Improvisation has many benefits for trainers and trainees. There is an exciting immediacy about improv - those involved are forced to be fully invested in what’s happening from moment to moment. No one easily ‘checks out’ of training if the guidelines of improv are being applied. Improv demands a keen awareness of oneself and one another, causing trainers and participants alike to become supportive teammates.
The first rule of improvisation inspires agreement through “Yes, and...” which creates a spirit of acceptance. And this acceptance is energizing, causing the room to light up as participants become intrigued and invested. When practiced, this rule of "Yes, and..." enables trainers and trainees to:
- remain unfazed by situational curveballs
- stay relaxed and keep focused while making detours in the curriculum
- welcome unexpected discoveries in the classroom
Uncertainty is inevitable during the training process. Having improvisational skills to call upon, trainers and trainees alike to become empowered to maintain confidence and clarity amid momentary chaos.
Through a series of specially designed exercises, Liz will introduce the concepts of improvisation, in particular “Yes, and…,” teamwork skills, the fine (and fading) art of meaningful listening, and how to handle surprises with ease and confidence. The trainers will experience how to apply improv tools in their own training scenarios. By the end of this workshop, Liz expects all to harness and understand the useful power of improvisation.
Liz Allen has been involved with improvisational theater since 1991 in Chicago. She performed with the ioChicago Theater and was a founding member of the legendary house team, ‘Frank Booth.’ In 1995, Liz and ‘Frank Booth’ performed their long-form improv revue, Harold on the Holyrood, receiving critical acclaim at the Scottish Fringe Festival in Edinburgh.
Liz was Director of Training at ioChicago, and under her leadership the incoming student body doubled. She directed numerous shows including Devolution, Coco Pouche in the Blue Velvet Lounge, and Steph & John, featuring Stephnie Weir and John Lutz. As a member of the corporate training division, Liz taught hundreds of workshops nationally to companies such as Ernst and Young, Motorola, Harris Corp, Pentel, Zurich American, Univ. of Wisconsin, Abbott Laboratories, Alliant Energy, State Farm, Banc Trust, and Household Finance.
Liz is very proud to have won the Del Close Award “Coach of the Year” at ioChicago in 1999, 2000, and 2001, now named the “Liz Allen Coach of the Year Award.” In 2006 Liz co-wrote Improvising Better: A Guide for the Working Improviser (Heineman), and co-created the popular Individual Assessment Workshop. After moving to Las Vegas, Liz worked with The Second City at the Flamingo, directing the first fully-improvised mainstage revue on the Strip. Liz is currently working on her next book about coaching improv.