more about the Perkins School for the Blind’s Career Launch Program: Click Here

You might want to listen to my fascinating discussions with other improv researchers like Dr. Kreuger including Lacy Alana and Jay Sukow.

*Improv Interviews podcast‘ is introduced by Susan L. Parker of

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