Jill Eickmann on Improv

Jill EickmannEpisode 158:After taking a workshop with Jill Eickmann, MA, LMFT I was so delighted to chat with her. Jill’s teaching is incredibly supportive and validating! Jill Eickmann is San Francisco’s Leela Improvisational Theater’s Co-Founder, Artistic Director, and Director of Corporate Training. Informed by her diverse training and experience, Jill designed Leela’s holistic 5-level improv curriculum. She oversees all elements of Leela’s Corporate Training program including client communication, curriculum design, casting, hiring, and training teaching artists, and facilitation. Jill is a licensed psychotherapist, drama therapist, play therapist, and self-revelatory theatre director who continues to teach and present on the psychological implications and therapeutic benefits of improvisation. With training and experience facilitating groups for individuals struggling with social anxiety & shyness, teaching foster parenting classes, and designing corporate training programs, she is passionate about utilizing improvised role play as “Rehearsal for Life.” Clients include: Adobe, The Clorox Company, IBM, Facebook/Meta, Google, Levi Strauss & Co., LinkedIn, McKinsey & Company, Coinbase, Walmart, and YouTube (among others.)

She has produced events and held board positions for The San Francisco Improv Festival, and is the Executive Producer for Femprovisor Fest, SF’s Feminist Improv Festival. Jill received her BFA in Theatre/ Acting from the University of Florida and MA in Counseling Psychology, and Drama Therapy from California Institute of Integral Studies. She studied in New York, Chicago, and San Francisco with some of the best from Upright Citizens Brigade Theater (UCB), The Second City, iO Chicago (Formerly Improv Olympic), Annoyance Productions, SF Clown School, and Magnet Theater. In addition to performing in duos and small ensemble projects with Leela’s past and present faculty members, she has performed across the country with notable improvisers including Chad Damiani, Dan Fogler, Law Tarello, Jay Sukow, Tracy Burns,  Brian James O’Connell, and Sunita Deshpande. (among others.) As a therapeutic performance artist, she regularly performs with playback theatre actor/director, Roni Alperin in their playback theatre duo, and in an improvised therapy format, “In Session” for the treatment of your favorite fictional character. In their duo, “Intimacy,” Jill collaborates with somatic practitioner, Chelsea McAlexander exploring the intersection between improv and consent. “The Friendship Show” a solo self-revelatory theatre performance, is Jill’s mission to heal adult loneliness through theatrical improvisation. Always looking to push the boundaries of the art of improvisation, Jill has conceived and directed original formats and theories in a long-form improv performance, from a darkly psychological “Improvised Black Mirror” format to incorporating contact improv and improvised dance in “Story Dance”, as well as online formats like, “The Before Times” which was performed at Seattle’s (On-line) Festival of Improvised Theatre with inner monologist, Joe Bill. Most notably, Jill customized a private improv class for cast members of The Lion King – Broadway Tour. Her artistic mission is to inspire people from all walks of life to invest in an improv practice that is connected, mindful, joyful, transformative, and courageously surrenders to TRUTH. To learn more about Jill, check out these links. Websites:  

Visit my website where I speak to today’s leading innovators of improv. My guests are improvisers and therapists worldwide who share their stories and offer insight into the unique ways they use improv. You may enjoy hearing from improv teachers and innovators including Colin Mochrie and David Pasquesi  *Improv Interviews podcast‘ is introduced by Susan L. Parker of yourinternationalvoice.com

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