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Scicomm Workshop: Speaking Up and Holding Space

In partnership with Black Improv Alliance ( come join us on in this truly interactive experience of applying improvisation techniques focused on speaking up, holding space, and speaking with confidence. These skills will elevate your science communication.

This event is supported by the National Science Foundation grant no. PHY 1938815 and the American Association of Physics Teachers


The purpose of the session is to promote diversity and inclusion through an interactive workshop focused on speaking up, holding space, and having tough conversations.


This is a truly interactive experience because having participants experience the lesson is more powerful than simply building awareness. This 65-minute virtual learning session consists of experiential exercises followed by short, facilitated discussions. Each exercise will include an explanation of how it ties-in to business applications.

In depth description of the relevance of Improv 

Applied improvisation (the practice of applying improvisational theater skills in real-world settings) has become widely recognized as an innovative and enjoyable way to create lasting change within organizations. By improving participants’ abilities to listen, support, and stay present, applied improv creates social capital through improved communication and collaboration skills. It has been used to increase employee morale and improve corporate environments and frequently serves as a training tool in higher education spaces. Top-tier business schools including Duke, UCLA, MIT and Stanford are all teaching improv to improve students’ collaboration, creativity and risk taking. Applied improvisational theater is wildly enjoyable, but it also teaches individuals to respond more effectively to complex problems and to manage uncertainty with confidence. Using exercises with made-up relationships and settings empowers participants to practice responding to challenging scenarios without feeling singled out or judged. In addition, they observe the importance of listening and avoiding assumptions, all in an incredibly supportive environment.

The Black Improv Alliance (BIA) is a community of Black improvisers who have been featured by Speakeasy Theater, Bob Carter’s Actor’s Rep, Improv U, The Pack, Hideout Theater, Miami Improv Festival, Baltimore Improv Festival, Palm Beach Improv Festival, Countdown Improv Festival, Twin Cities/Black & Funny Improv Festival, Black Impact Benefit Show, John Krasinski’s Some Good News, and more! Our leadership team is based in Florida, but we perform and teach all over the world and online. Our director, Stephanie Rae, has done corporate work with organizations including Microsoft, S.C. Johnson, and YouTube.

Media Resources

The event is finished.


Oct 30 2021


10:00 am - 11:30 am

Local Time

  • Timezone: America/New_York
  • Date: Oct 30 2021
  • Time: 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

More Info



Zoom Webinar (sign up to receive link)


Black In Physics


  • Stephanie Rae
    Stephanie Rae
    Lead Facilitator

    Stephanie Rae has been studying traditional and musical improv for the last eleven years. After falling in love with the form at the Washington Improv Theater, she moved to Florida, founded Negative Four Months, and created hit shows including Law & Disorder and The Laughter Games. She later joined the Society Circus Players, performing in festivals including UCB’s Del Close Marathon – in which she conceived and directed a Boyz II Men themed improv show. These days, she directs the Black Improv Alliance, performing with International Players Club, Wakanda vs. Everybody, and Fake Eggs.

    Stephanie has guest performed with teams all over the world – including ComedySportz Portland, Unscrewed Theatre, and The Groundlings – and taught classes for the Hideout Theatre, Liverpool Improv Comedy, Improv Comedy Bangalore, The Countdown Festival, and Red Carpet Kids, among others. She has worked with corporate clients including but not limited to the Miami Childrens’ Museum, Madison Capital Funding, Masterbuilt, Access Sports, Mayer Brown, Microsoft, and YouTube. She is passionate about amplifying diverse voices and getting more melanin onstage. She also has a law degree – but mostly uses it to correct people online.