Tom Shannon


Tom has a BA in Philosophy from San Francisco State University, loves Cognitive Science–the study of mind and thinking, is a database architect and administrator, and has been studying and performing unscripted theater since late 1999.

Having first studied at ImprovOlympic in Los Angeles (now IOWest), where–as an intern with keys to the space–Tom ran weekly workouts with fellow students to practice what they were learning in class.

After graduating from the IOWest program, Tom went through both of Second City Los Angeles’ programs–improv for non-actors, and the conservatory program, which begins with improv and culminates in a rehearsed sketch revue, complete with singing finale, using material developed from improvisations.

Tom continued to run practice workouts with anyone who wanted to play, anywhere there was space to play.

After that Tom studied at bang. Comedy Theatre, where he would eventually teach for 5 years. At bang., thanks to the auspices of owners Second City Chicago Alums Peter and Aliza Murrieta, Tom was able to run a free weekly workout to anyone who wanted to come and play. Mostly intended for graduates of bang., graduates of other programs like IOWest, Second City, Groundlings, The Acme Theater, UCB, etc. were welcome and did join in the workout and got to know bang.

Before leaving Los Angeles Tom taught improv as part of an after-school program with LA’s BEST, playing improv games every week with 3rd and 4th grade students at Aragon Avenue Elementary School and he performed all over the Inland Empire with  COMRADE!

Always taking classes, in July 2013, Tom was able to spend 10 days playing/studying with improv legend Keith Johnstone at the Loose Moose Theatre in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

In December 2013 Tom arranged to have another improv legend, Dave Razowsky, come to teach a three-day intensive workshop in SLC with dozens of participants.

Since moving to Utah Tom has been performing with Bob Bedore and Jason Wild and the Quick Wits in Midvale, UT, and had a nearly sold-out, kick-ass performance with star players Hot Toddy at the Egyptian Theatre in Park City, UT.  In 2014 Tom began taking class with Eric Jensen at the Off Broadway Theatre in SLC and is very happy to be making connections with the UT improv community.

Tom continues to run improv workouts wherever wherever he goes, whenever he can find people who want to play, in 2012 at Park City’s Kimball Junction Library, and in 2013 at the SLC Main Library–and currently in 2014 at a space at Broadview Entertainment Arts University.