The Project Connect


“What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate.”
—From the movie Cool Hand Luke

The Project Connect was created to help people in all kinds of groups and organizations communicate better with one another.
Science tells us that we are hardwired to connect with others, yet… this is a choice. When connection is absent so is trust, empathy, compassion, creativity, and love. We function best when we feel we belong, are listened to, and our opinions are valued.

The Project Connect was conceived after listening to many people talk about how difficult it is to connect with others when there are conflicting values. It is easier to withdraw when you don’t feel heard and respected than to seek common ground. As life-long improvisers, we understand the power behind the principles of improvisation – open mindedness, a willingness to participate, deep listening, generosity of spirit, and not taking oneself too seriously. We’ve watched miracles take place on stage and also in life when these principles are applied. The Project Connect is about making these principles available to everyone.

What IS The Project Connect? (TPC)

The Project Connect is a program of experiential workshops designed to help organizations, teams, and community groups improve communication and connection. The workshops focus on helping participants engage with each other by using thoughtful and carefully guided improv exercises and storytelling. The experience is both powerful and great fun as participants discover their innate abilities for connection, clear communication, and teamwork.

Participants will learn:

  • How to allow connection to take place – it’s a choice
  • To be in the present moment
  • To listen and not think ahead
  • How finding common ground builds connection
  • Empathy can be learned
  • The importance of eye contact, body language, and tone of voice
  • The power of story

TPC Programs

The Project Connect will inspire people with different perspectives to come together. Its goal is to open doors to finding common ground and learning to listen with respect. It offers programs to groups of all kinds that are looking to improve communication skills to achieve their goals.

  • 90 Minute Program – An interactive program where participants experience what it takes to make a connection with another person.
  • Half-Day Program – This three-hour program gives participants the experience of what it takes to make connections and provides tools for doing it.
  • Full-Day Program – Participants are given the experience of making connections, the tools needed to help them make these, and how storytelling can be used to do this.

Who is The Project Connect?

Linda Gelman and Carol Schindler are founding members of the legendary, award-winning improv company Chicago City Limits. Their experiences of performing and teaching at CCL and many other organizations led to the discovery of their shared vision of the need for connection. Their goal is to begin a movement across the country that helps people with differing perspectives engage with one another in productive ways.

Linda Gelman teaches classes in creative expression, improvisation, and acting at Purchase College, as well as other schools and cultural institutions around the country. She also instructs corporate clients in creativity, leadership, and teambuilding. At Chicago City Limits, she continues to perform and teach and functions as Producer and Workshop Coordinator.

Carol Schindler works with the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science and has been working as a creative director, writer, and speech coach for the past 25 years. Her improvisational background and her corporate experience give her an effective blend of big business and show business, allowing her to coach many corporate executives, managers, and sales reps toward achieving their own leadership style and their best performance.

Both Linda and Carol continue to teach improvisation and try as best they can to live the life they love to teach – present, open-minded, and full of joy and laughter.

Life’s too precious not to accept the challenge – let’s connect!


I have attended dozens of workshops over many years, but none have been more engaging than The Project Connect. You had the 14 of us completely willing to participate in the exercises. I must confess that I began the workshop nervous but immediately felt safe. The fun exercises promoted healthy communication skills, empathy, and trust. I would highly recommend this workshop.—Meg Kuhner, Former Co-director of Circle, a domestic violence agency

The workshop that Linda and Carol facilitated for my Advisory Board was depthful, practical and exactly what we needed to feel more connected to each other. Their ability to create a comfortable, safe and exploratory environment made the process so engaging and fun that most of us didn’t even realize the self growth components until after it was over! I have been a mental health clinician for 26 years and would recommend The Project Connect workshop to anyone and everyone!—Megan McDowell, LPC, MSW, Heartworks Foundation Founder and Chief Visionary Director

Thank you for an impressive facilitation of the most engaging, dynamic workshop I’ve ever attended! I came away aware of the principles of communication and how to put them into practice. You got the 14 of us men and women to fully participate, interact, laugh and move — it was truly embodied playful learning … yet it allowed for serious, heartfelt expression that was deeply moving, memorable and connection-building.—Jeanne Haskell, Student Life Counselor, Goddard College

Carol has an energetic and engaged style that encouraged us to make connections and communicate with one another. I especially appreciated how skillfully she brought the element of fun and spontaneity into the activities in a supportive and safe way. As a coordinator for early educators, it inspired me to use some of these activities to build trust and connections to strengthen our team.—Camilla Strauss, Coordinator of the Parent Infant Program for Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Nine East Network, Vermont