Stephanie McCullough – Improvisor/Psychologist

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. Continue reading “Stephanie McCullough – Improvisor/Psychologist”

Joe Bill – Master Improv Teacher

Meet Joe Bill, an international improv teacher and performer and co-founder of the Annoyance Theater and tours with Mark Sutton in Bassprov. Bill taught at Second City, The Annoyance and iO Chicago and continues to teach around the world. Listen to Joe Bill discuss what he loves about teaching, The Annoyance, and his unique psychological and spiritual approach to the art of improvisational comedy.

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Assael Romanelli MSW-Improv for Therapists

Assael Romanelli, MSW is an improviser/therapist who recently published his PhD research study on training therapists in improvisation skills.

Listen to how Assael’s path in improvisation theatre, psychotherapy and education led him to this groundbreaking research. Hear about the ways in which these disciplines come together to create a new, synergistic training which can help generate healing and growth processes for the individual and relationship.

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Bernie DeKoven – Shaman of Play (Part 1 of 2)

Over 40 years ago I attended New Games Foundation training and became a Certified New Games Referee. Imagine my delight and honor to meet Bernie De Koven, the man who was pivotal in the New Games movement. Bernie is an amazing person whose energy and love of play have helped thousands of folks realize that play is as important for adults as it is for kids! Bernie De Koven is a “founding father of play studies,” creating the Games Preserve, the first centre for the exploration of games and play for adults, Bernie continues to this day to explore the theory of fun and playfulness and how it can affect every aspect of personal and interpersonal, community and institutional health.

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SOCIAL WORK & IMPROV COMEDY

As an MSW and an improviser, I am proud of the relationship between my two vocations and the women who pioneered social work and improv comedy, the “Mother of Social Work” and the “Mother of Improv”. How their lives intersected is inspirational to me.

Amy Burge

Last summer I met Amy in a workshop and fell in love with her immediately! . Her enthusiasm and love of improv is contagious. Amy Burge is an improviser, public school teacher and a mother of two very active teenage boys. Currently, she is a very involved in the Minneapolis improv community as a performer, a committee member (Tiny Funny Women Fest and FairPlay) and teacher.  She is most excited about being able to teach improv at an adolescent chemical treatment center and would like to further he work in the area of mental health. Continue reading “Amy Burge”

Eric Fisher

Meet Eric Fisher, a mindful improviser! Though Eric’s younger years were heavily involved improv and the arts, his career has been in design and technology. After studying computer graphics and psychology at UPenn, he spent over a decade designing apps and online communities in addition to working at Facebook, Apple and Google in Silicon Valley. Continue reading “Eric Fisher”

Rick Thomas

Enjoy Rick Thomas’s unique point of view on his experiences and the history of improvisational comedy. He’s an Alumnus Chicago Main stage Second City Resident Company; studied Improv with Second City Founders including the  great Paul Sills and David Shepherd; acted with Meryl Streep, Kevin Spacey and other luminaries, and for Woody Allen and Mike Nichols. Continue reading “Rick Thomas”

Lisa Kays, LICSW, LCSW-C

Meet Lisa Kays who holds an MSW from Catholic University and has been practicing psychotherapy with individuals, couples and groups since 2013. She holds an LICSW in Washington, D.C. and an LCSW-C in Maryland, and has acquired additional training from the Washington School of Psychotherapy’s ISTDP First Year Program and from Rehearsals for Growth! In addition, she has integrated improvisation into her work in a women’s prison, given workshops using improv techniques for individuals in recovery, and been a trainer in Washington Improv Theater’s WIT @ Work professional development and team building trainings. Over the past year, she has developed Washington Improv Theater’s first Improv for Mental Health Professionals class, which has received press on NBC4 and in The Washington Post. Continue reading “Lisa Kays, LICSW, LCSW-C”