Lisa Kays holds an MSW from Catholic University and has been practicing psychotherapy with individuals, couples and groups since 2013. She holds an LICSW in Washington, D.C. and an LCSW-C in Maryland, and has acquired additional training from the Washington School of Psychotherapy’s ISTDP First Year Program and from Rehearsals for Growth! She has studied and performed as an improvisor for more than five years and was on the faculty of Washington Improv Theater from 2008-2016. In addition, she has integrated improvisation into her work in a women’s prison, given workshops using improvisational techniques for individuals in recovery, and been a trainer in Washington Improv Theater’s WIT @ Work professional development and team building trainings. Over the past year, she has developed Washington Improv Theater’s first Improv for Mental Health Professionals class, which has received press on NBC4 and in The Washington Post.
I am re-posting this podcast with the talented Elizabeth Ehrenberg, LCSW She is a professional improviser and therapist who has brought improv to the Bay Area. Enjoy this interview!
Elizabeth Ehrenberg, LCSW is a licensed clinical social worker who loves all things improv, comedy, and storytelling. She has studied and performed improv in New York and the Bay Area. She got her start doing improv in high school and has taken classes at UCB in New York and Bay Area Theater Sports in SF. She is an original member of the Fingerhands improv troupe in Oakland, CA and a member of Pan Theater’s Awkward Face troupe. Elizabeth received her masters in social work from Smith College School for Social Work where she wrote her thesis on comedy as a healing art form for women. Elizabeth is the founder of Living Improv where she facilitates groups that combine improv with group therapy. She has a therapy private practice in San Francisco and Oakland. You can find out more about Living Improv at livingimprovgroups.com and more about Elizabeth’s therapy practice at elizabethehrenberg.com.
Jeffrey Winer is currently a Psychology Intern at McLean Hospital, a Clinical Fellow in Psychology at Harvard Medical School, and a Clinical Psychology Doctoral Candidate at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Much of Jeff’s research and clinical practice to date has focused on better understanding the development, maintenance, and treatment of depression, anxiety, emotion dysregulation, and traumatic stress across development, with a focus on adolescence. A key goal of this work is to inform the testing and dissemination of psychosocial and behavioral interventions for youth and families. In addition to more traditional academic clinical psychology, Jeff has worked as a professional improviser and actor and has been involved in improv comedy for over 15 years. Most recently he was a member of a main stage improv team at Vermont Comedy Club and was a member of their touring company.
Dave Carbonell, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist and the founding member of The Therapy Players, www.therapyplayers.com an improvisational troupe of professional psychotherapists which performs all around the Chicago area. His practice is specialized in the treatment of fears and phobias. He is the author of Panic Attacks Workbook and The Worry Trick, maintains a popular self-help web site at www.anxietycoach.com, and has taught workshops on the treatment of anxiety disorders to more than 7000 therapists in the U.S. and abroad.Therapy Players is Dave’s second improv troupe of mental health professionals. He was also the founding member of Freudian Slippers, a troupe of psychology graduate students at DePaul University who played at numerous venues around Chicago in the early 1980’s.
Improvisors are giving people with big hearts and Cameron Algie is a truly generous improvisor/teacher/human being. Check out https://playwithfireimprov.com to read his great blogs and take a class! This interview is one of my favorites – especially our two-person scene. I learned a lot from Cameron and I know you will too!
Cameron is a teacher/performer/writer/lover of all things fun. Improv helped him overcome his crippling anxiety, and now he uses those same techniques to help others.
Margot Escott spoke with Ben Noble about his book, Improv ABC: The A-Z Guide to Becoming an Unstoppable Improviser. Margot found it to be a wonderful hands-on how to improvise book and has been following his blogs on improv and life. Ben is an enthusiastic improviser and person who offers some great notes in this interview! Ben Noble, an improviser and author who lives in St. Louis, MO. He b improvising in 2013 and began writing about the art form on his blog, I’m Making All This Up. Feeling that there was no fun book on concrete improv basics, he published Improv ABC: The A-Z Guide to Becoming an Unstoppable Improviser, last year. It’s an illustrated and practical guide to the art form. He is currently obsessed with the Harold, both performing it and teaching it at his home theater, The Improv Shop.
Margot Escott Speaks with Improv Professional Stacey Smith in Bonita Springs Florida where Stacey was teaching an Improv Workshop and performing with Bonita City Improv. Stacey Smith is a loud Long Islander who can be seen performing regularly in the ensemble at CSz or with The Deltones and The Musical Armando at iO. Stacey has just perfomed two contracts with The Second City aboard the Norwegian Breakaway. In addition to performing, Stacey teaches in both the Youth Program and A-E program at The Second City Training Center as well as at the Playground Theater and CSz Theater Chicago.
Margot Escott Speaks with Neuropsychologist Kristin R. Krueger, PhD about the benefits of Improv Comedy in group Therapy. The very funny and brilliant Kristin R. Krueger, PhD is a clinical neuropsychologist and an Improv Player, part of the unique Team Therapy Players, an all-therapist team in Chicago. Kristin is a pioneer in researching the positive benefits of Improv Comedy in group therapy and has been an inspiration to those of us in the Improv/Psychotherapist world. I’m delighted that she had time to talk about her life as a therapist/improviser.
Margot Escott interviews improv master Craig Price, who studied with the legendary Del Close at Improv Olympics and Second City in Chicago. Craig performed for two years at Second City before moving to Southwest Florida where he was instrumental in leading the improv movement that has taken Southwest Florida by comedic storm. Craig teaches improv to students and adults and is Youth Theater Director at the Centers for the Arts Bonita Springs as well as the Director of Bonita City Improv where he performs with improv player Margot Escott. Margot and Craig discuss the highs and lows that improv players experience on and off stage.