Like actors who practice becoming their characters, you can practice being your best self and using your strong voice. We are hosting a workshop for “Change leaders” — people working toward making a difference in the world, who would like to get better at feeling grounded and speaking truthfully.

We invite you to attend a three-hour workshop facilitated by people who stand in the world of improv and education. As improvisers we invite you into a light and supportive environment where you can play games, connect with others, stay connected to and express your creative self. As educators we intend to create learning moments for you to experience new tools, ways of thinking, speaking and feeling to equip you on your journey.

Show up!

An Embodied Path to Power and Presence
— by Ted DesMaisons

Do you find yourself shrinking away from others or driving them away with unintentional intimidation? This workshop will show you how to inhabit a physical and attitudinal way of being that generates resilient confidence, creative power, and authentic connection.

Through safe and playful movement, breathing, and speaking exercises, we’ll learn how to return easily and consistently to this place of grounded strength. We’ll also see how we often inhabit the less productive spaces of hesitant hiding and overconfident overbearing, and how each may prove useful or productive at limited times. Lastly, we’ll  explore how being present resembles—and yet differs from—more familiar status work in applied improvisation.

Speak up!

Learn to trust yourself and speak your truth
— by Hannah du Plessis

When we disagree with what is happening around us but we keep quiet, we not only reinforce the status quo, we also become miserable. But how do we speak up in a way that is true to what we feel, yet not diminishing of another person?  

Drawing from the world of conflict resolution and nonviolent communication, this workshop will first explore the barriers to honest communication, then provide practice in the skills of honest communication. We’ll explore methods to stay present, to sense and vocalize what we feel and to ask for what we need. Participants will leave the workshop with a communication frame designed to help them keep on speaking up honesty.


Where will it be?
3427 Bethoven Street, Pittsburgh. Street parking available.

To accommodate people’s different schedules, we are offering these workshops on two different days. The two sessions are identical, so choose the one that’s most convenient!

  • Monday January 25th, 2pm – 5pm
  • Tuesday January 26th, 6:30pm – 9:30pm

How much will it cost?
Depending on your income, we suggest the following:

$75 for professionals
$45 for Non-profit people
$25 for activists and artists

As a small business, we also sometimes need help, so if you’re interested in a trade, please contact Hannah:

Group size
25 people maximum. If we have less than eight people registered, we will refund you your money and cancel the workshop.

Last thoughts

  • Please arrive a few minutes early, so we can start on time.
  • There will be a tea break halfway through each session.
  • Please wear comfortable clothes and shoes.
  • Bring a water bottle and a note book.

We look forward to having you with us!

To register…

choose the appropriate price from our Workshop Shop and click “add to cart.” Then click “view cart” or “check out” on the right side of the page, and you can check out using online payments.

Have questions? Contact us and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.


If you’d like to know about more about your hosts, read on… 

Ted DesMaisons has been synthesizing innovative approaches to teaching and learning for over 25 years. Combining humor with gravitas and intention with inspiration, Ted helps create safe spaces for exploring what really matters. Since completing his graduate work at Stanford (MBA, Arjay Miller Scholar) and Harvard (Masters of Theology), Ted has studied and performed improvisation across North America, including with Patricia Ryan Madson at Stanford, BATS Improv in San Francisco and Loose Moose Theater in Calgary, Alberta. He is the founder and principal of ANIMA Learning, a trained Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) instructor, and the US Coordinator for the UK-based Mindfulness in Schools Project (MiSP). Currently based just south of San Francisco, he writes regularly about growth mindset, applied improv, contemplation, and positive reinforcement on his ANIMA blog (

Hannah du Plessis was groomed and raised to always be agreeable and always be polite. Until one day when politeness had eroded so much of herself away that she could no longer continue being practically perfect. But if not that, then what? What does it mean to be your authentic self? What is the sound of your own voice? Why is it so impossibly difficult to live in continuous creative response to what life presents? Summoning her experience as an artist, designer, improvisor, facilitator and professor who engages in questions like these, Hannah helps groups of people shed what keeps them small and move into a larger version of themselves.

She performs as an improviser, she teaches “Design for Social Innovation” at Carnegie Mellon and at the School of Visual Arts in NYC. She is principal at Fit Associates and she really likes to be left alone in a room filled with fabric and paint.

Ooooh, you’ve read all the way to the end! Broad smile ;-)
By | 2017-06-28T18:44:05+00:00 January 6th, 2016|Categories: Events, News, Past events|2 Comments

About the Author:

The shape of an instrument informs its sound. The shape of Hannah’s work was forged in South Africa under the oppressive political system of apartheid. For the last three decades she has pursued the question: “what does it take to create a life-affirming world?” She has done so as community leader, design professional, researcher, facilitator, professor, improviser and artist.


  1. Morgana Morgaine January 10, 2016 at 12:02 pm - Reply

    THIS looks delicious and I am in Santa Fe, New Mexico and wish you were HERE! Such a powerful way to shift! Bravo improv for infiltrating so many fields….
    Morgana Morgaine

    • Hannah January 11, 2016 at 11:20 am - Reply

      Hello Morgana, it is a very cold day here — I too wish I was in Santa Fe! Thank you for your comment. I like your outlook and words “‘if you can laugh at it’ or play with it’, you will create a more balanced you.” We are on a similar journey and I hope your paths cross in the future.

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