Lura BarberWashington Improv Theater
“Lura is a joy to have in class but she needs to work on her self-control.” - every one of Lura Barber’s elementary school teachers.
Today, that joyful hoyden is a member of WIT house ensemble Nox! and 2016 FIST champion team, Beverly Crusher. She is the co-creator and -director (with Zach Mason) of In Lieu of Flowers, a play-length show that stages a fully improvised funeral based on the final wishes of a member of the audience. You might have seen her in WIT productions POTUS Among Us (2016) and The October Issue (2015), or performing with troupes like Prom Committee, The Chaff, Pony! Poni! Pone!, and Sweater Kittens.
Lura has appeared in the San Diego Improv Festival, Philadelphia Improv Festival, WIT’s Improvapalooza, and the District Improv Fest. She has trained at WIT, workshopped with improv stars like Liz Allen and Jimmy Carrane, and studied vocal performance at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago.
In her spare time, Lura is cooking a week of meals at a time, perfecting a smoky eye, and catching up on the New Yorker.
Photo by Jeff Salmore
Climb ev'ry improv mountain with Lura Barber...
Lura teaches students how to be authentically themselves on stage, connect honestly with their scene partners, make bold character choices, and have as much fun as humanly possible on stage. She believes in playing to the top of your intelligence, unhinged physical humor, and building an inclusive improv community.
Lura is a member of WIT house ensemble Nox! and 2016 FIST champion team, Beverly Crusher, and she is the co-creator and -director (with Zach Mason) of In Lieu of Flowers, a play-length show that stages a fully improvised funeral based on the final wishes of a member of the audience. She loves teaching improv and seeing students gain confidence and skill on stage.
“I really appreciated Lura’s ability to coach us through scenes, particularly when we could see immediately how her suggestions would open the scene up to a whole world of possibilities.”
“Lura was great, totally awesome. Best instructor I’ve had so far. Learned and grew tons, felt like I was constantly learning. Lura was organized and that gave me confidence that she had put thought into what she was doing. She had excellent, intelligent, and practical comments and suggestions. I really, really liked how she drew from her own experience as an improviser when she was giving comments or suggestions.”
“Lura is an incredible instructor with amazing instincts and a big ole heart of gold. Her side coaching and notes were the perfect mix of support and helpful criticism. Keep it up!”
“Lura set a tone of comfort and confidence. The class gelled together really well and everyone was a big support to each other.”
Lura Barber is an experienced nonprofit professional who currently serves as a development officer for a national nonprofit dedicated to helping people access essential benefits and services.
Lura has worked for 15+ years in the nonprofit sector, particularly the field of aging, and has held roles ranging from serving as a paralegal at a legal aid agency to leading a $12M, multi-year national campaign that put millions of dollars in public benefits into the pockets of low-income older Americans. She is excited to bring her experience in fundraising, budget management, public speaking, partnerships, strategic planning, and more to the WIT Board.
Lura completed the full WIT curriculum and joined house ensemble Nox! shortly thereafter. She has been a member of other WIT ensembles, including Beverly Crusher (2016 FIST champs) and The October Issue (2015), as well as the co-director of In Lieu of Flowers (2018-2019). Lura is a member of the WIT faculty and a facilitator for WIT@Work.
Lura Barber brings 15+ years of nonprofit leadership experience to her work as a facilitator for WIT@Work.
She believes that the best leaders are able to adapt in uncertain times while still communicating a clear vision to their stakeholders — skills that can be developed through the practice of improv.
Lura has worked closely with national and local nonprofits, federal agencies, local governments, and corporations to build alliances, advocate for policies, and develop programs that address the social determinants of health. She is an experienced fundraiser and program director who has managed multi-million dollar budgets, overseen a portfolio of 50+ grantees, built tech solutions on a shoestring with a diverse team of innovative do-gooders, and given hundreds of trainings, webinars, workshops, speeches, and pep talks in her professional career. She loves bringing the magic of improv to new people and workplaces.