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CHANGE @ WORK / When in Doubt, Try Office Improv / Acting technique helps in problem-solving
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Newsday - Long Island, N.Y.
Author: Kitchen, Patricia
Date: Oct 29, 2000
Start Page: F.13
Section: MONEY & CAREERS
Abstract (Document Summary)

Improv? Yes, it's one of the hottest training methods in today's workplace-learning the skills used in improvisational theater. See the parallel? Improv actors have to laser-focus so they can create and do at just about the same instant. Does that sound anything like the demands being put on you in a work world that keeps changing and never shuts down?

Improv is all about collaboration, communication and connectedness, says Jude Treder-Wolff, a cabaret artist and president of Lifestage, a workplace training company in Smithtown. "It teaches you to be more generous and not to be so worried about yourself...Improv calls upon a person's ability to go beyond the need to be 'right,' look good, play it safe." It helps us bypass our "restrictive conditioning" and flex our "imaginative and creative muscles," says Treder-Wolff, whose company designs and conducts experiential, interactive theater programs to help with on-the-job team building, problem solving, stress and diversity.

If you're interested in catching the improv spirit, you can look into a couple of upcoming events. First, the New York Company of Friends-an e-mail list affiliated with Fast Company magazine-is holding "Improv, Not Just for Comedians!" Nov. 9 in Manhattan. The speaker is Joe Keefe, executive producer of Chicago-based Second City Communications, a group that brings improv comedy to the corporate world. The event is for members, but the price of membership is just right -it's free. You can learn more about it at www.fastcompany.com.

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