We give you practical, playful tools and experiences to support your parenting.
Our parent workshops and classes deliver fresh ideas for addressing tensions, unhealthy dynamics, and kids’ ever-changing needs. Parenting is more satisfying when we learn to stay in the moment, trust ourselves, and set clear boundaries. Amazing but true: you can be authoritative and say no while also being playful.
We give your child creative, connected and dynamic experiences to support her growth and development through play.
When you leave your child at one of our classes or camps, you know he'll be taught by skilled educators who use imaginative activities to grow his creativity, confidence, emotional self-regulation and peer collaboration.
Our curriculum draws from improvisation, storytelling, mindfulness, play-based therapy, education experts and parenting gurus.
About our Instructors
We are experienced educators, improvisors and parents who love using play and creativity to grow and enhance relationships.
Keren Gudeman Founder, Director & Teacher
Keren Gudeman founded Improv Parenting as a way to help parents feel more confident and have more fun as they raise thoughtful, empathic, resilient, well-rounded kids.
Knee-deep in the challenges of raising her first child, Keren found that even with plenty of experience teaching and coaching kids she felt overwhelmed by being a parent - which felt like some very serious business. The kind that didn’t come with a guide book!
An improvisation class gave her parenting and teaching fresh energy and new insights. She learned that parenting is more joyful when you are playful, respond in the moment, and give yourself permission to rewrite the old parenting scripts - the nagging or power struggles. And when you get better at responding in the moment, you feel more confident. You’re prepared for whatever curve (or snot) ball your child might throw you.
Improv Parenting is about playfully taking life seriously.
My experience as Head Women's Soccer Coach and Physical Education Professor at Carleton College, English teacher, outdoor educator, athlete and student taught me that play is fundamental to deep learning. And that play is the ultimate relationship builder. In our effort to be great parents and people, improv helps us practice some of the most important skills: flexible, open, ready for anything, non-judgmental, adaptive, sometimes goofy, sometimes serious, present.
I love meeting new people, connecting authentically, playing, creating stories and discovering together. There's so much to learn, and many playful ways to learn it. I hope to play with you some day!
If you want to know more about my background please visit this place.
Jen Scott 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.
Sami Dee Teacher
Sami teaches at Temple Israel ECC and is an improvisor, performing and directing around Minneapolis.
Krystianna Johnson Teacher
A Museum Educator at the Minnesota Children's Museum and a lab instructor and TA for Toy Product Design at the U of MN, Krystianna teaches classes and camps for Improv Parenting and is our event strategist.