Agree To Disagree w/ Dru Johnston

Location: The BIG Theater | Price: $50

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You and your scene partner have two different ideas for how the scene's going to go. Don't give up on either of them. Let's agree to disagree and make this scene better than the sum of it's two parts. Listen to each other and stick to your guns at the same time.

For intermediate to advanced improvisers.

DRU JOHNSTON has written for The Chris Gethard Show, The MTV VMAs, Guy Code, and Funny or Die and has been seen on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Deadbeat, Broad City and Law and Order: SVU (he played a priest, but like... a good priest). At UCB he currently improvises with Grandma's Ashes on Saturday nights and plays George Costanza in the Improvised Seinfeld, and his team Fuck That Shit (A Comedy Team). Past shows and teams include Sketches from an Italian Restaurant: A Billy Joel Sketch Show, harold team Sandino, and Maude teams Bellevue, Everything Rabbits and Arbuckle. Dru graduated from Whitman College with a degree in theatre. He also took an Astronomy class there and he really loved it.

Saturday 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Be A Fun Voice of Reason w/ Curtis Retherford

Location: The BIG Theater | Price: $50

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Many improv scenes have a “straight man,” someone to react to the weird person. This straight man, or, to use a far more inclusive term coined by Kevin Mullaney, the Voice Of Reason, can sometimes become a boring, purely functional part of an improv scene. “Don’t do that!” “That’s weird!” This workshop will help you unlock the power of the voice of reason, using that role to help frame and clarify the fun part of the scene, set up your scene partner to keep making moves, and ultimately get the biggest laughs of the scene. (Because we’re all doing this to get the biggest laughs, right?)

For intermediate to advanced improvisers.

Curtis Retherford is a writer and improvisor in New York City who has been with the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre since 2006. He currently performs at UCBT Hell’s Kitchen weekly with his Harold team Fluffty, in the monthly show The Megaplex: The Improvised Movie, as a host of the PajamaJam Improv Jam, and in several other shows. He coaches or has coached many of the house teams at UCB NY, and he hosts and produces the podcast Improv, Beat by Beat in which he interviews some the best improvisers in the country about the craft of improvised comedy. His web series Magic Phone was featured in Backstage Magazine and in the Northside Film Festival, and for his webseries Quest for an Unknown Planet he won the Outstanding Writing in a Mockumentary and Outstanding Lead Actor in a Mockumentary awards from LA Web Fest. He is also a regular contributor to McSweeney’s Internet Tendency.

Thursday 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Creating Together w/ Kristen Schier & Amie Roe

Location: The BIG Theater | Price: $50

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Improv is an artform built on radical trust and agreement. In this workshop we will practice the art of creating together and finding the joy in supporting one another's ideas. Through various exercises we will train complete agreement and commitment to support. Discover how powerful and freeing it can feel to celebrate your scene partner's silliness and AGREE to take this workshop.

For beginner and intermediate improvisors.

AMIE ROE is an improviser, bleeding heart, and keen observer of the human condition. She has been improvising literally since birth in a pioneering 30-year-long monoscene format. Her depth of character development and level of commitment in this ongoing role as “a kind of spacey overachiever” is noteworthy. So yea, she likes improv a lot. Amie appears regularly on stage in New York City at the Magnet Theater. Amie also appears regularly with best-friend-improv-duo, The Amie and Kristen Show/The Kristen and Amie Show, which has been a featured selection at improv festivals throughout the United States and Canada. She's proud to say that she has studied improv comedy with the very best and brightest at the Philly Improv Theater (PHIT), the Magnet Theater (NYC), and at various workshops throughout the country, with renowned performers and teachers such as Armando Diaz, Asaf Ronen, Keith Johnstone, and Susan Messing, to name a few. She is co-creator and a producer of Duofest, the nation's only improv festival dedicated solely to improv duos.

KRISTEN SCHIER is the Artistic Director of The Philly N Crowd, which performs weekly shows at The Actor's Center. Before coming to PHIT she taught improv for Delaware Theater Company, Drexel University, and The Actor's Center. Kristen has a B.F.A. in Theater Arts from the University of the Arts and has been working in Philly as a professional actor, improviser and teacher for several years. She has worked with Commonwealth Classic Theater Company, Ego Po, and Vagabond Acting Troupe. She has appeared in many productions including the originally created Art of War, which received a Barrymore Nomination for Outstanding Ensemble. Kristen has studied clowning intensively with Giovanni Fusetti. She has also studied improv at The Second City and at the Annoyance in Chicago. She has taken workshops and classes with such improv notables as Michael Gelman, Jill Bernard, Asaf Ronen, Mick Napier, Susan Messing and Mark Sutton as well as members of the UCB Theater in New York City. When she is not on stage, Kristen is incredibly absent minded and susceptible to fraud.

Saturday 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Freeform Improv w/ Will Luera

Location: The BIG Theater | Price: $50

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This workshop explores the makings of the unique style of Big Bang free-form improvisation. This mindset is built on the concept of "follow the funny" and proposes that every single moment, beat, line and movement in a show can be deconstructed and used to lead you to the next scene. During this exploration and deconstruction of content, a language and pattern are established that help define form where previously there was no form. Students will review the tools that will enable them to create a unique free-form performance every time they hit the stage. We will review the ideas of listening to what the show wants, what can be funny, fluid editing and creating an experience that is a result of the space, the cast and the audience itself.

Experience level: Beginner and above

Will Luera is the Director of Improvisation at Florida Studio Theatre, Director of Big Bang Improv and serves as the Artistic Director Emeritus of ImprovBoston, Artistic Director of the Pilsen Improv Festival, Artistic Associate of the Chicago Improv Festival, Artistic Advisor to the Women in Comedy Festival and Part-time Faculty at Boston College. Will tours globally as an improv and theater actor, director and instructor that performs and teaches regularly all across North America, South America, Europe and Asia.

Sunday 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Game & Justification w/ Curtis Retherford

Location: The BIG Theater | Price: $50

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This scenework workshop will focus on the game of the scene, helping you find fun, playable games in your scenes. We will also work on justifications for games, so that the game of the scene doesn’t become a stale limitation to the scene, or an empty pattern to repeat, but an understandable part of the scene to heighten and explore. The game of the scene is the most fun part of a long-form improv scene: this workshop will help you make sure that your scenes contain more of the fun parts, and less of the unnecessary parts.

For intermediate to advanced improvisers.

Curtis Retherford s a writer and improvisor in New York City who has been with the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre since 2006. He currently performs at UCBT Hell’s Kitchen weekly with his Harold team Fluffty, in the monthly show The Megaplex: The Improvised Movie, as a host of the PajamaJam Improv Jam, and in several other shows. He coaches or has coached many of the house teams at UCB NY, and he hosts and produces the podcast Improv, Beat by Beat in which he interviews some the best improvisers in the country about the craft of improvised comedy. His web series Magic Phone was featured in Backstage Magazine and in the Northside Film Festival, and for his webseries Quest for an Unknown Planet he won the Outstanding Writing in a Mockumentary and Outstanding Lead Actor in a Mockumentary awards from LA Web Fest. He is also a regular contributor to McSweeney’s Internet Tendency.

Friday 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Hard Topics w/ John Gebretatose & Liz Council

Location: The BIG Theater | Price: $50

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In this workshop, we will highlight what happens to us as performers when a scene becomes scary, offensive or insensitive and we freeze or lose ourselves. We explore some approaches to get agency back when we find ourselves somewhere uncomfortable, tools for improvising mindfully and finding a proactive voice for you and your show. TRIGGER AND CONTENT WARNING: this is a class on scenes when you find yourself dealing with topics of race or socially and politically charged situations - which means it will include discussions and scenes dealing with race, gender* and other very personally sensitive areas and how to move forward thoughtfully, respectfully and meaningfully when you find yourself there.

For beginners and above.

John Gebretatose rose from the ranks of a Minneapolis' HUGE Improv Theater student, to a HUGE Improv instructor. He trained and worked at Brave New Workshop. He has performed stand-up comedy in the Twin Cities for over nine years. He is currently part of one of the hottest new improv groups, Blackout, and also a founding member of Late Nights Minneapolis With Joe Rapp. John has taught improv workshops internationally, coached improv groups and currently teaches at HUGE in addition to heading up diversity and inclusion programs. He is the founder and creator of the Black and Funny Improv Festival as well as the Twin Cities chapter of Our Cities on Our Stages.

It might be a multi-line bio.

Saturday 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM

$15 Intro to Improv

Location: The BIG Theater | Price: $15

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Never taken an improv class before? Well now is your chance to try it out with experienced BIG instructors! This introductory workshop is designed to give potential students an opportunity to experience what a class is like before committing to a full course. Through simple, fun and supportive games, participants will explore basic concepts like playfulness, listening and agreement – all in a safe and comfortable group setting geared specifically toward those who are new to improv.

No experience necessary! For adults 18+

Sunday 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Intro to Musical Improv w/ Travis Ploeger

Location: The BIG Theater | Price: $50

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Do you ever just get that urge to bust out into song? In this high energy workshop you will learn the basic concepts and tools to make up songs on the spot! Students will participate in exercises that encourage them to think quick on their feet and in verse, as well as understand the mechanics of creating songs. Through the class you will learn to sing songs and full blown ensemble numbers confident in your own voice! No singing experience necessary.

For beginners and above.

Travis Ploeger joined Washington Improv Theater in 2006, after an eight year career as the musical director for Chicago City Limits, the longest running comedy revue in NYC. During his time in the Big Apple, he also performed regularly at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre and the People’s Improv Theater, and helped create “I Eat Pandas” with Eliza Skinner and Glennis McMurray (McCarthy). His fond non-improv musical theater credits include music directing Loretta “Hot Lips” Swit at the Forestburgh Playhouse, as well as clowning around on a white baby grand onstage nightly in Constellation Theatre’s production of SCAPIN, in DC. A graduate of the Hartt School of Music (University of Hartford), he has since helped to create and perform approximately 2,000 improvised musicals across the country.

Saturday 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM

The Reality of Mime w/ Melanie Leon

Location: The BIG Theater | Price: $50

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This workshop focuses on object use and mime work. It gives tips on how to mime objects that feel real and tangible, and then how to use those objects to build full-bodied environments. These objects and environments will create interesting, well-rounded scenes that will allow story and characters to flourish.

For beginners and above.

MELANIE LEON is an improviser, actor, and writer living in Orlando, Florida. She has toured the country with a comedy show, performing improv and sketch, and also travels to improvise and teach at festivals. In Orlando, she performs in both improvised and scripted theater, sketch, and film. Melanie teaches improv classes and made-to-order corporate workshops, coaches troupes, and even uses improv at local hospitals to help better train medical professionals. She performs and hosts at SAK Comedy Lab, and also performs with her own indie teams. Additionally, Melanie is an associate producer of the Central Florida Improv Festival. Melanie has studied at SAK Comedy Lab, The Second City, and Camp Improv Utopia. She has been lucky enough to learn from and work with some of the best current improvisers, including Laura Hall, Armando Diaz, Mike Descoteaux, David Razowsky, Michael Gellman, Susan Messing, Carla Cackowski, Nick Armstrong, and Kevin McDonald.

Saturday 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Strong Initiations w/ Sad Trombone

Location: The BIG Theater | Price: $50

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In the first moments of a scene, improvisers are issuing a promise to the audience and themselves about the scene that's about to unfold. If you're an improviser who flames out in the middle of scenes, unsure of what to do next or where to take the scene -- if you find yourself throwing out new offers mid-scene, this workshop is for you. Everything you need to know about a scene is at the beginning; everything that follows is predicated by what's come before. Learn how to recognize everything the beginning of a scene has to offer so that you can mine the potential without having to restart a scene every twenty seconds in the hopes of finding something better, funnier, or newer.

For beginners and above.

RALPH ANDRACCHIO is a performer, director, producer, and instructor and has been involved in improv comedy since 2008. He is the AD Emeritus of Philly Improv Theater (PHIT) and was the Artistic Director from January 2013 to June 2015. He has also been an instructor at the PHIT Training Center since 2011, teaching hundreds of students through Level 101, 201, and 301 improv courses. Ralph has been a cast member of many house teams and productions at PHIT, and has taught and performed on stages all over the United States.

STEVE KLEINEDLER has been improvising on and off for the past 35 years and consistently since 2000. He graduated from the Players Workshop of Second City in 1987 and from ImprovBoston in 2002. He taught at ImprovBoston from 2003-2011, and has taught at PHIT since moving to Philadelphia in 2011. He's taught workshops in Baltimore (BIF), Boston, Chapel Hill (NCCAF), Chicago, Detroit (DIF), Providence (PIF), Philadelphia, Pittsburgh (PCF), San Juan, Sarasota, and Wilmington (Tax Free). For ImprovBoston he directed the Improv Boston Family Show, the sketch team The Ruckus, the improvised Shakespearean show The Robert Cycle, and the Memento-inspired BackStory. Currently for PHIT he directs With Mirth & Laughter, an improvised show in the style of Shakespeare.

Sunday 12:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Wait, Who? w/ Tim Martin

Location: The BIG Theater | Price: $50

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One the most basic things we need to know in a scene is who we are. In fact, it's so basic that we often forget how powerful it is. In this workshop, we'll explore different ways to find a character in a scene, we'll practice sticking with that character no matter what, and we'll learn how to break away from playing the same types of characters over and over.

For intermediate to advanced improvisers.

TIM MARTIN is an actor and writer based in New York City. He performs every Saturday night at UCB with his improv team Airwolf. He plays Dale on the Comedy Central series Broad City, and has also appeared on HBO's Crashing, Tosh.0, CollegeHumor and lots of other stuff. He has written for The Onion, Fox, Cher, and lots of other stuff. He has been in commercials for lots of other stuff.

Saturday 12:00 PM - 3:00 PM

What The Fuck? w/ Tim Martin

Location: The BIG Theater | Price: $50

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No scene ever goes the way we think it will. In this workshop, we'll learn that's a great thing. We'll learn how to navigate scenes where too much is happening, scenes where not enough is happening, scenes that make no sense, scenes that have an audience member wander into them, and all the other kinds of scenes where something goes "wrong".

For beginners and above.

TIM MARTIN is an actor and writer based in New York City. He performs every Saturday night at UCB with his improv team Airwolf. He plays Dale on the Comedy Central series Broad City, and has also appeared on HBO's Crashing, Tosh.0, CollegeHumor and lots of other stuff. He has written for The Onion, Fox, Cher, and lots of other stuff. He has been in commercials for lots of other stuff.

Saturday 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM