Meet the delightful Stephanie Anderson, a muli-talented and beloved improv teacher in Chicago who brings joy and laughter wherever she goes! Stephanie teaches at Northwestern University’s Center for Talent Development, designing interactive enrichment curriculum and facilitates storytelling and improv workshops for MBA students at the University of Chicago.
About Stephanie Stephanie Anderson is an Innovative Learning Consultant who has worked with individuals and interdisciplinary teams in a variety of industries. She attended The George Washington University in Washington, DC, where she earned dual degrees in Psychology & Philosophy. . Ms. Anderson is a Chicago-based writer/actor/improviser and teaches improvisation as a faculty member at The Second City Training Center. Her passion for performance combined with her love of facilitation has led her around the country sharing the benefits of applied improv/ storytelling/ performance skill-based workshops for clients working in education, healthcare, and corporate settings. Check out her improv and sketch duo with Alex Bellisle at Girlish.
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.
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.
Although it has been 2 months since Hurricane Irma devastated Collier County, many people are still feeling the effects of this traumatic event. Today I was with some friends who continue to suffer daily due to Irma. Some are homeless for an indefinite amount of time, some are seeking welfare and Food Stamps (something they never thought would happen in their lives), and spending their days on the phone with government agencies, insurance companies, etc. A traumatic event is a life-threatening occurrence and post-trauma stress is a normal response to an abnormal event, such as Irma. Living through a trauma affects the body, mind, and spirit.
In 1997 my father, Ivan Escott, Jr. was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. It was a lucky coincidence that this was the year that the Parkinson Association of South Florida (PASFI) was founded. I had the opportunity to speak at a meeting with the founding members of PASFI before they were incorporated so knew about their mission. A few weeks after that, my dad received his PD diagnosis. How fortunate we were to know there was a place where he could be involved, receive education and support.
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.
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.
Meet Pam Victor, co-author of IMPROVISATION at the Speed of Life along with TJ Jagodowski and David Pasquesi, talk about her work in improv and her goal to help students live a happier, more productive life. She describes several improv games that might be new to you! She is an enthusiastic and very fun guest!
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.
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.