About Mary Jane Pories

Mary Jane earned a Master of Arts in Teaching and is a long-standing member of the Actors Equity Association. Along with numerous awards for her entrepreneurial efforts after founding Fishladder Inc. in 1999, she is also an award-winning, actor, and improviser. She is also proud to have performed for two years as a main stage cast member of the famed comedy theater The Second City.

She believes that since nothing goes as planned, we might as well be equipped to deal with the unexpected and have fun in the process. Her extensive experience in teaching, directing, script-writing and performing make her an expert facilitator, engaging others in the power of purposeful play. Over the past 17+ years, Fishladder services have helped national and international clients ranging from Fortune 500 to non-profits.

Mary Jane is a Certified Practitioner in Applied Improvisation through the Applied Improv Network. She also serves on the Global Applied Improv Network Board. She has presented AINx talks for the Global AIN conferences in San Francisco and Oxford, England as well as provided workshops for the Global AIN conferences in Baltimore, MD and Austin, TX.

Besides years of corporate and commercial work for General Motors, Steelcase, Priority Health, Worlverine World Wide and more, she has also appeared in independent films including Living with the Fosters, The Gospel According to Roy, and The Sandwich Days. Traditional stage work in local theaters as well as directing and producing some short films of her own provide ongoing satisfaction.

Previously she directed and performed with River City Improv along with directing, producing and performing Fishladder’s own troupe, Fishschtick, winner of several On The Town magazine Silver Townie awards for Best Improv Troupe.

As Founder and President of Fishladder Inc., Mary Jane has achieved success through her innovative and customized approach to challenges in the workplace. Using her extensive teaching/training experience, coupled with her award-winning performances, she brings a lively, results oriented approach to strengthening productivity through an empowered workforce.

“I have attended many training sessions over the years and this was by far the best! Mary Jane certainly was effective, funny, and added enormously to the fun and learning of the even. [She] got us engaged …and excited. Two thumbs up! Humor and knowledge are powerful.”

Mary Jane had a roomful of 350 delegates laughing, clapping, and nodding their heads in agreement. She exceeded our expectations as a general session speaker and a breakout session presenter.”