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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Improv Interviews with Margot Escott, LCSW

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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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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Michael J. Gellman

Michael J. Gellman

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.

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Lisa Barney and Angela Nino Improv Therapy Group

Lisa Bany Angela Nino

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.

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Craig & Carla Cackowski Improv Interviews

Craig and Carla Cackowski

The husband and wife team, Carla and Craig Cackowski are the creators of the two-person improv show “Orange Tuxedo” in Los Angeles, California. The perform “Close Quarters”, with a focus on creating grounded relationships formed by eccentric characters. If you like comedy, you may have seen Craig wear various mustaches and costume pieces on Comedy Central’s Drunk History. If you like drunken history, you may have seen Carla drink various beers on Instagram.

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Jane Morris Improv Interviews

Jane Morris Photo

They say no one has done more for the art of improvisation than Jane Morris, and when you listen to this interview you will learn why. Jane has improvised, written, performed, and directed shows around the world. Beginning in Chicago, Jane helped found the Second City ETC with her husband Jeff Michalski, and later formed her own theaters in Los Angeles.

As an actress with over 58 credits to her name she is best known for her roles in Raising Helen, True Lies, Frankie and Johnny and recently in Veep.

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