Charna Halpern single-handedly saved the world.
Teaching performers how to work together for more than 28 years, her world-famous I.O. theaters in Chicago and Los Angeles are meccas for the art of improvisation, and recruiting stops for television shows like Saturday Night Live, Late Night with Conan O’Brien and MADtv. The alumni whose talents she’s honed include Tina Fey, Mike Myers, Chris Farley, Amy Poehler, and an entire generation of North America’s best and brightest comic minds.
A specialist in creating a ‘group mind’ with hilarious end results, Charna’s secrets and skills have given businesses the creative edge they need to compete, and she travels to universities around the world to teach her creation–longform improvisation. Her books Truth in Comedy and Art By Committee act as guides for theaters and improv groups around the world, and she and her Los Angeles theater, iO West, starred in the 20th season of MTV’s The Real World, where she trained the roommates in improvisation.
As for saving the world? At the request of the American Embassy to Cyprus she worked with Greek and Turkish Cypriots to help foster peace agreements, and most recently traveled to Switzerland to work with the particle physicists who created the Large Hadron Collider, which people feared would create a black hole. Charna got them to work together, thus single-handedly saving the world. So there.