"If everything went as planned, you wouldn't need to improvise. But, it doesn't, so you do. Sharing the secrets improvisers use to solve problems quickly and well on stage, Mary Jane equips you to do the same at work and at home. Stories, examples, and more than 60 exercises provide a humorous, practical approach to ensuring you don't just manage change or merely survive the unexpected. Instead, you can seize the opportunity and thrive."
Finally, a business book that makes learning fun and delivers powerful insights! Jim Ayres, Managing Director, Amway North America
It's fun to read and packed with information. The best part is that the book has wonderful examples and exercises that are easy to relate to and can be applied immediately for instant results. Maureen Lynch, HR Manager, Flexco
This a textbook, a guidebook, and a good read. Mary Jane's experiences from her time at The Second City provide real-life examples as a catalyst for innovation. With a firm belief that collaboration is a key to the future of our economy, this book can help accomplish that vision. John R. Berry, author of Herman Miller: The Purpose of Design
December 2022 - Writer for 24-Hour Theater Festival, One-Act Play, Roach Revolt
June 2022 - At the 2022 Annual Convention of the National Federation of State Poetry Societies, Mary Jane's poem, "Blueberry Rain," receives the Miriam S. Strauss Memorial Award, HM5. Read the poem and all the other winning entries here. Attended Scriptoria, weeklong writing workshop.
April 2022 - Presenting "Improvising Your Way Home," at the Kalamazoo Poetry Festival.
March 2022 - attended a second workshop with Linda Nemec Foster at LowellArts, a Duotrop workshop with Shutta Crum, and currently studying the art of memoir writing with Carol Rottman.
February 2022 - Award-winning poem and installation, “Slips,” on exhibit in the juried WordView show at LowellArts, attended Elizabeth Kerlikowske's poetry workshop, Revision Heaven, and Linda Nemec Foster's ekphratic poetry workshop.
February 2021 - Associate Artist at Atlantic Center for the Arts’ 180th residency with Master Artist Randall Silvis, novelist, playwright, essayist, and screenwriter. He's a Senior Fulbright Fellow, Thurber House writer-in-residence, and Pabst Endowed Chair for Master Writers. His awards include the prestigious Drue Heinz Literature Prize, three National Playwrights Showcase Awards, two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, and he is a Pabst Endowed Chair for Master Writers.
October 2020 studied the art of Memoir writing with Carol Rottman.
February 2020 - 10-minute play, Catch Phrase, produced by 24-Hour Theater and directed by Will Gearring, was performed at Dog Story Theater to a sold-out audience.
February 2019 - attended a three-week writers' residency with Bonnie Joe Campbell at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna, FL. Bonnie received the AWP prize for short fiction, has been awarded a Pushcart Prize, was a finalist for the 2009 National Book Award in Fiction. Her novel, Once Upon a River, is now a feature film.
Along with working on her novel, Mary Jane writes poetry, essays, short stories and plays.
Mary Jane says, writing shows for The Second City was like getting a Ph.D. in writing at gun point. She's grateful to be alive and grateful for the experience.
Published and/or Produced Works
• Nonfiction book, Yes, And! Harnessing the Power of Improvisation to Transform your Life and Work
• One-woman show Epiphany 3:29
• One-act play, Lakefront Property, Winner of the Ben Franklin Playwright Award.