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Applied Improvisation: Play Our Way to Wellness, Together | Jesse Greenfield & Jenie Michael


We hear buzzwords and phrases emphasizing the skills needed to foster meaningful connections to support wellness, calling on us to “be compassionate, flexible, resilient and, communicative,” to name a few. These sound great, but how do we actually put those skills into practice to collaborate and connect more effectively, and what does that look and feel like in our work and in our lives? In this highly interactive workshop, attendees will learn through direct experience how improvisation skills and exercises can apply to their professional and personal lives, supported by groundbreaking research connecting these activities with essential elements of wellness: enhanced resilience, communication skills, and flexibility. We will highlight almost three decades of research supporting applied improv as a highly effective methodology to promote social and emotional wellness. Our group will then transition into playing (that’s right, playing!) improv games to practice thinking quickly on our feet and working as a team to enhance our connections, build new worlds together, and collaboratively solve problems in a fun, low-stakes environment.

Following this session, participants will be able to:

  1. formulate evidence-based improv exercises to enhance communication skills, connectedness, and compassion.
  2. describe the value of creative play in creating connections that foster well-being and explore how individuals can implement this strategy in their professional and personal lives.
  3. design collaboration and relationship-building skills, such as active listening, by working together as a team to build new realities and imagine new worlds.

NOTE: "Registration" for individual sessions is not required. Once onsite, you may attend any sessions on the day(s) for which you are registered.


  • Jesse Greenfield, MPH, CHES

    Jesse Greenfield (they/them/theirs) is a queer health communicator, storyteller, and improviser residing in San Diego, California. Their approach to health education is influenced by their ten years of improv experience, focusing on incorporating people's real-life experiences to develop personalized, inclusive, and accessible education. Jesse holds a B.S. in Biopsychology with a minor in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from Tufts University, as well as a Master of Public Health with a specialization in Health Communication and Behavioral Science from Tufts University School of Medicine. Additionally, they are a Certified Health Education Specialist. Jesse co-founded Kaleidoscope Training Center, offering applied improvisation workshops for better communication, psychological safety, flexibility, and resilience. They teach improv classes at Diversionary Theatre for queer youth and train social workers at SDSU Research Foundation's Cultural Responsiveness Academy.

  • Jenie Michael

    Jenie is an experienced program manager dedicated to driving initiatives that improve the quality of life for individuals and communities. They have a proven track record of designing and implementing data-driven programs that deliver results, and are passionate about using that skill to serve their communities.

    With degrees in Communication Studies and Social Entrepreneurship as well as socially-conscious values, Jenie takes a unique approach to business management. Their focus is on maintaining a purpose-driven model that deemphasizes profit margins and elevates social impact to the position of primary business responsibility.

August 28, 2024
Wed 1:30 PM CDT
In-person Individual session registration NOT required

Duration 1H 15M

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