Tessa Karel is a teaching artist. She is a certified special education teacher, the director of family programming for the Pittsburgh Comedy Festival, and producer of the Penny Arcade Family Comedy show at the Arcade Comedy Theater. Tessa also teaches accessible improv and yoga classes that are accessible to individuals with special needs, with Open Up Pgh.
Tessa Karel is a certified teacher of Special Education in Pennsylvania for grades K-12 with a certification in 7-12 Language Arts and a masters in Language, Literacy and Sociocultural Studies. She is passionate about finding ways to help others learn about themselves in fun and engaging ways. Having done this herself through a steady yoga practice and improv classes, she has started her own business, Open Up Pgh, to bring benefits these practices to a wider audience in Pittsburgh- such as children and those with disabilities. She won an Artist Opportunity Grant from the Greater Pittsburgh Artist Council to study applied theater for individuals with autism and is partnering with many organizations in the city to do this work. As the head of family programming for the Pittsburgh Comedy Festival, she won a Grable grant to support the festival’s mission to spread the word that the local comedy scene is growing in Pittsburgh.