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ImprovBoston is a nonprofit improvisational theater, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It offers shows five nights per week at its theater in Central Square and training programs in improvisation, stand-up comedy and sketchwriting.HistoryFounding and the Early Years (1982–1993)Prior to "ImprovBoston", Ellen Holbrook, a former student of Second City, had organized several loosely knit bands of improvisers into teams that competed in an "Improv Olympics" at Reilly’s Beef and Pub near Government Center. Holbrook had encouragement of former members of The Proposition, an earlier improv-comedy troupe, and also guidance from director David Shepherd, the founder of the Compass Players and the Improv Olympic. In 1983, Holbrook founded ImprovBoston, along with Katy Bolger and Nicholas Emanuel. At that time Satch's, near Copley Square was secured as a venue; and in 1984, the group moved to Ryles Jazz Club in Cambridge at Inman Square. A lease was acquired to the Back Alley Theater in Inman Square in 1993.Back Alley Theater (1993–2000)Under the artistic direction of Nancy Howland Walker, the ImprovBoston Mainstage cast performed late night weekend shows for several years, eventually expanding to prime time slots. Walker was just as instrumental in obtaining the New England franchise of Theatersports, which eventually became a regular Thursday night show at the theater. During Walker's tenure, the cast grew from five to well over 20 members. Larry Pizza became Artistic Director in 1995 and, in 1997, the artistic leadership again transferred, this time to Ron Jones, a former cast member from the early 1990s. It was under Jones' leadership that the theater began to extend its reach to further aspects of improvisation, creating new formats and shows beyond the traditional shortform game format the theater used for their Friday and Saturday night shows.
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The Labor and Worklife Program at Harvard Law School is described as “Harvard University’s forum for research and teaching on the world of work and its implications for society.” The LWP grew out of the Harvard Trade Union Program, an executive training program for labor leaders around the world that had been founded in 1942. Designed to provide a broader platform for research on transformations in the world of work, the Labor and Worklife Program was launched in September 2002 and joined the many research centers housed at Harvard Law School.The LWP was built through the collaborative work of Harvard Law School Professor Paul C. Weiler, Harvard economist Richard B. Freeman, and former U.S. Secretary of Labor John T. Dunlop in cooperation with HTUP and LWP Executive Director Elaine Bernard. Dunlop was one of the founding fathers of the Harvard Trade Union Program and commonly regarded as the leading U.S. figure in the field of Industrial Relations. Thomas A. Kochan, professor at MIT's Sloan School of Management, said that Dunlop "was a central figure in all the national labor policy discussions that took place since World War II."The LWP features several programs and initiatives: The Harvard Trade Union Program trains labor leaders from the United States and several nations around the world; The Pensions and Capital Stewardship Project focuses on retirement security and corporate governance issues; The Science and Engineering Workforce Project, in cooperation with the National Bureau of Economic Research, explores labor issues in science. The LWP also worked on the societal implications of nanotechnology in the twenty-first century with support from the National Nanotechnology Initiative; The Jerry Wurf Memorial Fund provides support for the Union Scholars Program that helps bring education and training to young university students from underrepresented groups in the labor movement. It also provides funding for the training of labor leaders pursuing executive education programs at the Harvard Kennedy School. There is also a Jerry Wurf Memorial Lecture delivered by leading figures in labor, academe, politics, and social justice movements.