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Fun at Work: Play Your Way to Better Mental Health pushes the bounds of Art-As-Research by using the arts as the subject, the method, and the presentation of research. Improviser Extraordinaire Lauren Stein leads eight co-workers of a Toronto tech firm through explorations in improvisation, ranging from simple games to multi-character plays, and asks them to journal their responses. Meanwhile, the author reflects on the effects this has on her world. Follow Lauren’s journey of development in confidence, self-perception, balance, and empathy.
Everything you need to know about the history of improvisational theatre, and comparative theories in therapy and theatrical healing, is artfully told between stories of the sessions. Discover the findings of Lauren’s original research presented in an accessible, amusing manner that you will not soon forget.
Now that the corporate workplace has overwhelmingly shifted to people’s homes, there’s no better time to rethink corporate culture and what the office will look like when people return. Lauren is available for workshops and consultations, both virtual and in-person.
“Lauren’s research on improv in a corporate setting sheds a light on the art form that I haven’t seen before. Her approach goes beyond the stuffiness of academic research to present a narrative of improv practice from the instructor’s perspective that is engaging, funny, and insightful. Having worked with Lauren before, I can tell you that she’s a performer, writer, and teacher who knows her stuff.” –JEFFREY SWEET, author of Something Wonderful Right Away: An Oral History of the Second City and The Compass Players
“Fun at Work is one of the most useful and valuable books I’ve read this year. Pick up this book immediately, and you can positively transform the way you communicate and interact with everybody around you.” –JR, marketer, Toronto
Five years later, the book’s participants shared the long-term impact of her fun and deceptively simple workshops. This is what they had to say:
“I truly believe that improv has a huge impact on how people can work together. … For us, it was a fun way to play for two hours a week, and that was it for me. I went about my business. It transformed us in ways we didn’t even realize.”
“It helped me empathize with others, and see that I’m not the only one with imposter syndrome. …Because of the workshops, I’m more able to put myself in others’ shoes. That’s helped with my career, especially when I disagree with my boss.”
ABOUT LAUREN STEIN
Lauren Stein has been improvising all her life. She shares her craft as a performer, teacher, writer, speaker, improv therapist, Hebrew Priestess, and Sacred Fool. Her formal education in Theatre and improvisation began at age five and includes a Bachelor’s degree in Drama, Associate of Trinity College of London in Speech and Drama, and Master’s in Expressive Arts Therapy. She has been teaching improv since 2008.
Lauren lives in Guelph, Ontario, where she sees clients for curiosity coaching and improv therapy. Her principal focus is making the world a better place by improving communication and connection between people, growing community, and making everything more fun. She firmly believes that more gets accomplished when people are having fun.
Lauren loves helping groups and workplaces improve their flow and morale through light-hearted yet game-changing fun. For inquiries, e-mail me@Laurentina.me.
“Lauren writes from her experiences building up her Applied Improv work … It was cleverly shared as a novel with the many characters, including herself, as part of the journey. She provides history and many styles of improv through cocktail party conversation and her personal connection to each. I learned a lot and hope to use this as a basis for the work that I am doing with AI. A good read!” -Julie Trell, Australia
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