Susanna Spies, President & Founder
Susanna started Comedy Playground in 2002. It has since grown to reach hundreds of youth, adult programs, and senior citizens within Senior Stand Up SSU. Youth programs culminate into culminating performances out of the world famous Improv in Hollywood. A comic herself, Susanna has performed in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York. She wrote and performed in her one woman show “The Dryer” featuring 30 original characters, and is currently completing her book on Humor soon to be released! With parents as both educators, she always had a passion to teach and developed an effective, original curriculum as a comedy teacher. In Los Angeles, she was both Drama Instructor at The Pilgrim School, Stand Up Instructor in The New Roads School, The Teak Fellowship in New York, Olympic High, Wildwood School, Westside Neighborhood School, Crossroads, and has brought stand up programs internationally into The American School in London, and Seeds of Peace International camp to youth from countries of conflict including: Israel, Pakistan, Palestine, Afghanistan, Jordan, Egypt, Germany, and India. Additionally, for the past eight years, she has been visiting faculty at The American Musical Dramatic Academy in Los Angeles providing a stand up workshop into the Finding Your Voice series. She is an advocate for expression, creativity, and has additionally created a division of Comedy Playground called The Humor Activist (HA!) providing on site programs into companies, lectures, workshops and more! http://www.thehumoractivist.com
Susanna’s speaking engagements include: UCLA’s Writer’s Retreat for the School of Education, Muse Conference in Bend, Oregon, and Southern California Association of Activity Professionals.
Susanna is also very passionate about providing opportunities to those less fortunate. For six years was Founder and Director of Laughlinks, a non-profit subsidiary, and is currently the Program Director of The Eamon Cannon Comedy Project a non-profit 501c-3 sponsored by Social Goods. The Eamon Cannon Comedy Project began in 2008 with programs held at Inner-City Arts located on skid row, Los Angeles as well as YWCA of Santa Monica, and continues to grow this mission. Additional organizations Susanna has taught comedy programs into include: A Place Called Home, Legacy LA, Hollygrove, Hollywood Boys & Girls Club, and more. Further information on The Eamon Cannon Comedy Project can be found by visiting: http://eamoncannoncomedyproject.org
Variety has profiled Spies as one in ten of the nations top instructors in the Educational Impact Report, she has received the Best of Los Angeles 2015 award for Innovative Comedy Programs, and is a Starfish Award recipient for Broadly speaking, bringing awareness to women’s voices. Susanna continues her passion to provide humor as a platform to express, unites, create and share to ages 10-103 within her programs, afterall, laughter is ageless, has no expiration date, is universal and can be shared by all.