“If you meet the Buddah on the road, kill him” -zen koan

What is Wellness Improv: A chance to heal through laughter and play.

“Playing a game is psychologically different in degree but not in kind from dramatic acting. The ability to create a situation imaginatively and to play a role in it is a tremendous experience, a sort of vacation from one’s everyday self and the routine of everyday living. We observe that this psychological freedom creates a condition in which strain and conflict are dissolved and potentialities are released in the spontaneous effort to meet the demands of the situation. (Neva L. Boyd, Play, A Unique Dicipline)

How does it work: If you have a wellness retreat in the NY region that is looking to add a unique workshop, you’ve come to the right place. We here at Hallet’s Cove Theater believe that creating something is the first step back to empowerment. Improvisation is not just for comedians and professional fame seekers (although we love them too), rather, improv has been tested and regularly proven to improve one’s overall sense of wellbeing.


  • Embracing the ‘Weirdo’ (and meet your inner expert!): A Workshop in playing with your very own sense of humor, through masks, inner characters and props…lots of props. Using warmup improv games to get the mind open we then take the next 3 hours placing your “outside” personae into a little safe box and explore what you would only say if you were a Whale Watching expert in the middle of space. The 3 hours involve a group of 5-12 people.


  • Improv Drama: A workshop based entirely on performing scenes one needs to see. With techniques used in positive psychology and drama therapy, we create a space which encourages closure. We all have missed opportunities in our lives, perhaps there is a way to at least get a chance to say the thing we need to a say with a “Yes…AND” participant. Come to a healing workshop of using improv and the spirit of openheartedness to be heard, say a thing…and indeed have perhaps a little fun as well. This is a 3 hour workshop involving a group of 5-12 people max.

The Doctor is in!

And so are some clinical trial studies on IMPROVISATION:

Here’s an excerpt of one relatively recent clinical study:

Gordon Bermant’s Article from December 10, 2013 in "Frontiers of Psychology: Working with(out) a net: improvisational theater and enhanced well-being:

“Improv aim(s) to increase personal awareness, interpersonal attentiveness, and trust among members of the ensemble.”

Working with an Enacted Net:


“Improv plays out in social context. It can be frightening to anticipate going on stage to make it up as you go along. This is the felt sense working without a net. But there is a source support in improv that can alleviate the fear of failure. It is the realization that my only obligation on stage is to my scene partner, whose only obligation is to me. In the terms already introduced, there is reciprocity of UPR and Yes &…in every exchange. If all play authentically to each other, fear of failure loses it’s sting- a net of support is constructed from the openness, trust, and acceptance expressed within the ensemble. Individual vulnerability creates collective strength. In the setting, failure is not a meaningful concept. To experience this in any context is a stimulus to enact it in others. The contexts will differ markedly, but the cognitive-affective matrix of individuals and ensembles can become equally wholesome.”


Huff Post 2017: Improvisation Can Help to Heal — Even Trauma, Even Alzheimer’s

CNN 2018: How an improv class is helping the anxious

Rutgers Today 2017: Using Improv to Boost Confidence, Improve Mental Health

Frontiers in Psychology 2013: Working with(out) a net: improvisational theater and enhanced well-being

Frontiers in Psychology 2018: Improving Teenagers’ Divergent Thinking With Improvisational Theater

Sage Journals 2011: Stand up for dementia: Performance, improvisation and stand up comedy as therapy for people with dementia; a qualitative study