Lenny Ravich – Laughter is the Best Medicine!

Meet the hilarious Lenny Ravich and learn about his incredible journey over the past 8 decades where he proves laughter is the best medicine. Lenny is an expert on the subject of humor and laughter through improv. Lenny facilitates workshops and presentations on the subjects of “Upgrading Your Humor Quotient as a Work Ethic,” and “Optimism For Self Esteem and Peak Performance,” throughout the world. He is the author of the best selling book, “A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Enlightenment.”

Michael Golding – 2nd Generation Improv Pioneer

Michael Golding has been improvising for over 40 years. Michael is a writer, director and improv teacher who studied with the “father of Improv” David Shepherd and pioneered many innovative improv programs.  Michael participated in the evolution of the Improv Olympics & Canadian Improv Games and is the  Artistic Director of the Comic Strip Improv Group in N.Y. & created the Insight Theatre Company for Planned Parenthood, Ottawa.  In addition to being a performer and coach, Michael is an accomplished writer and his book Listen Harder is a wonderful collection of essays on his journey in improv and working with at-risk youth in various settings.

Ted DesMaisons – Mindful Improv

Meet Ted DesMaisons, a beloved improv and mindfulness teacher who is internationally recognized for his work. His students describe him as someone who “teaches with clarity, creativity, and effective ritual”.  After completing graduate his MBA at Stanford Business he attended Harvard Divinity School. Ted has studied and performed improvisation across North America, including with  Patricia Ryan Madsen at Stanford, BATS Improv in San Francisco and Loose Moose Theater in Calgary, Alberta. All that experience supports a simple truth: Ted’s passion for teaching and learning leads him to share that passion with others like you.

Fantastic Funny Femmes

Meet Fantastic Funny Femmes, a wonderful group of Canadian improvisers –  Brie Watson, Candace Meeks and Alicia Douglas. They are dedicated performers and improv teachers who teach improv for anxiety issues and mindfulness. They also teach improv to help women, women-identifying/trans, and non-binary persons feel empowered. We discuss the issues that woman improvisers continue to face in improv classes and teams, often feeling alienated and isolated.We got a chance to meet at the “Yes, and Mental Health Conference” and watching them play was a fantastically fun experience.

 

Stephanie McCullough – Improvisor/Psychologist

Stephanie McCullough  is a music director, teacher, and composer at the Second City Training Center. Stephanie was the coordinator for the First Annual “Yes, and Mental Health” conference. For many years psychotherapists have been using improv comedy games and exercises in their practice, but this was the first time we gathered together to share our experience, strength, and vision. Clinical Social Workers, Psychologists, Mental Health Counselors and improvisers from all over the country and abroad, presented inspiring workshops on using improv in clinical and other settings.

Patricia Ryan Madson-Improv Wisdom

Join us for a delightful talk with a woman who has brought improv to so many people.She is the author of the award-winning book, IMPROV WISDOM: Don’t Prepare, Just Show Up (Bell Tower, 2005). Improv Wisdom
She shares how she discovered improv through her passion for Tai Chi, which led her to study with Keith Johnstone. She is a Professor Emerita from Stanford University where she began teaching in 1977. In the Drama Department, she served as the head of the undergraduate acting division and developed the improvisation program. She founded and coached the Stanford Improvisors and taught beginning and advanced level courses in improvisation for undergraduate as well as adults in Stanford’s Continuing Studies Program.

Joe Bill – Master Improv Teacher

Meet Joe Bill, an international improv teacher and performer and co-founder of the Annoyance Theater and tours with Mark Sutton in Bassprov. Bill taught at Second City, The Annoyance and iO Chicago and continues to teach around the world. Listen to Joe Bill discuss what he loves about teaching, The Annoyance, and his unique psychological and spiritual approach to the art of improvisational comedy.

Daniel Wiener PH.D – Rehearsals for Growth

Dr. Daniel Wiener is a pioneer in the work of integrating improvisational theatre games with psychotherapy. His groundbreaking book, “Rehearsals for Growth”, published in 1994 inspired many therapists around the world to explore this valuable and effective intervention. Dan shares how he discovered improv and how he continues to live a playful life today.