|Primary Theater||ZACH Theater|
Shana Merlin is an improv performer, director, and teacher. She founded and runs The Merlin Works Institute for Improvisation.
Awarded "The Best Improv Teacher" and "Best Female Improviser" by The Austin Improv Collective, Shana Merlin has been a professional improviser since 1995. She's performed in improv festivals in Amsterdam, Calgary, Seattle and Atlanta, as well as produced The Ladies Are Funny Festival. Shana founded Merlin Works in 2003, providing custom training, interactive presentations, and comedy shows to businesses and organizations using improvisation and founded The Merlin Works Institute for Improvisation in 2008 at the Salvage Vanguard Theater. Shana performs in the improv troupes Girls Girls Girls Improvised Musicals, the winner of "Best Improv Troupe" in Austin Chronicle, the Austin Critics Table Award winning duo Get Up and directed and performed in Dusk: Improvised Tween Erotica, a Twilight parody on national tour in 2010. Shana can also do scripted work and performed in The Intergalactic Nemesis, national touring company for two years. In 2013 Merlin Works moved to ZACH Theatre, where the house troupe, The Known Wizards, performs monthly. At ZACH Merlin Works teaches classes in short form improv, long form narrative, and improvised musical theater.
A post from her about the first improv show she ever saw:
Dad's Garage Theater in Atlanta. Probably an original Theater Sports show with the original cast of guys who all went to Florida State or FSU together. So loose. So funny. So cute. I was probably 15 at the time. So I don't know if I had a crush on the guys or loved the art form. I just knew I wanted to be up on stage with those guys having fun.