Since 2003 we have been using improvisation to teach valuable life skills and entertain k12 students via our shows and workshops in Times Square NYC and touring schools, camps and community centers nationwide. While SEL (Social Emotional Learning) is the new popular fad in education, we’ve been using Improvisation to teach self-esteem, self-confidence, self-awareness, team, making choices, public speaking, listening, focus and more for 20 years. Our shows and workshops supplement any SEL program, and/or are a great way to introduce new to your school. Our Residencies and Professional Development Programming can be your SEL answer long term.
- Check out upcoming public shows and classes via menu links
- Email for more information on group ales, private events and more.
We have performed 6000+ shows for k12 students and family audiences since 2003, when Farmington, Connecticut, schools booked our fledging troupe for four shows.
By 2005 we were presenting 300-500 shows/year, hosting k12 students for field trips at our Times Square NYC theater and touring schools, camps and community centers.
Every show features professional performers from stage and screen improvising skits and songs based on student suggestions and participation. In addition to SEL, we have partnered with cultural arts (music, theater), language arts (story telling, speech) and guidance (community, leadership) programs at schools. Libraries use us to launch their summer reading programs.
Shows themselves are more entertainment than educational but they serve to introduce the art form, our organization and a great way to grab students’ attentions for various messaging.
In order to perform improv, we pros need to be self aware, work as a team and listen, focus and respect each other. We need a working knowledge of language arts, music, theater, history, science and more to ad lib on any topic.
While workshops, residencies and professional development are the real educational tools, without the humor if the shows, we are just more adults spouting concepts. After a show, we are the geeky cool fun adults. It is that much easier to truly grab students’ attentions playing games and they see the end game before their first basic exercise.
Improv Workshops, without any change from normal operations, introduce many SEL concepts. Simply playing these games develops skills 1000s of books and lectures merely discuss.
Corporations have used improvisation for 50+ years to develop team, leadership, sales and service skills. In fact, during our corporate team building sessions, we teach adults to think like kids. Go back before middle school, when we learned judgement, fear, resentment, etc. Think like a kid.
Every workshop is designed to teach and inspire better listening, focus, concentration, breathing, collaboration and presentation.
While one off workshops are powerful supplements to your SEL goals, residencies deliver SEL. Working with a group of students for weeks and months, preparing for a show of their own, students realize they need to bust out of their shells, stand/sit up, pay attention, listen and focus and then finally explode with energy when it’s their turn.
We teach students to think of themselves as rubber bands, pulled back with massive potential energy. The alternative to talking out of turn should not be lazy apathetic drones. Rather we teach students to actively listen. Then, breath deep and share at the appropriate times, to be heard throughout the room.
Students learn tricks to developing their speaking voices, working as a team, create original stories, and more.
At anytime of the day, teachers can be called upon to be team members, leaders/managers, sales and customer service. Dealing with students, parents and admin is so much more than education.
Our professional development for teachers serves two main objectives.
- We teach teachers how to be better leaders, teammates, sales and service through communication and collaboration.
- We teach teachers how to use these games in the classroom. Laughter in the classroom leads to better test scores (according to studies at John Hopkins University etc). Laughter alone reduces stress and resentment, while building bonds, developing better creativity and hope.
- Laughter increases oxygenated blood flow to the brain, and squeezes the happy juices (adrenaline, serotonin) into the blood.