The Power of Improvisation to Create Relationships and Spark Joy
By Joshua Luckens
When was the last time you opened your mouth to speak without having completely planned out what you were going to say? For me, it was the last time I said something…and the time before that! The truth is, we are all constantly discovering what we are going to say and do next as we live into each and every moment.
We often take our ability to do this for granted, but our capacity for presence, openness, and connection with others can grow tremendously through practice. And luckily, practicing improv has amazing side effects—like laughter, fun, and friendship!
The first principal of improvisation is “say yes, and…” This philosophy, applied to life beyond the stage, empowers players to build meaningful relationships on a foundation of active listening and acceptance. Students collaboratively discover humor and joy with their peers by having fun together and letting their imaginations run wild.
Improvisational theatre is a powerful tool for personal development. People from all walks of life use improv to prepare them to be their best selves on the world’s stage. Players gain confidence by collectively telling stories that are completely unique to each session. Students discover a profound freedom of creative expression, and in doing so, they cultivate presence, composure, and ease.
I encourage everyone to try improv; it’s a fantastic way to make friends, develop more comfort and ease at being yourself, and have a lot of fun. I’ve practiced improvisation for years, and each time I do, I discover something new. Improv gifts players with the transformative ability to find freedom in everyday interaction. I encourage everyone to experience the power of improvisation—it empowers people to come together and make world a more joyful place, one laugh at a time!
Joshua Luckens has over a decade of experience as an educator in a broad range of settings. He has worked as a theatre director and performer, drama and English teacher, Outward Bound instructor, service learning and cultural exchange trip leader throughout Latin America, and was a Fulbright Fellow in Colombia. He is passionate about facilitating transformative experiences, inspiring creativity and confidence, and empowering individuals to tell stories that matter.