By Mark Ambrogi
Brooke DeBettignies is convinced improvisational skills can be beneficial in all walks of life.
“It’s learning to think on your feet and creating spontaneously and learning to work in agreement with other people,” she said. “Improv benefits all kids whether they want to become a lawyer, a doctor or a fashion designer, these skills come in handy because it teaches you to collaborate well with others.”
DeBettignies, from Noblesville, will give a improvisational workshop from 1 to 4 p.m. March 12 as part of Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre’s Young Artists Program.
“I’ve been teaching for six or seven years now in various capacities,” she said. “Last year I did a fundraising class for St. Michael’s Church in Noblesville. I’ve taught at summer camps.”
DeBettignies, a 2013 Park Tudor School graduate, is a senior at New York City’s Pace School of Performing Arts, majoring in acting. She will attend Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts in London to get her master’s degree in directing in the fall.
DeBettignies performed in Civic Theatre’s production of “A Chorus Line” in 2012.
“It’s a great place for families because they offer so many great programs, not just for kids but also adults,” she said of Civic Theatre. “So I’m incredibly excited to be a part of their youth program, teaching improv, one of the things I love to do it.”
DeBettignies, who was born in Noblesville, went to middle school in Los Angeles with improv performances at LA Improv and Pasadena Ice House. In addition, she trained and performed at The Second City in Chicago.
In New York City, DeBettignies serves as the youth program director and school coordinator at Improvolution, an improv school in New York. She is a co-director of the Pace Improv Troupe and a member of DUMBO Underground Improv, a professional troupe.
DeBettignies conducted a research project, which showed that a improvisation theater had a positive effect on children’s self-concept.
“That’s one of the reasons why I love teaching it to kids because I believe wholeheartedly it’s so beneficial for self-concept and it’s a lot of fun,” she said.
All workshops are designed for high school students, ages 14-18. The cost is $30 per participant.
For more, visit civictheatre.org.