MASTER IMPROVISATION CLASS with BeerSharkMice
BeerSharkMice, previous winners of “Improv group of the year” is a long form improvisational show that originated at the iO West. It’s an hour-long performance based on an audience suggestion of a location. The location is the starting off point for an array of scenes where the players tag in and out spinning the scene or scenes into different directions or wildly out of control. Usually concluding back to the original staring origin.
The workshop will be conducted by: Peter Hulne, Michael Coleman, and Pat Finn. Collectively these 3 founding members have been improvising and teaching for over 25 years. They have taught on the corporate level as well as festivals, at the I.O, and at universities such as: UCLA, CU Boulder, Indiana, LMU, Pepperdine, and Marquette. Their vast resumes include: Curb your enthusiasm, the middle, Brooklyn 99, Drunk History, 2 Broke Girls, Seinfeld, Speechless, Modern Family, and It’s Complicated.
This is an opportunity to learn from some of the best, to hear stories, and gain tools to help you in every facet of your improv game. In this workshop you will learn to make stronger choices, listen better, build more team trust, and have the ability to play and have more fun on stage.
The breakdown: We will have a lecture and q & a to start, and then go into the basics of how our form came about.
We will then break into smaller groups and rotate between each instructor. In these smaller groups, each instructor will work with the smaller groups on different focuses. We will then all come back together to recap and then perform in groups for each other for the remainder of the class.
Each teacher will focus on the following:
Peter Hulne: Opening scenes, object and space work, physicality, character and location understanding and how great it is working with Pat Finn.
Michael Coleman: Relationships, starting scenes, trust, strong scene choices, and the little things. And explain in detail and great passion why the North Side of Chicago is better than the South side.
Pat Finn: Better edits, heightening scenes, callbacks and gifts, going wide on tag outs. He will also give his top 10 reasons why people from Wilmette say that they are from the city of Chicago and explain what the word cake-eater means.
Don’t miss a chance to be an even better improviser, a better all-around player, stronger on stage and how to be the best improv teammate.
When: Saturday, August 11th from 12:30-3:30pm
Where: Del Close Theater (1st floor event space and 2nd floor event space for breakout sessions)
How much: $53
How many: 50 students
INTERNAL EDITS FOR TWOPROV with Gnar Gnar Shredtown
Learn how to edit quickly from inside the scene! No backlines, tagouts, or sweeps. Keep the energy going and make more discoveries! Led by Gnar Gnar Shredtown.
Gnar Gnar Shredtown (Zach Bartz, Kevin Gerrity, Dan Wilcop) have been performing together weekly since 2013. They are the creators of The Shithole, where they have produced and performed over 438+ shows in spaces such as The Chicago Design Museum, Cards Against Humanity, Soho House, iO, The Second City Training Center, The Annoyance, Double Door, Thalia Hall, Revolution Brewery, and more. Gnar Gnar Shredtown has been recognized by the Chicago Reader as a 2015 Breakout Group to Watch, and Columbia College Chicago’s alumni magazine, Demo, named them one of ten alumni to impact Chicago comedy in the past decade.
When: Saturday, August 11th from 12pm to 1:30pm
Where: Jason Chin Harold Cabaret
How much: $5
How many: 30 students
**This workshop will not be listed on our registration site. There will be a sign up genius link that goes live on Friday. The link will be emailed out on Friday. Once you sign up. Please make sure you attend the workshop or let us know if you can’t. You will pay the $5 to the iO Box Office on the day of the workhop.
THE ART OF ALLOWING IMPROV WORKSHOP with Mark Beltzman
A MASTER CLASS IN ACTING TAUGHT THROUGH IMPROVISATION
This workshop is for the ensemble actor and improviser who desires to cultivate the ability to flawlessly and spontaneously create magic on stage and in life. “IT” comes from a place of joy and connection to one’s source intuition, and is attained by giving yourself to the art form through LISTENING rather than thinking, from ALLOWING rather than forcing, from being FULLY PRESENT in the moment and FOCUSING on CONNECTION with your partner and your environment. You will understand why making your partner look good makes you in turn look twice as good and makes the work flow. Ultimately, you will understand that this is how ensemble is created.
This workshop will focus on scene work as well as Long form Improvisation. You will learn to develop tools to let scenes emerge organically, including:
- cultivating a heightened sense of listening
- cultivating a heightened sense of awareness of the scene around you, i.e. environment, textures, emotions, body languages, sounds, etc.
- learning the game within the scene
- making your partner look good
- finding the joy in the exploration
- getting out of your own way to allow creativity to flow
- understanding that the true magic lies in the synchronicity of you, your partner and the audience all discovering a point of focus at the same time
MARK BELTZMAN has been acting, writing, and directing since 1981. He was one of the founding members of Improv Olympic in Chicago and of the legendary group, Barons Barracudas. Mark has worked and directed at the famed Second City in Chicago. He directed many improvisational and theatrical productions at Second City in Chicago and Los Angeles, including the Second City Alumni Jam. He was also instructor/ director at The Second City Training Center, Improv Olympic West and the Upfront Comedy Showcase,as well as all over the UK, London, Brighton, Bristol, and Paris, France. Mark has also acquired a great deal of knowledge about the creative process of producing, writing and directing while performing in such notable productions as: Mo Money, Billy Madison, The Wedding Singer, Speed 2, Star Maps, Lovely and Amazing, and Employee of the Month, Factory, Seinfeld, Rosanne, Norm, Curb Your Enthusiasm, According to Jim, Cold Case, House, True Jackson VP, The Young and the Restless, and Pretty Little Liars.
In his distinguished career, Mark has worked with; Jerry Seinfeld, Larry David, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Steve Carrell, George Wendt, John Candy, Stephen Colbert, Jim Belushi, Adam Sandler, John Goodman, and ‘Whose Line Is It Anyways’ alumni Colin Mochrie, Ryan Stiles, and Brad Sherwood, Joel Murray, Pete Hulne, Pat Finn, Dave Koechner, Neil Flynn, David Pasquesi, TJ Jagodowski, Joe Bill, David Razowsky, and Charna Halpern.
“Mark Beltzman is the funniest and most talented improvisor that I have ever worked with. I have worked on stage with him at Second City, done radio shows with him, we did movies like “Red Heat” together, and half a dozen episodes of “According to Jim.” Our scenes always got the biggest laughs.”– JIM BELUSHI
“Mark Beltzman walks the walk and listens to the talk. You WILL have fun. And that’s what it’s all about!” – GEORGE WENDT
When: Sunday August 12th from 11am – 4pm
Where: Del Close Theater
How much: $125
How many: 16 students
TAKING YOUR POWER BACK (BREAKING STEREOTYPES) with Matt Damon Improv
It can be tempting to use stereotypes to get a quick laugh, but truly great improv shouldn’t rely on gimmicks. This workshop focuses on making inspired and intelligent choices in scenes rather than relying on tired standbys and mundane characters for scenes that shatter stereotypical expectations.
Based out of Chicago, the cast of Matt Damon Improv is comprised of all women of color “slaying improv comedy,” featuring a special guest white male (Matt Damon) or female (Lena Dunham) improv comedy veteran who can only speak when repeating things that the women of Matt Damon Improv have already said in the show – forcing the guest Matt Damon/Lena Dunham to really listen and take a baby step in a woman of color’s shoes. They were the winners of the People’s Choice Award for BEST IMPROV GROUP at the 2017 Chicago Women’s Funny Festival. Chicago’s RedEye called their show, which has toured to venues and festivals across the United State, a “MUST SEE!”
WRITING FOR LATE NIGHT with Seth Weitberg and Asher Perlman
Join two writers from Comedy Central’s “The Opposition with Jordan Klepper” to learn all about writing for the world of late night comedy, including:
-Tackling the day’s news to develop comedic premises for desk bits, sketches and more.
-Writing monologue jokes in the voice of various shows.
-Breaking down scripts from “The Daily Show” and “The Opposition” to learn how argument-based comedy is written.
-Looking at a variety of late night packet formats and learning how to write a great submission.
In a variety of writing exercises, you’ll get a chance to flex and develop your late night comedy writing muscles, and get feedback on your work. And a Q&A will give you time to ask any questions you want about political satire, late night shows or working in television.
If possible, please bring a laptop with you for the writing exercises.
CONNECTION: TWO PERSON SCENES With Scott Adsit
Scott Adsit is offering an advanced workshop concentrating on relationship scenes, character motivations and the often elusive Purpose Of The Scene. What is keeping you from advancing the scene? Why aren’t your characters connecting? Why don’t your scenes have structure? Why did you spend years getting a Liberal Arts degree when this is what you always wanted to do? All will be answered.
Improv legend Scott Adsit has been acting and teaching for many years. He was a resident member of Second City’s Mainstage and ETC companies and won Chicago’s Joseph Jefferson Best Actor Award for his work there. He still improvises constantly at the Upright Citizens Brigade in Manhattan while performing and teaching around the world. His stage credits include Piñata Full Of Bees, Paradigm Lost, Citizen Gates and Old Wine In New Bottles at the Second City Chicago, The Homecoming at the Steppenwolf Theater in Chicago, Happy at the 57th Street Theater in New York and Hamlet at Edinburgh’s Fringe Festival.
Adsit has appeared in many television shows, most notably playing producer Pete Hornberger on NBC’s Emmy Award-winning 30 Rock. Recently, he has been appearing on HBO’s Veep. Other television credits include Portlandia, The Office, Inside Amy Schumer, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, At Home With Amy Sedaris, The Goldbergs, Person Of Interest, Friends and Curb Your Enthusiasm. Adsit appeared on the influential sketch comedy shows Mr. Show and Tenacious D, and starred in the Adult Swim brain-melters, The Heart, She Holler and Neon Joe: Werewolf Hunter. He also wrote, produced, directed and performed voices for Adult Swim’s Emmy Award-winning Moral Orel.
Adsit played Baymax in Disney’s Academy Award winning Best Animated Feature, Big Hero 6. Other feature works include the Christopher Guest comedy For Your Consideration, St. Vincent, We’re The Millers, The Informant, Appropriate Behavior, The Bad News Bears,Kicking and Screaming, The Terminal, The Italian Job and Lovely and Amazing.
When: Sunday, August 19th from 11am-2pm
Where: Del Close Theater
How many: 20 students
How much: $105
IMPROV THAT IS FUN – A NEW APPROACH with Jet Eveleth
Feel stuck in your head?
Take off the handcuffs and discover a totally different approach to long-form work. Performers will take improvisation to a new level with a focus on physicality and playfully discovering new ways to move from scene to scene. We will apply techniques that invite you to dream and to let go if the inner judge.
This workshop will most likely be unlike any workshop you’ve ever taken. It combines Jet Eveleth’s years of performing, training, and teaching into the very essence of the work. Jet takes her experience with masters from around the world and puts the most important lessons into one straightforward punch.
Get ready to let your brain unravel and your heart take the wheel. This workshop is open to all levels because the techniques will be new to everyone.
“Jet is a comedic powerhouse. I can honestly say that I’ve never taken any course that has better shown me what I’m capable of as a comedian and artist.” -Jess Grant
“One of the best teachers on this planet! She encourages you to be bold and wild, to go beyond your fears, to dive into the unknown, and to embrace and love the experience, and to be present, to really be in the moment. Not only when improvising but in life.” -Heike Reissig
“Jet’s class made me want to cry. Best workshop I’ve taken in 3 years.” –Nate Morse
“I felt like I’d moved on a year in just that one week. Mind blowing and weird and freaky and raw and fabulous. She’ll leave you gagging for more!” – Kit Murdock
“All theater workshops promise the same thing — to teach the art of being physically and emotionally present. This one delivers.” -Leslie Carson
“She shows you how to make the the stage a place where you can most be you.” -Stephanie Hunger
“In less than two hours she blew apart and reconstructed our duo form into something better and more organic than ever imagined. I could not have asked for a more invigorating and inspiring teacher. Get in a room with Jet and she’ll remind you why you became an improviser in the first place.” -Allison Ungar
“Jet takes you on a roller coaster of ego breaking improv exercises, that will provide you with an arsenal of tools to further scene and develop arc. Be ready to feel like you have brand new legs and leave feeling victorious.” –Sarah McPeck
Jet Eveleth is member of improv troupe The Reckoning and tours the show Adsit & Eveleth with Scott Adsit. She studied with Philippe Gaulier and was a clown in the show Absinthe, called the greatest show in Vegas history by Las Vegas Weekly. Jet toured Europe performing and teaching physical theater with The Second City and the US Embassy. She is faculty at The Second City Conservatory Program, the iO Theater and was the former artistic director of the Chicago Improv Festival. She also taught for the Comedy Studies Program at Columbia College where she earned her Masters in Interdisciplinary Arts.
When: Sunday, August 19th from 11am-2pm
Where: Chris Farley Cabaret
How many: 30 students
How much: $65