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Wednesday, August 7
 

10:00am EDT

Learning Journey: Big Apple Writers Workshop: Capturing the Power of Applied Improv in Words
Explore a bit of NYC, hone your writing about Applied Improvisation, and improvise with a literary agent. The day begins with a playful, interactive session of doing and writing about Applied Improvisation with Caitlin McClure, co-editor of Applied Improvisation: Leading, Collaborating and Creating Beyond the Theatre at a midtown rehearsal studio. After lunch, participants will go to the offices of Jim Levine, of the Levine Greenberg Rostan Literary Agency. Jim and team will lead a fun and low pressure improv session on how to pitch your Applied Improv book ideas in creative and practical ways, how to get an agent and get published. The session will end with honing our text, sharing what we’ve learned, and an invitation to keep observing and writing about the four-day conference (with an end of conference check in.) Whether you currently write — for your website, a case study, an article, grant proposal, or book — or aspire to learn the how-to’s, you will leave this Learning Journey with a deeper understanding of your own unique approach to Applied Improvisation work and how you can share it with the world.

Participants will need: Laptop, snacks, water

Facilitator
JL

James Levine

James Levine is a principal at the Levine Greenberg Rostan Literary AgencyJim has spent most of his career putting together ideas, people, and money; identifying, nurturing, marketing talent; and creating projects that make a difference. Jim graduated Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude from Amherst College, winning Woodrow Wilson, Fulbright, and Ford Foundation Fellowships. He holds two advanced degrees in... Read More →

Speakers
CM

Caitlin McClure

Caitlin McClure has been researching, studying, performing, directing and teaching improv and Applied Improv since 1995, her formative years spent at BATS Improv in San Francisco and with Keith Johnstone. She primarily applies improv in the business sector as a coach and consultant... Read More →


Wednesday August 7, 2019 10:00am - 5:00pm EDT
Manhattan, NY

10:00am EDT

Learning Journey: Foundations of Freestyle (Improv Rapping) and other Cultural Experience-Benders
We’ll start off the day with a uniquely NYC musical and or theatrical experience (think rehearsal of the awesome Shakespeare in the Park production of Corialonus, or maybe hanging out with the performers at the Metropolitan Opera House, or something else equally fantastic). We’ll share this amazing experience together, for inspiration, fun, exposure to new things and then share lunch either in the park or somewhere else fun.

Then we’ll get to a studio (either the Ars Nova’s penthouse or the Greenwich House Music School in the West Village), and we’ll start our Freestyle journey in the flesh. Participants will be introduced to hip hop history and the origins and ethos of Freestyle Love Supreme, focused on love and truth. Then on to beatbox, gibberish rap, and “portkey” skills! With careful attention to creating a comfortable environment for all, we’ll help you find your MC voice, lead group work around hooks and personal storytelling and end with a sharing out of our collective work with group musical performances.

Speakers
NC

Nan Crawford

Nan Crawford is a pioneer in using theatre as a lens for leadership. Coaching visionary leaders to step onto a bigger stage, Nan has helped clients gain SVP, C-Level and Board of Directors level roles, as well as set the vision and communication strategy for launching new ventures. Nan... Read More →
AB

Andrew Bancroft, aka Jelly Donut

Co-Facilitiator
Andrew Bancroft, aka Jelly Donut, has been seen on stage with headlining names as the house band for Employee of the Month. You can see some of his amazing folk-hop songs with his band Moondrunk and he has been freestyle with FLS and The Freeze since 2008. He is an award winning song... Read More →
CS

Chris Sullivan, aka Shockwave

Co-Facilitator
Chris Sullivan, aka Shockwave, is a live beatbox percussionist. His many talents have led him all over the world touring with the relaunch of The Electric Company and his viral lesson around Boots & Cuts has become an online sensation. Shockwave is the heart and soul of FLS providing... Read More →
AP

Ashley Perez Flanagan

Co-Facilitator
Ashley Perez Flanagan: Broadway: Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812. NY: Hadestown (NYTW), Orpheus and Eurydice Are… In Love (Ars Nova), In Love with Jobim (York Theatre) Regional: Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 (A.R.T.), Prometheus Bound (A.R.T.), Evita, West... Read More →


Wednesday August 7, 2019 10:00am - 5:00pm EDT
Manhattan, NY

10:00am EDT

Learning Journey: Seven Senses Stroll, and Following the Follower with Tango and Improvisation
Part One begins with a Seven Senses Stroll; a tour of you, set in New York City. We visit places that personify aspects of New York, for each of your five senses: Taste, Smell, Touch, Hearing, and Sight. But did you know you have unlimited senses? Along the way, we’ll explore what other senses are important to our special AIN group, e.g. a sense of play, intuition, freedom, confidence, safety, intimacy, strength, etc. Each person chooses two, and we improvisationally explore those en route between our locations. New York is a city in constant creativity. Discover New York like artists. Experience your peak senses piqued!
 
Part Two: With our senses fine tuned and warmed up we’ll segue into a different kind of “senses-making”. Viola Spolin coined the phrase “follow the follower” to describe the moment in a mirror when neither partner knows who is leading, and it seems, magically, to lead itself.  Basic tango is simply two people walking together. One is the “leader,” one “follows.” A world-class tango instructor will teach two simple tango walks. We will walk as pairs and have the experience of trading lead/follow roles. Periodically, we will ask some process questions. The focus of the workshop is not to learn dance steps, but to try to understand our experience of leading, following, and partnering, when we look through a different lens than usual. We will explore our ability to remain open to the partner, even when things don’t go “as expected.” Can lead/follow work refine our ability to become better improvisors and trainers? These, and other questions will be explored in a group debriefing at the end.


Speakers
BA

Barbara Ann Michaels

Barbara Ann Michaels is a performance artist who creates humorous participatory artworks that foster deep human connection — via people feeling seen, heard, and celebrated. She is a “jester of the peace”, and also trains facilitators on the universal rules of body language and humor, in both corporate and community settings. As an artist, she has appeared at The Miami Project with Claudine Maidique Gallery, New York Clown Theatre Fest, 20th chashama gala, GlassHouse ArtLifeLab... Read More →
TS

Terry Sommer

Co-Facilitator
Terry Sommer performed for 8 1/2 years in Chicago City Limits. She logged 1500 performances, and co-created about 40 corporate industrial shows. She is currently directs the Morchand Center at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, using a type of applied improvisation in medical education. She also teaches improv to medical students... Read More →


Wednesday August 7, 2019 10:00am - 5:00pm EDT
Manhattan, NY

10:00am EDT

Learning Journey: The Quest NYC
What better way to experience this iconic city than to embark on an improvised adventure across the urban landscape of New York City? The Quest is a one-of-a kind experience where improvisation, storytelling, urban exploration, and magic meet. An improvisational structure developed by the legendary improv guru Del Close, The Quest will help you become a more engaged listener, be more present, curious, and attentive, increase your self-awareness and be more open to new experiences. The Quest takes the “improvisational mindset” (normally reserved for the stage) out into the everyday world and culminates in casual conversation and storytelling, sharing experiences, insights, and discoveries that unfolded during that process. It will help you understand the significance of the larger patterns that unfold on the stage, in your life and the world.

Speakers
JL

Jeanne Lambin

Vice-President AIN Board
Jeanne Lambin of Lamb Ink has performed, presented, and conducted workshops and training in the US, Europe, and Asia, exploring how improv and storytelling can help us create better places to live, work, and play. She has spent much of her career in heritage conservation, helping people to rescue things... Read More →


Wednesday August 7, 2019 10:00am - 5:00pm EDT
Manhattan, NY

1:30pm EDT

Learning Journey: Community Building, Playing Across Boundaries, and Improvising on Stage and Off
PART 1: Spend the afternoon improvising, performing and growing at the National Headquarters of the All Stars Project on 42nd Street — a center for performance, youth development, and activism. This unique community-based, privately-funded nonprofit transforms the lives of youth and poor communities using the developmental power of performance, in partnership with caring adults. Along with AIN members, this Learning Journey will include All Stars program staff and community organizers, youth participants, adult students, teachers, performers, and volunteers. After a tour and an interactive panel of All Stars constituents, participants will have a chance to experience some of the creative, improvisational activities and programs of the All Stars, including its unique grassroots fundraising model by joining a community outreach Street Performance on 42nd Street! Playing Across Boundaries, a group improv game share, will happen concurrently.
 
Part 2: NYC is filled with talented improv comedians – all with a story and a life offstage! We can learn from other improvisers, especially those performing many shows per week, about how they’re living and sharing the improv principles even if they aren’t teaching or focusing on applied improv training specifically. And so for our second part of Community Building, Playing Across Boundaries, and Improvising on Stage and Off, improv comedians from the UCB, The Pit, The Magnet, and elsewhere will come together for an improv jam, and afterwards participate on a panel/roundtable discussion with audience members to talk together about  how they/we are applying improv philosophy in our lives offstage.

Facilitator
ML

Mary Lemmer

Mary Lemmer is an entrepreneur, improv comedian, and the founder of Improv4, leadership trainings applying improv comedy to training leadership skills, team effectiveness, and communication. She graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor’s in Business Administration, Minor in Environmental Science, a... Read More →

Speakers
GB

Gloria B. Strickland

Gloria B. Strickland has a forty-year record of commitment, innovative leadership and service to youth growing up in poor communities. She is currently VP of Youth & Community Development for the All Stars Project, Inc., providing coaching and training to All Stars youth program team members across the country. For the past twenty years she has led the All Stars Project of New Jersey’s Afterschool Development programs and initiatives in Newark and surrounding communities reaching 2,000 poor... Read More →
JR

John Rankin, III

John Rankin, III is the Associate Managing Director and primary producer for the award-winning, Off-Broadway, political theatre, Castillo Theatre. He began volunteering with Castillo in 2009 after appearing in Heiner Müller’s The Task. He is a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School... Read More →
MR

Marian Rich

Marian Rich is a comic educator and improvisational performer. Trained as an actress, improviser and theatrical director, Marian has spent over 30 years building innovative and playful educational environments where people from all walks of life come together to grow and develop... Read More →


Wednesday August 7, 2019 1:30pm - 8:00pm EDT
Manhattan, NY
 
Thursday, August 8
 

9:00am EDT

Learning Journey: Changing How We Perform Healthcare: The Joy of Dementia and Improvising With Autism
 There is a growing movement of practitioners who are finding creative and joyful ways to create inclusive and developmental environments and activities for two growing populations — people living with dementia and individuals on the autism spectrum, and the people in their lives.
 
Part one of this Learning Journey is an opportunity to challenge the stigma-inducing “tragedy narrative” of dementia. The day will begin with an experiential workshop — which will be held with residents of Harlem, NYC. Participants will engage in improvisational games, creative exercises and philosophical conversation to explore what it means to create an environment and culture which supports everyone involved in the “dementia ensemble” to enjoy the “non-knowing growing” that is possible when improvisational play is how we are doing everything in our lives.
 
Part two is a workshop in the use of improvisation to create inclusive environments that support the individual differences and communication needs of individuals on the autism spectrum and with related conditions and disabilities. This will be an informational and play-based workshop in which we will learn about the unique differences of individuals with autism, and explore modalities of engagement with neurodiverse individuals using the playbook of improvisation.

Note: Participants will plan to travel together to the conference site in Stony Brook by Long Island Railroad following this Learning Journey.

Facilitator
AF

Aaron Feinstein

Aaron Feinstein is the Executive Director and Founder of the inclusive performing arts program Actionplay, and a film/theater director and entrepreneur based in NYC. Aaron has over 15 years of experience working in the arts with individuals on the autism spectrum, and is the creator of the AIMS inclusive improvisational musical comedy workshop program, and the Actionplay Chorus that... Read More →

Speakers
MF

Mary Fridley

Co-Facilitator
Mary Fridley is pro-bono Director of Special Projects at the East Side Institute (ESI), a workshop leader and designer, a playwright, theater director and non-profit fundraising consultant. She is trained as a social therapeutic practitioner, a post-modern humanistic and group-oriented therapeutic and education approach. Mary co-leads two popular workshop series, The... Read More →
SM

Susan Massad

Susan Massad is a retired physician with 51 years of practice and teaching in internal medicine. Susan was one of the early pioneers to bring the teaching of improvisation into her training of medical residents in the late 1990s. As a practitioner, working in both the poorest communities... Read More →


Thursday August 8, 2019 9:00am - 2:00pm EDT
Manhattan, NY

9:45am EDT

Learning Journey: Improvising Anthropology with Margaret Mead as Our Muse
This unusual Learning Journey is a personalized, intimate, visual and conversational exploration of improvisation and anthropology through the work of the most famous anthropologist in history, Margaret Mead. Beginning at the American Museum of Natural History, we’ll explore, discover, and interact with anthropology with Margaret as our muse. If you thought you knew Mead, or perhaps have never heard of her at all, you’ll be thrilled to learn how she highly valued improvisation — and the creative ability of human beings to create culture, language, and to make and break rules. You’ll get an inside and outside view of her ideas, research, personal artifacts, through words, films and stories. We’ll explore how Applied Improvisation is perhaps a beautiful branch of her pioneering work, learn what a rebel she was in life and love, explore the Hall of Pacific Peoples (dedicated to Mead), and more.

Speakers
SK

Sevanne Kassarjian

Principal, Performance of a Lifetime
Sevanne Kassarjian In her role as a Principal, Sevanne oversees several of Performance of a Lifetime's strategic client relationships, leads our team of design architects and is in high demand as a lead facilitator. She has led the global expansion of our performances coaches and... Read More →


Thursday August 8, 2019 9:45am - 2:00pm EDT
American Museum of Natural History Central Park West at 79th Street New York, NY 10024-5192

10:00am EDT

Registration
Thursday August 8, 2019 10:00am - 12:00pm EDT
The Wang Center at Stony Brook University 100 Nicolls Road Stony Brook, NY 11794-4040

10:15am EDT

Learning Journey: Improvisation Yes! The Art of Risk
Improvisation, exploration, and New York are some of the embedded genetic traits of jazz music. So what better way to expand your applied improvisation skills than through one of the great artistic contributions the world has seen? This is a performance based session open to all voices, sounds and instruments. Taught by Stony Brook University Artist in Residence, Dr. Tom Manuel, we’ll explore sources and techniques of musical improvisation: practice and skills, playfulness, emotion, courage, will, concentration, risk, the power of limits, patience, trust and dedication. This interactive session will be hands, feet, voice and body on — participants with no or lots of experience will improvise from moment one, learning the importance of improvisation in Jazz as well as in life. We’ll be exploring the art of spontaneous, improvisatory, jazz improvisation and musicians (and non-musicians) of all levels of ability are invited to attend! A variety of exercises and techniques will be explored with the goal of expanding each musicians pallet of individual creative expression.

Facilitator
TM

Tom Manuel

Tom Manuel is a Jazz historian, music educator and trumpet player. As the recent recipient of an endowed Scholar in Residence Chair within the Jazz department at Stony Brook University, Manuel directs the Stony Brook University Young Artist Program jazz program, in residence at the Jazz Loft... Read More →

Thursday August 8, 2019 10:15am - 4:00pm EDT
The Jazz Loft

10:30am EDT

Learning Journey: Willkommen, Bien Venue, Welcome – To the Emerging Field of Medical Improv!
 Medical Improv is an exciting field that that calls upon the expertise of applied improvisors to help with unique challenges in healthcare. The more applied improvisors understand the challenges that healthcare professionals and consumers face, the more effective they will be in working with healthcare systems.  The more healthcare professionals understand the value that applied improv activities can bring to their work, the more receptive they will be to engaging with the work. This Learning Journey will be a combination of improv activities, discussion, a little bit of lecture early on, and an organic inclusion of local healthcare professionals who will be invited to join us and get a taste of Medical Improv. 

Facilitator
BB

Beth Boynton

Beth Boynton, RN, MS is the author of 3 books on communication in healthcare including the industry-first on Medical Improv. Her integration of improv into workshops has evolved with personal growth, persistent frequency of medical errors associated with communication failures, and observations in training... Read More →

Speakers
DL

Dwyer Leahy Vessey

Dwyer Leahy Vessey initially came to improv as way to play and be part of a community without having to be “in charge” of groups. As an educator, coach and facilitator specializing in dynamic group process, team building, and core communication skills she still found herself incorporating... Read More →


Thursday August 8, 2019 10:30am - 3:30pm EDT
The Wang Center at Stony Brook University - Room 101

10:30am EDT

Learning Journey: Introduction to Applied Improvisation
Are you taking your first steps into the world of Applied Improvisation? Would you like to learn more and/or refresh your practice? This full-day session is a delightful blend of immersion, information, and play experience. Facilitator Patrick Short will cover getting started, core concepts, client needs, and content customization. The day will include learning new tools, new ideas, reflection on it all, and also how to get the most out of your AIN Conference experience. Participants will play and discuss, with the emphasis on play!

Facilitator
PS

Patrick Short

Patrick Short began performing and teaching improvisation with ComedySportz (CSz), San Jose in 1987 concurrent with a high-tech career. He founded CSz Portland in 1993, and ran CSz Portland and continued his high tech sales work until 2000 when he was able to focus solely on CSz.. A longtime member of the Applied Improvisation Network, Patrick has guided companies with Applied Improvisation training since 1989, including Nike, Intel, Google... Read More →

Thursday August 8, 2019 10:30am - 4:30pm EDT
The Wang Center at Stony Brook University-Chapel

10:30am EDT

Learning Journey: Master Applied Improvisation Facilitator Credentialing Program
AIN is developing a facilitator credentialing program, and this Learning Journey is an important step along the way to raising our professional standards. Join Paul Z Jackson and Kat Koppett for day in which we’ll sense-check our proposed standards, whilst establishing a first pool of credentialers. We’ll also introduce how the program will work to certify AIN members whose work as a facilitator using Applied Improvisation (AI) reaches the required standards. We’ll explore the state-of-the-art thinking on:
 
  • Identifying non-performatory learning objectives
  • Choosing activities
  • Setting up and debriefing improv activities in non-performatory settings
  • Creating safe and inclusive environments
    • Managing group dynamics, resistance and objections
    • Explaining/using improv principles and jargon in non-improv contexts
    • Expanding your own facilitator performance awareness and range
  •  
    This session is designed for Certified Practitioners interested in being credentialed (which won’t happen on this day) and/or in being a credentialer (which will happen on this day). Familiarity with basic improvisation methods and concepts will be assumed. Come for the learning, peer-connection and geek-o

Speakers
PZ

Paul Z Jackson

Paul Z Jackson is a leader in the application of improvisation in the UK and around the world. Co-founder and 10-year President of the Applied Improvisation Network, he designs and leads projects, workshops and training programmes that transform lives by developing collaborative skills... Read More →
KK

Kat Koppett

Kat Koppett is the Eponymous Founder of Koppett. (www.koppett.com) a consultancy specializing in the use of improv and storytelling techniques to enhance individual and group performance. She is the author of Training to Imagine: Practical Improvisational Theatre Techniques to Enhance Creativity, Teamwork, Leadership and Learning, and has worked... Read More →


Thursday August 8, 2019 10:30am - 4:30pm EDT
The Wang Center at Stony Brook University -Room 201

2:00pm EDT

Registration
Thursday August 8, 2019 2:00pm - 6:45pm EDT
The Wang Center at Stony Brook University 100 Nicolls Road Stony Brook, NY 11794-4040

5:30pm EDT

Dinner
Buffet dinner for all conference participants 

Thursday August 8, 2019 5:30pm - 6:45pm EDT
The Wang Center - Lobby

7:00pm EDT

Conference Opening Event and Welcome
Join us for an interactive warm-up to the conference created in a collaboration between by AIN members Izzy Gesell, Matt Weinstein and Sarah Fisk and Alan Alda Center For Communicating Science faculty Nancee Moes with an official welcome from Barbara Tint, President of the AIN, and Laura Lindenfeld, Executive Director of the Alan Alda Center For Communicating Science.

Thursday August 8, 2019 7:00pm - 8:15pm EDT
Student Activities Center - Auditorium
 
Friday, August 9
 

7:30am EDT

Breakfast
Breakfast. Eat up.

Friday August 9, 2019 7:30am - 8:30am EDT
Student Activities Center Ballroom A

7:30am EDT

Registration
Friday August 9, 2019 7:30am - 12:00pm EDT
Student Activities Center

8:30am EDT

9:00am EDT

Opening Plenary: Sneaking Through Borders and Barriers - Dr. Sivasailam “Thiagi” Thiagarajan
In this captivating keynote, Dr.  Thiagi shares his experiences in crossing borders and barriers to help achieve mutual goals for people on both sides (and in the river). He will start with a menu of skills, concepts, techniques, and activities for playfully and unobtrusively bridging the gaps between cultures, genders,nationalities, professional disciplines, political ideologies, personality types,and other differences that make a difference. He will then explore in greater detail the items that interest the most people. Thiagi’s bridge-building ideas are based on his personal experience in 26 different countries with preschool children to senior citizens; with disciplined scientists and disorganized artists; with meek pacifists and militant activists;with bleeding-heart liberals and poker-faced conformists. The techniques explored in this session will help you ignore cultural differences, discover human universalities, increase empathy, take serious things playfully, and treat playful things seriously.In this walk-the-talk session, Thiagi will playfully explore topics and techniques to provide just-in-time, just-enough, and just-for-you ideas. He has ways to make you participate and contribute to the success of the session, the conference, and your life. He may not make you more trustworthy and courageous, but he will help you fake these qualities (untilyou sheepishly discover that you have been brainwashed into a newmindset.)

Speakers
avatar for Dr. Sivasailam “Thiagi” Thiagarajan

Dr. Sivasailam “Thiagi” Thiagarajan

Dr. Sivasailam “Thiagi” Thiagarajan is founder and Resident Mad Scientistat The Thiagi Group, an organization with the mission of helping people improve their performance effectively and enjoyably. He served as the editor of the International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI) Performance & Instruction for more than 10 years. He has written a monthly Game Letterf... Read More →


Friday August 9, 2019 9:00am - 10:15am EDT
Student Activities Center - Auditorium

10:15am EDT

Presidential Address: AIN President Barbara Tint
Speakers
BT

Barbara Tint

AIN President
Barbara Tint, PhD, is a Psychologist, Professor of Conflict Resolution and global trainer and consultant.  She works with a wide range of groups and organizations around issues of conflict, culture, gender, power, status, resilience, leadership and other social issues. She has been... Read More →


Friday August 9, 2019 10:15am - 10:35am EDT
Student Activities Center - Auditorium

10:35am EDT

Break
Friday August 9, 2019 10:35am - 11:00am EDT
The Wang Center and Student Activities Center

11:00am EDT

AINx Talks - "Yes, and ..."
  • Yes, Global Warming is my fault...and Now What? - Jessica Breitenfeld

    With engaging audience participation, Jessica shares a self-deprecating, educational speech that shows that she- as a little ole Canadian- cannot be expected to save the earth alone- she doesn’t even take the stairs. Earth is to body as saving humanity is to caring for health.

    The analogy of the earth as our personal bodies helps the audience is invited to relate to Jess´ humble journey from disappointment to hope in the strength of human goodness. The solution she gives to the AIN community is self-compassion which leads to expansive care with which community and thus global concern will naturally flow. Audience members leave encouraged to harness their inner strength. ¨Yes¨ to global warming implies we accept the offer- the reality and we access our values and fears that prevent us from being able to see the big picture.
  • Yes And”: Building Bridges and Impacting Poverty - Shadae McDaniel
    In this AINX talk, Shadae McDaniel will share her personal, artistic and professional journey to discovering and making use of the power of “yes, and…” to transform lives and impact poverty.

    As the City Leader of the ASP of New Jersey, Shadae McDaniel makes use of the power of improvisational performance to build bridges between young people from Newark’s poor neighborhoods and affluent adults from surrounding suburbs, bringing them together to transform isolation and alienation into connection and community. McDaniel grew up poor in Teaneck, NJ, one of three children whose Caribbean mother worked day and night to make ends meet. As a child, she was drawn to dance because it helped her forget she was a “kid with too many adult responsibilities.” Years later, she would bring her love of dance together with non-profit program experience to pursue a personal mission to help other young people meet the challenges of growing up poor. But it wasn’t until McDaniel was introduced to the non-profit All Stars Project’s innovative application of improvisation to youth development and building bridges across social and economic divides that she was able to fully realize that mission.
  • Changing Education Systems By Yes And - Hikaru Lou Hie

    Who do you think can make the world a better place?

    If each one of us said "it's me!!".. and if each one of us can think and take an action by Yes,And... then the world would become a better place.

    In order to make it happen, Education is the key to change the world because children are the future. In this session, I would like to share the training for teachers and professors by applying the minds and philosophy of improvisation to establish the principle of school as well as being a teacher who are wanted for this world.

  • Go Tiny - Practice Making Improv Skills Stick (Better) - Shirley Rivera

    In this first-of-its-kind approach, Shirley brings together behavior design and applied improv. She understands how habit formation (one method in behavior design) and applied improv share a similar context – environment, interactions, choice. This is an innovative approach to transform applied improv learnings into easy, personalized daily habits that, with systematic consistent practice, can help build and sustain an improv habits mindset.

    Applied improv involves behavior change, which can be achieved by forming habits. For participants, some may need to create new habits, while others may need to crush old habits. What happens after the creative, playful, imaginative, and facilitated applied improv learning environment? Their newfound improv habits mindset can diminish. It may be challenging to translate improv-inspired skills into their daily lives – home, work, school. Their physical and cognitive environment, interactions with people, competing interests, routines, and motivations are often different from the learning environment. Therefore, how can the benefits of applied improv be better retained?

    Enter – Behavior Design, a new field of study started by Stanford professor, Dr. BJ Fogg. Fogg has created a set of models and methods as ways of designing solutions that can influence behaviors. One of Fogg’s methods is Tiny Habits®, which does not rely on people’s willpower. Fogg’s method simplifies the habit formation process. It is a new method of daily practice, repetition, revision, and celebration. Habits are self-designed to fit their environment. Let’s celebrate making applied improv learnings simple, easy, and personalized so that the improv habits mindset can flourish.



Speakers
JB

Jessica Breitenfeld

Jessica Breitenfeld has presented this talk to the government of Barcelona land planners INCASOL and uses insights from her training in Adaptability Intelligence and Gestalt Psychotherapy and her 20- year journey, through 42 countries to cure her incurable back pain.
SM

Shadae McDaniel

Shadae McDaniel serves as City Leader of the All Stars Project of New Jersey (ASP of NJ), where she makes use of the power of improvisational performance to build bridges between young people from Newark’s poor neighborhoods and affluent adults from surrounding suburbs, bringing... Read More →
HH

Hikaru Hie

Hikaru Lou Hie has a degree in psychology and art from Western Oregon State University, is an accomplished and highly experienced trainer / facilitator and principal of a high school which is based on applied improvisation established this April of 2019.  In the corporate training... Read More →
SF

Shirley F. Rivera

Shirley F. Rivera is an Entrepinay, a Filipino woman entrepreneur. More than her Chemical Engineering degree from UC Berkeley, she is an Air Quality and Energy Consultant, Behavior Designer and Tiny Habits® Certified Coach, and Improvisor. With her engineering analyses and behavior... Read More →


Friday August 9, 2019 11:00am - 12:00pm EDT
The Wang Center - Theater

11:00am EDT

AI Meets IT: Merging Improv and Technology Together
Training programs are becoming increasingly more technological. How can applied improv fit in when attendees want to be on their phone, are used to playing videogames, or are sitting on the other side of the world in their living room? This workshop will cover how applied improv can be used in partnership with AI, including: app-based improv games, polling software for AI interaction, AI on social media, and AI in the virtual online classroom. The program will cover various techniques anyone can use, case studies on how they've worked previously, and opportunities to try out different methods. Learning Objectives: 1) Learn three ways they can incorporate technology into their AI programs,  2) Practice using technology in an AI exercise,  3) Define how they can incorporate technology into their own work.

Speakers
AT

Andrew Tarvin

Andrew Tarvin is the world’s first Humor Engineer teaching people how to get better results while having more fun. He has worked with 35,000+ people at 250+ organizations, including Microsoft, the FBI, and the International Association of Canine Professionals. He is a best-selling... Read More →


Friday August 9, 2019 11:00am - 12:00pm EDT
The Wang Center - Room 101

11:00am EDT

Applied Improvisation Skills For Bullying, Suicide & Drug Prevention
 “Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lie our growth and our freedom.” - Viktor E. Frankl
This quote is the foundation of the Peer Education and Upstander Skills training. The only thing we really control in life is our response to the offers the universe makes to us. Yet, many times, people miss that opportunity for growth and freedom, to be in control of their response, and, instead, impulsively or unknowingly make choices that lead to more aggression, addiction, self-harm or worse. Using Applied Improvisation games to address bullying, vaping, or suicide serves to temporarily freeze that moment in between incoming offers and outgoing responses, so that the skills needed for a healthy response can be plugged in and practiced. Social emotional learning skills; listening; connection and the almighty “Yes…And” will be enjoyably experienced in this workshop. We will be playing the games that have made the Peer Education & Upstander Skills Training so successful. And you can take handouts, with all the game directions and processing questions on them, for use in your own groups.

Speakers
JM

John Martin

John Martin works as a Supervising Public Health Educator for the Suffolk County Department of Health Services in New York. What started as a Peer Education Program for bullying prevention quickly led to the Peer Education Upstander Skills Training Program he implements for numerous... Read More →


Friday August 9, 2019 11:00am - 12:00pm EDT
The Wang Center - Room 102

11:00am EDT

Being Body: Somatic Improv
Like a carver who liberates the shape that has always existed within the stone, self-actualization is a reductive process; one in which we come into relationship with the integrated self as we watch mental structures and stories that no longer serve fall away.
The process of healing, of self-actualizing, and of flourishing as a human being is not about learning new skills, adding new features, upgrading the self we are. Although those things can be delightful and satisfying, paradoxically, the process of becoming is a process of simplifying.
A readily available route into the self is through the vehicle in which we all arrived—the body. Improv work asks us to listen for the story that wants to unfold. The weaving together of somatic awareness and improv is a potent combination for personal growth, to listen for and trust the self-story that wants to unfold.
Through experiential, mindful, body-centric exercises, we will explore techniques to listen more deeply to the wisdom within. These are techniques that coaches, therapists and healers can use to support others in the unfolding of their personal stories. And we will play!

Facilitator
DM

Diane Moore

Diane Moore & Ginger Andersen are leadership development facilitators and coaches who hail from the rainy land of Seattle, Washington. They regularly incorporate techniques from improvisation into their work to help individuals gain insight in unexpected ways. They also share an ongoing... Read More →

Speakers

Friday August 9, 2019 11:00am - 12:00pm EDT
The Wang Center - Room 201

11:00am EDT

Emotional Vaccination: Using Applied Improvisation To Address Addiction
Applied improvisation can be used by emotionally and socially aware practitioners to help change the world, one person at a time. The American Psychiatric Association defines addiction as: ‘a brain disease that is manifested by compulsive substance use despite harmful consequence.' If addiction truly is a brain disease, then Applied Improvisation is, theoretically, an excellent tool to help address that disease. Addiction affects all ages, races, religions, countries and socio-economic groups. In this workshop, we'll explore how using Applied Improvisation can help addicts of all kinds anchor their 12-step work by forging a stronger mind/body/spirit awareness. Specifically, we'll examine the concept of 'Emotional Vaccination' and how it might provide a blueprint for other AI practitioners to develop their own approach when working with people who have experienced trauma.

Speakers
DK

David Koff

David Koff has been acting and improvising professionally for 27 years, with appearances on the TV shows “The West Wing", "The John Larroquette Show", and "Sesame Street". After completing The Groundlings improvisation training program in Los Angeles,  trained for a decade with... Read More →


Friday August 9, 2019 11:00am - 12:00pm EDT
Student Activities Center - Room 304

11:00am EDT

Meet Their Needs: Working With Clients, Audiences and Business
This session focuses on the "Applied " part of Applied Improvisation.  We will draw from the over 20 years of experience that On Your Feet has had with clients such as Nike, Intel, Uber, Disney and others to look at this question: "How do you use your experience, knowledge, and skill to help clients meet their pressing and important business objectives?" One of the keys (and this is probably no surprise) is to focus more on your clients and less on yourself. This starts with the very first interaction and carries through the entire engagement. This session is perfect for anyone who is currently (or interested in) working with business clients to deliver transformative value (and to increase the chances that you will create repeat business). We will provide a number of tools and small things to try  that will be immediately useful as you sell, design, and delivery your work.

Speakers
GH

Gary Hirsch

Gary Hirsch is the co-founder of On Your Feet, an early pioneer in the field of Applied Improvisation. For the past twenty years OYF has used improvisation to help business organizations generate new ideas, collaborate, engage audiences and walk their talk. Gary's clients include... Read More →


Friday August 9, 2019 11:00am - 12:00pm EDT
The Wang Center - Lecture Hall 2

11:00am EDT

Playing With Identity and Fragility
In the age of #blacklivesmatter and #metoo, it is easy to feel personally attacked. Aspects of our identity, things we have no control over, which happened before we were born, or are just the way we were born, seem to be up for constant criticism. We'd like to say and do the right thing, but what exactly is that? And why are people yelling at me for asking?! I'M ONE OF THE GOOD GUYS!!! ..... [..... wait, can I still say "guys"?!]
There is a way to start making sense of it all. To give yourself tools to understand (and learn from) your own reactions. To honor your feelings, fears, and experiences. To create an emotionally secure foundation from which to engage the breathtaking social change we are witnessing. They key is identity: your beliefs about what makes you "You". In this workshop, we explore our relationship to personal identity in a supportive environment, where mistakes are welcomed as a vital part of the learning process.
 This workshop will help you:
•      Accept and articulate perception of your own identity
•      Understand and appreciate the way others perceive our own identity
•      Gain insight into how perceptions of our own identity affect our worldview
•      Prepare to work effectively with more diversity in your work and life communities.

Speakers
RS

Rebecca Stockley

Rebecca Stockley is co-founder of BATS Improv, San Francisco’s premiere improvisational theatre company. A trained classical actress, Rebecca ‘became’ an improviser in 1984. Since the 80s, Rebecca has been using the principles of improvisation to inspire groups of people both... Read More →
AN

Ana Nelson

Ana Nelson has over 40 years of experience struggling with her sense of identity, and is thrilled to have finally discovered improv as a powerful tool for exploring the self, one which she credits with helping her come out (to herself) as gay in her late 30s. She loves to combine... Read More →


Friday August 9, 2019 11:00am - 12:00pm EDT
The Wang Center - Chapel

11:00am EDT

Talk DATA To Me
Scientists have learned the benefit from improv, let's now have improvisers benefit from data science. One of the challenges applied improvisors face is how to share the value of our work with those unfamiliar with what we do. Without a way to systematically measure results, we ourselves are often guessing about the exact impact we’re having on people and the systems we’re attempting to change. 
What if there was another way? What if we could make friends with data and use tools from the research world to accurately measure our impact and inform our workshop designs?
In this fast-paced and practical workshop you will learn to: 

1. Create specific and measurable objectives for your sessions
2. Select measurement tools that match your goals
3. Accurately interpret your results

Through visual models and interactive exercises you will learn several causes of bias and how to avoid them when you’re designing your survey or other measurement tools. We’ll also play with common errors in interpretation once you get your results back. You’ll leave the session with new insights and practical tools to measure, demonstrate, and refine your practice for yourself and your clients.

Speakers
NW

Nancy Watt

Nancy Watt is often called the Pracdemic because of her dedication to evidence-based research and then delivers powerfully effective AI workshops disseminating social science using her intelligence, humour and passion. Accredited in Positive Psychology, Second City Toronto Conservatory... Read More →
CS

Carolyn Sealfon

Carolyn Sealfon has taught, or more, facilitated learning as physics faculty at the University of Toronto and West Chester University, as Associate Director of Science Education at Princeton University, at an inner-city high school in New Jersey, and in interactive workshops across... Read More →
EM

Erica Marx

Erica Marx is a leadership and team development coach based in Ithaca, NY. She works with passionate individuals and groups, uniting teams and creating collaborative cultures in organizations. Erica is a certified professional coach (PCC) through the International Coaching Federation... Read More →


Friday August 9, 2019 11:00am - 12:00pm EDT
The Wang Center - Lecture Hall 1

12:00pm EDT

Lunch - BLUE TICKET
If you have a BLUE ticket for Friday lunch, go to the Wang Center Zodiac Lobby

Friday August 9, 2019 12:00pm - 1:30pm EDT
The Wang Center-Zodiac Lobby

12:00pm EDT

Lunch - RED TICKET
If you have a RED ticket for Friday lunch go to the Hilton Garden Inn

Friday August 9, 2019 12:00pm - 1:30pm EDT
The Hilton Garden Inn

1:30pm EDT

Afternoon Plenary Session: Cathy Salit presents Dan Pink
Cathy Salit interviews best-selling author Daniel Pink (A Whole New Mind, To Sell Is Human, DRIVE: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us and many more)

Friday August 9, 2019 1:30pm - 1:45pm EDT
Student Activities Center - Auditorium

1:45pm EDT

Afternoon Plenary: Harnessing Humor for Humanitarian Work
The evidence is irrefutable: Humor can help improve communication, build relationships,
enhance problem solving, increase productivity, and strengthen leadership. Because our
humanitarian work requires creative learning and dialogue, The Red Cross Red Crescent
Climate Centre
has been building on applied improvisation skills, exploring humor as an
unconventional approach to engage people and organizations in difficult conversations
about what can go wrong and what to do about it. Combining the fascinating science of how
humor works with serious-yet-fun activities and insights, in this intensely interactive keynote
we will experience a set of safe, innovative communication approaches that make people
smile, reflect, and wonder - in ways that support risk management and development work.


Speakers
PS

Pablo Suarez PhD

Pablo Suarez PhD is Associate director for research and innovation at the Red CrossRed Crescent Climate Centre, as well as Artist in Residence at the National University ofSingapore (NUS-LRFI), visiting fellow at Boston University, honorary senior lecturer atUniversity College London... Read More →


Friday August 9, 2019 1:45pm - 2:45pm EDT
Student Activities Center - Auditorium

2:45pm EDT

North Coast Hip Hop Improv Performance
For the past 10 years, North Coast’s explosive performances have been packing comedy venues, universities, and festivals nationwide. Built around a single suggestion from an audience member, the show’s improvised scenes escalate into full-blown hip-hop songs, facilitated by resident beatboxer, Ethan “Exacto” Scott. With their seamless melding of comedic timing and freestyle rapping abilities, North Coast frequently blurs the line between comedy show and concert, drawing audiences from the comedy, hip-hop, and theater communities for an experience that has been hailed as “mind-blowing” and “next level” by critics and audiences alike.

Named one of the “Top Ten Best Comedy Shows”  by Time Out New York, North Coast has been featured on Vh1, in Slate’s Podcast The Gist, The Village Voice, and The New York Times Comedy Listings. Currently, you can catch them performing every Saturday night in New York City at The Peoples Improv Theater.










Friday August 9, 2019 2:45pm - 3:30pm EDT
Student Activities Center - Auditorium

3:30pm EDT

Break
Friday August 9, 2019 3:30pm - 4:00pm EDT
The Wang Center and Student Activities Center

4:00pm EDT

AINx Talks
  • Dare to be Human: Courage through Improv - Kat Koppett & Livia Armstrong
In a fast-moving, unscripted world how do you Dare to be Human? How do you show up as your full authentic self, flaws and all? How do you reach out to other humans and connect? How do you reach your goals and fulfill your potential?
These are the question we ask in each segment of our Dare to be Human podcast and we think the answer – at least some answers – lie in the world of applied improv. “Improv is the gym for life”, we say. In this talk, we will share “Dare to be Human” stories from a wide variety of experts and guests and offer tips from the world of applied improv on how you can expand your awareness and range of options for your own exceptional and adventurous human life.

  • Relational Intelligence: Play as a Way of Being - Saliha Bava
Living is an improvised activity. Drawing on 20 years of experience of play/workshops across the world and research in performative practices (in leading, coupling, teaching & research), I will introduce the idea of play as relational intelligence. I introduce the notion that everyday improvised interactions is how we construct our lives and illustrate how AI is more than a tool or a mindset. It is a way of being. Being human is to be improvisational. In my practice, I expand the everyday notion of play as an improvisational way of being with the people to engage across our differences. I will share practices on how to draw on applied improvisation as a way of being for a more engaged relational space and how a play-oriented presence is critical not only for tomorrow's unknowns but also for the serious stuff of life, like mental health. Participants will take away ideas on “How might we approach our lives as the biggest stage of all applied improvisations?”

  • Improv, Love, and the Paradoxical Theory of Change - Jon Trevor
The Greeks recognised six kinds of love - Improv embraces at least five of them.  But love implies acceptance without the need to change the Beloved - yet Applied Improvisers are hired by organisations specifically to bring about change.  How to square this circle?

This talk offers an answer - - through the lens of Arnold Beisser’s “Paradoxical Theory of Change.” Companies often wish we could change them to how they think they should be. If we take our lead from Beisser, then the first step is to help organisations see who they actually are right now. Applied Improvisation is arguably the best way to do that …


  • An AIN Love Story - Eric & Aden Nepom
In improv, we talk often about the relationships between characters. In facilitation: the relationship between a presenter and their audience. With corporations: the relationship between customer and client.  No matter what the context, relationships matter. They can lead to future business partners and mentoring, can foster growth and support, and if you are really lucky, they can become something more. Aden & Eric met at an AIN Conference and their journey involves many of these relationships, from a chance meeting in a crowded room, to partnering on potential business opportunities, to actually dating…and marriage! Join A&E as they share their relationship journey, built (fairly) in the world of the Applied Improv Network.  The good, the bad, and the magic of a relationship built on communication and collaboration.

  • Cultivating Psychological Safety Starts With You - Kristy West
We are hearing more and more about Psychological Safety as it relates to organizational development and team performance through advocates like Dr. Amy C. Edmonson, Harvard Business School Professor and the highly publicized research in the 2015 Google Study called Project Aristotle where Psychological Safety was ranked the highest driver for top performing teams. Anyone working to shift cultures, mind-sets or behaviors knows that initiatives can sometimes fall short of making their way into the day to day employee experience. Let's empower ourselves to be the change we want to see in others by cultivating psychological safety within ourselves.The parallels between Improvisation and Psychological Safety cannot be denied and anyone familiar with the principles of Improv can easily link them. At the heart of Psychological Safety is our ability to be vulnerable. Ultimately it is our choice to be afraid and try it anyway.  In this session, we will explore how to embrace a Psychologically Safe mindset for yourself and drive change by example.


Speakers
LA

Livia Armstrong

Livia Armstrong, is a senior facilitator and coach at Koppett. She studied theatre and psychology at Ithaca College and SUNY Fredonia. Livia has delivered programs for diverse clients, including the NYS Governor’s Office for Employee Relations, multiple clients in the SUNY system... Read More →
KK

Kat Koppett

Kat Koppett is the Eponymous Founder of Koppett. (www.koppett.com) a consultancy specializing in the use of improv and storytelling techniques to enhance individual and group performance. She is the author of Training to Imagine: Practical Improvisational Theatre Techniques to Enhance Creativity, Teamwork, Leadership and Learning, and has worked... Read More →
EN

Eric Nepom

Eric Nepom have been improvising for over 50 years between the two of them. They have been playing together for roughly five years, and have been married for three blissful years. Recognized for outstanding skills in theatre, speech, collaboration and development, these two share... Read More →
AN

Aden Nepom

Aden Nepom is a Senior Facilitator for On Your Feet Improvisation for Business and President of the Art of Change - Skills for Life, and Eric is a formal and informal Educator in science & theatre classrooms, a Science Communication expert, and Artistic Director for Infinite Improv... Read More →
KW

Kristy West

Kristy West is a Certified Applied Improv Practitioner, Speaker, and Founder of BraveSpace.  She has been performing, studying and teaching improv for almost two decades. Along with her improv experience, Kristy spent over 15 years in B2B Sales and Corporate Training. Today, she... Read More →
JT

Jon Trevor

Jon Trevor is the founder and Chief Improvocateur at Improv Initiative (www.improvinitiative.com), an Applied Improvisation organisation. He was a theatre director for 25 years, and has been a trainer/facilitator for 17. He also runs Let’s Talk, an interpersonal communications... Read More →
SB

Saliha Bava

Saliha Bava is a couple and family therapist who teaches full-time in the Marriage & Family Therapy Program at Mercy College, NY where she annually offers playshops for students to orient them to their clinical internship and the power of improvising with our uncertainty and anxieties... Read More →


Friday August 9, 2019 4:00pm - 5:00pm EDT
The Wang Center - Theater

4:00pm EDT

Effective Side-coaching For Releasing Intuition and Authenticity
Never be the benevolent dictator. It's hidden authoritarianism. And don't be a know-it-all." - Viola Spolin

Sidecoaching is an exercise in empathy. It allows the teacher/director/facilitator to engage with the players, sharing the focus with full involvement while at the same time, requiring the sidecoach to be a ‘diagnostician’ for both the individual player and the game itself.
The goal of the sidecoach is to connect the players to themselves; to each other and to their environment. This means a good sidecoach must have experience playing many of the games in Spolin's canon in order to, as Viola Spolin once put it, “Put a thread through them. To connect them.”
Observation of the student/players’ participation in a game requires a moment-to-moment diagnosis of several things:
  • Recognizing resistance exhibited by one or more of the players during play.
  • The interaction (or lack thereof) between the players.
  • A familiarity with coaching phrases & exercises that might produce more energy, less urgency or deeper connection.
  • Understanding problems faced by the player need to be solved by the player, avoiding the temptation to show ‘how’.
The obstacles to effective sidecoaching are:
  • Ego and Authoritarianism
  • Urgency
  • Not understanding the problem posed by the game or its potential.
  • No rapport with the players’ experience inside the game.
  • Going for result vs. process.
This workshop will give everyone a chance to both play and coach and discuss issues of directing vs sidecoaching, approval/disapproval and whatever else comes up as well.

Speakers
GS

Gary Schwartz

Gary Schwartz is an actor, director, and longtime improvisational acting coach. His mission is to promote and expand the work of his mentor, Viola Spolin. He is the only teacher to have earned an endorsement from both Viola Spolin and Paul Sills."Gary Schwartz is a gifted player... Read More →


Friday August 9, 2019 4:00pm - 5:00pm EDT
Student Activities Center - Room 304

4:00pm EDT

Improv in the Belly of Bureaucracy
This working session will afford participants the opportunity to explore what we all think a ‘high performing team’ is, what gets in the way of developing and sustaining high performing teams, and how Applied Improvisation can and does help with those barriers.
Here’s what you’ll experience and take away from our time together:
  • Review and build an understanding of toolsets that complement Applied Improvisation (Lean, Agile, Liberating Structures, etc.)
  • Experience some of the games and exercises used with the case study teams
  • Define key challenges in establishing and sustaining strong teams in any setting
  • Leverage the combined knowledge of participants to crowd-source new or incremental improvements to approaches and activities that internal and external consultants can use when supporting teams facing similar challenges
 
This working session will afford participants the opportunity to explore what we all think a ‘high performing team’ is, what gets in the way of developing and sustaining high performing teams, and how Applied Improvisation can and does help with those barriers.
Here’s what you’ll experience and take away from our time together:
  • Review and build an understanding of toolsets that complement Applied Improvisation (Lean, Agile, Liberating Structures, etc.)
  • Experience some of the games and exercises used with the case study teams
  • Define key challenges in establishing and sustaining strong teams in any setting
  • Leverage the combined knowledge of participants to crowd source new or incremental improvements to approaches and activities that internal and external consultants can use when supporting teams facing similar challenges

Speakers
LY

Lisa Yeager

Lisa Yeager holds an MBA with Project Management, Lean/Six Sigma, Prosci Change Management, and Applied Improvisation certifications and enjoys finding opportunities to draw from these various toolkits to bring people together to problem solve and design solutions together across... Read More →


Friday August 9, 2019 4:00pm - 5:00pm EDT
The Wang Center - Room 102

4:00pm EDT

Improv Tools For Design Thinking
Heard of design thinking? It’s a process that puts people at the center of creative solutions. And it’s becoming popular in companies all across the world.  Improv and design thinking require similar mindsets. In this workshop we will explore the design thinking process and discover how and what improvisation techniques align nicely with this process. We will discuss what design thinking “asks” for, and look at which improvisation exercises help meet that demand. For example, designers frequently brainstorm. What improv exercises could be redefined as brainstorming? Designers are always looking for ways to use “divergent thinking” methods. What improv exercises promote divergent thinking? We’ll step through the lexicon of design thinking words and translate that to improve, applying games and techniques we already know as well as learning new ones. We’ll do this as a group, guided by the workshop facilitator, who is an expert in design-thinking and began his improv and design career at the same time.


Speakers
BC

Bryan Cooperrider

Bryan Cooperrider has decades of experience as a performing improviser and designer. He studied product design at Stanford University and started his improv career with the Stanford Improvisors at the same time. He has continued both – working as a professional designer and teaching... Read More →


Friday August 9, 2019 4:00pm - 5:00pm EDT
The Wang Center - Lecture Hall 2

4:00pm EDT

Life Unscripted: Challenging our patterns through improvisation
We become scripted very young in life, with patterns of neurocircuitry established within the first year of life. Attachment theory, neuroscience, and infant research show us that our earliest experiences can become lifelong patterns or scripts, coded in the pathways of our brains, determining the general way we respond to our environment. It’s difficult to learn new patterns, and our school systems tend to reify those that were laid down early in our life. We believe that people often sign up for an improvisation workshop looking to learn to do things differently – to experiment with “unscripting” what they’ve been practicing for years. While psychotherapies are invaluable in this regard, improvisation provides a unique opportunity for individuals to play with the boundaries of their script and to explore new ways of being. This workshop will provide participants with an introduction into the science of scripting and brain patterning in the first years of life. We will then engage in improvisation exercises aimed at helping all of us to consider how we might approach the task of learning to write a new script for our lives and ultimately to create a better world through the strength of rapport building and engagement.

Speakers
JK

Jeffrey Katzman

Jeffrey Katzman has presented on Applied Improvisation to multiple regional and national conferences, including the American Psychiatric Association annual meeting, the American Academy of Psychoanalysis and Dynamic Psychiatry, and multiple Psychiatry Department grand rounds presentations... Read More →


Friday August 9, 2019 4:00pm - 5:00pm EDT
The Wang Center - Room 201

4:00pm EDT

The Mindful Negotiator: Finding Meaning Through Play
In this highly interactive and reflective workshop, we seek to bring the world of Mindfulness/Mediation together with that of Applied Improvisation. What does it really mean to be "in the present moment”?  The overlap between the two is remarkable:  Notice Everything connects with mindful sensory awareness.  Make Your Partner Look Good is all about compassion and loving-kindness.  And Use Everything is about embracing abundance and making a difference in the world.
Through practical exercises we will explore these themes through both lenses, then discuss how the relate and also how they differ.  Is the Mindful Improviser doubly powerful?
Finally, how can Applied Improv help to not only teach business skills or help us have a good time, but also promote personal and spiritual growth?

Speakers
MY

Mark Young

Mark Young is an independent consultant, trainer, writer and lecturer in the field of mediation and negotiation skills training and analysis;  his company, Rational Games, Inc, (www.rationalgames.com) serves a variety of clients in the public and private sectors in the US, UK and Germany.  Mark’s business career has afforded him ample opportunities to do so, as he has served as a corporate lending officer at Chase Manhattan Bank, a strategic consultant at McKinsey & Company, a partner at Price... Read More →


Friday August 9, 2019 4:00pm - 5:00pm EDT
The Wang Center - Chapel

4:00pm EDT

Use Of Improv In Mental Health With Youth
In this workshop, Peter will review his dissertation research from the University of Michigan. This work includes data from hundreds of Detroit middle and high school students, linking participating in The Detroit Creativity Project’s improv program with reduced social anxiety, and increased self-efficacy and tolerance of uncertainty. It also includes data from experiments of hundreds of University of Michigan students participating in a brief improv or social interaction control exercise, linking improv with increased tolerance of uncertainty, affective well-being, and divergent thinking, depending on the tasks. 
Then, Stony Brook University Associate Professor of Psychology Dr. Matthew Lerner will review his work linking improv and drama to increased social competence in neurotypical and neurodiverse populations (adolescents with and without autism spectrum disorders). Like the first talk, Dr. Lerner’s presentation will include work from lab and community-based research. The two will also discuss future directions: follow up plans on the presented work, as well as in conjunction with The Alda Center (where Peter was recently appointed Postdoctoral Associate and Dr. Lerner is a Faculty Affiliate).

Speakers
PF

Peter Felsman

Peter Felsman is a social scientist, educator, therapist, musician, improviser, and recently completed his Ph.D. in Social Work and Psychology at the University of Michigan. He is interested in methods and mechanisms of mental health intervention and creativity. Over the past 5 years... Read More →
MD

Matthew D. Lerner, Ph.D.

Matthew D. Lerner, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Psychology Psychiatry, & Pediatrics in the Department of Psychology at Stony Brook University, where he directs the Social Competence and Treatment Lab. He is the founding Director and current Research Director of the Spotlight... Read More →


Friday August 9, 2019 4:00pm - 5:00pm EDT
The Wang Center - Lecture Hall 1

4:00pm EDT

What's So Bad About The Box
You’ve heard the common lament. “Our problem is we don’t think outside the box.” The assumption is the box is bad. True, small thinking and self-imposed barriers are bad. However, some parameters are inescapable. Identifying fixed vs. flexible parameters leads to greater success in strategic planning, sales, team development and more. Discovering the difference drives a more focused approach to overcoming challenges, more targeted investment of resources, and more likely alignment within the organization. This session equips you to lead clients through the arduous process of accepting the constraints they cannot change to find opportunities for truly innovative solutions. We’ll explore how to overcome the misperceptions surrounding applied improvisation and provide ways to help you make your case to the skeptics.
 

Speakers
MJ

Mary Jane Pories

For over 20 years, Mary Jane’s made her living using applied improvisation in organizations through her company, Fishladder Inc. National and international clients range from Fortune 500 to non-profits with the company receiving recognition as a Top Women Owned Business and designation as a Local First Good for Michigan business. Mary Jane is a Certified Practitioner in Applied Improvisation and captured her... Read More →


Friday August 9, 2019 4:00pm - 5:00pm EDT
The Wang Center - Room 101

5:15pm EDT

Dinner
Friday August 9, 2019 5:15pm - 6:45pm EDT
Student Activities Center Ballroom A

7:00pm EDT

Evening presentation with Alan Alda and Aretha Sills
Alda Center 10th Anniversary Event
2019 marks the 10th year the Alda Center has been applying improv to their work in science communication. Take a peek into the world of training scientists and health professionals, learn a little about how far the culture of sci-comm has come, and enjoy Alan Alda and Aretha Sills as they engage in the oldest form of improv there is: conversation! There will be games, stories, and more than a little fun. We hope to see you there!

Speakers
AS

Aretha Sills

Aretha Sills is a Los Angeles-based teacher of improvisational theater. The granddaughter of Viola Spolin, Aretha studied theater games for many years with her father, director Paul Sills (creator/director of The Second City and Story Theater). She has conducted workshops for Paul... Read More →
avatar for Alan Alda

Alan Alda

Alan Alda is a 6- Emmy and Golden Globe award-winnng actor, a director and screenwriter who was recently honored by Screen Actors Guild with a Lifetime Achievement Award. He is the author of several best-selling books, the most recent of which is If I Understood You, Would I Have... Read More →


Friday August 9, 2019 7:00pm - 8:30pm EDT
Student Activities Center - Auditorium
 
Saturday, August 10
 

7:30am EDT

Breakfast
Saturday August 10, 2019 7:30am - 8:30am EDT
The Wang Center-Zodiac Lobby

8:30am EDT

9:00am EDT

Morning Keynote with Raquell Holmes: Creating the Human Face of Science
In this keynote address, Dr. Raquell Holmes shares her activist journey to building community and humanizing the culture of science through improv, performance and play. 
What brings a Tufts and Harvard trained scientist of color to the world of improv? Why are hundreds of educators, researchers in science, technology, engineering and math turning to improv to make the next breakthrough? 
Science thrives when multiple opinions emerge, diverge and converge. Yet scientific institutions often fail to make passionate exchange possible, and science becomes monolithic, faceless.
As scientists learn to create playful ensembles, they learn to share their passion openly and to create a culture of curiosity with people from diverse backgrounds and perspectives. They create anew the human face of science.
Holmes will engage the audience in a discussion with actor-director Mia Anderson and physicist Carolyn Sealfon. Together they explore their different philosophies and approaches to the interweaving of improvisational performance and creativity to support science learning and communication.  




Speakers
CS

Carolyn Sealfon

Carolyn Sealfon has taught, or more, facilitated learning as physics faculty at the University of Toronto and West Chester University, as Associate Director of Science Education at Princeton University, at an inner-city high school in New Jersey, and in interactive workshops across... Read More →
DR

Dr. Raquell Holmes

Dr. Raquell Holmes is a computational cell biologist and a pioneer in using improvisational performance to build developmental science communities. After completing her Ph.D. at Tufts Biomedical School and her postdoc at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Holmes joined Boston University... Read More →
MY

Mia Y. Anderson

Mia Y. Anderson is an actress, director and writer, born and raised in the Republic of Brooklyn. As a resident of Boston, she founded, directed and produced the cabaret troupe Drag Kings, Sluts & Goddesses, which was profiled in the Boston Globe and other publications and was the... Read More →


Saturday August 10, 2019 9:00am - 10:30am EDT
The Wang Center - Theater

9:00am EDT

Applied lmprovisation for Better Health and Care (and Healthcare!): Panel Discussion
Hear from applied improvisation experts on teaching improvisation for healthcare,
applied improv techniques for caregivers, and ways to improve cognition, communication, and well-being for healthcare professionals.

Facilitated by Richard Krysztoforski, 2019 Program Chair of AIN, and an expert level medical patient.

Facilitator
avatar for Richard Krysztoforski

Richard Krysztoforski

Richard Krysztoforski, MA, is Program Chair of the 2019 AIN conference, a professional development expert and internationally trained improviser. He has studied and performed at Upright Citizens Brigade (NYC/LA), Magnet Theater (NYC), Reckless Theatre (NYC), IMPRO Amsterdam Festival... Read More →

Speakers
BB

Beth Boynton

Beth Boynton, RN, MS is the author of 3 books on communication in healthcare including the industry-first on Medical Improv. Her integration of improv into workshops has evolved with personal growth, persistent frequency of medical errors associated with communication failures, and observations in training... Read More →
BF

Belinda Fu

Belinda Fu, MD, (“theImprovDoc”) is a family physician, educator, and improviser. She is Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Washington/Swedish Family Medicine, and founder of The Mayutica Institute, an education/training organization. She regularly performs improv... Read More →
LH

Lisa Hurst

Lisa Hurst is an Experiential Educator and an Improv Facilitator. For more than a decade, she has been an active member of the Improv communities in San Antonio and Austin. As a facilitator she uses Applied Improv for team-building programs designed for a variety of corporate, community... Read More →
JV

Joel Veenstra

Joel Veenstra teaches improvisation, stage management, and collaborative production at the University of California, Irvine. He is active in the improvisation and applied improvisation world and serves on the Board of AIN and as the co-director of Global Improvisation Initiative... Read More →


Saturday August 10, 2019 9:00am - 10:30am EDT
The Wang Center - Lecture Hall 2

9:00am EDT

Arches Of Empathy: Building Bridges Through Playback Theater
Join Big Apple Playback Theatre (BAPT)  to experience empathy and understanding for ”The Other”  in the context of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion work.  BAPTis an improvisational multi- ethnic, multi-language theatre company in which the actors reenact audience members' life stories. We use theater and storytelling as a vehicle for dialogue, community building, leadership development, entertainment and social change.  By using true, personal stories, playback is able to allow participants to learn deep listening skills and physical empathy.  In the context of social justice, playback is a powerful way to challenge racial inequity and create understanding- taking participants from the thinking mind to the somatic body.  Participants in this workshop will be introduced to BAPT’s brand of experiential Equity Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) work offered to the community. Members of the workshop will experience the improvisational modality as well as experiment with playback’s theoretical framework with the goal of creating dialogue and building empathy.  This session will also allow participants to shift from the traditional book or lecture formats that are utilized to teach and learn, to structures that invoke deep thinking, sharing, feeling and exploring.  The use of Playback Theatre also creates a gateway for honest and authentic community dialogue around issues related to EDI, as well as Power, Privilege and Oppression.

Speakers
CW

Christine Witmer Powers

Christine Witmer Powers Is a theatre practitioner who received training from the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU, the Stella Adler Conservatory and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London. She received her MA in Performance Studies from NYU in 2004 and a certificate in International... Read More →
SR

Shawnee R. Benton, LMSW, FDLC

Shawnee R. Benton, LMSW, FDLC, is the Co-Artistic Director for Big Apple Playback Theater. She is an actor, vocalist, composer, poet, author and playwright who has incorporated music and the arts into every aspect of her 27 year career as a clinician, healer and activist. Ms. Benton-Gibson... Read More →


Saturday August 10, 2019 9:00am - 10:30am EDT
The Wang Center - Room 301

9:00am EDT

Grounded Assertiveness
Come reaffirm—and celebrate!—what it means to act boldly without being a bully, so we can better confront today’s challenges and create the world we want to live in. In this workshop, you will playfully explore the differences between acting Aggressively, Passively, Passive-Aggressively, and Assertively and ultimately practice what we call Grounded Assertiveness.  

We all have assumptions, often hidden, about how we must behave in the world. Applied Improvisation is perfectly suited to bring those assumptions to light, explore and create with them, understand how context impacts our ability and willingness to be assertive, and consciously decide which of our behaviors we want to reinforce and which to reshape.
Esther and Caitlin will mix theories like Eric Berne’s Transactional Analysis/Parent-Adult-Child model with some Johnstone activities, among others. By the end of this workshop you will have tools to help others better understand assertiveness, be able to articulate the difference between aggressiveness and assertiveness, and have developed more self-awareness around ways to be in the world (and the conference!) with a sense of Grounded Assertiveness.

Speakers
EK

Esther Knecht

Esther Knecht values personal growth and diversity. Today, as an independent consultant and coach, based in Zurich, Switzerland, Esther helps her clients with leadership, career and diversity challenges. She knows that leveraging the multiple perspectives of human diversity in global... Read More →
CM

Caitlin McClure

Caitlin McClure has been researching, studying, performing, directing and teaching improv and Applied Improv since 1995, her formative years spent at BATS Improv in San Francisco and with Keith Johnstone. She primarily applies improv in the business sector as a coach and consultant... Read More →


Saturday August 10, 2019 9:00am - 10:30am EDT
The Wang Center - Jasmine Room

9:00am EDT

Performance Coaching Groups: A Discovery in Development
Join us in building a Performance Coaching Group, a centerpiece of the leadership development programs Performance of a Lifetime is currently delivering to American Express, IBM, Pfizer, PWC among others. Drawing from the ensemble principles of improvisation, human development science and practical philosophy, Performance Coaching Groups engage participants in building creative environments in which everyone can grow. Come ready to play, build and experience the developmental power of improvisational performance.  


Speakers
MK

Maureen Kelly

Managing Partner, Performance of a Lifetime
Maureen Kelly As Performance of a Lifetime (POAL)’s managing partner, Maureen has led the company in a decade of extraordinary growth, both as a profitable business, and in the quality, sophistication, and variety of the programs we bring to our clients.As a consultant and coach... Read More →
SK

Sevanne Kassarjian

Principal, Performance of a Lifetime
Sevanne Kassarjian In her role as a Principal, Sevanne oversees several of Performance of a Lifetime's strategic client relationships, leads our team of design architects and is in high demand as a lead facilitator. She has led the global expansion of our performances coaches and... Read More →


Saturday August 10, 2019 9:00am - 10:30am EDT
The Wang Center - Room 201

9:00am EDT

Playing (with language): The Improvisational Joy Of Aging/dementia
Across the globe, improvisational play, performance, poetry, music and the arts are
challenging the stigma-inducing "tragedy narrative” of dementia – narratives too often caught up in the
“carer” and “cared for” paradigm. Play – even when it looks serious – can support everyone to develop
and create with the dementias in new and more positive ways.
Play helps challenge the concepts – self, memory, loss, decline, etc – that distort our view of what’s
possible for people, not only with dementia/Alzheimer’s, but anyone who is neuro-diverse. It can also
transform the way that language – ordinary ways we speak with each other (and assume an
understanding)– can get in the way of more intimately and creatively connecting.
In this experiential workshop, we will share tools and experiences from East Side Institute and Living
Words UK. These include improvisational games and performed conversation to exploring the creation of
environments to support everyone involved in the “dementia ensemble” to enjoy the “non-knowing
growing” possible when improvisational play is how we do everything in our lives.
We welcome everyone interested in using diagnosis as a starting point for creativity and who wants to
learn more about improvisation as a tool for navigating the aging or dementia experience.


Speakers
MF

Mary Fridley

Co-Facilitator
Mary Fridley is pro-bono Director of Special Projects at the East Side Institute (ESI), a workshop leader and designer, a playwright, theater director and non-profit fundraising consultant. She is trained as a social therapeutic practitioner, a post-modern humanistic and group-oriented therapeutic and education approach. Mary co-leads two popular workshop series, The... Read More →
SM

Susan Massad

Susan Massad is a retired physician with 51 years of practice and teaching in internal medicine. Susan was one of the early pioneers to bring the teaching of improvisation into her training of medical residents in the late 1990s. As a practitioner, working in both the poorest communities... Read More →
SH

Susanna Howard

Susanna Howard is a writer, actor and theatre maker who founded pioneering arts & literature charity Living Words, which runs residencies in care homes, using the  Listen Out Loud methodology to work one-to-one with people experiencing a dementia, plus care home staff and relatives... Read More →


Saturday August 10, 2019 9:00am - 10:30am EDT
The Wang Center - Room 101

9:00am EDT

Restaurant Improv: Collaborative Creativity and Enlightenment As Appetizer
Collaborative art, writing, or storytelling can unlock surprising truths, and show people they are more creative than they thought they were.  Unfortunately, most people aren’t aware that the creative world is for them, too.  In this workshop, we will explore activities that can be done after a group of friends has ordered at a restaurant and are waiting for their food.  Or when everyone is chilling in a living room and its time for the Next Thing to happen.  They are fun even for (especially for?) people who never thought of themselves as “creative.”
 
This workshop is aimed at people who want to do what I’m calling “Restaurant Improv” or “Social Nonsense” and also at people who want to incorporate these games into their current offerings. We will do some collaborative writing, art, and storytelling, and discuss tips for facilitating same. We’ll also laugh, feel satisfaction out of proportion to what we actually did, stumble on truths, and maybe wind up doing this again when we are sitting together at the gate in the airport!


Speakers
DS

Doug Shaw

Doug Shaw is a mathematics professor who has won many awards for his teaching. He’s been a systems engineer, street-busker, variety show performer, comedy troupe director, and elected member of the Cedar Falls school board. He’s facilitated workshops about teaching, mathematics... Read More →


Saturday August 10, 2019 9:00am - 10:30am EDT
The Wang Center - Chapel

9:00am EDT

Teaching Doctors To Give Hilariously Bad News
 Giving bad news is a common, but often anxiety provoking task for medical professionals,.  While tools and guides exist on how to navigate these conversations, these lack the practical and experiential learning needed to become proficient at these skills.  Approaches to teach trainees have focused on simulated patient scenarios, which are costly and time consuming, and often not generalizable to the diverse situations clinicians may encounter. To address this educational need, we developed an improvisational exercise for medical professionals and trainees on how to deliver bad news. In this workshop, we will demonstrate “Hilariously Bad News”, explain its development, and instruct participants in its facilitation.  The exercise is based on paired conversations where bad news is given; roles and the news itself are preassigned, but the form of the conversations themselves are improvised.  Differences in status, personal responsibility for the news, and relationship leads to diverse conversations that can be Though the roles and news scenarios are intentionally silly and non-medical, participants are encouraged to play their role authentically, and give thought to their character’s emotions.


Speakers
SK

Stephanie Kukora, MD

Stephanie Kukora, MD is a Clinical Lecturer in Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine and Bioethicist at the University of Michigan, where she conducts research on shared decision-making between physicians and parents around end-of-life decisions for critically ill infants.  She has been using... Read More →
BB

Brittany Batell, MPH, MSW

Brittany Batell, MPH, MSW, is the Program and Engagement Manager at the Michigan Organization on Adolescent Sexual Health (MOASH). She currently serves as a medical improv facilitator and research assistant at the University of Michigan. Through innovative practice methods and empathic... Read More →
BJ

Brian J. Zikmund-Fisher, PhD

Brian J. Zikmund-Fisher, PhD, is a faculty member in the University of Michigan School of Public Health and a researcher and instructor in the fields of health communication and medical decision making. He has taught graduate courses on health communication skill building for the... Read More →


Saturday August 10, 2019 9:00am - 10:30am EDT
The Wang Center - Room 102

9:00am EDT

Using Keynote Speeches to Build Business Success
This session will show you how to  structure and sell a keynote speech that can greatly add to your business success. If Applied Improv were an implement, it would be a Swiss Army knife- lots of applications, lots of tools, lots of combinations, easy to carry around. One of the tools would be a “Keynote Speech.” “Keynote” is a broad term that usually refers to a speech/program that is part of a conference or multi-session event and is delivered to the entire group. Also referred to as a “plenary session,” it is different than a “breakout session.” I gave my first keynote in 1991 and it has been the foundation for my business ever since. My guess is that 90% of my business – keynotes, workshops, facilitation, writing- can be traced to a keynote.Benefits of keynotes include:Length is usually 90 minutes or lessThey are story-driven so are relevant to the audienceFunction as showcase for your ability and presentation skillsThey pay well. In this workshop you will learn  the 5 key components of a keynote speech, recognize self-limiting beliefs regarding keynote development, and identify a target market for one of your keynotes. Come with questions and ideas! 

Speakers
IG

Izzy Gesell, CSP

Izzy Gesell, CSP  has delivered more than 250 keynotes. His 1997  book "Playing Along: Group learning Activities Borrowed from Improv Theater" was an early Applied Improv book for business.


Saturday August 10, 2019 9:00am - 10:30am EDT
The Wang Center - Lecture Hall 1

10:30am EDT

Break
Saturday August 10, 2019 10:30am - 10:45am EDT
The Wang Center-Zodiac Lobby

10:45am EDT

AINx Talks
  • The Incredibly Exciting History Of Improvisation As A Tool For Social Change - Jeanne Lambin
A rollicking romp through the oft-overlooked the history of improvisation as a tool for social change. We will cartwheel through centuries, dance through decades, yawp through the years, and ponder how a better understanding of this facet of improvisations past can help us change our collective future.

  • Inclusive Leadership: Status, Power, and Bureaucracy - Brad Fortier
    How can the leaders of large organizations collaborate on transforming towards a more inclusive culture? What can be done to shift the perspective of people who are "privileged"? Where do the tools of improv and theater fit in transforming  culture? This talk explores these questions and provides insight from the lens of an ongoing effort in Oregon state government.

  • ACTing Resilient: Aware. Commit. Take ACTION. - Mary Curtis
    This AIN talk focuses on:
    1. Defining Resilience---emotional, physical, mental, social needs
    2. Acceptance of true-self
    3. Practical daily-activities to develop resilience
    4. Blocks to resilience
    5. Personal strength-based assets to develop resilience
    6. Willingness--are you willing to do what it takes to achieve what you want to achieve--emotional and physical resilience.
  • A.I.: Just a good time? Or truly transformative? - Ella Gabriele Amann and Roland Trescher
We are in the middle of a big paradigm shift. Drivers include the digital revolution, agile methods, the need for self organization, and the need for a life long learning culture. These all create the necessity of a new mindset. This is where applied improv becomes more and more important as a transformative approach for training, coaching and consulting. We will share how the improv live! Train the Trainer program has evolved over the last decade to address the changing needs in the marketplace. We will cover what changes are coming in the world of work and how we need to adapt our applied improvisation training to meet these changes. We will give insights on how we use applied improvisation in business development, therapy and  work. We will show our latest innovation of how we use applied improvisation, in combination with personality assessments, to increase the value and impact for organizations, teams and individuals so A.I. is both a good time & truly transformative.

  • Co-creating adaptive futures within complexity and change - Johanna de Ruyter and Jules Livingstone
We are a playback theatre and corporate improvisation expert and an organisational change management and strategy specialist, one all emotion, story and movement the other all structure, analysis and plans. We were bought together through our deep appreciation of Improvisation, change processes and self-development - combining our skillsets to create a common approach.
In this case study, we worked with an international creative business finding itself at a crossroads in its 27th year. The client needed a new strategic direction, an updated energy and purpose and concrete steps to move into this new phase.  We applied a model for solving complex problems in new ways – Learn Change Adapt - which uses change management methods, alloyed with an improvisation mindset.

We share and explore:
· How can applied improv be deployed within a program for managing change and creating a new strategic direction ?
· What synergies emerge when an improv person combines talents with a corporate strategist and change manager ?
· What special outcomes resulted from this kind of collaboration ?
· What personal mindset and behavioural practices fostered our collaboration’s success?
· How did we generate them ?
· What roles and dynamics enabled us each to leverage the best from our working partner across the stages of program design, client facilitation and the final recommendations and plan?

Speakers
JL

Jeanne Lambin

Vice-President AIN Board
Jeanne Lambin of Lamb Ink has performed, presented, and conducted workshops and training in the US, Europe, and Asia, exploring how improv and storytelling can help us create better places to live, work, and play. She has spent much of her career in heritage conservation, helping people to rescue things... Read More →
BF

Brad Fortier

Brad Fortier is the creator of "Spontaneous Village" and authored Long-Form Improvisation: Collaboration, Comedy, Communion and A Culture of Play: Essays on the Origins, Effects, and Alplications of Improvised Theatre. He has also performed, taught, and directed improv across the... Read More →
MC

Mary Curtis

Mary Curtis is a speaker, coach and change agent who is passionate about developing people and organizations. As a facilitator and coach she strives to empower individuals and teams to reach their true potential.   My approach involves developing personal mastery, emotional intelligence, and... Read More →
EG

Ella Gabriele Amann

Ella Gabriele Amann has 25 years experience in theatre improvisation for more than 25 years and has been living what can now be called an agile, self-determined and adaptive working life. As a method developer and specialist author, I’ve created innovative education programs and... Read More →
RT

Roland Trescher

Roland Trescher has 25 years working with improvisation - in life, on stage, in the business world. Early on, I recognized that improvisational theater is a playground where we can test, develop and change ourselves with humor and ease. Applied improvisation is for me a mindset with many applica... Read More →
JL

Jules Livingstone

Jules Livingstone has a 25 year career in consultancy, designing and executing high level strategy and implementation plans for change, transformation and integration programs. Specializing in large scale, international and geographically diverse projects requiring change across... Read More →
JD

Johanna de Ruyter

Johanna de Ruyter has collaborated on various award-winning improv based theatre projects both nationally and internationally. She is a long-term company/ensemble member (27years) of Playback Theatre Sydney and she facilitates Leadership Presence programs for business communication... Read More →


Saturday August 10, 2019 10:45am - 11:30am EDT
The Wang Center - Theater

10:45am EDT

AgArts: Creating A Healthier Food System Through Science and Art
Food is art, and art feeds the soul. Participants will learn about healthy eating and the value of creative expression and interpretation through hands-on experiences, including the interactive “The Three Sisters” activity, seed ID, creative drama, miming, and storytelling. AgArts uses an interdisciplinary approach, which blends science and art to provide learning about food and farming. By using storytelling, visual, and performance art, participants will connect with one another and have a better understanding of how we can eat the colors of the rainbow and begin to support local farmers and efforts to have a healthier food system.  We’ll engage. We’ll discuss. We’ll ask questions. Through AgArts, we will have more conscientious, creative human beings, mindful of the Earth’s beauty.


Speakers
TB

Tina Bakehouse

Tina Bakehouse was a communication and theatre educator for nearly 20 years, including 10 years at Creighton University teaching in the Communication Studies Department and coaching students in the Communication Center. A former board member for the Wilson Performing Arts Center... Read More →


Saturday August 10, 2019 10:45am - 11:30am EDT
The Wang Center - Room 301

10:45am EDT

Applied Humor: Communication, Education, Innovation
The first half of this workshop will deliver content and the second half will be interactive.  We will begin with an overview of humor research and show how humor can be most effectively applied to STEM education by using a framework of cognitive load theory.  We then show how Deliberate Innovation (including behavioral economics and social psychology) can be leveraged to extend this framework and apply improvisation and storytelling to improve technical communication.   Finally we present a general methodology based on simulation which allows new improv games to be developed in the service of innovation.  

The workshop will then shift into an interactive mode where we will demonstrate, with participant involvement, new structures and games based on this work. We will explain how these structures were designed, and illustrate how to create other games that leverage the same techniques. The overall objective is to provide tools to participants who want to become more comfortable with applied improv methods to generate effective humor in a STEM context.


Speakers
LL

Lew Lefton

Lew Lefton is a member of the mathematics faculty at Georgia Tech, and his responsibilities include being Assistant Dean of Information Technology and Associate Vice President of Research Computing. But Lefton is not your ordinary geek. He's also an accomplished and experienced comedian... Read More →
PL

Pete Ludovice

Pete Ludovice is an Associate Professor of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering by day, and a stand-up comedian by night. His research interests include the application of humor and improvisation to enhance technical education, communication, and innovation. He co-directs the Humor... Read More →


Saturday August 10, 2019 10:45am - 11:30am EDT
The Wang Center - Lecture Hall 1

10:45am EDT

Improvisation techniques Bring Rigor, Readiness and Fun to Your ESL Classroom
This workshop offers valuable applied improvisation activities that have proven successful in getting English Language Learners (ELLs) to interact, collaborate, and to improve pronunciation, listening, and speaking skills. A short 3 minute video features ELLs actively engaged in improvisation activities. A brief Powerpoint shows the history and rationale of using applied improvisation with ELLs at any age level. A list of games used effectively with ELLs will be provided, and workshop participants will collaborate and collectively add any improv activities that they have successfully utilized in English as a Second (ESL) classrooms. Some improvisational activities that are valuable for any ESL Classroom will be briefly modeled.
Participants will leave with the rationale, ties to common ESL state standards, research, and tools to use innovative improv techniques in ESL classrooms to develop students with with confident communication and collaboration skills.
Come discover the improvisation skill set that directly supports ELLS, and in turn discover the joy, confidence and transformation that applied improvisation brings to students.


.




Speakers
LH

Linda Hargrove

Linda Hargrove has over 20 years teaching ESL, in both  a K- 6 and at the adult level in the Los Angeles area. She has first hand knowledge of learning a second language as she utilized the ‘sink or swim method’  when she was sent to rural Thailand in high school as an AFS exchange... Read More →


Saturday August 10, 2019 10:45am - 11:30am EDT
The Wang Center - Jasmine Room

10:45am EDT

Strengths, Synergy and Semi-Spontaneous Songs
Even people with no background in particular creative areas can get substantial results quickly if they have the right support. And as magical as music and songwriting often seem to be, even they can be doable by anyone. Participants will go through a facilitated songwriting process in which Appreciative Inquiry (another well-known “AI”) guides them in co-creating from scratch the music and lyrics for an original song, even if they have no experience as musicians or songwriters. Living between improv and writing, the process lowers creativity pressure compared to true in-the- moment improv, providing novices with a valuable incremental step toward improv in general, and specifically toward musical improv which can seem even more daunting. We’ll discuss the benefits of integrating structure and spontaneity in creative work, resonances between basic improv principles and Appreciative Inquiry’s strengths-based approach, possibilities for using this and similar processes to enhance team collaboration and connection through creative pursuits that might otherwise seem out of reach, and the value of such creative work for businesses, organizations, support groups, and any group that perceives itself as having a shared identity. Come ready to feel, think, create, collaborate and sing!

Speakers
MS

Mark S. Meritt

Mark S. Meritt has been a performer and writer since childhood. Through Songs By You, he uses his original facilitated songwriting process to help people create music and lyrics, whether or not they have experience as musicians or songwriters. As Musical Director of the Mopco Improv... Read More →


Saturday August 10, 2019 10:45am - 11:30am EDT
The Wang Center - Chapel

10:45am EDT

Using Medical Improv to Promote Dignity in Healthcare
In an ideal world, dignity would be a fundamental element of all relationships.  In healthcare this would show up as respect between professionals and patients/families and among doctors, nurses, and others who work in the field.  Yet, treating others with dignity is too easily lost in the high stakes high stress work of healthcare professionals where relentless medical tests, urgent clinical interventions, chronic and inadequate staffing, constant interruptions, burnout, and frustrating administrative bureaucracies predominate.  
The irony is that care will be better and careers more rewarding when people feel respected. Yet how can we impact busy healthcare professionals in a cost-effective and efficient way? The answer, APPLIED IMPROV!
Applied improv professionals who understand the unique challenges and interpersonal dynamics in healthcare cultures will be better prepared to use their expertise to promote dignity in professional and therapeutic relationships. In this workshop join, Beth Boynton, RN, MS as we explore common barriers to healthy relationships and their impact on outcomes such as patient experience, patient safety, and workforce health.  We will practice an adapted status activity called “Dignity Exchange” that can be taught in 10 minutes or less, used with groups of various sizes to promote dignity, and easily integrated into a variety of common training topics such as;  teamwork, leadership, diversity, communication and emotional intelligence. We will tie everything together with facilitated discussion, brainstorming, and Q & A.  Since healthcare intersects with just about every face on the human diversity spectrum, the rippling effect of applied improvisors infusing dignity into work with medical and nursing professionals could be profound! 

Speakers
BB

Beth Boynton

Beth Boynton, RN, MS is the author of 3 books on communication in healthcare including the industry-first on Medical Improv. Her integration of improv into workshops has evolved with personal growth, persistent frequency of medical errors associated with communication failures, and observations in training... Read More →


Saturday August 10, 2019 10:45am - 11:30am EDT
The Wang Center - Room 102

10:45am EDT

Workshop: It’s All In The Debrief (Not the Games)
The facilitator's role is to help clients to do their best critical thinking. It occurs when facilitators create an environment that promotes engagement, understanding of other points of view, and shared responsibility. As Applied Improvisation facilitators, we often rely on improv games as the most important tools in our toolbox. In this workshop, Ed Reggi examines the most neglected tool in our toolbox the, "debrief." Reggi shares and evaluates different debriefing strategies and his best practices. Moreover, workshop participants practice the skills of a successful debrief.


Speakers
ER

Ed Reggi

AIN Board Member
Ed Reggi is a lifelong storyteller who has the stories to prove it. Growing up in the Big Apple, he first honed his acting by sneaking into NBC studios. He later studied at Chicago’s historic The Second City which led him to work with Paul Sills. While performing as a corporate... Read More →


Saturday August 10, 2019 10:45am - 11:30am EDT
The Wang Center - Room 201

10:45am EDT

Assessing Applied Improvisation Across Fields: Panel Discussion
Anecdotal evidence suggests that the strategies of Applied Improvisation have been adopted by and have benefitted many fields outside the performing arts and the theatre, such as, Teaching, Law, Medicine, Psychology, Communication etc. How is improv being used in these different contexts? And how are the impacts actually being measured? The Alda Center for Communicating Science® has assembled a five member (plus one moderator) moderated panel discussion to bring together individuals representing several each of the sectors mentioned above to share their experiences, perspectives and good practices around using improv in their respective fields. Specifically, the discussion will focus on models, practice, and research in the assessment of applied improv across fields/sectors.


Speakers
DN

Dr. Nicole J. Leavey

Moderator
Moderator: Dr. Nicole J. Leavey is a Message Design Instructor at the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science. She holds a Ph.D. in Technology, Policy and Innovation from Stony Brook University, College of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Her research interests focus on public... Read More →


Saturday August 10, 2019 10:45am - 12:15pm EDT
The Wang Center - Lecture Hall 2

10:45am EDT

Improv & Inclusive Collaboration
Despite improv’s guiding principle yes, and, which is predicated on positive reinforcement, novice improv scenes sometimes take a dark turn towards comedy that alienates audiences and performers alike. In an improv environment, students are encouraged to think extemporaneously. Therefore, it is not uncommon for a student to reveal a bias or broach a transgressive topic in a moment of decreased censorship. While these instances may derail an improv scene, they provide an opportunity for students to converse about inclusivity and social etiquette, and ultimately foster a respect for diversity. In this applied improv workshop students will participate in activities which sharpen their inductive reasoning, refine their capacity to contextualize information, and enhance their ability to build relationships through improv exercises and peer-to-peer dialogue. Participants will leave with a more nuanced understanding of teamwork and one-on-one social interactions in an increasingly diverse world.
 

Speakers
TF

Tavish Forsyth

Tavish Forsyth works for Johns Hopkins University in the Center for Leadership Education where he regularly presents applied improv material to various schools and departments, while offering beginner and advanced level undergraduate courses titled "Improvisational Techniques for... Read More →


Saturday August 10, 2019 10:45am - 12:15pm EDT
The Wang Center - Room 101

11:45am EDT

AINx talks
  • Brains, Bodies and Becoming: There's More to the Science of Improv Than You Think - Cathy Salit
Part of the journey for us as Applied Improvisers is to explore the breadth of scientific thinking and research that both informs and is informed by our collective practice. Brain research is part of that exciting exploration; as well as a developing science in psychology, sometimes called the psychology of becoming and performative psychology. This talk (or workshop) will discuss the significance (and imperative) of our emerging field of Applied Improvisation to expand our current understanding of what play, improv and performance means/is for the human sciences, and therefore give us new ways/paradigms to think about, understand, and practice our collective humanity.

  • A(pplied) I(mprov) With A(rtifical) I(ntelligence) - Andrew Tarvin
Through Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning, computers are becoming increasingly more "creative." What role will humans play when machines can edit videos, bots can write scripts, and the best jokes are written not by comedians, but by computers? The reality is that many of these skills are already here. This presentation will explore creativity in the future and will be co-created by machines, delivered by a human.

  • A New V.U.C.A.: Be Positive, Be PreparedWhat is V.U.C.A? - Victoria Hogg
The recently-popular business acronym, V.U.C.A., invites all manner of organisations to be mindful of specific business-world pinch points. Coined by the US army in the 1980s, V.U.C.A. this sensible term stands for Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity. This is so negative, however, that it can stop people from using such a scaffolding to their advantage. So what happens when we put the term through a more positive, improvisational filter? I’ve created: Versatility, Uniqueness, Clarity and Commitment and Accept and Build, as a similarly robust yet more positive template. When used through an improv comedy prism, can this acronym help navigate contemporary cultural issues, such as anxiety and depression, to create a more fully-formed, long-lasting resilience?

  • Just Let Go' - Improvisation, Platitudes, and Burnout - Angelina Castellini
‘Be present’, ‘follow the fear’, ‘just let go’ — these are some of the most common phrases you will hear spoken in an Applied Improvisation workshop. But are they actually having the effect of freeing our participants’ minds and helping them become happier and healthier humans?

As Applied Improvisation facilitators, we strive to make sure that we are giving our students helpful tools and a safe environment to practice with them. However, this is easier said than done. Especially when we try to distill decades of wisdom into a half-day long workshop. Despite our best intentions, we sometimes miss the contextual mark and end up transferring perceived coffee mug wisdom and fridge magnet mantras. This miscommunication can make some people feel disengaged, frustrated, and unable to connect with our practices.
Through the lens of her own Burnout and recovery experience, Angelina explores how we can listen, acknowledge, and effectively build on our students’ complex needs rather than trying to make them fit into the mold of an idealised improviser.
Bottom line, in the words of Alan Alda: “Words can introduce you to an idea, but we think it takes an experience to transform you.”


Speakers
AT

Andrew Tarvin

Andrew Tarvin is the world’s first Humor Engineer teaching people how to get better results while having more fun. He has worked with 35,000+ people at 250+ organizations, including Microsoft, the FBI, and the International Association of Canine Professionals. He is a best-selling... Read More →
VH

Victoria Hogg

Vic Hogg is a London-based applied improvisation MA (Goldsmiths College, UoL). She works in various realms, including corporate, socially engaged and plain comedy improvisation. The twin principles of safe space and permission to play create the bedrock of Victoria’s improv pra... Read More →
CS

Cathy Salit

Cathy Salit is an author, speaker, CEO, executive coach, actress, singer, and comic improv performer. She began her career asan upstart and risk-taker at age 13, when she dropped out of eighth grade and started an alternative school in an abandoned storefront in New York City. Since... Read More →
AC

Angelina Castellini

Angelina Castellini began teaching improvisation in 2010 at the London School of Economics (LSE), where she obtained her BSc International Relations. In 2012, she co-founded the LSE Language Centre’s English through Improv course and now co-authors a guide on Improvisation for Language... Read More →


Saturday August 10, 2019 11:45am - 12:30pm EDT
The Wang Center - Theater

11:45am EDT

Bringing Left and Right Together Through AI
We are divided in the US and around the world into camps of "the left" and "the right". If the right could just convince the left with cold hard facts and a cogent arguments, they would certainly change their minds. If the left could convince the right that what they are doing is "wrong", then certainly they would abandon their positions and agree with the left on a way forward. The problem with this mentality is that compromise is rarely reached. This session explores this divide with a number of exercises. Then, we will explore some ways, through applied improvisation, to connect with and understand each side of these positions.

Speakers
BD

Brent Darnell

Brent Darnell is a playwright, author, actor, improviser, and Dramatists Guild member. He is also a pioneer in bringing emotional intelligence to the construction industry and has taught people skills to technical people at 100 different companies in 20 different countries. He also... Read More →


Saturday August 10, 2019 11:45am - 12:30pm EDT
The Wang Center - Room 102

11:45am EDT

Empathy Exercises To Rethink Communication Barriers And Advocacy

The workshop is the brainchild of Jennifer Strouf, a practicing attorney, who saw a need to inspire lawyers to find new ways to advocate for client?s who had difficulty following laws and court orders due to illiteracy, language barriers, learning disabilities, transportation issues, and homelessness. In general, communication and socioeconomic barriers affect an individual?s ability to participate in society: enroll in school, complete a rental or job application, register to vote, complete probation, follow medical directions, seek help, etc. 

This workshop utilizes interactive exercise to simulate barriers to success. By experiencing the frustration of failure participants can gain insight into and empathy for those with barriers to success. After the exercised participants will process the exercise and brainstorm methods that could overcome communication barriers. Finally, participant will discuss how to advocate for underserved populations who are vulnerable to communication barriers.

Note: this workshop is for all humans; no legal experience necessary.




Speakers
JS

Jennifer Strouf

Jennifer Strouf is a practicing trial attorney and owns her own law firm, Strouf Law Firm P.A. (www.strouflaw.com). As an attorney and improviser, she created Improv4Lawyers P.A. (www.improv4lawyers.com), a legal consulting firm that offers trial coaching, bar tutoring, and continuing legal education courses all with an improv spin. Jennifer has written several articles and taught seminars about the use of applied improv in legal practice. She has presented to organizations including the Am... Read More →


Saturday August 10, 2019 11:45am - 12:30pm EDT
The Wang Center - Jasmine Room

11:45am EDT

Growing in Leadership Using Dance/Movement Improvisation
Leadership demands a strong vision and the ability to clearly communicate it to others. A team responds best when it is nurtured, encouraged, and empowered. As a team takes ownership of the leader’s vision, the leader then must open to the joint creative unfolding of the process. In this dance/movement session, we begin with deepening your self-awareness and connection to your physical, emotional self in order to stand in your own strong vision. We’ll learn to reflect and amplify one another’s initiatives. We’ll further explore the nuances of leadership and co-creating as well as the subtle art of holding onto your own direction while allowing yourself to respond and be influenced by others
  • Amplify your body confidence and full expression by connecting deeply with your physical self.
  • Learn how to lead, follow and authentically interact with others while keeping a sense of true self-expression.
  • Through group discussion, discover how to incorporate these somatic learnings into your relationships at work and home.

Speakers
LU

Linda Ugelow

Linda Ugelow has been a performer for most of her life and using her experience in expressive therapy and improvisational movement arts, helps experts, authors and workplace professionals overcome the anxiety of being seen, so they can communicate with ease and confidence on stage... Read More →


Saturday August 10, 2019 11:45am - 12:30pm EDT
The Wang Center - Chapel

11:45am EDT

Improv In A Dysfunctional Democracy
A volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) world - that best describes what it’s like to live in the Philippines. Under a government that does not value human rights and due process, what is the role of improvisation in helping citizens survice? The “Improv in a Dysfunctional Democracy” workshop lets participants explore and experience key concepts and principles that Third World Improv Inc. teaches in the thriving improv community in the Philippines.



Speakers
GM

Gabe Mercado

AIN Board Member
Gabe Mercado has been an improviser for 18 years and a trainer for over 20 years working with clients in corporate, the academe as well as government and non government organizations. He is the president of Third World Improv, the leading improv school in Asia and is the producer... Read More →


Saturday August 10, 2019 11:45am - 12:30pm EDT
The Wang Center - Room 301

11:45am EDT

Logical Empathy // Empathetical Logic
Emotional connection, the ability to sense and understand one another, and mental agility, are essential to effective communication especially in today's often intense and demanding social environments. There are remarkable tools for fine-tuning these skills available through Applied Improvisation, which build upon our existing toolkit. This workshop will explore the intersection of head and heart (logic and empathy) to reduce confusion, friction, misunderstanding, and promote empathy and understanding.

Attendees will:
Understand the intersection of empathy and logic in communicating their ideas and information to others
Learn techniques that strengthen the capacity to see and hear others more clearly
Learn techniques that enhance understanding between people and can be deployed in practice with clients and students


Speakers
avatar for Richard Krysztoforski

Richard Krysztoforski

Richard Krysztoforski, MA, is Program Chair of the 2019 AIN conference, a professional development expert and internationally trained improviser. He has studied and performed at Upright Citizens Brigade (NYC/LA), Magnet Theater (NYC), Reckless Theatre (NYC), IMPRO Amsterdam Festival... Read More →


Saturday August 10, 2019 11:45am - 12:30pm EDT
The Wang Center - Room 201

11:45am EDT

Medical Interprofessional Team Building and Communication
How can different doctors, nurses, pharmacists, social workers, staff, and medical technicians all work together to make people healthier and safer? How can older hierarchies and obsolete traditions be replaced with new kinds of working relationships in medicine? This session will share our experience of using Applied Improv in training second year medical students at The University of Texas Dell Medical School’s within the school's interprofessional integration curriculum. We use improvisation exercises during clinical clerkship intersessions to enable medical students to experientially explore and debrief clerkship experiences through the lenses of interprofessional collaboration, patient safety, and quality improvement. We used improv to better the interprofessional collaborative practice as a means to achieve the Triple Aim (Improving the patient care experience; Improving health of population; and Reducing the cost of health care). Improvisational exercises provide highly interactive and fun transformational experiences that focus on being in the present, making connections, and blending various communication approaches for diverse audiences. Through improvisation, learners gain useful techniques to create open and flexible connections with teams and patients. Moreover, learners integrate and blend verbal, physical, and emotional cues to increase collaborations and to diffuse tension in diverse groups.

Speakers
DR

Dr. Rob Milman

Dr. Rob Milman served as a private practice radiologist for over 25 years and is a former partner with the Austin Radiological Association in Austin, Texas. In addition to being an affiliate at the UT Austin Center for Health Communication, Dr. Milman is an Assistant Dean of Academic... Read More →
SM

Shana Merlin

Shana Merlin is an award-winning, nationally touring trainer, improviser, and performer. Some of her clients have included Baylor Scott&White Health, Austin Regional Clinic, Methodist Medical Center, and ChristusHealth. In addition to being an affiliate at the Center for Health Communication... Read More →


Saturday August 10, 2019 11:45am - 12:30pm EDT
The Wang Center - Lecture Hall 1

12:30pm EDT

Lunch - BLUE TICKET
Saturday August 10, 2019 12:30pm - 2:00pm EDT
The Wang Center-Zodiac Lobby

12:30pm EDT

Lunch - RED TICKET
Saturday August 10, 2019 12:30pm - 2:00pm EDT
The Hilton Garden Inn

2:00pm EDT

Improvising Democracy: What's Next?
In the past decade, many improv-based programs seeking to bridge differences between citizens have emerged around the world. Among many examples, from New York to the Netherlands, improvisation is increasingly being used to build relationships between police and civilians, through a recognition that this type of intervention trains people to listen to and learn from one another in a way that promotes empathy and understanding. Building on these and other stunning cases, and drawing insights from my forthcoming book, Improv for Democracy: How to Bridge Differences and Develop the Communication and Leadership Skills Our World Needs, this workshop explores the role of improvisation in inspiring and advancing democracy. At a time when our social and political systems most need answers to the civic crises enveloping the planet, each step of the way, we’ll ask: what should we and others be doing next? This highly interactive workshop will: a) introduce participants to core and emerging concepts from improvisation that apply to democratic work, and b) use our time together as a learning exchange and opportunity to co-create new activities and applications between improv-based methods and democracy-building work at individual, organizational, and societal levels.


Speakers
DW

Don Waisanen

Don Waisanen is an Associate Professor in the Baruch College, CUNY Marxe School of Public and International Affairs, where he teaches courses and workshops in public communication—including seminars on leadership, storytelling, and improvisation. Previously, Don worked in broadcast... Read More →


Saturday August 10, 2019 2:00pm - 2:45pm EDT
The Wang Center - Room 102

2:00pm EDT

Inclusion and Diversity: Creating A Framework For Conversations
Over the last few years, AIN has been working to bolster its commitment to diversity and inclusion, reflecting on how our gatherings (e.g. at conferences) and connections support an inclusive international community that embraces explorations of difference as a key value.  Following the Oxford conference in 2016, members of the AIN Board established the AIN Diversity & Inclusion Team to help generate new ideas and practices that could foster a more diverse, inclusive, welcoming, and supportive international community. This team has been exploring related questions: Does the mission and purpose of AIN include principles of inclusion and equity? Do members know what is expected of them as it relates to helping create and reinforce an inclusive atmosphere? Do members feel empowered to show up authentically and make meaningful contributions to the community and organization? Should AIN provide opportunities and resources that encourage the development of inclusive Applied Improvisation practice (e.g. supporting members’ development)? We invite session participants to join us in conversation about these and related questions.
The AIN Diversity & Inclusion Team has drafted documents in support of these efforts, including: clarifying terms and definitions, articulating guiding values and principles, and identifying affirming statements and practices that reinforce a collective commitment to diversity and inclusion.  Committee members will share, review and discuss these documents with session participants--in the spirit of inviting ideas on the initiatives and priorities that should guide AIN’s efforts in the coming years. We are eager to involve others in these efforts, as we’re committed to sharing responsibility for building and sustaining an inclusive climate within AIN.

Speakers
JL

Jeanne Lambin

Vice-President AIN Board
Jeanne Lambin of Lamb Ink has performed, presented, and conducted workshops and training in the US, Europe, and Asia, exploring how improv and storytelling can help us create better places to live, work, and play. She has spent much of her career in heritage conservation, helping people to rescue things... Read More →
CE

Chris Esparza

Chris Esparza is the Director for Diversity, Inclusion, and Leadership Development at the University of Oregon’s School of Law (U.S.A.). His interests include infusing principles of applied improvisation into leadership development, relational and group dynamics, and cultural humility... Read More →


Saturday August 10, 2019 2:00pm - 2:45pm EDT
The Wang Center - Lecture Hall 2

2:00pm EDT

Non-verbal Strategies Enhance Relationships More Than You Think
As a component of Applied Improvisation, non-verbal communication has universal applications. To be effective non-verbal communicators, we need to allow ourselves to rethink our conventional patterns of communication and behavior, take mild risks, learn alternatives, and work on our self-awareness. Often, non-verbal communication is underutilized in our emotional (reactive), communication (verbal), and cognitive (thinking) problem solving. Yet, learning more non-verbal communication strategies can provide better balance in our personal development. For example, parents and teachers tend to talk too much when problem solving and when in stressful situations with children and adolescents. Often, adults miss numerous opportunities to be more effective, have more fun, and prevent power struggles and behavior problems by talking less and replacing or supporting their words with non-verbals. This workshop helps participants gain awareness of their difficulties with non-verbal communication and examines its many dimensions – space, time, movement, visual, sensory-based activities, and props – everything that is part of improvisation, that we can develop in ourselves to become better communicators.  Participants will learn techniques from positive behavior shaping and Structured Teaching, and they will gain knowledge from evidence-based resources about improving interaction by enhancing non-verbal skills. They will examine and practice applications for parenting, interpersonal relationships, and work relationships. This will include strategies for creating more inclusive opportunities for individuals and groups – young and old – who may be overlooked, under-valued, or misunderstood when their communication is different from ours or more limited.

Speakers
CF

Catherine Faith Kappenberg, PhD., LCSW

Catherine Faith Kappenberg, PhD., LCSW has been a college professor, administrator, psychotherapist, and special education consultant for over 30 years. She is co-founder of Westbrook Preparatory School, Resource Specialist at Long Island University’s Family and Community Engagement... Read More →


Saturday August 10, 2019 2:00pm - 2:45pm EDT
The Wang Center - Room 101

2:00pm EDT

Relating To Scientists and Engineers Effectively
Communicating to technical audiences presents a unique form of challenges and even some skeptical responses from attendees.  How do we, as facilitators, get our more left brain audiences to embrace applied improv? Learn how to win over technical audiences and have them effectively apply learning objectives from someone who discovered Applied Improv as an Engineer and has presented in primarily technical settings to Engineers and Scientists. Some of the takeaways will be:
-How to quickly create an effective atmosphere for instruction
-Techniques on how to apply workshop objectives to participants in technical fields
-Real life examples of how presentations to large technical audiences have been successful


Speakers
AI

Amber Iraeta

Amber Iraeta is a mechanical engineer by profession and fell into applied improvisation when she realized that her improv classes helped improve her ability to communicate more effectively at work.  She holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and currently... Read More →


Saturday August 10, 2019 2:00pm - 2:45pm EDT
The Wang Center - Lecture Hall 1

2:00pm EDT

Senior Moments: The Perceived Influences of Improvisational Acting Classes on Senior Adults
Despite increased research and awareness of the influences of creative aging activities (i.e., weekly training/practice of art work with senior adults), a lack of investigation has focused on improvisation regarding older adults. This workshop will discuss research conducted through hermeneutic inquiry, in which participants described and reflected on the meaning they place on their improv experiences.  This research contributes to the existing literature on senior adult play in the form of improvisational acting within the context of creative aging. Furthermore, the findings provide information for positive social change by increasing awareness of applied improvisation within a senior adult community.
Teaching artist, improv consultant, and researcher, Ruth Yamamoto, reviews her findings from her recent phenomenological study. In the first part of the session, Ruth will present the problem statement, purpose statement, research question; describe the methodology; and acknowledge limitations that guided this investigation. Ruth will show how she used hermeneutic analysis and reflective inquiry of the data provided by participants to arrive at the findings, which support existing literature on senior adult play as it contributes to ongoing development throughout one’s life. Following the presentation, there will be a discussion for the remainder of the session. The goal of the session is to disseminate the findings of the investigation in a clear and understandable manner in the hopes of promoting positive social change with regards to senior adults.
 



Speakers
RY

Ruth Yamamoto

Ruth Yamamoto is a teaching artist, adjunct professor for Prince George’s Community College and George Mason University, improv consultant, and author (Serious Fun: The Power of Improvisation for Learning and Life). She holds a PhD in education from Walden University, an MEd in... Read More →


Saturday August 10, 2019 2:00pm - 2:45pm EDT
The Wang Center - Room 301

2:00pm EDT

Afternoon Keynote: A Search for Community: Neva Boyd, Viola Spolin, Paul Sills and the Origins of Improvisational Theater in America
In 1955, Paul Sills called Compass, widely considered the first improvisational theater in the United States, “a search for a community.” Viola Spolin (originator of Theater Games and author of Improvisation for the Theater) and her son Paul Sills (founding director of Compass, The Second City, and Story Theater) created a new form of theater that celebrated American progressive ideals of liberty, community, and democracy. Through family stories, personal history, photographs, and Spolin and Sills' own words and writing, the talk will trace the roots of Spolin and Sills’ work, via Spolin’s teacher, pioneering social worker and educator Neva Boyd, to Progressive-era activism cultivated at Jane Addams’ Hull House in Chicago. ***
 


Saturday August 10, 2019 2:00pm - 3:30pm EDT
The Wang Center - Theater

2:00pm EDT

Facilitation Beyond Buzzwords
Quality instruction is more than a few neat terms. Excellent facilitators are managing the
moment-to-moment experience of the participants--Quality workshops let participants experience key concepts such as active listening, teamwork, openness rather than pay lip service to those ideas. In this hybrid workshop/talk, we'll go through some common facilitator mistakes and analyze exercises on the micro level: what are your participants experiencing? I'll also have volunteers run us through some simple games as a chance to receive productive feedback on your facilitation and how to improve your participants experience.




Speakers
RA

Rick Andrews

Rick Andrews is a teacher and performer at The Magnet Theater, and has been studying, performing, and teaching improvisation since 1999. He began improvising with Improv Boston, and continued with a stint in Saint Louis, MO. He has been fortunate to learn from many improv greats... Read More →


Saturday August 10, 2019 2:00pm - 3:30pm EDT
The Wang Center - Jasmine Room

2:00pm EDT

Playing Around With Changing The World
With deepening social, environmental and political crises worldwide, many who want to make a difference in the world are frustrated by the ineffectiveness of traditional ideologically driven (and often scripted) approaches to social change, and are looking to be more creative. This workshop will introduce participants to how applied improv can impact on how we engage in community organizing and activism, and will introduce participants to how our improvisational toolbox can be used in our efforts to make social change. 

Participants will begin by exploring non-ideological forms of activism, using “yes, and” as a tool for listening, building with what you’ve got, seeing “the other,” and creating something new with differences. We will go on to explore more advanced listening and responding improv exercises that invite activists to be playful, relational and inclusive even when they are faced with issues that generate outrage and passion. This will include exercises that  explore what it takes to influence someone without trying to convince them of anything, and how to use improv to create relational conversations across strong ideological and cultural differences. And finally, we will create an improvised discussion that examines the practical, political and emotional challenges of being improvisational in an age when the scripts of traditional progressive protests are failing. Participants will learn how improv is transforming traditional forms of protest into inclusive and relational community organizing, practice using “yes and” as a tool for non-ideological activism, as well as learn (and develop) improv exercises that involve non-coercive ways of building across differences and creating power.

Speakers
MR

Marian Rich

Marian Rich is a comic educator and improvisational performer. Trained as an actress, improviser and theatrical director, Marian has spent over 30 years building innovative and playful educational environments where people from all walks of life come together to grow and develop... Read More →
CL

Carrie Lobman, Ed.D

Carrie Lobman, Ed.D is associate professor and chair of the Department of Learning and Teaching at Rutgers University, the director of Revolutionary Conversations at the East Side Institute and a member of the All Stars Project Board of Directors. Her research examines the relationship... Read More →


Saturday August 10, 2019 2:00pm - 3:30pm EDT
The Wang Center - Room 201

2:00pm EDT

Power of Presence (and Play)
In this workshop we will focus upon Mindfulness (breath) and Movement (body language) as they relate to the three energy centers of Head, Heart and Gut.
We will progress from self-focus through partnering and end with group dynamics.
Please wear comfortable clothing.



Speakers
JS

Jeff Smithson

Jeff Smithson is a founding member of the NY Goofs and a Hospital Clown Doctor since 1997. Through his business, Proponent of Play, he shares the tools and techniques used to engage a wide variety of audiences and facilitates workshops in the worlds of education, business and medicine... Read More →


Saturday August 10, 2019 2:00pm - 3:30pm EDT
The Wang Center - Chapel

3:00pm EDT

Discovering Applied Improv For Collaborative Leadership
Leadership in organizations is a frequently debated, yet challenging topic, which needs persistent attention. We will engage participants in an experiential learning activity that examines leadership as a social phenomenon. The activity will probe leadership skills by applying improv competences that assist a team in succeeding collaboratively.This experience will allow participants to apply different facets of leadership:
  • Applied improv and agile leadership principles in the learning activity will be identified.
  • Time-boxes will be used to  help stimulate double-loop learning.
  • Different leadership characteristics and collaboration dilemmas will be categorized and discussed.
  • Recommendations from an applied improv perspective will be derived for situational leadership.
After gaining first-hand experience from the simulation, we will discuss how applied improv can be used to increase awareness and develop collaboration and leadership skills. Identification of different dilemmas experienced throughout the activity will enhance group discussion.
We will co-create strategies to harness applied improvisation and agility for organizational development. Our session is an invitation to co-create and learn together. Please be prepared to actively engage, working with flip charts, post-it and pens 



Speakers
MG

Mario Gadet

Mario Gadet inspires people and organizations about agile and complexity thinking. Since 2011, Mario has consulted to small and large European companies on agility. As a passionate agile advocate he brings individuals and teams together to discover innovative solutions to complex... Read More →
TM

Tom Mellor

Tom Mellor has coached and helped many teams and people in being agile and using Scrum effectively over 15 years of experience. He has facilitated more than 400 workshops over 10+ year as a Certified Scrum Trainer. Tom now enjoys helping people and companies discover agility and find... Read More →


Saturday August 10, 2019 3:00pm - 3:45pm EDT
The Wang Center - Room 101

3:00pm EDT

Healing Through Stories: A Playback Theater Experience
This workshop will explore  Applied Improvisational and Playback Theatre - an original improvisation theatre in which people narrate personal experience and watch it being enacted on the spot. Participants will be exposed to basic Playback Theatre form, take turn to share stories, playback stories of others and watch them being enacted on the spot by others. 

Speakers
avatar for Oluwadamilola Abdulai-Apotieri

Oluwadamilola Abdulai-Apotieri

CEO, Playback Nigeria
Oluwadamilola Apotieri-Abdulai (NG) is the CEO of Playback Nigeria and a member of the board of Centre for Playback Theatre (USA). He is a confidence coach and communication skills trainer dedicated to bringing effective change to individuals and organizations through theatre and... Read More →


Saturday August 10, 2019 3:00pm - 3:45pm EDT
The Wang Center - Room 301

3:00pm EDT

Shh! Bzzt! Applied Improvisation for Developing Emotional Intelligence
Using nonverbal strategies, participants will explore how communication, co-creation and interpretation work together in various contexts. Building on extensive work with silence, gesture, and gibberish exercises, we will explore how nonverbal communication supports both children and adults in naming and expressing various emotional states.

Fred Rogers said, "When our children see us expressing our emotions, they can learn that their own feelings are natural and permissible, can be expressed, and can be talked about. That's an important thing for our children to learn."
This workshop supports all learners, regardless of age or learning style, in understanding the complexities of human emotions and communication.

Speakers
CC

Carrie Caudle

Carrie Caudle is a full-time classroom teacher hailing from San Francisco, who loves integrating improv into her own teaching with young students. In addition to training a wide variety of educators to leverage the power of improvisation in schools, Carrie also works as an applied... Read More →


Saturday August 10, 2019 3:00pm - 3:45pm EDT
The Wang Center - Room 102

3:00pm EDT

Understanding Isotopes and Climate Change Through Improvisation
This interactive workshop will involve participants in improvisation, storytelling and movement approaches to teaching and learning about science concepts, with emotional intelligence at the center. The example lesson will show us what we can learn from ice cores. How do we know the temperature of climates 500 years ago? Obviously, we didn't measure them directly. The thermometer hadn't been invented. So much for global warming! But if we don't have direct measures of temperature from the past, we still have evidence---fossils from the plants that grew, tree-ring data, glacial debris, etc. And some of the best is from isotopes preserved in ice cores, mainly from Greenland and Antarctica. These cores contain ice from 800,000 years ago or more. That ice preserves evidence of past conditions. We will begin by looking at images of ice cores and discuss oxygen isotopes. Then we will use improvisation to build understanding – using our bodies and senses to become water molecules in motion, struck by sunlight, evaporating preferentially for the lighter isotope, stuck in ice during periods of glacial expansion, creating an altered ratio of light-to-heavy oxygen isotopes. We will use this primary experience to create the story of isotopes, then reflect on applications of improv and movement in science.

Speakers
DE

Dale Easley

Dale Easley is a Professor of Environmental Science at the University of Dubuque, which he joined in 2005 after 15 years at the University of New Orleans. He has been a volunteer math teacher in Kenya, a volunteer working on water wells in Haiti, and a Fulbright Fellow in Qatar. His... Read More →
AR

Amy Ressler

Amy Ressler is the founding artistic director of the Great Midwestern Educational Theatre Co. and headmistress of the Frogwarts School of Wizardry Creativity Camp. She is Assistant Professor of Theatre Education at California State University Bakersfield which she joined in 2018... Read More →


Saturday August 10, 2019 3:00pm - 3:45pm EDT
The Wang Center - Lecture Hall 2

3:00pm EDT

Values Based Elevator Pitches: Sell Improvisation
Call it Improv or Improvisation? Call myself a coach, trainer or teacher? Sell improv or sell soft skills? How much do I charge? 
 Jessica Breitenfeld coordinated the 2018 AIN regional Marketing conference and was a member of the AIN board in 2018. She will answer these questions in this interactive workshop. Learn the key concepts about how to market yourself with confidence, based on your unique selling proposition  (USP). This workshop is for new entrepreneurs who want to build their Applied Improv business and want to be clearer about the value they provide. Complete strangers will tell tell you why your superhero skills can save the world. This workshop is funny, interactive and practical.

Speakers
JB

Jessica Breitenfeld

Jessica Breitenfeld has presented this talk to the government of Barcelona land planners INCASOL and uses insights from her training in Adaptability Intelligence and Gestalt Psychotherapy and her 20- year journey, through 42 countries to cure her incurable back pain.


Saturday August 10, 2019 3:00pm - 3:45pm EDT
The Wang Center - Lecture Hall 1

3:30pm EDT

Break
Saturday August 10, 2019 3:30pm - 4:00pm EDT
The Wang Center-Zodiac Lobby

4:00pm EDT

AI To Train The Trainer
Whether you are preparing to be a professional trainer, or you are someone who does a bit of training as a part of their job, you'll want to be prepared for the training that you do. Your participants will begin the process of becoming trainers themselves, and understand that training is a process where skills, knowledge, and attitudes are applied.  Applied improvisation will enhance the training by enabling the trainer to read and pivot as needed for their participants. Using the ‘aha’ method of teaching and learning, The Train-The-Trainer workshop will give all types of trainer's tools to help them create and deliver engaging, compelling workshops that will encourage trainees to come back for more. Skills such as facilitating, needs analyses, understanding participant’s needs, and managing tough topics will give your trainees what they need to become a trainer themselves. We will explore: the process, theory and art of Improvisation for the Theater; define training, facilitating, and presenting; understand how to identify participants’ training needs; create an active, engaging learning environment; discuss how to debrief and give feedback; discuss how to side coach.



Speakers
HP

Hal Peller

Hal Peller is the president  of Hal Peller & Co., Inc. a consulting firm using Applied Improvisation. Hal ' s corporate work includes Fortune 500 companies such as NEC Corporation of America, GE Financial Services, Insight Solutions for Business, The Pulte Group, and Mattamy Homes... Read More →


Saturday August 10, 2019 4:00pm - 5:00pm EDT
The Wang Center - Room 102

4:00pm EDT

Forum Theatre Basics and How to Joker
Forum Theatre is the extraordinary interactive performance form invented by Augusto Boal in the 1970s. It is used to empower those who struggle to be heard, to offer a range of solutions to any specific societal problems and to invite empathy and collaboration from audiences. It’s a thrilling type of improvisation. Members of the audience watch a mini-play or set of scenes and then have the chance to change the outcome of that stage-work through their own intervention. 
This workshop covers the basic scaffolding for running a forum session and teaches the basics of how to joker. The joker is the convenor who mediates between the actors and audience.
Forum work can be used in any context to help the oppressed by examining of an issue from all angles. It is a practical, performance-led creative problem-solving tool.

Speakers
VH

Victoria Hogg

Vic Hogg is a London-based applied improvisation MA (Goldsmiths College, UoL). She works in various realms, including corporate, socially engaged and plain comedy improvisation. The twin principles of safe space and permission to play create the bedrock of Victoria’s improv pra... Read More →


Saturday August 10, 2019 4:00pm - 5:00pm EDT
The Wang Center - Room 201

4:00pm EDT

Got Your Back! Sidecoaching Difficult Conversations
This workshop will discuss Viola Spolin's original sidecoaching technique as a teaching tool for players and explore its connection to similar techniques in coaching athletes, students, artists, and others. The presenter will share research regarding the effectiveness of sidecoaching across several disciplines and demonstrate how she has adapted the technique to guide training participants through simulations and prepare professionals to navigate their most difficult conversations. Applications for medical, educational, social work, business, and other fields will be discussed. Participants will learn how to introduce sidecoaching into their AI practice and have an opportunity to practice their new skills.
 

Speakers
DM

DeAnna Massie, MFA, ED.D.

DeAnna Massie, MFA, ED.D., is a teaching artist, actor, researcher, certified AI practitioner, who works as a consultant and training facilitator for both corporate and academic clients, including Washington University, Bayer, University of Missouri St. Louis, and Nestle Purina. DeAnna... Read More →


Saturday August 10, 2019 4:00pm - 5:00pm EDT
The Wang Center - Jasmine Room

4:00pm EDT

Interactive Improvisation-Empowering Teens and Beyond
This workshop shares about teen improvisational theatre program called Reflections that does interactive performances on a variety of adolescent issues. In this workshop, after viewing video clips of these volunteer cast members in action, participants will engage in a few warm-up and focus games. Following this, they will learn the process of developing a scene. We will explore the model that we have been using since the program’s inception, where scenes are frozen at a point of conflict, and then the actors remain in role, while we do an interactive discussion with the audience.  Audience members can ask questions, make suggestions, and can co-create what is happening by becoming part of the scene. This model provides a way to raise awareness about current issues and is both educational and entertaining at the same time. We will conclude with discussing the benefits of this work to both cast and audience members.

Speakers
SB

Staci Block, MSW, LCSW

Staci Block, MSW, LCSW, is coordinator and founder of the Reflections and RISE (Reflections Interactive Summer Experience) programs,  of the Bergen County Division of Family Guidance in Hackensack, New Jersey. She is also the director of Creative Interventions, which provides interactive... Read More →


Saturday August 10, 2019 4:00pm - 5:00pm EDT
The Wang Center - Room 101

4:00pm EDT

Leadership Viewpoints to Create Dynamic Theatre and Dynamic Organizations
Come learn  how The Viewpoints — a keen vocabulary used to create and deliver powerful dance and theatre performances — can help leaders create healthier and more effective organizations. Through kinesthetic exploration and energetic discussion, we’ll gain fresh perspectives and tools that inform how we support leaders in their development and that of their teams and organizations.
The notion of business as performance has been explored through a variety of avenues. Thought leaders in the creation of theatre and dance performance (Anne Bogart, theatre director; Mary Overlie, choreographer) have created a lexicon / system of thinking known as The Viewpoints, that has advanced their fields.  
Transposing this lexicon from the sphere of performance into the realm of organizational development (OD) will yield fresh perspectives, tools and insights for OD practitioners.
The Viewpoints as presented by Overlie are:
Space. Time. Shape. Movement. Emotion. Story. 

Speakers
PB

Paul Black

Paul Black is known for his insight, candor and creativity. He regularly presents to Senior Executive Teams on a variety of leadership and team development topics as part of his role as a leadership consultant at Heidrick & Struggles. Paul has Bachelor of Engineering with Honours... Read More →
NC

Nan Crawford

Nan Crawford is a pioneer in using theatre as a lens for leadership. Coaching visionary leaders to step onto a bigger stage, Nan has helped clients gain SVP, C-Level and Board of Directors level roles, as well as set the vision and communication strategy for launching new ventures. Nan... Read More →


Saturday August 10, 2019 4:00pm - 5:00pm EDT
The Wang Center - Lecture Hall 1

4:00pm EDT

Partner Up!
You're passionate about Applied Improvisation and you want to expand your business. You don't have to do it alone! Jenny & Ellen of The Bolder Company have grown their company by leveraging partnerships and mashing up unconventional topics with AI. In this session, you'll play in your areas of brilliance to develop your first offer and generate actionable ideas about partnership possibilities with individuals, organizations, businesses, and sponsors. This session is intended for those who are newer practitioners as well as those who want to expand their thinking about their companies.

Speakers
EF

Ellen Feldman Ornato

Ellen Feldman Ornato and Jenny Drescher are co-founders of The Bolder Company, a Connecticut based firm dedicated to helping organizations shift from knowing to doing. 
JD

Jenny Drescher

Ellen Feldman Ornato and Jenny Drescher are co-founders of The Bolder Company, a Connecticut based firm dedicated to helping organizations shift from knowing to doing. 


Saturday August 10, 2019 4:00pm - 5:00pm EDT
The Wang Center - Lecture Hall 2

4:00pm EDT

Story Circles: Build Community, Strengthen Relationships, Solve Problems
Story is both the most ancient of communication and learning methods, and one of the hottest new areas of interest in today’s world not just as entertainment in the form of personal storytelling shows but as a communication tool in business, science and media

In this session, we will explore the power of collective storytelling to build connections and create new insights.  Through a gently facilitated process, we will uncover a topic of common interest and then discover and share stories. These stories will collectively birth new insights into our topic, while the process of telling and receiving the stories will build the group in unique ways. Unlike most common problem-solving or dialogue methods, the use of story allows participants to share foundational experiences without the haze of prior interpretation and advocacy clouding the message. And the chance to tap one’s own inner wisdom – as opposed to seeking answers from outside experts – enhances the individual and the collective.
In addition to story sharing, additional methods and mindsets drawn from the world of applied improvisation will be used to set context, warm up the group, and generate ideas.

Speakers
KK

Kat Koppett

Kat Koppett is the Eponymous Founder of Koppett. (www.koppett.com) a consultancy specializing in the use of improv and storytelling techniques to enhance individual and group performance. She is the author of Training to Imagine: Practical Improvisational Theatre Techniques to Enhance Creativity, Teamwork, Leadership and Learning, and has worked... Read More →


Saturday August 10, 2019 4:00pm - 5:00pm EDT
The Wang Center - Chapel

4:00pm EDT

AINx Talks
  • Your Race, Religion, and Sexual Orientation: AI For Sensitivity Training - Ed Reggi

    Ed Reggi and the Center of Creative Arts (COCA) in Saint Louis, Missouri are guiding small groups on how to step into discomfort regarding issues hardly discussed in the workplace or community. COCA biz provides immersive arts-based training, programming, and consulting for business professionals. Acting with Awareness (AWA) allows participants to explore gender, race, sexual orientation, religious, political views, and other identities employing theater. Through a series of activities based on the work of Viola Spolin, Augusto Boal, and Michael Rohd, participants use stories of vulnerability to build courageous conversations. AWA has earned positive support from corporate and community organizations. Reggi shares what he has learned and his observations while developing this unique theatrical approach to sensitivity training.

  • Parlez Improv - Russ McMahon

    The email read “I am pleased to inform you that Miras University in Kazakhstan has selected you as the individual to serve as the Fulbright Specialist on their project, ‘Multilingual Education via Interactive & Cognitive Teaching’. Congratulations! ” Yes, and part of my proposal was to teach, use, and help integrate the precepts of improvisation into their teaching.
    My primary job was to help the Information Technology faculty improve their technical English conversational skills as well as help with the English translation of their course material. Courses are taught in Kazakh, Russian, or English and in some cases two of the three or even all three at the same time. I do not speak Kazakh or Russian, but do speak a little French and have been exposed to many other languages. The foreign language teachers at Miras immediately saw value in the use of improvisation so much so that I have been invited back to conduct additional workshops for them during the 2019-20 school year.
    It was challenging due to the language barrier even for those who spoke English as some instructions can still be misinterpreted. I found that the Kazakh people were very interested in learning improvisation and quite willing to participate. Their favorite game was Zombies which I had adapted into a cybersecurity theme in one of my own courses that I teach at the University of Cincinnati. This interactive talk will cover some of the activities that worked best and some of the lessons learned.

  • Shi De, Er Qie...Teaching Improv In China - Jay Wang

    The word “China” conjures up a dizzying array of contrasts: tremendous wealth and crushing poverty, hyper-modern yet bound by tradition, a monolith defined by centralized control in Beijing but also a dazzlingly diverse country in its own right. It is in this nation of contrasts that Jay Wang has lived and worked since 2010, reinventing himself in the land of his birth. From the eye-opening moment he discovered improv in a small Hutong courtyard in Beijing in 2011 to running corporate training workshops for multinational companies by the Bund in Shanghai in 2019, Jay’s journey has taught him about the intricacies of Chinese work culture, the nature of the Chinese education system, and the potential for improv to grow in this foreign soil. As both an actor and applied improv practitioner in China, Jay has had to bridge the worlds of entertainment, education, and enterprise. His new challenge is to help mend the bridges between East and West, at a time when it seems like the very foundations of those linkages are crumbling at our feet.

  • How Applied Improvisation Could Change The World  - Colin Pinks

    We have created a world that is overwhelming our current human capabilities. People are experiencing overload, attention deficit and anxiety, in an effort to simply survive.
    It is engaging our instinctive competitiveness every minute, of every day.
    More options, more decisions, more often. At the same time…
    To solve the existential issues we have, as a species and as societies, we must now co-create.
    Bringing together diverse functions, communities and nations to build solutions is the only sustainable way forward. We inhabit a world where what is done and what is needed are poles apart.
    Simplicity vs Diversity
    Us and Them vs Unity
    Self-serving vs Sustainability
    How can AI even up the balance in a world racing toward the bottom?

  • Status flexibility for leading scientists - Susanne Schinko-Fischli and Dr. Andrea Handsteiner

    Leading scientists deal with various leadership roles within the same job: they conduct scientific research as well as teach. At the same time, they coordinate international scientific projects while they are line managers within the organizational hierarchy at their university. Each of those leadership fields possesses its very own dynamic and logic. Scientists need flexibility to quickly adapt to the respective situation ad be able to read other people’s status signals. It is vital to successful communication and interaction for leading scientists interacting with students, colleagues or staff. The talk will give insight from the content of a workshop offered at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna in 2018 including feedback from participants.  The presentation of the evaluation results will show the usefulness of applied improvisation for academia within a challenging and increasingly competitive scientific world.

Speakers
ER

Ed Reggi

AIN Board Member
Ed Reggi is a lifelong storyteller who has the stories to prove it. Growing up in the Big Apple, he first honed his acting by sneaking into NBC studios. He later studied at Chicago’s historic The Second City which led him to work with Paul Sills. While performing as a corporate... Read More →
RM

Russ McMahon

Russ McMahon has been teaching Information Technology related subject matter since 1980 and has been a faculty member at the University of Cincinnati since 1999. He began his improv journey after attending a Design Thinking meetup in 2016 where improvisation was used for ideation... Read More →
JW

Jay Wang

Jay Wang, Co-Founder of Minds at Play is an improv actor, teacher, and corporate training facilitator based in Beijing, China. His improv education has taken him all over the world, starting with UCB in his hometown New York to cities with distinctive improv ecosystems such as Chicago... Read More →
CP

Colin Pinks

Colin Pinks is polymath, melding business, technology, science, sport, psychology, medicine and theatre, to develop the way we think, behave, work and communicate.  I create learning spaces where people can challenge their thinking, behaviour and ways of being, in response to an... Read More →
SS

Susanne Schinko-Fischli

Susanne Schinko-Fischli studied psychology at the University of Vienna and at the University of California, San Diego. Additionally, she trained as an actress and as a professional trainer for group dynamics. Since 2004, she has been a freelance trainer focusing on her passion: the... Read More →
DA

Dr. Andrea Handsteiner

Dr. Andrea Handsteiner studied European Ethnology, Journalism and Communication at the University of Vienna in Austria. During her studies, she worked with schoolchildren and teenagers to enhance their collaborative and integration capabilities using outdoor, playing and event-based... Read More →


Saturday August 10, 2019 4:00pm - 5:15pm EDT
The Wang Center - Theater

4:00pm EDT

Improv for Reconciliation: Power, Justice and Mercy
This workshop will explore elements of reconciliation between individuals and groups and examine these phenomena through the lens of power dynamics. Reconciliation is considered both a process and an outcome whereby individuals or groups come together in constructive ways after divides or fractures in relationships and history. Reconciliation processes include elements such as listening to and understanding past hurt, acknowledgment of harm or wrongdoing, apology, balancing justice and mercy, exploring history, rebuilding trust and the co-creation of new futures and other factors necessary for healing and the ability to move forward together. This is particularly challenging amid dynamics of power which exist, on some levels, in all relationships and interactions. 
Power is held in many forms at individual, organizational and societal levels and can be used for constructive or destructive impact. This is true between individuals who have had breaks in relationships as well as for social groups or countries experiencing historical divides. We will explore different elements of reconciliation and share an original framework about power by which to analyze and inform these processes. Improv activities and processes will be used so that participants can experience the impact of moving from divide to connection. We will move from the theoretical to the practical and from talking to doing. This work manages to blend the playful and spirited aspect of improv with potentially difficult and serious issues. Come be a part of healing divides. The world needs you!

Speakers
BT

Barbara Tint

AIN President
Barbara Tint, PhD, is a Psychologist, Professor of Conflict Resolution and global trainer and consultant.  She works with a wide range of groups and organizations around issues of conflict, culture, gender, power, status, resilience, leadership and other social issues. She has been... Read More →
SR

Simo Routarinne

Simo Routarinne is an Interaction Designer and Creative Director at IMPROVment.fi. He is a professional improviser and facilitator and is an expert presenter. He is one of the world's leaders in status training. In the last 27 years he has trained people to apply improv skills to their professional contexts and has given inspirational keynotes and lectured in... Read More →


Saturday August 10, 2019 4:00pm - 5:15pm EDT
The Wang Center - Room 301

5:00pm EDT

Dinner - BLUE Ticket
Saturday August 10, 2019 5:00pm - 6:30pm EDT
The Wang Center-Zodiac Lobby

5:00pm EDT

Dinner - RED Ticket
Saturday August 10, 2019 5:00pm - 6:30pm EDT
The Hilton Garden Inn

7:00pm EDT

Kornfeld & Andrews Improv Show and Armando featuring conference participants
Act 1: A performance by Louis Kornfeld & Rick Andrews of the Magnet Theater!
Seasoned performers, longtime instructors, and all-around swell guys Rick Andrews and Louis Kornfeld combine their improv powers for a longform show that's as honest as it is hilarious. With a patient, nuanced style, they create a textured world filled with characters that will make you laugh and move you all at the same time. It's comedy. It's theater. It's a performance you won't soon forget.

Act 2: GUEST MONOLOGIST Raquell Holmes and SEVERAL OF YOU will perform an ARMANDO with Rick and Louis! To perform in this show, put your name in the jar at the Registration table - which will later by the Information table. Names will be drawn on Friday at one of the plenary events.

Time Out says: “Louis Kornfeld and Rick Andrews, team up and guide audiences through made-up worlds while playing made-up characters. It's an artful blend of comedy and theater that will leave you laughing and rethinking the world as you know it.”

They have some short videos online you might enjoy. Here's one shot at the Detroit Improv Festival
Here's another one from another Detroit Improv Festival.


Speakers
LK

Louis Kornfeld

Louis Kornfeld began improvising way back in 2003, when both his phone and online presence were at the forefront of millennium culture. He's been a proud member of the Magnet Theater since it opened its doors, having logged countless hours as a performer, intern, house manager, member... Read More →
RA

Rick Andrews

Rick Andrews is a teacher and performer at The Magnet Theater, and has been studying, performing, and teaching improvisation since 1999. He began improvising with Improv Boston, and continued with a stint in Saint Louis, MO. He has been fortunate to learn from many improv greats... Read More →



Saturday August 10, 2019 7:00pm - 9:00pm EDT
The Wang Center - Theater

7:00pm EDT

Show at The Jazz Loft in Stony Brook
One of our Saturday night conference events is taking place at the beautiful Jazz Loft and Museum right in the lovely town of Stony Brook. It's both a big band concert (17 piece orchestra!) with The Jazz Loft Big Band. Directed by the artist-in-residence at Stony Brook, trumpet player and jazz historian Thomas Manuel, The Jazz Loft Big Band emphasizes the importance of jazz history and tradition recognizing this art form as the soundtrack of America. Focusing on original manuscript and transcription compositions, they have performed concerts honoring the musical legacies of Duke Ellington, Stan Kenton, Count Basie, Frank Sinatra, and others. Over the years the ensemble has recorded several albums, appeared on radio and television, and performed for notable engagements including gala events for numerous important organizations and prominent cultural figures. And if that wasn't enough: We'll start the evening off with a swing dance lesson! Taught by some of the best swing dance teachers on Long Island, accompanied (of course) by the big band. Then, the concert begins in earnest, with the option of dancing along or just listening and swinging in your seat.

Buses will pick you up in front of the Wang Center at 6:45.

Saturday August 10, 2019 7:00pm - 9:00pm EDT
The Jazz Loft in Stony Brook 275 Christian Avenue Stony Brook, NY 11790
 
Sunday, August 11
 

7:00am EDT

Open AIN Board Meeting
The AIN Board meeting is open to all to observe and learn about the Board.

Sunday August 11, 2019 7:00am - 8:30am EDT
The Wang Center - Chapel

7:00am EDT

Breakfast
Sunday August 11, 2019 7:00am - 8:30am EDT
The Wang Center-Zodiac Lobby

8:30am EDT

AIN Board presentation
Come meet the new AIN Board, find out about current projects and how you can get involved.  We want to work with and for you!  It’s worth getting up for!



Sunday August 11, 2019 8:30am - 9:00am EDT
The Wang Center - Theater

9:00am EDT

Open Space
The Open Space will begin in the Wang Center Theater. The process will be explained by Gabe Mercado and presenters interested in offering workshops will share their idea and the room where the workshop will be offered. 

Speakers
GM

Gabe Mercado

AIN Board Member
Gabe Mercado has been an improviser for 18 years and a trainer for over 20 years working with clients in corporate, the academe as well as government and non government organizations. He is the president of Third World Improv, the leading improv school in Asia and is the producer... Read More →


Sunday August 11, 2019 9:00am - 1:00pm EDT
The Wang Center Theater followed by rooms as announced

9:40am EDT

AINx Talks

  • All The Stage Is A Lab - John Maloney

    The stage is a laboratory: a space where characters, scenes, and stories can be seen as hypothetical investigations of human interaction. Throughout history, experiments on stage have produced tremendous influences and effects in our cultures, languages, histories, and economies. As such, performance has been an area of study in the humanities since the birth of academia, generally with a focus on form and content. More recently, the field of performance studies has evaluated the concept of performance through the lenses of anthropology, sociology, psychology, and philosophy, or the “soft” sciences, as they are sometimes referred to. But, what of the “hard” sciences? Intense spatial, temporal, and biologic forces are at work whenever an audience and performers gather and generate the specialized field of effects we refer to as a performance. How might the principles of physics, anatomy, chemistry, or biology be applied to better understand the act of performance? These sciences are regularly used to describe and understand our natural world. If we consider a performance to be a staged reflection of our world, it seems a logical hypothesis that an analysis of how the laws and dynamics of these disciplines are at play during a performance might yield valuable insights. With this theater as our laboratory, we will identify how these various scientific disciplines participate and intermingle creatively in exquisite complexity whenever people join together to discover a performance.

  • Bridging the Generation Gap: Applied Improv for Lasting Social Change - Joel Veenstra and Yael Schy

    We live in a world where there is not much interaction between generations. Improv can bridge this generation gap. We will present a practical case study of follow up on an Intergenerational improv program bridging the gap between college students and older adults in a university setting. We conducted participant surveys at the beginning and end of the 2018 program, and then facilitated a 2019 follow-up reunion of participants one year after the program ended. Furthermore, a major problem in the field of training is the lack of follow-up evaluations beyond just "smile sheets" at the conclusion of a workshop, in order to prove tangible, sustainable results and lasting change over time, as a result of the training intervention. For this reason, we have conducted follow-up research at the reunion. In this AIN talk, we will show footage of intergenerational activities, interviews with participants of both age groups, and research results from from both the original program and the follow up reunion a year later. We will tie this to current research on generational differences in society and organizations between Millenials and Baby Boomers.The presenters are excited and proud that their project will be showcased in Volume 3 of the Applied Improvisation series of case studies by Theresa Dudeck and Caitlin McClure!
  • Improv For Life-Building Community Behind Bars - Elena and Martin R. Lichtenthaler

    Can Applied Improvisation transform America’s prison system just as much as today’s business
    world? Yes, and with prisons being high-risk environments, the impact of Applied Improvisation is even more significant. In 2019, Elena and Martin R. Lichtenthaler designed and taught the course “Improv for Life” at San Quentin State Prison as part of the Prison University Project. Over the course of three months, they successfully led seventeen incarcerated students to explore, practice, and perform the core concepts of improvisational theatre. Through supporting each other, practicing generosity, and celebrating risk, students succeeded in building a trusting and safe environment, where they could show vulnerability, fail good naturedly, and expand their range of emotions. All while breaking down racial boundaries. Beyond the classroom, students found themselves able to listen with increased compassion, have more meaningful conversations, and better (re)connect with their families outside prison, ultimately taking important steps towards their rehabilitation. Studies of related programs show that practicing improvisation inside prisons leads to a reduction of behavioral infractions, and a cut in recidivism rates. Come to this talk to hear Elena and Martin share their experiences of teaching improvisation at San Quentin State Prison, and leave inspired to build community behind bars.
  • From Intention To Action: AI In Trauma-Informed Settings - Mary DeMichele
    Trauma Informed Care is pervasive in educational and clinical settings. While these settings adopt treatment models and interventions that best serve their population, without effective implementation, Trauma Informed Care is merely a buzzword with unfulfilled intentions. Compounding inadequate training, is the fact that Trauma Informed Setting are made up of staff and clients with their own boundaries, unknown trigger point and for many, their own trauma. With the staff’s own struggles in connecting, communicating or building relationships, this can exacerbate the challenge in bringing treatment that embraces concepts like acceptance, attunement, empathy, playfulness and more to clients.

    Short-form comedy improv game structures are a fast and effective way to equip staff, across departments, with the experiential understanding and practice needed to move Trauma Informed Care from intention to actions. 

Speakers
JM

John Maloney

John Maloney is a theatre director who specializes in the development of new works.  He has directed and assistant-directed theatre, opera, musical theatre, and dance on Broadway, Off Broadway, and regionally throughout the USA and Taiwan.  He also regularly teaches performance... Read More →
YS

Yael Schy

Yael Schy is a leader in using expressive arts in organizational learning and development. A founding member of AIN, she is principal of Dramatic Strides® Consulting, specializing in leadership development, communication skills, teambuilding and creative decision-making techniques... Read More →
JV

Joel Veenstra

Joel Veenstra teaches improvisation, stage management, and collaborative production at the University of California, Irvine. He is active in the improvisation and applied improvisation world and serves on the Board of AIN and as the co-director of Global Improvisation Initiative... Read More →
EA

Elena and Martin R. Lichtenthaler

Elena and Martin R. Lichtenthaler are seasoned improvisers and Applied Improvisation coaches. Beyond teaching “Improv for Life” at San Quentin State Prison, they have worked with organizations, such as the University of California, Berkeley, the Goethe-Institute San Francisco... Read More →
MD

Mary DeMichele

Mary DeMichele is a coach, consultant, author and improviser with over 25 years of experience in educational, clinical and professional settings. She is the author of One Rule Improv: The Fast, Easy, No Fear Approach to Teaching, Learning and Applying Improv and  Improv ’n Ink... Read More →


Sunday August 11, 2019 9:40am - 12:00pm EDT
The Wang Center - Theater

9:40am EDT

AINx Talks - Continued
A Faculty Perspective For Reaching Faculty Through Improv - Brian Zikmund-Fisher
Even though communication is a huge part of being a faculty member, getting busy faculty to think doing improv is worth their time is hard. What broke through for me was when another academic taught 'Yes, And' before a 2-day brainstorming retreat, saying explicitly 'Yes, And' works radical acceptance, and radical acceptance is essential to constructive brainstorming. Improv connects to my faculty identity through specific game-skill links, and I try to build such links whenever I use improv with academic audiences. My Michigan colleagues and I talk about this idea in terms of scaffolding: pre-exercise questions that focus academics’ attention on communication problems they already care about, paired with post-exercise reflections on how each specific improv exercise works specific skills that the audience sees as needed to solve those pre-existing problems. I’ll talk about 2 examples that we use constantly with academics: Half-Life Your Message (see our paper in Science Communication in 2018) and Instant Expert (from Brian Palermo’s chapter in the book Connection). Both my personal improv journey and our experience at Michigan suggests that this approach increases academic audiences’ receptivity to improv (which is often scary to them) and provides them with actionable takeaways for their future use.
  • AI For Speech, Language and Cognitive Challenges - Ruth Jenkins                                                                    There is a distinct need for treatments in the areas of speech, language, and cognition that can address multiple goals and still keep the clinicians’ students/clients/patients engaged during the practice phase of learning. Addressing these goals in the context of social participation is challenging and yet is crucial for carryover. In this presentation, attendees will be provided with direct/hands on instruction for
    specific activities which will address goals in the areas of auditory comprehension, verbal expression,
    articulation, and attention. They will be provided with written instructions for each activity so that they may easily reference them in their clinical or improv practices. The presenting clinician has successfully used these activities with children with articulation, language and attention deficits and for adults with aphasia, dysarthria, and cognitive changes, including those with Parkinson’s Disease. Evidence supporting the use of theatre-based treatment, found in several studies, will be included.
  • What Happens When an AI practioner Gets Cancer? - Izzy Gesell
    A cancer diagnosis affects patient, family,  friends and both personal and profsessional caregivers. When Izzy Gesell was diagnosed with prostate cancer he struggled to accept the offer until he realized the diagnosis WAS an offer. From then on, the question, “what’s the offer here” help him see that AI and humor could markedly improve the mental, physical, emotional & spiritual well-being of the patients, caregiver and professional staff.  This talk is a glimpse into the program Izzy delivers to survivor, caregiver and medical groups dealing with a wide range of diagnoses, not just cancer. The aim is to  help them use AI & humor to foster resilience and communication while making each day count.
  • The Unexpected Benefits Of Improv For Researchers - Viki Lazer and Amy Carroll
    When asked whether they are creative, most young scientists say no. When asked what skills are important for research, what appears? Creativity!
    In an environment that is extremely competitive and unpredictable, where reward and recognition are scarce, young scientists face a variety of obstacles. How can improv make the lives - and work - of researchers better? The practice of improv brings more to scientists than a creativity boost. In this talk we'll group the benefits of improv for researchers into three categories: mental health, research, and communication. Creating an inclusive community brings together researchers from different countries, cultures and disciplines. This sense of community can help researchers through tough times.
    And improv doesn't just make for happier researchers. It also makes for happier science. Improv has proven to be an excellent tool to train necessary skills for research, such as divergent thinking, mental flexibility, and collaboration.
    As Lee Iacocca said, "You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can't get them across, they won't get you anywhere." Improv both directly and indirectly teaches researchers on how better to communicate their science with the world. Researchers practice storytelling, empathy, and metaphor-building: essential tools for efficient communication.
    At the science-entertainment collective The Catalyst, we believe in bringing improv to the scientific community in a permanent way, not just with a one-day workshop. Our founders have created an improv-for-researchers toolkit that can be used to build such communities around the world.
  • Rethinking Name Games-Jennifer Strouf                                                                                                                             Most group workshops begin with one of the “standard” name games that are worn out and have limited applications. This workshop reexamines how name games can be used to create genuine connections and plant the seeds of collaboration among participants. Attorney Jennifer Strouf created “Have you met my friend Ted?” to teach professionals how to create genuine connections with one another through thoughtful introductions.

    In addition to learning new name games, participants will explore how name games can be so much more than a mechanism for learning the names of the members of a group. Name games can identify points of commonality and create shared moment of laughter. The goal of this workshop is to teach individuals to use name games to learn names and create networks.

    These games are lawyer tested and lawyer approved; may be suitable for young children and people of all ages.

Speakers
JS

Jennifer Strouf

Jennifer Strouf is a practicing trial attorney and owns her own law firm, Strouf Law Firm P.A. (www.strouflaw.com). As an attorney and improviser, she created Improv4Lawyers P.A. (www.improv4lawyers.com), a legal consulting firm that offers trial coaching, bar tutoring, and continuing legal education courses all with an improv spin. Jennifer has written several articles and taught seminars about the use of applied improv in legal practice. She has presented to organizations including the Am... Read More →
AC

Amy Carroll

Amy Carroll and Viki Lazar are science enthusiasts and members of The Catalyst, a science-entertainment collective based in Switzerland. Amy Carroll is a professional speaker, trainer, certified coach and writer. She applies her background in psychology, improvisational theater and... Read More →
VL

Viki Lazar

Amy Carroll and Viki Lazar are science enthusiasts and members of The Catalyst, a science-entertainment collective based in Switzerland. Viki Lazar is a performer, teacher, and facilitator and has been passionate about improv and theatre for over 20 years. She brings her performance... Read More →
RJ

Ruth Jenkins

After receiving her Master's degree from Portland State University in 1995, Ruth completed her CFY in the public schools and has since been employed by the Providence Health System working in acute care, rehab, outpatient (both pediatric and adult), home health and Elderplace settings... Read More →
IG

Izzy Gesell

Izzy Gesell has 25 years experience presenting as keynoter, facilitator, workshop leader. He earned the  Certified speaking Professional (CSP) designation from National Speakers Association, has given over 500 presentations, more than half of which were Applied Improvisation bas... Read More →
BZ

Brian Zikmund-Fisher

Brian J. Zikmund-Fisher is Associate Professor of Health Behavior and Health Education at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. Trained in decision psychology and behavioral economics, he designs communication methods to make health data such as risk estimates and test... Read More →


Sunday August 11, 2019 9:40am - 12:00pm EDT
The Wang Center - Theater

1:00pm EDT

Lunch
Sunday August 11, 2019 1:00pm - 2:00pm EDT
The Wang Center-Zodiac Lobby

2:00pm EDT

Conference Close
Paul Z. Jackson will lead an interactive conference closing.

Speakers
PZ

Paul Z Jackson

Paul Z Jackson is a leader in the application of improvisation in the UK and around the world. Co-founder and 10-year President of the Applied Improvisation Network, he designs and leads projects, workshops and training programmes that transform lives by developing collaborative skills... Read More →


Sunday August 11, 2019 2:00pm - 3:15pm EDT
The Wang Center - Theater
 
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