Here's an idea of what I do when hired to teach workshops and coach teams at improv festivals and colleges/universities.
I co-taught "Balance" at BCAF
With the help of Improv Asylum alumnus Brandon Sornberger, Big Bennessy developed their long-form, The Hep.
In this workshop Bennessy cast-members teach you the skills and structure of this location-anchored exploration of character and whimsey, just as they’ve coached harold teams at iO West. We will emphasize relationship-based scenework and game moves while also working to see flashes of the bizarre world that takes shape around the base-scene. Up-and-coming improvisors and teams can use this as a jumping-off point from the fast bits and witty payoff of young-improv-love. It will move them toward a more grounded slow-play that produces the satisfied laughs and years-long true love of shows like Dasariski or TJ & Dave.
As performers it’s our responsibility to integrate authentic acting, a commitment to the absurd, delight in discovery, heartfelt characters, and rising stakes. Do your job, and work this balancing act.
A series of workshops at Carleton College with Cujokra/Harriers
Day 1: Scene fundamentals through honesty & group mind through commited pattern repetition.
Day 2: The Hep and The Harold. Quick and deliberate play to fit all that honesty into the highly structured Harold. Delayed repetition of group moves in the intimate scenes of the Hep to define the world of the show.
Day 3: Develop a unique form inspired by group mirror. Investing in real character wants to anchor each moment in a form that the ensemble is commited to discovering as it goes. Clear communication in scene-editing.
please note I did not cut off that person's head in the photo.
Open classes with Optimistic Feral Children at Lawrence University
OFC hosted a workshop for any student interested in basic scene-work and developing the listening tools and character point-of-view to do shortform or longform scenes.
Following that, the OFC cast members stayed on for two more classes of emotional heightening and 'if this then what else' world-building. Then they started doing longform in their shows. Here's some of what they had to say:
“Our ability to sustain patient, slow scenes was really remarkable.”
“Your ability to give constructive, thoughtful criticism. It really made the participants want to work."
"We were able to continue scenes with meaning to them.”
“Really great SPECIFIC notes.”