Making It Up as He Goes

ILA’s improv class teacher Sean Hancock

ILA Improv teacher Sean Hancock

ILA Improv teacher Sean Hancock

Chloe Lyon, reporter

When Sean Hancock took a Saturday night acting class, he had no idea it would lead to him doing improvisational comedy for over a decade now.

“We all just had so much fun in the class, I had to share this feeling,” Hancock said.

He wanted to make people laugh, and he quickly learned he could do that by improving.

That’s when the gears started to move.

Hancock founded Recycled Minds in 2002 as a local improv group and transformed it into an international theater. It has been performing world-class theater and doing fun shows throughout the globe, some of which include art festivals, cruise ships, and more.

Why the name Recycled minds? Like all good improv, it was an idea that struck him in the moment.

“It just popped into my head because you’re taking ideas from the audience, and you’re making it come true on stage with your thoughts and ideas, and you’re playing characters.”

Even with all the time Recycled Mind takes, he still leaves time to teach improv at ILA. He gets kids out of their comfort zone by giving them everyday life skills, helping them have the courage to walk up and talk to people and make new friends.

Lucy Edvalson, a student in Hancock’s ILA course this semester, has found the class to be an inspiring one.

“Super positive energy,” Evaldson said. “Mr. Sean is good at helping you get out of your comfort zone but still feel safe. Overall it is an awesome class. I love it!” 

Whenever he needs a new game, he goes to, a website where people all over the world post games they think of and descriptions on how to play them. With all the crazy games, his favorite game is freeze tag, which is one that requires you to act with one other person and at the most awkward moment, someone might say freeze and take your spot. It’s a great group game to play with your friends.

To learn more about the Recycled Minds theater, visit