Clay Drinko Theatrical Improvisation, Consciousness, and Cognition

Clay Drinko Photo

Join me and meet Clay Drinko who is an educator, an improviser, and the author of Theatrical Improvisation, Consciousness, and Cognition. He earned his Ph.D. in drama and theatre studies from Tufts University and a Master of Science in education and a Master of Arts in performance studies. Clay started improvising over two decades ago and experienced firsthand the powerful effects of finding flow onstage. This started a lifelong journey to understand how improv affects the brain and how to harness this understanding to improve our everyday lives.

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Izzy Gesell Applied Improv in the time of COVID19

Izzy Gesell

Join me and meet Izzy Gesell, an organizational alchemist who helps individuals and organizations transform their thinking from commonplace to extraordinary. He is skilled at delivering meaningful material in a way that makes participants enjoy their time with him.

Izzy is also the author of Playing Along: Group Learning Activities Borrowed From Improvisation Theater, a co-author of Humor Me: America’s Funniest Humorists on the Power of Laughter, and a contributor of a chapter on Improvisation as a facilitation tool in the IAF Group Facilitators Handbook. His latest project is a deck of cards with improv games on them. Learn more about Izzy at izzyg.org

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Improv Interviews with Margot Escott, LCSW

Ed Asner joined me for my Improv Interviews podcast

Welcome to Improv Interviews with Margot Escott, LCSW. Improv Interviews are podcasts with innovative improvisers from all over the world and therapists who are using improvisation in their clinical practice.

More about Margot Escott, LCSW: Margot Escott incorporates over 35 years of experience as a counselor, speaker, and teacher in her wellness classes that are designed to use humor, play and improv to achieve well being. In addition to teaching and performing improv professionally, Margot has presented workshops and seminars on “Therapeutic Value of Humor and Play” on a national level and was a featured speaker at the Chicago “Yes, and” conference on Improvisation and Mental Health.

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Kristin Krueger P.h.D. Neuropsychologist and Research Scientist Studying Improv’s Therapeutic Benefits

Join me and meet Dr. Kristin Krueger who inspired me to use improvisational theatre techniques in my own practice. She is an internationally known Research Scientist at Rush University Medical Center and a Chicago based neuropsychologist who wrote the first evidence-based research paper on the effectiveness of Improv for Anxiety. The results of the study conducted by Krueger along with two Illinois Tech research collaborators were published in the paper “Thera-Prov: A Pilot Study of Improv Used to Treat Anxiety and Depression” in the Journal of Mental Health (July 2017).

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Jay Sukow Improv Interviews

Jay Sukow Improv Interviews

Join me today to meet Jay Sukow, an actor, director, filmmaker and improviser, who has been performing scripted and improvised work professionally for over 20 years. Jay has trained with improv legends that include Stephen Colbert, Steve Carell, Jon Favreau, David Razowsky, Keith Johnstone, Dick Schaal, Del Close, and Mick Napier. Jay is a faculty member of The Second City and has performed regularly as part of their “Those Who Can’t” Faculty Jam.

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Robert Cochrane Using Improv with Parkinson’s

Robert Cochrane

Join me and meet Robert Cochrane, an award-winning filmmaker, with numerous narrative and documentary features to his credit. His touching relationship with his father who has Parkinson’s was the inspiration for Robert’s Parkinson’s-themed documentary series, Boys of Summer. He is a Ph.D. student at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) studying the effect of improvisation on Parkinson’s Disease and Co-Owner of ComedySportz Las Vegas, which is part of an internationally-acclaimed improvisation league.

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Dan Bacalzo Improv in FGCU’s Theatre Program

Dan Bacalzo Improv Interviews

Join me today and meet Dan Bacalzo, Ph.D., Program Coordinator and Assistant Professor at Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) in Ft. Myers Florida. I had the pleasure of partnering with Dan last summer on a program he led for FGCU that incorporated improvisational theatre techniques to benefit at-risk girls in Immokalee Florida at the Pace Center for Girls.

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Lisa Kays Improv as Therapy

Lisa Kays

What a treat to speak with Lisa Kays, LCSW who studied improvisational theater prior to becoming a master’s level social worker. She has been using improv as group therapy and to train therapists in this exciting art form. Lisa leads Improv This, Improv That programs and groups that integrate principles and practices of various modalities to support individuals in trying out new behaviors.  

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Robert Lowe Atlanta’s Godfather of Improv

Robert Lowe

Join me and meet a man who is lovingly known as the Godfather of improv. During his thirty-nine-year engagement in Improvisation Robert Lowe has been a player, an Improv dancer, a teacher, a director, a producer, and a pioneer in the uses of Improvisation for purposes other than performance. He has taught Improvisation, and stand-up comedy, in addition to personal advocacy.

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Lacy Alana the Yes And Brain

Lacy Alana Photo

Join me and meet Lacy Alana and learn about her innovative work with Yes and Brain. The Yes And Brain framework is the creation of a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, circus artist, and improviser Lacy Alana. As Lacy spent time in the clinical, educational, corporate, and expressive arts worlds over the last decade, she recognized that she was having great success blending facets from each discipline into the others.

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