IMPROV CLASSES

IMPROV FOR PEOPLE WITH PARKINSON’S & CARE PARTNERS

This class is Improv for people with Parkinson’s Disease and their caregivers. Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is a movement disorder that affects up to 1 million people in the US and doctors diagnose 60,000 new cases each year. Improvisational Theatre Games, based on the work of Viola Spolin, are being used clinically over the world. Improv classes are being offered for stress management, coping with life challenges, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease.

Neuroscience tells us that play, when combined with the trust building of improv experiences, builds “pro-social brains that know how to interact with others in positive ways.” This is important for adults who are dealing with significant physical and emotional difficulties.

Held at: The Naples Players Community Theatre 701 5th Avenue South Naples, Florida 34102
Contact: Craig Price, 239-434-7340 ext. 102

MINDFUL IMPROV

Many therapists and improvisers are using empirically tested mindfulness-based techniques. Recent research shows that Improvisational Theatre games are a powerful intervention for anxiety, depression and becoming a more “authentic” self. There is a direct parallel between improv comedy exercises and practicing mindfulness. Improvisation is inherently mindful as it takes you out of your head and into the present moment through fun and interactive games.Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention to the present moment with openness, curiosity, and a willingness to be with what is. In Mindful Improv we notice when our minds wander and we come back to listening, which grounds us in the present.

Viola Spolin

IMPROV FOR ANXIETY

Improvisational Theatre Exercises combined with Cognitive Behavioral Education are being used with diverse populations, including people suffering anxiety disorders.

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 19.1% of the population every year. Improv for Anxiety classes are being held throughout the US and internationally. There is growing research on the effectiveness of using improvisational exercises to decrease anxiety.

In this class, students will learn improvisational theatre games based on the work of Viola Spolin to learn to take risks, develop improv skills such as improved communication and listening and learning to take risks. The exercises will utilize Cognitive Behavioral Techniques to identify distorted thoughts, which produce anxiety. Mindfulness philosophy and meditation will be used to help participants learn how to relax.

IMPROV COMEDY FOR THERAPISTS

Chicago, 2017
“YES, AND” CONFERENCE ON IMPROVISATION AND MENTAL HEALTH

This exciting “alternative” therapy is gaining recognition with therapists nationally and internationally.

Although there is little scientific research demonstrating the efficacy of improvisation as therapy, anecdotal evidence suggests people are benefiting from these techniques with issues like social anxiety.

Why does Improv assist in the therapeutic process?

The basic rules of improv, such as unconditional positive regard for other members and that there is no “right or wrong” way to play Improv, create a safe and trusting environment for our patients.

The exercises we teach are geared toward relinquishing a need to know everything before it happens, letting go of the idea that being in-the-moment is terrifying and learning to connect with people by having no expectations of them whatsoever.

This free two-hour workshop offers you an opportunity to explore how Improv Comedy might be helpful to you and your clients.

Margot Escott has been teaching and performing improv professionally in Southwest Florida for several years. For over twenty-five years, she has presented workshops and seminars on “Therapeutic Value of Humor and Play” on a national level. Margot graduated from the New York University School of Social Work in 1983 and have lived and practiced in Naples since 1984. She was a featured speaker at the Chicago “Yes, and” conference on Improvisation and Mental Health.

Margot Toastmasters web

IMPROVE AS A TOASTMASTER THROUGH IMPROV

Learning Improvisational Comedy is an invaluable for Toastmasters members and groups. These techniques enhance spontaneity and improve your ability to think on our feet. In an atmosphere similar to Toastmasters, Improv offers a supportive environment where members feel respected and able to trust. Visit any Toastmaster group and you will see that same supportive and welcoming atmosphere.

IMPROV FOR TOASTMASTERS WORKSHOPS WILL TEACH YOU:

  • The “yes, and…” concept and how to use it in daily life and as a Toastmaster
  • The basic “rules of Improv” and how they help build a better speech
  • Additional tools for your communication toolkit
  • How to stimulate creativity
  • Speaking is collaborative; Improv utilizes partners, audience
  • How Improv sharpens your listening skills

Many toastmaster clubs in the US and internationally now devote one hour each month to work with a professional improviser to learn these skills. And one club, Improv Masters San Diego Toastmasters, is a dedicated Toastmaster group of Improvisors! https://www.facebook.com/ImprovMasters.

Toastmaster, Improv professional and LCSW, Margot Escott is now offering Improv for Toastmaster workshops. Contact Margot for more information at (239) 434-6558 or margotescott@mac.com
Margot Escott has been teaching and performing improv professionally in Southwest Florida for the past five years. For over twenty-five years, she has presented workshops and seminars on “Therapeutic Value of Humor and Play” on a national level. Margot graduated from the New York University School of Social Work in 1983 and have lived and practiced in Naples since 1984.

WHAT IS IMPROV?

Improvisational Comedy is creating dramatic scenes without written dialogue and no predetermined dramatic activity. In other words, making it up as they perform.

Improv Comedy came from the work of Viola Spolin, who developed acting exercises or “games” that unleashed creativity during the Great Depression. Her son, Paul Sills, formed the first Improvisational theatre in the US and later went on to be the first director at Chicago’s Second City. Notable alumni from Second City include Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, Chris Farley, Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, Bill Murray, Mike Myers, and Joan Rivers, among many others.

Click to download a printable “Improv for Toastmasters Flyer”