Daena Giardella has dual backgrounds in the performing arts and in organizational development and coaching. An actor, director, teacher, and leadership consultant, she has spent over 25 years combining these disciplines and, in the process, pioneered an innovative method for teaching improvisation to people from virtually every profession. She designs professional training and educational programs that target entrepreneurship, leadership, team building, creativity development, and presentation excellence.
From Boston to Brussels, prominent organizations and world-class companies have tapped Daena as a leadership consultant, executive coach, and keynote speaker. She teaches Improvisation & Influence as well as Improvisational Leadership for MIT Sloan School of Management, and she led an advanced training in Negotiation Improvisation for the European Commission in collaboration with Harvard Law faculty. Among her past clients are The American Heart Association, Portugal Telecom, McKinsey & Company, HP-Hewlett Packard, Citibank, Smith College Executive Education, North Shore Medical Center, Imagine Foods, Mass. W.I.C. Program, The U.N. Copenhagen Conference on Women, Bentley College, Kodak, The Center for Medical Simulation, and The Royal Bank of Canada, and Babson College.
She has offered hundreds of workshops, including numerous trainings for leading academic institutions, medical professionals and psychotherapy groups. She has been called one of the “trailblazers” of improvisational theatre performance and training and has earned loyal followings as both a performer and teacher.
Daena has written, produced and performed in many original one-woman theater performances which have received wide critical acclaim throughout the United States and internationally. The Boston Globe has called her an "impressive talent" and the Tel Aviv Ha’eer wrote, "Giardella is a phenomenon...a classic actress." She is a member of AFTRA, the American Federation of Radio and Television Artists.
Daena’s myriad TV and radio appearances include The Cheryl Richardson Life Makeover Showon the Oxygen Network, where she was featured as a creativity coach as well as the PBS series Discovering Psychology, and Currents, a talk and interview radio show she hosted on the National Radio Network.
Daena co-authored a book called Changing Patterns: Discovering the Fabric of Your Creativity, and recorded a spoken word CD entitled Improvisation in Everyday Life.
Daena was also a faculty member at Emerson College and the Boston Conservatory, and she co-founded TheraVision, a video/theater process for training psychotherapists at the Kantor Family Institute. She was the director of a theatre program for at-risk high school students at Boston’s Roxbury High School under a grant from Harvard University.
Daena has worked in dozens of schools systems and universities where she created original plays with students and implemented teacher-training workshops that help teachers and professors utilize creative teaching approaches in their respective subject areas. She has given diversity and anti-bullying workshops for teachers and students in many educational settings, including the New Mexico Human Rights Foundation. She was also the director of a two-year theatre program for at-risk high school students at Boston’s Roxbury High School under a grant from Harvard University.
Her web site is www.daenagiardella.com
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