STEPHANIE MCULLOUGH – IMPROVISER/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.
In this podcast, Stephanie shares her story of interviewing Del Close before she became an improviser, her history in improv and much more!
She is an amazing, powerful and beautiful woman!
Stephanie McCullough, Psy.D. has a doctorate in Clinical Psychology and practiced for three post-graduate years before tossing it to the wind and touring as the music director for Second City’s BlueCo in 2004. Prior to all of that, she had attended the College Conservatory of Music for her undergraduate degree in Music Composition and Piano performance in Cincinnati, Ohio which helped her decide that she’d never make a living as a musician and changed her career path to psychology in the 1990’s. Stephanie wrote her first piano piece, Clown Waltz in F, at the age of 4 and has been putting together both silly and sincere songs ever since. Moving to Chicago and becoming exposed to the improv scene is what brought her full-circle to making music again on a daily basis. Stephanie has been co-writing musical comedies, averaging one-per-year since 1999, and to some critical acclaim. Four musicals alone were co-written with SC alum Peter Gwinn who went on to be an emmy-award winning writer for The Colbert Report. Her music improv roots began with iO and ComedySportz, and eventually led her to work along side some phenomenal Second City alum like Jim Zulevick and groups like GayCo and The Galileo Players. She is also the Director of Finance & Music Director at  MCL Chicago Comedy Theater  Stephanie now counts her blessings daily that she has the opportunity to work as a music director, teacher, and composer at the Second City Training Center on a full-time basis. Collaborating on original comedic songs, improvising musical scenes, and being surrounded daily by some of the top comedic and musical talent in this country is a dream-come-true.

“The root of improvisation is in social change.” Rachael Mason