Emotional Safety Resources for Improv


Emotional safety (also called psychological safety) is important to all theatre performers. The resources on this page are a starting point for all members of the improv community to promote open and safer spaces.

If you’re feeling distress because of an experience in improv, please emphasize self-care and seek help as best you can.

NOTE: I’m based in Canada and have the most familiarity with resources for North America. To find more resources local to you, try an online search using keywords from the titles below.

Please help our community by sharing links to any helpful information you find. You can contact me here.

Table of Contents

Get future updates for this list

Emotional Safety is an issue for ALL improvisers

An unsafe experience can be as dangerous to the mind as it is to the body. We can play characters in humiliating or dangerous situations, but it’s NOT okay to make performers act out those situations if they’re not comfortable doing so. No actor should risk their mental health for the sake of entertainment.

These issues aren’t confined to gender or race or other types of relationship. Anyone can find themselves in an unsafe situation. It’s not just about intimate or sexual contact either. Stage violence, lifting, and other physical activities can also make players feel unsafe. Improv is a group activity, and we must all be responsible for one another’s psychological safety.

Sexual Misconduct Resources

  • For local help, try the following online search:
    sexual assault help [city] [country]
  • (USA) National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE (4673)
  • (USA) RAINN: https://www.rainn.org/
  • (Canada) Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868
  • (Canada) see “Harassment Resources” link below

Organizations and Collectives

Developing Anti-Harassment Policies

Teaching and Pedagogy Resources

Example Theatre Policies and Codes of Conduct

Further Reading

Please help promote Emotional Safety in the improv community. Share this page, and contact me with any additional resources you find.

David Raitt - Headshot

Hi, I'm David Raitt. I've been performing and teaching improv and sketch comedy for over 25 years.
MY MISSION: To help improvisers everywhere (re-)learn the power of environment, object work, and physicality in character and performance.

Learning the Improv Illusion

A free series introducing the techniques of Physical Improv.