ROOM2IMPROV is dedicated to raising the self-esteem of students, veterans and seniors, and ultimately empower them to live enriching lives.
By teaching them how to explore, embrace and adopt the techniques of improvisation into everyday living, we motivate individuals to care about themselves and others, make healthy choices and effective decisions and use their confidence to overcome their fears.
ROOM2IMPROV is a non-profit organization, which provides programs to enhance engagement, self-esteem, confidence and team building. Our workshops teach participants how to use improv in their daily lives to build healthy relationships and strengthen interpersonal skills.
ROOM2IMPROV is an ensemble of professionals dedicated to showcasing everyone’s potential through tools of improvisation. Our team has an extensive background in applying improvisation to unlock creativity, provide tools for coping with bullying, enhance communication and build stronger teams. Our professionals have worked with Fortune 100 companies, schools and non-profits. All of our consultants have a strong improvisational background and will entertain while providing quality trainings.
The classes from ROOM2IMPROV foster collaboration, promote creative problem solving, develop leadership skills and provide mechanisms for coping with bullying. We create an environment where ideas are valued, judgment is removed and mistakes are gifts. As an end product of participating in the program, students feel accepted, valued and supported.
Eight Week Workshop Classes, once a week
(each 90 minute class is facilitated by experienced Improv mentors)
Single Workshops/Professional Development
designed for specific issues, interests and concerns
Youth Improv (10 to 12 years)
Teen Improv (13 to 18 years)
Adult Improv (18+)
Programs for Assemblies
Business/Club/Corporate Workshops and Retreats
8-20 students per class
A performance (by students) at the end of the eight-week class
Students continue higher level Improv classes
Hope Manor Apartments, one of the first large-scale, supportive housing developments specifically designed for Veterans in the City of Chicago reached out to Room2Improv and allowed us to come in and work with veterans. The workshop provided much more than laughs and memories when audience members comfortably participated and gave positive feedback for the program.
Hope Manor’s goal is to help Veterans change and improve their lives over the long-term by promoting self-sufficiency, building new skills, creating strong support networksand integrating Veterans more positively into community life. Management was aware of Room2Improv’s value in reaching their goals.
“Thank you for bringing such an awesome event. The guys had a blast. There is interest for activities going forward.” Tony, Manager of Hope Manor
Before Room2Improv was launched, Circle Urban Ministries, a K-12 after school program (College Readiness for 6th-12th graders and Circle4Success for K-8) approached us and volunteered to participate in Room2Improv’s Pilot Program. Board members from Circle Urban Ministries believe in Improv and know of its value and impact it plays in human development.
“I wish improv was everyday.”
“I want to do this class again.”
“Room2Improv is a blessing to our program. Thanks for being a part of our children’s success.”
Carolyn, director Circle Urban Ministries
March 10, 2014: “Our very first session of IMPROV was impressive. The youth are looking forward to the next session. There was SO MUCH energy and excitement for the next turn or the next activity. Sometimes the room was loud and then very quiet, then loud again!! Jeff is awesome with the group and I definitely saw a special something in each of the students – much like Eileen and Ellen talked about in regards to students showing confidence in their abilities and a willingness to try something new. And, this is only the first session.”
CheJuanna, College Readiness, Team Leader
April 21,2014: “I wish class was longer.” Marlecia B.
“I liked everything we did today.” Jayla H.
“It was a positive experience for everyone.” Life lessons were included today.” Jeff, instructor
May 5, 2014 Today was the last session of improv. “We cannot thank you enough. This was an experience unlike any other for our students and we are grateful. Programs like Improv change lives and encourage growth, emotional safety, and social inclusion. Thank you for everything.”
Ms. Stiles, College Readiness, Team Leader
WPO (World Presidents’ Organization) is the next chapter of the YPO (Young Presidents’ Organization) experience for members ages 50 and older. Chapter-based Spouse Forums are provided in the organization giving an opportunity for members to connect in a confidential environment. This year Room2Improv was asked to conduct a two-hour workshop at an annual Spousal Forum retreat in Chicago. Participants were seeking something different. Room2Improv designed a curriculum based on the theme of the retreat.
“Truthfully, it couldn’t have been better from our Forum’s side. Our session from Room2Improv was the opportunity we all needed but didn’t know until we had such a great time during the two hour training. We were all oblivious as to what to expect and we started off with our usual skeptical attitude. From the beginning, we all transformed and were thirsting for more. The trainer/teacher was fabulous. His energy was contagious . We all enjoyed it immensely and became in touch with ourselves and each other all over again. The lesson in team work was great and we have learned a lot from that. We all derived “take home” life tools that we hope to use in our everyday lives.” Stephanie/WPO Spousal Forum
Located at 375 Elm Street, this beautiful Deerfield Center is home to a membership base of well over 700 active senior adults. Featuring a wide array of classes, events and excursions, members can select from a wide variety of programming offered throughout the week, on evenings and larger special events on weekends!
The Deerfield Park District has come a long way since 1951, and the amount and variety of programs and services continues to expand and evolve to meet the needs of our residents. As we continue to grow and flourish, the members of our community benefit from recreation and leisure opportunities for personal enjoyment, health benefits, skill development and the like. We look forward to continuing to serve our community with creative, safe and enjoyable offerings.
The park district offices are located at the Jewett Park Community Center, 836 Jewett Park Drive, Deerfield, IL 60015.
“The class is really fun and I love it. The teachers are cool and it is something I look forward to all the time.” Noble Improv Student
“Improv is a unique class that makes me be my own person. Improv is way different and it taught me a lot of new things that I love.” Senior, Noble College Prep
“The classes are fun and helpful.” Kelvin, Noble senior 5.15
“You can do whatever you want and no one will make you feel bad.” Aurora, Noble Sophomore 10.15
“Life is all about making the most of unexpected, sometimes uncomfortable scenarios; therefore, presenting opportunities for students to explore that scary area right outside of their comfort zones is vital. Although brief, my advisees were able to use their time with Room2Improv to do just that—explore. At first, the girls were apprehensive and very worried that they would look silly. As time passed, however, they realized that the only way to lose face is not to try. They grew to really enjoy the sessions and became more and more at ease in foreign territory both during improv lessons and in the classroom.” Elise Beis, Advisory Teacher at Noble Street College Prep
“I was in constant control of myself. Everyone supported what I did and it enabled me to have fun.” Kai W, Senior May,2016
“I became a better listener and improv made me aware of my surroundings.” Jocelyn B., Senior May, 2016
“I am now able to view myself in a new positive perspective.” Sophia, December 2016
“This course actually helps to drain out all of my insecurities and it’s a safe place to show my talents, just doing what I love. I get to be me.” Kymea, December, 2016
“This class allows you to be yourself comfortably.” Joe Joe, December, 2016
“What I do is right; there is no wrong in what I do. And that makes me feel more confident and respected.” Edzon, Freshman March, 2017
“Improv makes me feel less stressed as I go through my day. And I have fun.” Elijah, Freshman March 2017
“I thought the improv was great! It really gave the kids a chance to branch out, find their personalities and work together, while having fun!”
5th Grade Teacher
Sunny Hill School, Barrington
“Today has been exciting because I learned to be friends with different people. I now know it’s okay to be friends with different people.”
Student, Sunny Hill School, Barrington
“It made me feel happy because this program let me be me.”
“The best thing that can happen to me by using the information I learned is that I will listen to other people more and be open to what they have to say.”
“This exceeded my expectations. I thought it would be okay, but I found it amazing. It was a great way to make friends and express myself.”
“The best part of participating in this program is I am now more confident.”
“The program made me feel good and helped me get my mind off bad things.”
“It was fun to feel like part of a group.”
“This program was useful because it let me be who I am.”
“Tonight got me out of my patternistic life.”
“This was a lot of fun. It guaranteed a lot of laughter and you can never get enough laughter. For an hour, this was stress-free and relaxing.” -Ricky, Improv participant 11.1.15
“Thank you so much for bringing this great event to the veterans. It feels so nice to know that we are supported and that our service is appreciated. I had such a great time today. As a veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, it really means a lot to me that people still care about us.” 2.21.16
Becky Bennett-OEF VETContinue Reading..
“Tonight was a great experience, being able to learn and perform different improv games and exercises with some guests from ROOM2IMPROV!!! It gave me a better perspective on what the meaning is, and most importantly how fun it was” -Keara Grey
YES, AND after their first 90 minute Improv Class (2.2017) at Rauner College Prep, here are comments made by some of the participants:
“We’re a team now”
“I got out of my shell”
“I met new people from my school”
“I don’t regret signing up for this”
“This helped me with my depression issues”
“I can be myself. I can be who I want to be. ROOM2IMPROV improved me. I am now more confident.” Adrian, Sophomore March 2017
“Since taking classes from ROOM2IMPROV, I feel as if my confidence has grown not only with making mistakes in improv but also in my everyday life and classes.” Mindy Rosas, October, 2017
After 8 weeks of classes from September 2017-November 2017, the following thoughts were shared:
“This program better helps me express myself.”
“I enjoyed this program because it helped me improve my collaboration with others.”
“Because I took this class, I now feel more interactive and more connected to people.”
“I learned how to be more comfortable with myself.”
“I can be myself now.”
“I felt like we were a family having fun.”
“This class change me. I am more confident. I now talk to people more confidently.”
“Because of this class, I am now more confident to talk with new people.” Rain M.
“Improv is a place where I feel I belong emotionally and I feel accepted.” Ian G.
“Improv has been such a fun experience and being able to truly express myself in anyway I could imagine. I feel that I learned more about teamwork, leadership and how great it is when everyone comes together to make something amazing. Micah has been so much fun; he has brought us closer together as a group-now a team. Overall I have loved this course and I definitely think that others should try it out; even if it is out of their comfort zone. No matter who you are or how you may view yourself, in that room you can do or be anything you want and nobody judges. We all support each other which is a huge takeaway.” Nya, Age 16
“I liked this class because it can boost your self-confidence. Over time I saw how the games built my own self- confidence.” Nina, Age 14
After retiring with an accomplished career as a teacher and mentor from Chicago Public Schools, Eileen challenged herself to take an improv class at The Second City. That one class turned into a two year life-changing experience and inspired her to create Room2Improv. She is excited to combine all of her unique academic and life experiences to create a model education program dedicated to bringing improv to classrooms, seniors and veterans. She’s building a business to help others build self-esteem.
Jay has been performing with and without a script for over 20 years extensively throughout the world. He trained with Stephen Colbert, Steve Carell and Del Close. He is a faculty member at Second City and has also taught at iO Chicago and ComedySportz Chicago. Jay teaches all levels of improv: from beginning students to executives at Fortune 100 companies. At Room2Improv, Jay has facilitated workshops for the YPO retreats.
Once Jackie said “Yes and”, her love for performing improv blossomed and has not stopped. She’s studied at The Second City, The Annoyance Theater and The Neo-Futurists, as well as being involved with two improv groups. Jackie has been on board with Room2Improv since its inception and works tirelessly as an improv facilitator, photographer and interviewer. Improv has had a positive impact on Jackie’s life and she’s excited to share her passion for improv with others.
Micah Philbrook is an improvisor, actor, writer, director, and teacher based in Chicago. He is half of the tim&micah project, an avant garde sketch comedy troupe; a founding member of pH Productions, an award-winning theater ensemble known for original comedic works; the executive producer of That Sunday Show, a modern comedic variety show; and he’s a regular performer with Those Who Can’t, an improv showcase featuring teachers of improvisational theater. Micah has toured the Atlantic ocean and the Caribbean on cruise ships, performing with The Second City, and toured North America and Europe, performing and teaching improv and sketch comedy, with the tim&micah project and pH productions. Since 2008, Micah has been a faculty member of the Second City Training Center in Chicago where he has taught well over 160 classes in the comedic arts.
Jeremy Schaye is an actor and improviser who feels grateful joining the amazing Room2Improv team. A former high school English teacher and graduate of The Second City Conservatory, Jeremy has always loved watching people make fun and meaningful connections. He has begun to explore the world of performing arts, and being able to teach with Room2Improv combines his two passions. Jeremy is excited to share his love of teaching and improv with others and can’t wait to play with you!
Ashley Whitehurst fell in love with improv in Washington, DC and moved to Chicago in 2010 to study at Second City, iO, and The Annoyance. Currently, she performs with Rudy Toot, Aspertypicals, The Reome Ring, Flexible Boat and Jeff Ashley’s and directs at Wet Cement at Westside Improv, produces and performs in Jam Sandwich at SCTC every week, and performs, teaches, and directs all around the Chicagoland area. Ashley is also a speaker/facilitator on using improv to encourage innovation to design meaningful educational activities, help with physical wellness, and support emotional connections within communities. She is happy to be surrounded by people as weird as her and excited to teach and perform what she loves the most. See more pictures of her face at ashleywhitehurst.com.
Annie Conderacci – board member
Matthew McMillan – board member
Joni L. Shulman – board member
Sally Thompson – board member
Jake Kahana – web designer
Shirley Maeir – business advisor
Susan Sandvick – marketing advisor