Urban Improv

An essential resource for educators and community leaders who want to tap the moral voices of their students as they explore issues of identity, self-esteem, and non-violence. We as adults have a lot to learn from them.
— Margot Strom, Executive Director and President, Facing History and Ourselves

The Urban Improv Educational Video is an innovative teaching tool for youth educators and healthcare professionals.  It covers topics including racism, bullying, peer pressure, teen pregnancy, and homophobia, with a target audience of middle and high school students, ages 12-18.  The video includes a companion Teacher's Resource Guide.

Taped in front of a live audience of young people, the video is based on Urban Improv's Emmy award-winning TV show, “Re: Action!”  The series features 13 vignettes performed by professional actors using our powerful methodology to set up scenes of real-life conflicts.  As the tension builds, the director freezes the action and invites students to enter the drama and act out their own resolutions.  Each skit is followed by an in-depth group discussion.

The structure of the tapes allows flexibility in the classroom and offers interactive opportunities for students. 

The video scripts were developed in consultation with a network of nationally recognized educators and health professionals, including: Dr. Sara Lawrence Lightfoot, Professor, Harvard School of Education; Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, Professor of Psychiatry, Boston University and Medical Director, Trauma Center at Justice Resource Institute; Deborah Meier, Ph.D., Founding Principal, Mission Hill School, Boston; Emily Hewitt, Teacher, Madison Park High School, Boston.

I just viewed the video tape, and I have to say that the materials, combined with the troupe’s recent performances, will no doubt be one of the most significant interventions in reducing violence and increasing understanding among our students. I will do everything I can to ensure that the video and resource guide are used by many throughout the district.
— Denise Gaudette, M.Ed., R.H.D., Director, Schools as Safe Harbors Program, New Bedford, MA Public Schools