Stacey Smith

ACTRESS. IMPROVISER. WRITER. INSTRUCTOR.

The S.H.E. class may be the most useful way a young woman can spend her time. Stacey
Smith is an incredible teacher. She’s the best teacher I’ve had at The Second City, because she
makes it obvious that she truly cares about each and every student of hers. She wants them to
succeed and wants to be their friend. She helps her students accomplish their goals. Anyone
who has one conversation with Stacey knows that she is honest, witty, caring, and kind. She
does an incredible job of combining rules of comedy to real life situations to comedy. It’s so
important that girls take the S.H.E class because the conversations we have are crucial to a
healthy lifestyle. I wish I had a class like this when I was younger. I’ve never had a personal
conversation about insecurities like body image in a classroom at school. In S.H.E. we did talk
about them and I was so happy we did because it made me realize that I wasn’t the only one
having certain thoughts. Stacey creates a safe place for her students to tell her what they’re
thinking and how it affects them. I was able to hear and share stories from other students that

were funny, serious, and everything in between. We were able to use our insecurities to make
jokes that were relatable.


Another concept that I am grateful she talked to us about is when to be a follower verses being
a leader. For the world to move forward it is essential to know when to lead verses follow. This
is an important skill for improv as well as life. Today I feel like many people want to scream their
opinion and refuse to listen to anyone who contradicts them, but by knowing when to take
initiative verses listen you are able to say what you think and show respect for the other person.
“Yes and” is the oldest improv rule in the book. However, I had never seen it used outside of
improv. When we were pitching sketch ideas for our S.H.E. showcase I was floored by how
quickly we came up with our showcase. In twenty-five minutes we had a show that I not only
was extremely proud of, but played to everyone’s best qualities. For example, if someone was
shy, they would get to say the one-word punchline of the scene. This is a great way to let that
person know they are smart and funny, while giving them the attention of the audience. Stacey
Smith makes her students feel important, special, and appreciated.
I’m proud to say that I was a member of the first S.H.E. class. The women that the S.H.E class will gain confidence, teamwork skills, and friends. Stacey is the most determined and ambitious person I know. She is a great role model for women.

- Lauren Kaplan, Age 17 (S.H.E. student, The Second CityTraining Center Chicago)


Stacey is a great instructor for level A classes! I love her energy and enthusiasm and ability to
make you feel at ease. Stacey has this ability to make you work even harder during class than
you thought you could. Her advice is amazing and sometimes it felt like she was reading my
mind with how spot on it was. -Paul Szeliski, The Second City Training Center Chicago


Stacey Smith is pure light and magic in a human suit. She is the matriarch of a mighty horde of
improvisers that have benefited from her powerhouse talent, support, connection, and love.
Stacey transformed my Level A cohort from a ragtag bunch of nervous rookies into an inspired
team. I watch Stacey perform as a true fan, and I gained immeasurably from her guidance
because she is such a true fan of each one of her students.
- Michelle Mohney, The Second City Training Center Chicago


Stacey was a force of positive energy from the very beginning of Level A Improv. She has a
knack for creating a safe container, accessible to people of any social comfort level. Classmates
wasted little time gelling, translating to more learning and better improv. Her unflappable
positivity and encouragement were addicting. My jaw typically ached the next day from excess
laughter and smiling (and who said everything is better in moderation?). And I know it was
improv class because I don't chew gum! It shouldn't surprise you that I'm currently enrolled in
Level B.
- Adam Hart, The Second City Training Center Chicago


I can summarize the quality of Stacey's workshops and performances in her smile. I created a
composition of pictures that compares regular smiles with Stacey's. Stacey's smile goes beyond

what you expect, beyond what you're used to. It surprises you. When you think a mouth can't go
any further, Stacey shows that it can. It can include your teeth, and your gums, and extend
beyond your face. Stacey's smile simply stands out, like her whole persona. Her workshops are
not only informative but uplifting. She believes in you, and you have no option but to believe in
yourself and perform at the top of your ability. She provides a safe space to fail and learn from
your mistakes, and from the errors of others, all without a trace of judgment. I can't thank her
enough for helping me build my confidence, my improv skills and to see the world in a more
positive way.
-Marilu Holmes, Bonita City Improv


Stacey Smith changed my life! Before taking Stacey's musical improv workshop, I had
developed balance issues with just standing on a stage - never mind adding singing and
improvisation to the challenge. I was beginning to think I never would work again on the stage
personally let alone professionally. The minute I met Stacey, things started to change for me. I
felt her energy, warmth, knowledge and I started to feel safe in her presence. Safe and
protected . The rest is history. Not only did my balance return that night, she actually got me to
improvise and sing in a scene!
-Bonnie Grossman, Bonita City Arts Center


Stacey’s musical improv workshop was AMAZING! Her positive teaching style puts everyone at
ease and her incredible energy is infectious. - Melissa Hennig, Just The Funny (Miami,
Florida)


I've taken multiple workshops with Stacey and I've always found them fun, insightful, and most
importantly, helpful in becoming a better improviser. Whether you are just starting to improvise
or a long form veteran, Stacey has a great eye for recognizing the positives in your scene work,
as well as identifying those opportunities to grow. Simply put, book Stacey!
-M Flagler, Mad Cowford Improv


Stacey Smith is an amazing human, improv actor and teacher! Her class is full of positive
energy and always fun. She makes the best environment for learning improv. You feel free to
be yourself and grow as an improviser as well as receiving great, well thought out constructive
criticism. Stacey is a real genuine person with a huge amount of talent. She cares about her
students and makes herself available to contact about anything. She's awesome at what she
does. A professional improv actor that won't go unnoticed.
- Kelsey Kern, The Second City Training Center Chicago


S.H.E. was like a party with a bunch of girlfriends every week. Stacey made me feel so
comfortable to be weird and awkward and every week she showed up with a HUGE smile.
Every week we got to learn a different way to empower ourselves and empower others. Stacey's
energy gave us all twice the excitement we had coming in. She gave us so much advice to
which I hold very close to my heart. Stacey brought intelligent, smart, funny, interesting women
in to talk to. We got to see and learn about women who we can look up to. S.H.E. provided me

with a happy place once a week full of joy and laughter and empowerment. We learned how
after the class we can continue self love and empowerment with dream boards and awesome
conversations. -  Ayla Ellenborg, Age 14 (S.H.E. student, The Second City Training Center Chicago)


The S.H.E. class was an amazing experience lead by an amazing teacher. Stacey Smith is
incredible in the way that she made the whole class comfortable and excited about the
experience. We made vision boards, did movement exercises, and so much more in order to
learn more about ourselves and our own womanhood. Through the S.H.E. class I made
amazing friends, and was lucky enough to hear other young women my own age talk about their
own experiences with being women. I recommend this experience to any young women.
- Madelyn Sweeney, Age 18 (S.H.E. student, The Second City Training Center Chicago)


Stacey Smith is eccentric and energetic and absolutely effective in her work as an improviser
and teacher! She really loves her students and has shown me her genuine love for others
through her actions of helping me grow as an entertainer and also helping me find a place to
live! I've been studying improv with many teachers over the years and she is one of the best!
- Alex Hudson, The Second City Training Center Chicago


"One of Stacey Smith's strongest talents is her ability to connect-whether she is doing improv
with young children in our Spotlight on Children Program or conducting a workshop for my
acting students at St. Joseph's College. Stacey is able to make that connection which taps into
the talents and abilities of the members of the group with whom she is working. Her talent lies
not only in her own performance work, but in her knack for bringing out the creative forces in thestudents, be they children or adults." - Sister Grace Rowland, Saint Joseph's College


The S.H.E. camp final show that I attended was an incredible lesson in collaboration, listening
and joyful fun. All the members of S.H.E. camp were confident and presented their own material
with skill and careful consideration to the group message of Be Yourself. Stacey Smith is an
extremely sensitive teacher who helps young voices navigate a world that can often seem
judgmental and angry. The SHE camp experience provides a safe place to create and to find an
authentic voice. - Diane Alexander, The Second City


As an aspiring improvisor in Bonita Springs, Florida, and member of the improv troupe Bonita
City Improv, I have recently had an opportunity to attend three workshops with the talented
Stacey Smith. First, I will start by saying that I have learned so much and I am so grateful to
Stacey for all she has shared. Stacey is an amazing improvisor and musical improvisor, but
more incredible is her ability to teach and inspire others. All three of Stacey’s workshops were
differently structured according to the attendees’ ability, and Stacey was able to change and
adapt instantly in the workshop, if required, due to ability and skill levels. Her workshops were
perfectly paced and brought out the best in all the students involved. Stacey had an ideal

balance of exercises and games, with a mixture of traditional and musical forms mixed
together.Stacey offers positive feedback in her workshops, and brings out the best in her
students. She challenges attendees to make smart, strong choices, and to fully commit on
stage. She helps to build an environment that acts as a safety net, to allow students to take
chances they may never have taken before. In two of the workshops, Stacey flawlessly worked
with a novice musical director/pianist she had not even practiced with beforehand, and was
even able to coach and teach the musical director several techniques. I have also had the
fortunate opportunity to play on stage with Stacey as a guest on another troupes stage, as well
as with my troupe in our monthly show. Performing with Stacey on stage is a magical
experience. She is selfless and giving, and works so hard to make others look better. She
helps bring out the best in all players, is humble and dedicated, and a joy to perform with. I
consider myself lucky to have played on stage two separate times with the best improviser I
have ever met, Stacey Smith. Stacey has a vast knowledge of improv and musical improv
games, exercises and techniques that she teaches, and inspires all around her with her positive,
loving energy. She teaches because of her love for the craft and her desire and longing to bring
out the best in people. She strives to make others shine and find their true selves on the stage.
She had a willingness to share her gift and helps others to let go of their fears and inhibitions.
And most of all, she is a loving, caring, soul who just wants improvisors to have fun. Stacey’s
workshops are something you cannot afford to miss. If you see a Stacey Smith workshop,
clinic, drop in, or one she is involved in, do yourself a favor and sign up immediately, and tell me
where it is so I can attend too! -Steve Cobb, Bonita City Improv

Stacey is not only one of the most dynamic performers around, she’s also unparalleled as a teacher. The level of her immense talent is only rivaled by her level of compassion and support she has for her students. Taking Stacey’s class gave me a new appreciation for the craft and a new belief that I can conquer the world. If you don’t take her class (or even just see her perform), you’ll be missing out on one of the most extraordinary improv experiences in existence. - Derek Brian Demkowicz (from Camp Manna Movie, 2018)

I have watched Stacey perform multiple times in groups, her duo GoingSteady, and as her solo show, StaceJam. In all these shows, I love watching her enthusiasm, fun and inventive ideas, and incredible energy. Her solo musical show, StaceJam, is something that must be seen to be believed. It is incredible! I have also had the pleasure of performing with her in a mixer team. She is always always always a fun, supportive, and easy player to perform with. I have taken Stacey's 5-hour Intro to Musical Improv class. Like most beginners, I am scared of doing musical improv, but Stacey makes the process of learning this art form super-fun, comfortable, yet quite challenging. At the end of the course, I was filled with a sense of accomplishments over what Stacey was able to coax out of me. Most impressively, I witnessed my fellow students sing and do things that were heart-breakingly beautiful and inspiring. Finally, Stacey works her ass off. In the 5 festivals I've seen her at, she will keep going into the wee hours encouraging and playing with her students in order for them to get the experience of performing. I cannot recommend Stacey more highly! She is truly the best of the best! - Ronald Harvey

Stacey Smith is a powerhouse of a singer, racking up a standing ovation on her solo StaceJam at our festival in Oslo (Norway). Yet, that still pales in comparison to the energy and good vibes she brings to our festival, now the second time. We had to bring Stacey back. Our community simply LOVES Stacey. She is incredibly kind and incredibly supportive. She would make sure that everyone in her musical improv class is comfortable to sing proudly, which to some is akin to facing our demons. For people who are absolutely terrified of musicals, including myself, Stacey's class is a personal victory filled with tears of joy and emotions. Thanks, Stacey - Aree Witoelar, Oslo Impro Festival

Stacey makes you feel safe, energized, open and playful all at once. She’s mastered the art of being both supportive and instructive at the same time. As a person, she succeeds in livening up the room so effortlessly, the workshops feel more like parties. - Thomas Mook, Stranger Things Have Happened

High kick! It was an amazing experience to work with Stacey. She is so inspiring and her attitude influenced the whole group. It is very easy to follow someone who leads by example. Her energy and emotion created such an atmosphere that I felt like I knew the group for years. Thank you for your devotion, Stacey! - Ilian Ilkov, Shizi Pro impro, Bulgaria

Stacey Smith is an inspiring teacher and performer. Her power and brilliance on stage is matched by her energy and passion in the classroom. I've learned so much from her classes through her clear communication and her engaging teaching style. Watching her perform inspires me to grow as a performer, as well. - Alba Woolard, iO Chicago

I got so much out of Stacey’s class. Within minutes she was able to diagnose an area of improvement I could focus on throughout the duration of the course. The result was that I grew tremendously as a musical improviser in just four weeks. During the last week of our class, I nailed a competitive musical improv audition and I have Stacey’s class to thank. - Cecily Keim, iO Chicago


I was a tad hesitant to start taking classes at iO, and I'm really glad I had Stacey as my Level 1
teacher. She always brought a ton of energy and commitment to each class, without being
overbearing or making people feel uncomfortable. It was clear that she cared and had thought
out her lesson plan. The feedback she gave was helpful, and will help me be a better
improviser. I'd definitely take another class with Stacey - Miles Kopcke, iO Training Center


I can't recommend taking one of Stacey's classes highly enough. I just finished level A Improv
with Stacey as my teacher and depending on how much I enjoyed level A, that was going to
determine if I would even think about signing up for level B. Stacey is such a great teacher that
I ended up signing up for level B as soon as possible. Her energy level and enthusiasm set the
tone for each class. Also, she has a genuine passion not just for Improv, but for teaching
Improv. She never made a student feel foolish or less than in any way. Stacey's the coolest.
Take one of her classes and be cool too. - Mike Helm, The Second City Training Center
Stacey Smith is pure joy, and she seems to lead class by channeling that joy into everyone in
the room. Her love for comedy, teaching and her students sings out of her at all times, making
even the most cynical students into believers by the end. Don't get me wrong, she's not one of
those fluffy folks that doesn't give feedback - she just delivers suggestions and critique in a
positive and accessible way, celebrating your choices and personal style to make you even
better in front of an audience. My favorite kind of improviser is someone who makes everyone

feel safe and look good on stage; well that's Stacey, except she lives that truth off-stage too.
Work with her if you can! -Ben Rackl, CSz Theater Chicago


Stacey is essentially a big ball of knowledge, support, & enthusiasm. She's an excellent teacher,
& finds a way for all of her students to be confident & relaxed, regardless of skill level. I was
lucky enough to have her an an instructor for a musical improv workshop, & I learned much
more than I ever expected to. Were Stacey to teach a full 8 to 10-week program, I would take it
in a heartbeat. - Dave Bisson, CSz Theater Chicago


Stacey’s infinite energy and enthusiasm makes the group advance in a very positive way. Her
technical notes are precise and the work is very result-oriented. I made significant progress with
Stacey and had a lot of fun! - Pedro Borges, Portugal


Stacey was an incredible improv director. She was my director for a Harold team for six months,
and I feel as though I developed tremendously as an improviser under her. Her clear vision for
our team made learning under her equal parts productive and fun from day one. Her positive
attitude was infectious in rehearsals and before shows. I know that she gave the team her whole
heart. I truly feel that my team made our own Harold under her. She would point out our
strengths and always challenge us with exercises in areas where we needed to focus. She
always knew the perfect thing to hone in on what we needed. I would be honored to be directed
by her again down the road. - Rhett Sosebee, ImprovBoston


Stacey is a true joy to work with. As my Harold team director, she was very clear in her vision
and in her coaching to get us there. I was always confident that Stacey had a plan and that with
each rehearsal and show, I would grow just a little bit more. She was supportive of my natural
talents while challenging me to expand my skills and range of abilities. And she encouraged us
to support each other most of all. Her positive energy is infectious, and you can't help but feel
happy and playful in her presence. I highly recommend working with Stacey Smith! - Tim
Booker, ImprovBoston


Here is the deal, I have only actually worked and been in the presence of Stacey a handful of
times. And yet, I consider her to be one of the people that helped shape my improv journey.
When I moved to a brand new town (Sarasota, FL), she happened to be in the midst of her
residency at the improv theatre and immediately made me feel like I belonged. She led the first
rehearsal I attended at what would be my new improv home and I instantly felt supported and
safe. She also embodied a great example of someone who is supremely talented yet humble. I
took a few classes with her that included students of all levels and it was clear to me that she
finds joy and beauty in every single student regardless of their experience or lack thereof.
Everyone feels like the star they are in her presence! We are lucky to have her in the improv
community. -Elise Rodriguez, Florida Studio Theatre


Stacey “Muggsy” Smith is a truly amazing Improv performer, director, and teacher. I was

privileged to be a part of Dante, the long form improv team that she directed for 6 months in the
first half of 2018 at Improv Boston. Her coaching was always thoughtful, caring, and on point.
She brought an amazing amount of energy to each and every rehearsal and pre-performance
warm up. During auditions, she showed amazing insight in selecting a team of improvisers who
blended immediately. Under her tutelage, we coalesced into a performance ensemble that
received great reviews after every performance. Her careful use of post-performance notes
masterfully helped each member of Dante build on their strengths and eliminate weaknesses.
Similarly, the techniques she used in practices focused improving our skills in those areas of the
previous performance that had been least successful.

 

I was also a student of hers in Improv Boston’s capstone musical improv class. As a musical improv instructor, her energy and dedication to the members of the class were just as great as what she showed as an ensemble director. She demonstrated an uncanny ability to connect with each member of the class, finding a teaching style that matched the learning styles of each student in the class. The amount of learning I gained in that 8 week class seemed like what I would normally have expected in a class more than twice that long.


I would welcome any opportunity to work with Muggsy in the future: as a student, as a cast
member under her direction, as a fellow performer. Stacey is a wonderful human being who
cares for each and every person with whom she works as a director and instructor. - Wayne
Mastin, ImprovBoston


Every day learning from Stacey was pure joy—I haven't had so much carefree fun in a long
time, and the hours flew by. Stacey gave wonderful and energetic direction throughout
everything to encourage us ("Yeeaass!"), make us feel supported ("You know the words!"), and
give guidance along the way ("Now find a strong finish!"). The lessons built upon themselves
really nicely, until we were doing full musicals after two days, without realizing we had learned
all the necessary tools along the way. Best of all, though, I felt so safe, free to sing my heart out
and take chances without feeling self-conscious. I've caught the musical bug and I shall follow it
to the ends of the eeearth! Thank you so much Stacey. - Digne Glatzel, Scratch Theater
Berlin


I was lucky enough to have Stacey as a teacher for an improv comedy workshop put on for
cancer survivors. She managed to take a room of women, with no experience, and turn us into
stars on stage! She has a way of empowering you with self confidence and making you realize
that it is ok to take chances, let your guard down and most of all, have fun. The skills I learned in
the 3 hours of Stacey's instruction will help me in my day to day life at work and at home. It was
the most fun I have had in a while! Thank you Stacey! - Melinda Linas


If you ever get a chance to take an improv class or seminar from Stacey, I highly recommend
you do so. In addition to being a firecracker of positivity, she is very skilled at providing clear
and succinct explanations, followed with examples, which is an all-too-rare skill. That and her
gift for giving notes that let you know what you should be working on, or how to shift your efforts,

but remain positive make her a rare jewel of improv instruction. If you want to improve your
improv, your outlook, and your world, take a class from Stacey! - Ramona Abbot, iO Intensive
Stacey is a great improv teacher! She is so positive and will make you feel like you are in the
right place (this is great for new and insecure improvisers). Also, she gives great information
about why we do each activity in class. I had covered similar material in other improv classes,
but it was Stacey's class that gave me the context and understanding for everything we were
doing. - Aaron Beitch, iO intesive


Stacey Smith just gets it. Her positivity and light makes her an incredible teacher creating a safe
space where it's okay to fail. Each class feels thoughtful and catered to the needs of the
students in the class. As a lady performer, it's always exciting for me to have female teachers I
can look up to who are doing the things I want to do and Stacey is all of that and more. Consider
yourself very lucky if you have the honor to take one of her classes. - Mindy Shore, iO Chicago
If you are thinking about Stacey Smith as an Improv Instructor and Performer then you
have taken the first step to achieving greatness. As the Theater Director at the Centers for
the Arts Bonita Springs, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to hire Stacey to
teach a series of workshops at our Performing Arts Center. She taught 3 sold out Musical
Improv Workshops -Teens on Thursday, Intro for Adults on Friday and Advanced for
Adults on Saturday. Then she hosted the Youth Improv Cafe later that day on Saturday
and performed with our house group for adults Bonita City Improv that night. I was tired
for her.


Stacey’s energy and enthusiasm infected every student and audience member that had the
great fortune of being within a 500 mile radius of her. It wasn’t just her energy, it was the
care, love and individual attention that she gave to each student. It has had lasting
positive effects for each performer and for the Improv groups they work with. Many of
these students currently take classes and perform here in our improv program and others
came from as far away as Tampa and Miami, up to 400 miles round trip, to be a part of
the shared experience we all felt with her on stage. We are all still talking about the
difference that Stacey Smith has made in our lives as performers and as people. - Craig Price,
Center for the Arts Bonita Springs

I did a two-day musical workshop with Stacey and performed my very first improvised musical! I had so much fun and felt truly safe and valued during the whole process, and had a blast on stage! Through her passion, commitment, compassion, sense of humour and contagious laughter, Stacey created an incredible group dynamic and gave everyone a space where they could be their best versions and connect with eachother. I can't thank her enough, I'm really grateful and touched by her work and her person! She is a wonderful human being and improviser! - Silje Linn Moss, Oslo Impro Festival

Stacey Smith is the most joyful, wonderful, loving and enthusiastic teacher you can imagine. Her love for her students and craft shows through her unending dedication to everything she does, both on and off stage. I met Stacey at the Oslo Impro Festival 2018, where I took a musical workshop with her, knowing next to nothing about improv or musical. My mind was blown away. I took all the workshops I could with this wonderful person. This made me pursue musical improv ever since and I even travelled to Chicago to see more of her shows and learn improv where she teaches. Fast forward to the Oslo Impro Festival 2019, a year later, we in the Oslo community participating in her two-days Musical Armando workshop, performed the best musical I’ve ever seen here by the people in Oslo. Can’t recommend her enough. If you love musical improv, you have to take classes with her.

- Alejandro Saksida, Impro Neuf

I had Stacey for my level one improv class at iO, as well as a musical improv intensive and had so much fun in class. I was also surprised by how much I improved by the end of both classes, Stacey was both encouraging and helpful. Stacey is also an amazing improv performer, ‘The Musical Armando’, ‘the Deltones’ as well as ‘Stacejam’ are some of the most fun improv shows I have ever seen and make time wherever possible to see them. - Gregory (Australia) McKay, Former Student/Present Fan.

I have enjoyed Stacey as a performer with The Deltones and as a teacher in her musical improv workshop. As a performer, Stacey instantly grabs the attention of the audience - her choices are consistently strong and hilarious, and you can't help but adore her.  This good-natured and warm presence extends into her teaching where she makes every student feel like a star in the making while offering concrete advice to strengthen any performance, all with her irresistible playfulness and energy. - Sean Frett, iO Chicago

Stacey Smith is an inspiring teacher and performer. Her power and brilliance on stage is matched by her energy and passion in the classroom. I've learned so much from her classes through her clear communication and her engaging teaching style. Watching her perform inspires me to grow as a performer, as well. - Alba Woolard, iO Chicago

I got so much out of Stacey’s class. Within minutes she was able to diagnose an area of improvement I could focus on throughout the duration of the course. The result was that I grew tremendously as a musical improviser in just four weeks. During the last week of our class, I nailed a competitive musical improv audition and I have Stacey’s class to thank. - Cecily Keim, iO Chicago

Stacey Smith is a ball of dynamic energy that will flow through you like electricity and change your improv life forever.  She is an expert at giving in-the-moment constructive feedback in a way that is supportive, easily understood, and applicable.  I did not know what to expect from her 4-week intensive, but whatever expectations I had were far exceeded.  5/5, would highly recommend. -- Jay Moreau, Push Comedy Theater

Some improvisers are fantastic performers and okay teachers; others are great teachers and decent onstage. Stacey Smith is the rare gem who is phenomenal at both teaching and performing, totally at home onstage and in the classroom. Her energy is unmatched and she is authentic yet poised in her teaching. Through her warm-hearted facilitation style, Stacey creates a classroom environment that is open and welcoming, a place where improvisers are encouraged to take risks and step outside their comfort zones in a safe, supportive space. Her lessons are well-structured and thoughtful and her pace moves quickly to ensure that all participants get stage time and notes, but she is always open to questions and flows with whatever direction the class needs. She gives clear, encouraging, example-based feedback and is always quick to highlight what someone is doing well as well as offering concrete examples of how to improve. She exudes positivity and vulnerability and she is a delight to learn from. I wholeheartedly recommend all humans to take a workshop with Stacey, whether they are a novice or an experienced improviser! - Stephanie Barnes, iO Musical Improv Toolbox

They say when the student is ready, the teacher appears. I was ready to really grow as an improvisor, and Stacey Smith has been by far the most helpful and constructive teacher I’ve had in my years of training. Her style of teaching was, to me, both honest and supportive, patient and just above and beyond what I expected. I hope I get the chance to work with her again, I’ve heard she’s one of the best Musical Improv teachers in the country as well.  - Victor Enriquez, iO Chicago

I had been trying to get better at improv for around two years by taking classes at a different theater with different teachers. No matter what I seemed to do, I was so nervous and uncomfortable up on stage. I would find myself standing on the sidelines, too paralyzed by thought to do anything. I wanted to get out of my head, but I wasn't sure how. Ten minutes into the first class with Stacey, I knew that this class would be different and I knew that this was a place that I could grow. Stacey's energy was infectious. Having Stacey as me teacher unlocked improv for me. It became easier to jump in for scenes when I had Stacey there, so excited when I got out there. It became easier to listen to my scene partners when my nervousness started to fade away. Stacey was instrumental in me becoming more comfortable onstage. At the end of the eight-week course with Stacey, I feel more comfortable on stage, more able to listen to my scene partners, and more willing to GET OUT THERE. Taking this class with Stacey was an unexpected blessing. - Salvatore Daddario, iO Chicago 

I traveled six hours, round trip, just to learn from Stacey.  And it was absolutely worth it.

Stacey is passionate, committed, and brilliant.  Her attention to detail is impeccable and is reflected in her individualized attention to all her students.  Her constructive criticism and feedback are valuable and help to produce improvisers (and people) who are present in the moment and artists who become better at their craft. Her energy is infectious.  I was falling into a slump, and Stacey reignited my passion for musical improvisation. - Frankie Bolda, iO Chicago