It is with my highest regard that I endorse Julie Feinstein Adams, a professional par excellence and gifted movement theater artist. I came to know Ms. Adams as a presenter for the Exploratorium’s 2007 summer programming series, where she developed and facilitated an intensive workshop called Improvisation from the Inside-Out: A Parent-Child Workshop.
The workshop was unprecedented in that it was movement-based, a first for the museum, as well as its intergenerational approach, which is rare if non-existent in the improv and theater world. If that wasn’t enough of a challenge, we designed the workshop to serve as a prism for parenting and life lessons! Toward this endeavor, Ms. Adams applied a generous amount of research, creativity, and skill toward delivering a successful, delightful visitor experience.
Ms. Adams deftly synthesized a wide array of creative improv games and exercises, drawing from her decades of improv and theater training from the field’s pioneers, including Nina Wise and Ruth Zaporah. She augmented this effort with tons of independent research on child development, field study, planning, and workshop prototyping.
As a public programs professional of five years, I cannot emphasize enough how important the research and development process is for the success of a first-time, untested workshop with lots of experimental variables. Julie knew this intuitively and went above the call of duty to ensure a positive experience. She is an amazing credit and ambassador to her field.
Improvisation from the Inside-Out: A Parent-Child Workshop was a remarkable program. Visitors who participated in her workshop were visibly moved, and almost all of them asked if we’d be willing to offer the workshop on a regular basis. She had to engage a wide range of participants, from 4 year-old homeschoolers, incredibly shy 8 year-olds, to adults who had no previous experience with improv. Her balance of individual attention and creating a sense of collectivity and trust among the group was stellar. She is a natural facilitator.
The strongest testimonials came from the visitors themselves. I witnessed some wonderful transformations in our visitors during those three hours. I saw inner resistance melt away as both kids and adults allowed their imagination to soar. I saw gleeful children, having a blast being treated as an equal to adults. I saw gratified adults, finally given permission to tap their inner playfulness. One participant said he had signed up for the workshop to bond with his daughter, but ended up connecting more with himself. It is rare when a program transcends its entertainment and recreation value and enables a sense of revelation.
I found Julie to be remarkably positive and energetic professional to work with. Her warmth and sense of grace puts her collaborators and her clients immediately at ease. Her reliability and follow-through are solid. I wholeheartedly recommend her for any future project she commits to.
Public Programs Coordinator
I wanted to thank you for the fantastic workshop today.
I was so happy to be able to participate this morning. Although I’ve never attended an improv workshop, I was moved to see how meaningful and valuable this experience was for everyone — no matter what their age! I loved seeing the interactions between the parents and their children, the blossoming of the shyer participants and the joyful expressions on everyone’s face!
It’s been so long since I’ve seen children playing make believe. Perhaps it’s our world of electronic gadgets and prescribed toys these days. Your workshop gave everyone the chance to experience making believe in a fun and encouraging way. I would be surprised if this did not translate into developing their creativity and enjoyment in other areas of life!