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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Meet Rob Snow who is the Creator and Director of The Improvaneer Method and Executive Director of Stand Up for Downs, he also performs his one-man show nationally. Rob began his comedy career in the late 90s while training at the famed Second City Theatre in Chicago, performing at comedy clubs and colleges in the Midwest. In 2009 Rob and his wife Ellen had their second son Henry who was born with Down Syndrome. In 2013, they created Stand Up for Downs, whose mission is to enhance the lives of those with Down syndrome through humor.
Join me and meet the award-winning improv master Michael J Gellman who now resides in Ontario Canada and is Artistic Director of The Process Theatre. He teaches at Loyalist College as well as Master Workshops for Second City International and Artistic New Directions NYC. He is an alumnus of the Second City mainstage and was a resident director for Second City in Canada and the USA for 25 years. He was Artistic Director of the Second City Toronto where his shows were nominated for 7 Dora Mavor Moore Awards including twice for Outstanding Direction, nominated for Best Director for Chicago’s Joseph Jefferson Award, and won a Chalmers Award for Best Director. He is a senior faculty and founding member of the Second City Training Center where he was a Program Head and also Director of the NY training Center.
Today we speak with Lisa Bany and Angela Nino, trained Improv directors, performers and creative professionals who teach and facilitate the use of applied Improvisation in the improvement of mental health. Their organization is called Improv Therapy Group and I am proud to have recently been added to their advisory board. Lisa and Angela are not therapists, but they work with licensed therapists and group treatment facilities to bring Improv into the mental health environment.