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Up Your Improv: 6 Week Course

27apr7:00 pm8:30 pmUp Your Improv: 6 Week Course

Event Details

This course of six workshops will enhance your skills in the fundamental principles of improvisation, developing and building ideas collaboratively with the ‘Yes – and’ approach. The course then progresses those skills into creating both short form (single scene) and long form (longer narrative based) improvised games and scenes. The sessions will be ideal for both complete newcomers to improvisation as well as acting as a great refresher for people with previous experience. 

 

Future plans 
While the initial course is programmed, the hope is to form a group of improvisers who meet regularly to improvise and develop their skills and, for those interested in performance, to form a troupe to perform together.  
All funds raised from these sessions will be kept within the group to cover costs and to also welcome teachers from the mainland for specialist improv workshops. 

 

Session 1 – Improv 101 – (27th April 2023) 
Learn the basics of improvised comedy through a series of quick-fire team games that encourage you to think on your feet. You’ll learn the importance of ‘yes and’, accepting the given circumstances, building bigger from those starting points and how to avoid blocking your scene partner’s ideas. By the end of the session, you will feel more confident with the basics of improv. 

 

Session 2 – Intro to short form – (11 May 2023) 
Short form scenes are quick and playful formats which are fun for both the performers and audience. These formats usually involve the performers playing improvised ‘games’ on stage, much like Whose Line is it Anyway. Short form games are short, silly and typically unrelated. Unlike stand-up – it’s not about cracking jokes. It’s about working together to surprise and delight yourselves. 

 

Session 3 – Word games, rhythm and object work (25 May) 
Underneath all good writing is a strong sense of rhythm. Although we decide what to say in the moment, the structures and rhythms underpinning our scenes are the scaffolding upon which all great improv is built out from. Using games that make the process easy, we will play with words to create fun scenes that open up this side of our creativity. Warning – this session may involve improvised rap battles, Shakespearean soliloquies and complete gibberish. As an added bonus, if we have time, we will also begin to look at making our ‘object work’ (improvised props) more believable on stage. 

 

Session 4 – Creating characters (8 June) 
There are many tools available to improvisers to create an unlimited variety of characters instantly and different tools to suit different performers better. We will explore approaches that work from the inside out, the motivations, attitudes, moods and emotions of characters. As well as from the outside in, starting from posture and shapes and tensions in the body and locating the character from these starting points. We’ll also try referencing people from our lives and seeing how that helps to inform, or even hinder, our characters. We will also focus on choices in this session, particularly how the bolder and more confidently we make our choices the better our improv is for both us as performers and for our scene partners. 

 

Session 5 – Telling stories (22 June) 
Improvised scenes that don’t contain the essential ingredients of storytelling fall flat and run out of steam. We will explore the structures that underpin all good drama to ensure that our stories are both entertaining and hold the audiences’ interest. We can tell a complete story in three lines of dialogue and we will also begin to work on longer form structures that incorporate multiple scenes and characters. To continue developing our skills in characterisation we will open up the floor to allow our characters to monologue and really show us their inner thoughts and feelings. 

 

Session 6 – Putting it all together (6 July) 
To round off this introduction to improv we will revisit our favourite games and exercises in this fun and rewarding session before bringing everything together in the long form format ‘The Village’. 

About the teacher: Lewis Wheeler 
Lewis has studied improv with a wide variety of teachers including The Maydays, Kate Hiller (Action Theatre), Hoopla & Bristol Improv Theatre, as well as improvisation in dance with many teachers. 
A long time ago, Lewis had a very difficult relationship with improv finding it intimidating and challenging. This changed during the course of his degree where he first experienced workshop facilitators who created a fun, supportive and playful environment instead of one where people felt spotlighted to be funny (or be somewhere else).  These experiences led Lewis to complete his specialist independent study module on his degree in the facilitation of improvisation workshops leading to performance. Lewis looks forward to bringing his playful, supportive and encouraging style of teaching to these improvisation workshops at Ventnor Exchange. 

Thursday 27th April
Thursday 11th May
Thursday 25th May
Thursday 8th June
Thursday 22nd June
Thursday 6th July

7pm – 8.30pm
Fee per session: £6.50

 

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Time

(Thursday) 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Location

Ventnor Exchange

11 Church Street