(Improv for Businesses)
"Team Building Through Creativity"
What is Applied Improv?
Applied Improv combines training & team building by applying principles from Improv Theater to the world outside the stage.
How Does Applied Improv Work?
Participants are led through a series of drills and games based in Improvisational Theater. Improv depends entirely on open, spontaneous communication and collaborative creation. Applied Improv creates a low stakes, playful, yet practical, environment for your team. Though the workshops are grounded in play, they develop skills that translate directly to the workplace.
Basic Skills of Applied Improv
- LISTENING (Stay in the Moment)
- ACCEPTING (Trust Building)
- ADDING (Take Responsibility)
- IMMEDIACY (The Path to Authenticity)
- SILENCING (The Inner Critic)
What We Offer
Skill Building Workshops
In these workshops we connect the basic skills of Improv to the challenges faced by your business. These workshops focus primarily on enhancing Communication, Collaboration, and Creativity.
Team Building Workshops
We do offer workshops that are strictly for fun, if you want to focus on team building rather than the specific skills of Applied Improv. Team Building Workshops use many of the same drills and games, but in them we focus on collaborative storytelling and play rather than skill development. These workshops are ideal for Relationship Building and Stress Management.
If you are looking for something a little less participatory that is a hilarious addition to a company or family event or Holiday party, you can hire a troupe of improvisers to entertain your group. Because of the nature of improv, the element of audience interaction makes each show unique and allows for shows to be shaped to the particular identity of your organization.
While Applied Improv is most effective in person, we can provide modified online training for groups whose members work from home or can't be easily gathered together in a single location.
WHAT DOES A TYPICAL TRAINING CONSIST OF?
A standard training session runs 2-3 hours including a short break and a debrief at the end. Generally, the first time we work with a client, the session is an Introduction to Applied Improv covering all five basic skills. However, for clients who want to dig deeper, we can set up multiple modules where we focus on each skill individually. These single skill sessions can be shaped with greater specificity to the unique challenges your team faces, and they foster greater retention by participants. We can also work directly with you to create a custom training for your staff.
Johns Hopkins Hospital & University
Annie E Casey Foundation
Blue Cross Blue Shield
T. Rowe Price
State of MD Court Mediators
Miles & Stockbridge
Loyola of Maryland
University of Delaware
Healthcare for the Homeless
Bill & Melinda Gates Institute
What Our Customers Have to Say About Us:
"It was perfect. My team was raving about it yesterday, and the people who overheard them in our office are thinking of incorporating it into their upcoming meetings. We'll definitely be in touch as we start planning meetings for next year."
"It was perfect in every way. The feedback this morning was over the top enthusiasm and praise for your crew. Thanks for accommodating our needs so well"
"I just wanted to say thanks once again for leading the BVU Improv Training last week. I had so much fun, and I really feel like I learned a lot. Thanks for empowering us!"
"Thanks again for being such a fun and effective trainer – a
unique and rewarding experience for our participants! Looking forward to more work together."
"I wanted to send a quick note to thank you for such a great performance last night. Everyone had a phenomenal time and were so impressed with you and the team. You did a wonderful job keeping the content appropriate, but still fall out of your seat hilarious! Looking forward to working with you in the future."
"We had a fantastic time. It was a small group, but everyone had fun and it was nice to see how bold some could be! We seemed to do really well with numbers and patterns - not surprising given that we have mathematicians/programmers/developers on our team! It was totally out of the box for us and they couldn't stop talking about it after."
Michael Harris has worked as an actor, teaching artist & corporate trainer for over 15 years. During his 6 years as Executive & Artistic Director of the Baltimore Improv Group (BIG), the organization's income grew tenfold, they increased their number of performances from two a month to 3-4 a week, and BIG moved from a touring company to having its first home theater.
Michael led the creation of BIG's Applied Improv program. He co-created the curricula and trained all of BIG's facilitators. Starting from scratch, he and his team built a program with dozens of clients throughout the Mid-Atlantic.
In addition to corporate training, Michael is a faculty member at the National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts (DC) and Hood College, and a Teaching Artist with Chesapeake Shakespeare Company.
As an actor, Michael has performed in over 50 professional productions, dozens of regional commercials, TV & film, and been an invited performer at comedy/improv Festivals from NYC to Austin and Chicago to Philadelphia.