Martin Zeller

Primary Discipline: Theatre

Areas of Specialty: Improvisation, Drama, Personal narrative

Additional Disciplines/Specialties: Literary Arts, Creative writing towards performance

Based in: Spokane

Phone: 509.294.0451



Martin Zeller came to theatre improvisation after twenty-five years as a trial lawyer, a background of modern dance and movement, and experience as a mental health therapist. In 1984, during a lawyers’ conference, he watched a late night improv theatre performance and hasn’t stopped doing improvisational theatre since. In addition to his own performance career, Zeller has used improv work with a wide range of therapeutic, academic, public and corporate populations. Zeller has also brought improv connected strategies to schools since 1986 and through the Washington State Arts Commission since 2001.

Artist Statement

With improvisation one enters the stage with nothing and therefore everything is possible. It is playful, risky, personal, and accessible. Improvisation requires collaborative and creative strategizing and problem solving, active listening and observing. Students develop new thinking strategies, an increased level of personal and collaborative aware, and a sense of their own creative spontaneity. My goal is to offer students an opportunity to explore this creative discipline without fear of "failure". I bring a professional and experiential understanding to the developmental transitions of youth and an acceptance of each student’s personal narrative. I am excited about teaching and strive to take advantage of the learning moments for each student. Students love the play and the surprises. Improvisation is a formidable creative pathway in which they learn and succeed. 


Suitable for Grades: K-12

Preferred Grades: 9-12

Curriculum Integration Possibilities: Literacy, Reading, Writing, History, Social Studies, Math, Sciences.

Additional Interests/Experience:

  • Leading Professional Development workshops for K-12 Teachers
  • Working with at risk students
  • Integrating video narratives into classroom teaching

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