The co-founder and creative director of The Unified Scene Theater, Shawn Westfall been teaching improvisational comedy for over 13 years, 11 of which were at the DC Improv, where he was the exclusive teacher of improvisational comedy and helped found the DC Improv Comedy School. He’s been a performer of improv for nearly two decades, and during that time founded and acted as creative director for a number of troupes, including Bright Young Things, one of DC’s first independent improv troupes and the only improv comedy troupe to headline at The DC Improv. He’s a founding cast member of iMusical, the improvised musical, where he spent three years studying this extraordinarily fun genre with Travis Ploeger. He’s been performing as part of the renowned improv duo ShawnMikael(s) (along with local DC improv-scene mainstay Mikael Johnson) for the last four years, and together they’ve headlined numerous improv comedy festivals, including The Charleston Comedy Festival, the Philadelphia Improv Festival, the Kansas City Improv Festival, The Charm City Comedy Festival and The Baltimore Improv Festival; as well, their monthly show in the Columbia Heights section of DC has sold-out a 75-seat venue 33 of the last 36 months.
His former students — and there are thousands of them — include people currently teaching and performing on main-stages at The DC Improv and Washington Improv Theater, as well as others who’ve gone on to produce, curate and perform in shows as part of DC’s independent improv scene. Other former students have gone on to write for “Saturday Night Live,” have recurring roles on HBO’s “Broad City,” appeared on “Last Comic Standing,” have had bylines in the New York Times humor section, are featured as part of humorous short films on the Independent Film Channel (ICF) and who are currently in troupes performing on main stage shows at The Second City in Chicago and at Upright Citizens Brigade Theater (UCB) and Peoples Improv Theater (PIT) in New York City. He’s also taught improv to former and current local DC personages such as host and WUSA-9 on-air personality Tommy McFly, DC 107.3’s Sarah, Ty, Mel and Samy (Sarah Fraser, Ty Bentli, Melanie Glasner, Samy K), NBC 4 anchor David Culver, NPR reporter Linton Weeks, NewsChannel 8’s Cyndy Bragg, current ESPN anchor Lindsay Czarniak, former Idaho congressman Larry LaRocco, and popular children’s entertainer The Great Zucchini (Erik Knaus).