Improvocations Group Shows How the Art of Play Can Benefit Mental Health

Laughter is said to be the best medicine, especially for your mental health according to the American Counseling Association.

ABC 31 News Reporter Keisha Swafford has the story on how a local improv group teaches the community the art of play.


The Improvocations Group is one of the few improv groups in Central Louisiana.

Nina Voorhies, Improv Performer says, “Being able to get ideas and lines from the audience really helps develop creativity and imagination so we’re able to create a whole world on stage.”


Improv provides expressive therapy for audience members to laugh and relax.

Mark Weinzettle, Improv Performer-I’ve always enjoyed making people laugh when I could. Something about improv, of course our goal is to usually make people laugh but sometimes the funniest part is when we horribly mess up.


Improv Performer Susan Gordon, says, “I love performing improv and being with the audience because the fun is contagious. Everyone is involved even if your audience who doesn’t like to be seen or heard, the energy in the room means you’re a part of it.


Audience members can participate in comedic improv to boost their self-esteem.

Audience Member Loren Ryland says, “After I volunteered, I really regretted it as soon as I was walking up there, but after I sat down, I felt really accepted, and you know, it’s nice when there’s a group of people that are kind of willing to let their guards down. Everybody that gets up there has to do that.”


Studies have shown expression through the arts can help with depression and anxiety.

Gordon says, “If you’re experiencing just anything that makes you feel like you’re stuck, improv is a great way to be free. And what I love about this is that we’re introducing play to adults so for example, we did an entire show at a bar today, but we were acting like kids and that’s something a lot of adults are missing in their everyday life and that’s honestly, truly why I love improv.”


Through improv, audience members can learn to be present and just go with it.

The improv group’s next show is at Tamp and Grind Coffee Shop on June 2nd.

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