Case Study: Highwire Improv

Highwire Improv is an up-and-coming improv theater based in Baltimore, MD. At Highwire, their work begins with community. That includes their performers, the people of Baltimore, and the larger improv community across the world. Their motto Community First commits them to learning how everyone can create theater and comedy, and bring their community to the world through the art of improv.

I joined their board of directors in 2024 with the main goal of re-designing their website from top to bottom. In the local Baltimore improv scene, there are few major players, so easily understanding the shortcomings of other improv theaters’ websites were pretty simple to ascertain. Most of Highwire’s competitors’ websites were less than aesthetically pleasing, difficult to navigate and find the information one would be looking for, and usually out of date.

Project Details

Working closely with the rest of the board of directors, I made a plan of what I wanted the website to do:

In addition, we wanted to make sure the website was SEO-optimized, and suitable for PPC campaigns to help us get more professional development gigs.

Design and Development

I felt really weird and bad about having Highwire spend any money on the website, considering they’re a non-profit, so a combination of ingenuity and scrappiness was needed in order to get the website up and running. The site is built on WordPress using Elementor for rapid page prototyping and templating. I set up Advanced Custom Fields to create backend repositories of improv teams and improvisers. Custom plugins check their YouTube page to determine if they’re broadcasting live and pull in latest videos and play them without having to leave the website.

Specific design patterns were put in place on our Applied Improv Workshop pages, a service Highwire provides to businesses and organizations to pair improv fundamentals with professional development. Working with a PPC expert, I set up Google Analytics and implemented Google AdWords to get these pages in front of potential customers. Using careful and thoughtful SEO strategies, I worked with the rest of the board of directors to balance SEO content keyword placement with thoughtful and well-written copy.

In addition, I attempted to make the entire website easy to read on mobile and desktop, implementing as much accessibility design patterns as I could.


Since launching the new website, the impact has been dramatic: 40% of our traffic now comes from organic search, and we continue to grow our audience. Searching for “Baltimore improv” now shows us in the second position, second only to our main competitor, which happens to have “Baltimore Improv” in their official name (and were founded two decades ago).

Our PPC campaigns have been effective as well: within a month of launching our PPC campaigns, Highwire Improv landed a $5,000 contract with Baltimore City Public Schools to lead a series of applied improv workshops for some of their staff—at a cost per click of $5.88, the ROI is paying off big time.

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