Creative. Experienced.


Johanna Smith (founder, on the right, pictured with Ernie Silvers, director of CSUSB’s MBA program and one of her handmade puppets) has spent decades teaching incredibly diverse populations.  Her favorite students are the folks who have never had any Theatre training.  Her strong understanding of teaching, learning, academic institutions, and educational research guides her workshop approach, but so does her 30 years of experience as an improv and puppetry performer.  Her extensive improv training includes the Second City, The Groundlings, Theatresports LA/Impro, Improv Olympic West, and many more.  She created and teaches the improv curriculum for the School of Entrepreneurship at Cal State, San Bernardino and is an international award-winning puppetry educator and author.

30 years of improv experience + over 20 years of academic research and teaching = unique and powerful workshops.


"I have to admit – I was skeptical that my staff of nearly-all PhDs would benefit from a workshop focused on improv skills. But, I was wrong! Every single one of them commented on how the skills they developed in Johanna’s workshop would help them in their field-facing outreach – which is good professional development. But, more importantly, participating in Johanna’s activities helped us bond as a team and realize how closely-knit we already were. What a gift these activities were! We are a team of introverts. And I suspect other introverts are leery of committing to these activities. I can readily attest to the activities being fun and fruitful!" - Cathy Brigham, College Board

"The genuine impact on the students is evident by the responses I have received from several attendees.  Many thanks for your super power with influencing these students in a positive, profound way. The students were very impacted by the Improv workshop and their enthusiasm was clearly evident." - Teri Jones, regional director, Virtual Enterprises International

"WOW! You were terrific! You really made a difference with how the students work with one another and the importance of showing energy. I don't think the kids realize what an impact your exercises had. Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule and sharing your expertise… thanks a million!" - Victoria Seitz, Ph.D., Professor and Chair, Department of Marketing CSUSB

Student responses to TA 5141: Entrepreneurial Improvisation and Creativity:

“The overall quality of instruction for this course was excellent. It has been one of the most fun and engaging courses I have taken and Professor Smith made learning so easy while having a great time in class. More professors should learn to teach important concepts in a fun way as Professor Smith does.”

“What a great class for our new program MSEI. At, first I was totally confused about why I was signed up for this class. However, after the first week, I was sold! Prof Smith is an excellent Professor and I would highly recommend her class to everyone to take. The approach was unique and so relevant to everyday life and most importantly the future as a student and prospective employee and or employer such as myself.”

“I would take this class again down the road if possible because I believe strongly in this class.”

“What was amazing is this class helped me tap my creative side that has been a little quiet for some time.”

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