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Kerstin Caldwell

Kerstin Caldwell

Kerstin Caldwell is an improvisational actor and experiential educator who combines the principles of improvisation with neuroscience to deliver memorable lessons in how we maneuver as humans. Her passion is serving individuals and communities as a means for building self-awareness, authentic self-expression and reminding individuals of their innate brilliance. Her toolkit includes communicating authentically, shining light on unspoken group dynamics and bringing perspective and levity to heavy situations. 

Kerstin studied Improvisation at The Second City and iO (formerly improvOlympic) in Chicago and has been honored to have taken workshops on the human experience through the lens of improvisation with Academy Award Winning actor, Alan Arkin. These experiences took Kerstin from a space of striving to be funny to relaxing into being real both on stage and off. In 2006, Kerstin was asked to bring improvisation to William Smith High School in Aurora, CO for a couple of weeks. Her goal was to show those dubbed the “bad kids” how to use their persuasive skills in more positive ways. She took the guidance from Mr. Arkin and worked to harness their playful nature using exercises and games to free them from stories of victimhood to practice positive communication and take risks in a safe, supportive space. Those two weeks at William Smith turned into a month. Then a semester. Then a year… In the end, Kerstin spent eight years as an Artist in Residence at William Smith where her approach to teaching improvisation evolved into a complete and successful curriculum on self-awareness.  

A big believer that life often hands you exactly what you need to learn to grow, Kerstin was thrust onto a journey of recovery after a car accident that left her with a Tramautic Brain Injury and subsequent diagnosis of PTSD. Embarking on therapies centered in neuroplasticity and healing her nervous system, Kerstin had first-hand experience in her ability to bounce back from difficulty through repetitive practice and care. She made connections in the overlap between the repetition of games used to become skilled as an improvisational actor and the brain-based therapies she was using to heal. Her workshops evolved into sharing what she was learning about the brain alongside her work with play. This combination has become the foundation Kerstin infuses each of her workshops with whether she is teaching in prisons, schools, corporations, or at the Denver Center for Performing Arts.

Living through the uncertainty brought on by a pandemic, more and more individuals have experienced the strain of something they fear; having to improvise. Kerstin takes the fear of this concept away by bringing a sense of freedom, ease and accomplishment to groups ready to grow with and for the greater good of themselves and their organizations.

Travels from: Aurora, Colorado

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