Brad Fortier is the creator of Spontaneous Village and is a training and education coordinator for Uplift Oregon. He was a training and development coordinator for the Oregon Health Authority’s Equity & Inclusion Division from 2016-2021. He was the coordinator for Portland Community College’s Illumination Project From 2014-2016, and the education director for the Brody Theater from 2005-2012.
He has a masters degree in the interdisciplinary study of the anthropology of improvised theater (a unique M.A. he earned at Portland State University). Brad’s talents as a facilitator, presenter, and educator have kept him busy doing his favorite activity – making an impact on groups of people through interactive and experiential learning. Brad got his start as a member of Portland’s now defunct Brody Theater from 1996 to 2012. He was the education director for the Brody from 2004-2011 and is still very busy developing curriculum and delivering workshops around Portland, Oregon and the globe.
As an anthropologist, Brad continues his research on improvised theater and its social, psychological, and neurological benefits for people. He gave a talk at the 2010 Applied Improvisation Network’s Conference in Amsterdam on his research, and how the brain is affected by improvisation in Portland.
Brad wrote a chapter for the first Applied Improv textbook on his work developing a community building curriculum for refugee contexts, published in April of 2018 by Bloomsbury publishing in London. Through his consulting work, Brad worked with a diverse array of clients such as: Logitech, Nike, University of Oregon School of Law, Oregon Humanities, CareOregon, Jackson County Connect, and Oregon Health Sciences University. Education, Refugees, DEIJ, and Public Health are the contexts where Brad has been making the most impact. He has authored two books focused on the anthropology of improvisation: Long-Form Improvisation: Collaboration, Comedy, and Communion & A Culture of Play: Essays on the Origins, Applications, and Effects of Improvised Theater.
His performance career has taken him across the globe, as well. Brad has performed improvised shows on stages across the US, Canada, the European Union. For Brad’s talent in action, as well as some of his interviews and talks, check Video.
Brad also lends his expertise to the realm of healthcare as member of the board of directors for Oregon Health Science University’s clinic, Family Medicine at Richmond. It is here that Brad is beginning to explore potential mental health and wellness benefits of applying improvised theater tools.
8 thoughts on “About”
So well put . . . you’re so friggin’ smart, Brad.
Without my having read the book, I’m curious as to whether you have done anything to tie improv into Erving Goffman’s “Presentation of Self in Everyday Life.”
Funtime Improv & Improvacateurs
Martin, you don’t even have to read the book. You can see it incorporated in this post: https://bradfortier.com/2011/01/12/on-the-road-to-a-new-ethnography-anthropology-improvisation-and-performance/
do you know of any empirical studies covering the field of improvisation, I mean quantative studies with any kind of data collection? I guess there are none, but you were recommended to me by the facebook worldwide-improvisers group being both an improv player and a scientist 🙂
I do have some quantitative data regarding demographics of performers, as well as where and when people began learning improv. For the the demographics of performers N=65. For the info on when and where people learn N=75. Dan Goldstien is also a good person to connect with on this matter. He’s got a PhD in Psychology, and he gave me some scope on what sorts of psych research had been done. I think you should be able to access my thesis through the Portland State University Library. They have it in PDF format. It’s got way more detail and background, obviously, but it also has the distilled report of the performer demographics in the chapter “Performers”. I’d love to connect more with you about this.
Thank you! I’ve approached a Dan Goldstein who’s psychologist and improv player on facebook, hope he’s the right guy. I can send you my thesis when it’s finished, unfortunately it’ll be in german language but I’m gonna translate at least the abstract 🙂
You’re welcome. Drop my name if Dan is slow to respond. He’s a busy guy with a family teaching in London. I’ve got a lot of friends in Germany, and it’s about 90% likely that I’ll be coming through on a European teaching tour this June. Where are you at? Maybe we could meet for a chat if all goes well. Thanks for reaching out and sharing! Cheers.