Improv for empowered young women
Show Up Girls Full Logo.jpg

What We Teach



Our classes are designed using the most up-to-date research on teenage girls' confidence and self-esteem. The goal of every activity in each class is to empower students to try new things and let their voices and ideas be heard.



We strive to create a warm, welcoming community. Most of our exercises are collaborative, so the girls see how powerful a supportive group can be. We also work on social skills like public speaking, working in teams, and active listening.



The first thing we do in every class is establish a fun, light-hearted, and safe environment. Our goal is to help every student realize the incredible power she already has within her. Without self-compassion and openness, we can't do our best and share our light with those around us. 

What We Do

Show Up Girls offers workshops that teach improvisation, acting, and public speaking. Classes contain games and exercises that strengthen communication skills and teach girls how to productively work with others.

This is not a theater class. While our workshops can be a great beginning or supplemental acting class for girls, the end goal is not to produce actors. Rather, we are looking to encourage the next generation of confident, bold, wonderful young women.

Who We Teach

We work with:

  • Girl Scout Troops, either to earn a particular badge, or just for a meeting activity
  • Chicagoland schools with class series or one-off confidence workshops
  • After school clubs and programs
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Informal groups

Please note: Any person who identifies as female or non-binary is welcome in our classes. For more information, please visit our FAQ page.

Mission & Vision

Our mission is to improve confidence in adolescent girls in order to increase their participation in classroom discussions and to nurture their comfort with decision making and assertiveness. 

We envision a world where empowered young women perform better in school, achieve placement in great careers and negotiate salaries and promotions they deserve, and thus have more influence in policy, business, and culture around the globe.

About the Founder

Lynne Stanko founded Show Up Girls in September 2015. She's been an improviser for eight years, training at Second City and iO in Chicago and UCB and iO West in Los Angeles. She's a graduate of The Second City Training Center's Conservatory Program. When she's not teaching Show Up Girls classes, she teaches theatre at a high school in downtown Chicago.

Lynne holds a Bachelor of Arts in Television Writing & Producing from Columbia College Chicago. She spent four years in the Los Angeles television industry working with writers, producers, performers, and executives.

4 (2).png


Lynne was enthusiastic, empathetic, and passionate as an instructor. With our at-risk population of summer school students, she balanced her role as instructor with her role as mentor and friend excellently. I watched as Lynne cajoled spirit, confidence, and camaraderie out of incoming freshmen with tailored sessions. Whether they realized it or not, in all that fun, they were developing skills which will serve them well as they start their high school careers.
— Annie Lorek, CPHS Summer Engage program
Lynne was instrumental in taking a group of amazing young women from good to great in not only their improvisational technique, but also their confidence. If every young woman could work with Lynne, they’d be better off!
— Jessie, Young Women's Empowerment Group Leader

Lynne is a fun-loving person to be around. She brought me out of my shell and taught me to not be afraid to be the goofy person that I am!
— Hannah, former student
Above all else, Lynne knows how to make everyone comfortable in an ensemble. She has a knack for isolating your best qualities and putting them to their best use.
— Patrick, former student

I was a terribly shy, awkward eighth grader when I first met Lynne. Working with Lynne was amazing. Even though we had a large cast, she still made everyone feel important and valued. I went on to act in different shows all through high school- something I never would have had the courage to do if Lynne hadn’t helped me believe in myself first.
— Amelia, former student


Our most popular classes are 1-hour workshops that teach confidence and collaboration using improv games created specifically to target pain points for young girls. In addition, we also can help with the following Girl Scout badges:

Brownie: Making Friends

Junior: Playing the Past, Scribe, Social Butterfly

Cadette: Public Speaker and Screenwriter

Senior: Troupe Performer

If you are a school or other organization looking for a multi-class program, please fill out the contact form below with more information so that we can work with you directly.


Saturdays and Sundays are best, but other weeknights are occasionally available as well, particularly for locations in or close to Chicago.


We can meet wherever you usually meet; schools, libraries, temples, community centers, etc. If you need a location, we have several rehearsal spaces we can rent out for your workshop for an additional fee.


Contact Us

Interested in booking a class or finding out more information? We'd love to hear from you!

Please complete the form below

Name *
If you are a Girl Scout Troop Leader, please include the level of your scouts

Friends of Show Up Girls