Comedy Workshops for Beginners & Beyond


Don’t just watch comedy—do comedy!

Skills Workshops help performers hone their craft.

Community Workshops let participants of any experience level try, learn about, and benefit from the fun of comedy.

New in 2016, we are offering Community workshops as Pay What You Can. Students choose a price level right for their current situation. Find out more here.

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Price: $30.00

Experience Needed:
Some improv experience.

Skills Workshop

Specifics: Broadening Relationships and Location

with Rob Belushi from Sheldon

Sat. Aug 27, 2016 9:30am – 11:30am EDT

How do you make your scene really register as real? Or leave the audience to contunue to remember that laugh they gave? By grounding your creativity with specifics. We spend a lot of time learning the rules of improv and working on our performances as a whole–but sometimes isolating the simplest muscle in our craft can be a path to creative joy and freedom. We will be spending the day working that muscle to see how specifics can be one of our greatest tools to leave our own, individual impression on the scene and the audience and how it can lead us to freedom on stage. We will be looking at it from the perspective of relationship to our partner and the world we surround ourselves in actively. Simply put, the specifics you inject into the scene is the majority of your creation and expression, and are always the gifts that are the most fun to play with for you , your partner and the audience–whether it be in rehearsal, on-stage or in an on-camera audition.

 

main_fit_300

Pay What You Can!

Experience Needed:
None. Beginners welcome!

Community Workshop

Family Friendly Improv Games (Welcomes individuals with special needs)

with Tessa Karel from Open Up Pgh

Sat. Aug 27, 2016 10:00am – 11:30am EDT

This workshop is a basic introduction to improvisational theater drama games that you will be able to go home and play with your family. This workshop is an inclusive workshop that explicitly welcomes individuals with special needs. We will play large group circle exercises that incorporate imagination and movement. Individuals get an opportunity for self expression, but the spotlight is shared by the entire group. For example, in “Going to the City” each person in the circle gets a chance to say they are an item you would find in a city, such as a car, and then everyone in the circle pretends they are a car driving through the city. This workshop will also include a taste of dialogue improv exercises, where people work with partners to learn the basics of creating a two-person improvised scene.

Improv theater games are fun form of creative self expression, but they also help you learn how to listen more to others, and accept other people’s ideas, while adding ideas of your own into the mix. The results are often hilarious! What better way to bond and grow with your family than through laughter!

 

main_fit_300

Price: $30.00

Experience Needed:
Some improv experience.

Skills Workshop

In the Beginning…: Initiation and Using the First Minute for a Better Whole

with Tim Stoltenberg from Second City Hollywood

Sat. Aug 27, 2016 12:00pm – 2:00pm EDT

Even when we have been improvising for awhile we are sometimes caught onstage trying to make something happen. We are stuck with the worry that the scene needs to be pushed or created quickly for it to have value, and sometimes that leads us away from discovery and moment to moment and into our heads. We come from a place of control instead of creation, and then we can lose the currency of authenticity. In this workshop we will focus on initiation and then using what happens first as a means to develop everything that is already there before pushing. We believe that there is a story being told the minute we walk onstage and we can easily allow that story to be told without having to prod it into something we think it needs to be. In this way the scenes stay truer to what is happening, and we can ride them into discovery. We will focus on the first lines and the first minute how to heighten and explore what is already there we will work on being more aware of what is present in ourselves and our partners. By focusing on these skills we create more confident performers who will become more aware of the tools around us to give us a stronger relationship to our partner. We will also explore the power of silence and non-verbal physicality to communicate and influence the action onstage.

 

main_fit_300

Price: $30.00

Experience Needed:
Some improv experience.

Skills Workshop

Jump on the Bomb

with Megan Gray from the Magnet Theater

Sat. Aug 27, 2016 12:00pm – 2:00pm EDT

What do you do when no one steps out for a scene? When it seems that there are no more ideas? Just jump on the bomb. Get out there. Do something. Trust yourself and your scene partners that the best thing to do is make a choice and commit.

This workshop explores the generation of organic initiations, trusting our instincts, and working off of nothing. We’ll actively focus on staying out of our heads and following our feet and our guts in the moment. When we’re judging ourselves or the scene, we’re taking ourselves out of the present and doing a disservice to the scene. You will walk out of this workshop more confident and less afraid of making the “wrong” choice. The only “wrong” choice is no choice at all. Discover the fun when you surprise yourself and just JUMP ON THE BOMB.

 

main_fit_300

Price: $30

Experience Needed:
None. Beginners welcome!

Community Workshop

Evolutionary Improv

with Vivian Geffen from Continuum Studio, Santa Monica

Sat. Aug 27, 2016 2:30pm – 4:30pm EDT

This class uses improvisation games and tools to create an atmosphere of support and connection. On top of that we use movement, breath and story to encourage each participant’s unique creative expression. This allows everybody and opportunity to be seen and heard. It is fun, interactive and an opportunity to experience the excitement of improvisation without any expectation of being funny. Attendees report feeling increased confidence, greater self-acceptance and better awareness of personal presence. This class is open to people with no performance experience but who have a desire to give it a try and are willing to play.

 

main_fit_300

Price: $30

Experience Needed:
None. Beginners welcome!

Skills Workshop

Make Short Form Your Form

with Stefan Gearhart from Damaged Goods Improv

Sat. Aug 27, 2016 2:30pm – 4:30pm EDT

Short Form: Two words plagued by stereotypes and surrounded by assumptions. Stereotypes, such as not being able to perform complete scenes, to it being the beginner’s improv. Short Form: Two words that tend to spark rolled eyes and instant dismissal if brought up within earshot of fellow improvisers. Short Form: Two words that can mean so much more than you ever imagined. In “Making Short Form Your Form”, Stefan Gearhart of Damaged Goods Improv challenges you to open your mind and realize the endless possibilities Short Form has to offer. Discover how Short Form can be just as gratifying as Long Form and what you can do to help yourself and your teammates reach that point. In this workshop, he’ll teach you how to break the stereotypes associated with Short Form, such as how to incorporate a beginning, middle and end to your scene, while staying true to the Short Form method.

He’ll also teach you some of the secrets behind Damaged Goods’ signature high energy style, including show hosting and performance tips, along with ways to keep your audience begging for more!

 

main_fit_300

Pay What You Can!

Experience Needed:
None. Beginners welcome!

Community Workshop

Show Up & Speak Up – An Applied Improv Workshop

with Hannah duPlessis from Fit Associates

Sun. Aug 28, 2016 9:00am – 12:00pm EDT

The world is a stage and we are all players. What if you had a few tools in your pocket to help you play your best part? This workshop wants to help you get better at bringing your voice into difficult conversations. You know, the ones where you want to speak up, but instead, you snap into judgment or stay silent. There is a third option: staying present and being honest. We’re going to practice that together.

In this workshop, you will:
1) Try on three different power positions (or stances) in which you can show up into any situation.
2) Explore the difference between judging someone’s behavior or making an observation
3) Practice locating and expressing feelings and needs
4) Practice asking someone to behave in a different way

 

main_fit_300

Pay What You Can!

Experience Needed:
None. Beginners welcome!

Community Workshop

Pittsburgh Improv Crash Course

with Arcade Comedy Theater, Unplanned Comedy, and Steel City Improv Theater

Sun. Aug 28, 2016 1:00pm – 4:00pm EDT

Improv is becoming more prevalent with the success of icons like Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, and the comedy scene in Pittsburgh is booming. The last few years have seen the opening of three comedy institutions in the ‘burgh, each with their own personality and flavor. This workshop is a perfect opportunity to try improv for the first time, and see what each of the Pittsburgh comedy theaters are all about! The Pittsburgh Improv Crashcourse presents a sampler of improv instruction from the seasoned instructors of Arcade Comedy Theater, Steel City Improv Theater, and Unplanned Comedy Pittsburgh all within the span of three hours (1 hour for each school). So dive in and give it a try!