Improvisation for Educators: Leading and Collaborating in the Classroom
Thursday, April 25, 2019 - 10:00am to Thursday, April 25, 2019 - 12:00pm

According to Keith Sawyer, scientific expert on creativity, we are now living in a “culture of collaborative organization…based on flexibility, connection, [and] conversation” in which “improvised innovation is standard business practice” (Group Genuis, 156). As educators, we can better prepare our students for this new culture by bringing improvisation into the classroom. The paradox of theatrical improvisation is that it requires rules and structure, but if the rules are excessive and the structure too rigid, the potential for creativity is diminished. Educators also work to find a balance between following a predetermined lesson plan and fostering a learning environment that is engaging and collaborative. Great teachers, in fact, often do offstage what successful improvisers do onstage. In this workshop for OAI, Dr. Theresa Robbins Dudeck will engage faculty in several impro games and techniques that focus on theories and skills that can be applied in the classroom to create an environment where teacher and students are co-leading and collaborating together.

Theresa Robbins Dudeck, PhD, has taught improvisation all over the world in both academic and professional settings. She is considered one of the foremost teachers of Keith Johnstone’s impro system of training. She wrote the critically acclaimed Keith Johnstone: A Critical Biography (Bloomsbury 2013) and is directing Johnstone’s documentary. Theresa also co-founded the Global Improvisation Initiative (GII) which will have its second symposium, co-hosted by Improbable theatre company and Middlesex University (London), in May 2019. Beyond traditional theatre practice, Theresa is an applied impro specialist who facilitates training sessions in leadership, team building, communication, change management, co-constructed learning, etc., for nonprofit and for-profit organizations. The book Theresa co-edited, Applied Improvisation: Leading, Collaborating, and Creating Beyond the Theatre (Methuen Drama 2018), has been so well received that two additional volumes have been green-lighted. Theresa teaches improvisation at PSU in Theater Arts and has just been awarded a 2019 U.S. Scholar Fulbright to teach/research improvisation with faculty and graduate students in education and theatre in Brazil at UFMG ( 

Location: South End OAI-M211