Born and raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia, Marlene always had a love of acting and comedy. After graduating with a BA in Music and Composition from The University of Tennessee, she moved to Chicago to study improvisation and sketch at the famed Second City Conservatory and iO Chicago. She paid for her classes by teaching music and writing articles for Chicago-based magazines.
Now calling Asheville home, she's a founding member of and performer with Blacklist Improv, Family Dinner, Nebraskan Farmers, Mabel's Baby, The No-See-Ums and You, Me and Them. She’s thrilled to be teaching for AIC, bringing her experiences in Chicago to students. She's also the head writer, director and producer of the Asheville-based political comedy talk show, From the Ashes with Marlene Thompson, which films in front of a live studio audience four times a year at the Actor's Center of Asheville.
Marlene has performed with various improv troupes at the Chicago Improv Festival, Chicago Women’s Funny Festival, Chicago Sketch Fest, Asheville Yes Fest, New South Comedy Festival, Dallas Comedy Festival, Third Coast Comedy Festival, and Hell Yes! Fest. She also does stand-up. Go Phillies. Go Cubs, go.