Musical Improv with Nancy Howland Walker


Join me and meet Nancy Howland Walker, a legend in the musical improv field and a delight to speak with. Nancy is a SAG/AFTRA actor, writer, teacher, and trainer and author of Instant Songwriting: Musical Improv from Dunce to Diva (available at Amazon). She has appeared in hundreds of commercials, videos and live industrials, and has been performing, teaching, directing, and producing improv since 1989. She has written and performed comedy shows for businesses all over the country, and has run casting sessions on three different continents.

Nancy has done corporate trainings for major corporations across the country, including McDonalds, Oxford Instruments, and Amoco/BP. Nancy’s specialty is improvisational theater – in Boston she was the Artistic Director of Improv Boston beginning in 1999 (New England’s longest running comedy troupe), The Next ImprovBoston, Picture This! and TheatreSports of Massachusetts.

In Chicago, she has performed with The Free Associates in the heralded improv shows Cast on a Hot Tin Roof, As We Like It, Pick-a-Dick, BS, Divamatic, and The Greatest Story Never Told. Nancy was head of The Free Associates and ImprovBoston improv schools, and has taught for Players Workshop of the Second City, at festivals and for groups all across the country.

Nancy is proud to have been one of six Americans sent to France for the last World Cup playoffs of the international Improvisational Theatre League, and one of eight improvisers representing the United States for the Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal. She knows Mickey Mouse personally, after having performed improv on a Disney Cruise ship for an entire winter.

Nancy is the creator, producer, director, and a performer in the critically acclaimed show MUSICAL! the musical, the country’s first two-act completely improvised modern Broadway style musical, which opened in 1998 at the Royal George Theatre, and has had runs in Boston, Nashville and various theaters across the country. She also created and directed Awake in the Night, the country’s first two-act improvised drama.

Nancy has been an entrepreneur since the age of 16 when she started managing and creating/operating businesses, including Nantucket Sail Boat Rental and Nantucket Harbor Launch. No matter what business or group Nancy has been involved with, she has quickly become a leader, using her easy-going, humorous and highly organized style. She brings all these qualities to her current position as Executive Director of Chicago Improv Associates.


Instant Songwriting: Musical Improv from Dunce to Diva (available at Amazon)  
Nancy and Marshall Stern’s Zenprov Podcast  (Marshall Stern and Nancy Howland Walker host a series of podcasts about the art of Improvisational Acting in general and Zenprov, how Zen thought relates and helps you as an actor, in particular.)

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