Ep. 84 – Antonio Ocampo-Guzman: Designing Improv Classes for Business & Computer Science Students

I’m really excited to introduce you all to Antonio Ocampo-Guzman, an actor, director, author, and theater teacher originally from Bogotá, Colombia. He is an Associate Professor at Northeastern University, where he teaches all levels of acting, voice, and improvisation – but not just to theater students.

 

Antonio has developed a number of courses for non-theater students to help people develop their “soft skills,” or interpersonal communication skills – but, as listeners to this podcast know, those skills can be very hard to comprehend and practice.

 

“When you bring people back to playfulness in theater, they rediscover a childlike sense of innocence, playfulness, willingness, and generosity – which makes life much easier.”

 

Antonio designed the first one of these courses about five years ago, for the business school. Shortly thereafter, Dean Carla Brodley asked him to design a similar course for the computer science program.

 

After a short pilot period, it became a required class for every single undergraduate student majoring in Computer and Information Science at Northeastern.

 

“You’re only alive and compelling when there’s a disruption. The status quo only perpetuates injustices and inequalities… and Improv is all a disruption.”

 

Download this Episode MP3.

 

Resources:

 

Production & Development for Improv Is No Joke by Podcast Masters