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First Person: The Connection Between Improv Comedy And Therapy

Zach Stones, associate director of the National Comedy Theatre on stage next ...

Credit: National Comedy Theatre

Above: Zach Stones, associate director of the National Comedy Theatre on stage next to fellow actor Alison Ramsay, 2018.

First Person: The Connection Between Improv Comedy And Therapy

GUEST:

Zach Stones, clinical supervisor, San Diego Center for Children

Transcript

If you’ve been to a show at the National Comedy Theatre in Mission Hills you may know the name Zach Stones. He's been performing and teaching improv at the theatre since 2003.

What you may not know about him is that he spends most of his days thinking about ways to support kids and families in the foster care and juvenile justice systems through his work at the nonprofit San Diego Center for Children.

As part of our First Person series, Stones opens up about the ways his work on stage relates to his day job.

“Improvisation and therapy have always been closely linked for me. I think the improv spirit of ‘yes – and’ and how much practice improvisation is in connecting with other people, is also the main thing we all need therapeutically to grow,” Stones said. “The key to most people's situation is being able to feel comfortable sharing who you really are and… the rules of improvisation carry over to that very well.”

Stones, who majored in theatre and psychology, said he got the improv bug when he was in college. Along with being a clinical supervisor at the San Diego Center for Children, Stones serves as the associate director of the National Comedy Theatre.

Special Feature First Person

KPBS Midday Edition's First Person series tells the stories of average and not-so-average San Diegans in their own words. Their experiences, both universal and deeply personal, offer a unique lens into the news of the day.

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