What We Do
We play with adults and children of all ages, using improv games, storytelling, art projects, and mindful activities to practice saying “yes, and,” being present and collaborating.
Improv helps us:
- be in the moment
- trust ourselves
- set clear boundaries
- respond instead of react
- be authentic
- relax and have fun
Parenting gems! Life lessons for your kids! Our camps, workshops and classes give you new tools, playful experiences and real connections.
What is Improv Parenting?
Improv parenting is being in the moment, being authentic, respecting your child, trusting yourself, and taking joy in setting boundaries in a new way (amazing but true: you can be authoritative and say no while also having fun).
We believe that applying improv to family life helps you be more joyful and provides a framework for addressing tensions and stresses. It can be a entire paradigm shift or simply a way to lighten things up.
Here is more about harnessing the power of yes, and during a small, daily interaction.
Who We Are
We are experienced educators who love teaching and using play, creativity and spontaneity to grow, enhance relationships and bring on the fun. We teach playfully and creatively; our teachers are warm, present and connected.
Keren Gudeman Founder, Director & Teacher
As an athletic coach, classroom teacher, outdoor educator and parent of three I have a lot of experience improvising - I just didn't realize it. A few years ago (and because of the amazing Jen Scott) I took an improv class at Brave New Workshop. The games and exercises forced me to be in the moment and trust my instincts. And it was inspiring to observe others stepping into this unplanned, shared space and stumble around just like I did. And heck, we laughed a bunch too.
I am not an actor and like many people, public speaking and being on stage still scare me. Although performing improv is not my passion (and I deeply admire those loons who can do it), improv parenting is a deeply personal devotion. It is about playfully taking life seriously. There's so much to learn! And there are so many playful ways to learn it!
I love meeting new people, connecting authentically, playing, creating stories and discovering together. I hope to play with you some day!
If you want to know more about my background and experiences (resume) please visit this place.
Jen Scott Co-Founder, Teacher
Jen Scott is a performer, teacher, playwright and sometime musician. She's taught at the Brave New Workshop Student Union since 2001, and also teaches regularly at Children’s Theatre Company, Park Square Theatre and Pillsbury House Theatre. As a performer, she's worked with HUGE Theater, Walking Shadow Theater Company, Four Humors, the Science Museum of Minnesota, and others. Jen is also the mom of two; her eldest, Oscar, is three and transforms into a sometimes nice, sometimes mean robot regularly. It just sort of depends on the day.
Seniz Yargici-Lennes Teacher
Seniz is a mom, improvisor and Playworker with over 15 years of experience teaching, designing youth programs and managing arts integration initiatives in MN and NYC. She has happily spent most of her career and life exploring meaningful applications of play.
Along with facilitating Playful Perspectives Workshops with parents and organizations throughout Minnesota, Seniz is the founder of Twin Cities Adventure Play, a founding member of the North American Adventure Play Association, and works with the US Play Coalition to coordinate, you guessed it, play activities for the annual conference on the value of play. Seniz is the Director of Teen Programs and performs, regularly, with HUGE Improv Theater in Minneapolis, teaches preschool in the mornings for Bright Prospects Cooperative Preschool, and sings wild harmonies in the local indy-pop band School for Girls. She enjoys coffee, travel, being upside down, playing games and exploring everything always.
Sarah Gioia Teacher
Sarah had a long career in local (mostly) and national (a bit) theater, directing over 80 shows as well as casting and dramaturging extensively. She is mostly retired from all that glamour to be a full-time mama to her 6 year old son. And to teach at Improv Parenting camps, of course!
Shelley Johnson Teacher
Shelley Johnson has been teaching for as long as she can remember whether in classrooms or wrangling her friends into makeshift desks during imaginary play as a child. She teaches preschool, theater, and improv and serves as the Education Director for Blackout Improv. Shelley believes in the power of storytelling, building relationships, and cultivating the skill of finding delight in all things. Improv has given her the tools to be a better playmate and teacher through "yes, anding" (which is not the same as giving in!), listening and collaborating.
Alex Cleberg Teacher
Alex is a father of two and plays a scary monster, old timey sportscaster, and jungle gym for his kids. He has performed, coached, or taught improv for over a decade. He is an intercultural trainer at the University of Minnesota and an improv instructor at the Brave New Workshop.