IMPROV CLASSES AT VERGE THEATER
The improv curriculum here at Verge Theater is based on long-form improv principles, which include learning the basics of improv and improvisational scene work. Our classes give a solid foundation in the principles of acceptance, listening, and creative collaboration.
Our classes are designed for all levels and help build confidence in public speaking, thinking on your toes, and having fun on stage in a supportive environment.
This is a progressive curriculum; students are expected to take Level 1 before graduating to advanced classes. Classes are once a week for 9 weeks.
Improv is about creating something that has never existed before. Creating something that is intriguing and, therefore, entertaining. Although there are many forms of improv, at Verge Theater, we strive to teach complex long-form storytelling techniques. We push students to engage in the intricacy of narrative by incorporating scene progression, climax, and resolution. We understand that what is funny is not straightforward, and we recognize that entertaining stories are those that engage the full range of human experience. We, therefore, privilege compelling character development and collaborative storytelling over comedy.
Students learn that through listening and working together, they can participate in fulfilling and collaborative storytelling.
Level 1: Intro to Improvisation
Our intro to improvisation course focuses on having fun and learning the basics of improv through short form games. In level 1, students will
- Learn to feel comfortable on stage and with their classmates
- Develop cooperative storytelling techniques, including “Yes, and . . .”
- Learn how to support, listen, and accept and give gifts
- Learn how to collectively elevate the story to an entertaining, even zany point by showing and telling the audience “what is different about today?”
TEACHER: Steven Harris-Weiel
DATES: Sundays starting March 25th, 2018 from 5-6:30pm
Level 2: Introduction to Long-Form
In this class, we delve deeper into improvisational scene work by focusing on building relationships, environment, action, and a storyline. In level 2, students will:
- Learn to break down scenes and identify the who, what, where of the story
- Learn to build relationships on stage
- Be introduced to long-form, focusing on two person scenes
- Learn to incorporate levels and environment into story telling
Level 3: Intermediate Long-Form
In this class, we continue to build on improv and scene basics learned in the previous levels. We strengthen those skills by transitioning from games to improv exercises, which focus on scene work that spotlights character development and the use of emotion during improvisation. This long-form class helps students work together to develop longer, organic storylines as an ensemble. In level 3, students will:
- Learn to perform three person scenes
- Learn to establish clear points of view for characters (develop motives and respond accordingly) and utilize emotion
- Learn to self-edit scenes, using cut-to and scene sweeping
- Learn to embody characters through physical performance and emotive expression
- Build on their knowledge of levels and environment by regularly incorporating object work and scene building
- Learn the basic tenants of the La Ronde
TEACHER: Paige Johnson
DATES: Sundays starting March 25th, 2018 from 7-9pm
Level 4: Advanced Long-Form
In this class, students will begin to explore various styles of long-form improv. They will incorporate and improve on everything that they have learned in previous classes, including character development, relationships, environment, and creating interesting scenes. They will delve into finding the game and patterns of storytelling. In level 4, students will:
- Independently self-edit scenes without relying on the instructor
- Master object work
- Learn to consistently incorporate objects and environments into story
- Recognize the complexities of story, including scene progression, climax, and resolution
- Master point of view and learn to alter point of view as the scene, story, and/or character demands
- Perform advanced long-form utilizing their mastery of “yes and,” listening, accepting and giving gifts, and developing “what is different about today?” to consistently move the story forward
Level 5: Long-Form Performance
After having worked as an ensemble for several months, students will develop and perform their own long-form style in a full length show. The instructor will direct and coach students through rehearsals and aid them in developing and performing of their very own form.