Beth Boynton – Medical Improv Pioneer

Beth Boynton is an organizational development consultant and Medical Improv Practitioner specializing in communication, collaboration, and culture. She’s written three books on communication in healthcare including the industry-first; Medical Improv: A New Way to Improve Communication. (CreateSpace 2017). She is currently working on a Teach Medical Improv ebook series designed to help healthcare professionals faciiltate fundamental activities in their facilities in an affordable, effective, and time-efficient way. beth@bethboynton.com.

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Kelly Leonard – Author and Creative Executive at The Second City in Chicago

What a pleasure to catch up with Kelly Leonard, longtime Creative Executive at The Second City in Chicago who speaks with us about the power of improvisation to transform people’s lives . His book, “Yes, And: Lessons from The Second City” was released to critical acclaim in 2015 by HarperCollins and was praised by Michael Lewis in Vanity Fair who called it “…an excellent guide to the lessons that have bubbled up in Second City’s improv workshops.”

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Sandra Bruce – Autism Improvised Pioneer

Sandra Bruce is the Founder and Executive Director of Autism Improvised, Inc., a nonprofit serving the autism community through the principles of improvisational theater. She was inspired by her grandson, who was diagnosed ASD at age 2, to find a creative, fun way to address the social challenges of autism. Because her grandson had a love for film and theatre, she suspected this area would benefit her grandson. Not coming from a theater background, she did her research, discovered improvisational acting, and was excited to discover how improv seemed to be a perfect modality to address the social challenges and rigid thought patterns of autism.

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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.” Continue reading “Lenny Ravich – Laughter is the Best Medicine!”

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.

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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.

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Play Isn’t Just for Kids-Improv for people with Parkinson’s Disease

You don’t have to want to be a performer on stage to learn improv games! We can play them just for the fun of it. There is growing research on the therapeutic benefits of Improvisational Theatre Games for people with PD. The Neurology Department of Northwestern University has partnered with Second City since 2015 researching the benefits of teaching improv to people with PD and their caregivers. Their research showed that improvisational theatre games help to cultivate focus, improve communication, and promote well- being. Continue reading “Play Isn’t Just for Kids-Improv for people with Parkinson’s Disease”

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.