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LIFE UNSCRIPTED...

ACTORS' INSTITUTE (Adults)

   

    

 

"The (IP) Instructor had an excellent command of the art of improv. He was very encouraging and kind. I would recommend his instruction to anyone looking to attend any improv classes." Susan M., Beginning Improv Student

 

REGISTRATIONS NOW ACCEPTED! CLASSES BEGIN JULY 7.

CLICK HERE for Summer Session & Registration Form

Summer Session starts the week of Monday, JULY 7, 2014 (some exceptions may apply).

2014 Session Dates (6 Week Sessions):
WINTER 2: January 27 - March 8
SPRING 1: March 10 – April 19
SPRING 2: April 21– May 3
SUMMER 1: July 7– August 1 (4 Week Intensives)
SUMMER 2: August 4– August 29 (4 Week Intensives)
FALL 1: September 2 – October 10
FALL 2: October 13 – November 21

WINTER 1: November 24-January 23 (2015)

 

Be on the look out for Special Workshops and Intensives!

Voice-Over, On-Camera, How to Get into the Biz, Clown, Stage Combat, Dialect, Sketch Comedy Writing and more!

CLASS DESCRIPTIONS

100. FOUNDATIONAL IMPROVISATION TRAINING

101.  BEGINNING IMPROV

This is the foundational “how to” of improvisation. Our instructors will coach you through the games and exercises that will get you thinking and reacting spontaneously, developing in “on-the-spot” improv, expressing your creativity, growing your self-esteem...plus you’ll have a ton of fun!  

102.  INTERMEDIATE IMPROV A & B

102 A. The Character Class

Discover the dimensions of Characters inside yourself.  Exploration of goofy, theatrical, believable and “real world” character types is emphasized helping you overcome "the fear factor" and propelling your confidence to the next plane of performance improv and life skills!

102 B. Scene Structure

You’ll discover how to find the Beginning, Middle and End of improv scenes. Go beyond the “here and now”.   Improvisers will be engaged in the sketch comedy writing process similar to SNL and and MAD TV.

103.  ADVANCED IMPROV

Combining the foundational tools, styles, games and characters explored in the previous sessions students create their own improv “showcases” for family and friends on the I.P. main stage.

104.  SHORT FORM PERFORMANCE LEVEL

You can’t get enough of this stuff!  Coached and given consistent assessment of your development you'll be guided to successful stage presence and ensemble work.  Additional forms of improvisation are explored.  You’ll have a blast creating scenes in the serious, satire and parody styles, and it splits with a show mid-term all ends with “another” show.

105.  TRANSITIONAL PERFORMANCE LEVEL

The deeper exploration of Short Form is guided by an advanced professional from the ranks of Chicago (and the nation's) premiere improv venues. Some  Mid-range and Long Form structures such as LaRonde, The Harold and additional "story" structures will immerse students in a environment will be explored as the "team" transitions to Team Improv Conservatory.

200.  ENSEMBLE IMPROV TRAINING

These sessions of training focus on the exploration of styles. Students have completed their engagement in study through the rudimentary processes aimed to give them a foundation for short form improv performances. Students will now deepen their commitment to ensemble work guiding them through the advancement of their scene and character skills, explore forms and styles, and learn how to use improvisation to create material for regularly engaged shows.  These sessionsl will enable the performers to "find their voice" as a team, developing their skill set strengths and improving their ability to sustain an audience interactive show as well as create a comedy sketch satire revue.

201.  ADVANCED IMPROV SCENE WORK

This advanced level focuses on scene work, transitions in scenes, hosting games .  Moving past the gimmicks of game-based improv, Advanced Improv will challenge you to create memorable scenes and skillful shows and will introduce "finding the game" within your scenes.

202.  CHARACTER AND SCENE WORK

Character development and scene progression – Now that you understand the improv fundamentals, this level will give you time to practice and develop your skills in longer scenes while being introduced to scenic montages and longer form improv formats.  This is not a long-form class...this class builds upon skills moving toward and introduction of performance styles.

203:  STYLES AND IMPROV FORMS

Introducing mid-form montages as a performance style as well as beginning to generate satirical material for an improv comedy revue.  The class will concentrate on finding your own unique performance style as a team, creating honest and strong relationships between characters, comedy techniques that are unobtrusive to your partners and team members.

204.  CREATING SKETCH THROUGH IMPROVISATION

This level will focus on the various ways of creating comedy sketches, using improvisation as the major tool.  Students will

create sketches that are either ‘situational’ or ‘character’ driven, form a writing team and examine various writing techniques. Participants will be encouraged to develop their own material as well as having the opportunity to have it performed and ‘refined’ by the group.

205.  IMPROV REVUE

At this stage 205 students develop material which lead to a weekly show on the IP main stage.  The show will be directed by an IP staff member who will work with the ensemble on a title, theme and structure for the show the flavor of which will emulate the Chicago Style Comedy satirical revue.

STAND UP COMEDY

A QUOTE

"I had a great time meeting you all and learning and working together on Stand up.   Dobie and Bill (instructors) were the creme de la creme!! How lucky were we to have them at the helm?!"

All the Best, Kaydo M., Stand Up Comedy Student

You’ll develop material, study delivery techniques and command your own unique stage presence as you discover and practice your own personal comedy style.  The workshop would not be complete if we didn’t end with a demonstration stand up comedy showcase for family and friends. Beginning Stand-Up is designed to honestly assess each student's abilities and find how where they fit into the big picture - but it's also FUN!

BEGINNING STAND UP

Week 1 - GENERAL COMEDY OVERVIEW
The big picture and where you fit in, realistic goals, putting together your personal plan of attack.  The instructor will model
Week 2 - JOKE WRITING FUNDAMENTALS
A nuts and bolts approach to creating funny material that works for you, writing exercises, insider's secrets.  How to write, rewrite, edit and organize your jokes into an order that packs the most punch lines.
Week 3 - PERFORMANCE FUNDAMENTALS:  Delivery, Timing and Rhythm
How to present yourself like a professional, developing good habits, proper stage and mic technique

Week 4- HOSTING

the importance of the host being clean, the importance of the host being likable, the host being able to bring a show “back”, the importance of the host knowing the other comics’ credits and credentials, the hosting role on the East Coast
Week 5 - SHOWCASING, NETWORKING and FOLLOW UP

open mics, the importance of being ready for showcasing, showcasing details and tips, networking with comedians, bookers, club owners, Facebook!, Email, call clubs.  Following up with comedians, bookers, and club owners. 

Week 6 - SHOWCASE

Yes...you want to perform doncha?!   You'll put up what you've created on stage for family and friends.  Loads of fun and an incredible experience that will build your confidence and keep you salivating for more!

INTERMEDIATE STAND-UP

The same fundamentals as the beginner level are emphasized in the Improv Playhouse Intermediate Stand-Up workshop, but it is taken to a deeper and more personal level for each student.   Beginning Stand-Up or previous training will be a pre-requisite for this workshop.  Emphasis will continue to be placed on focusing on the discovery of a student's best five minutes of material.  Stand-Up students will also move more deeply into the marketing of their craft.

Week 1 - REVIEWING THE CURRENT TRENDS AND STAND-UP FUNDAMENTALS
Week 2 - ADVANCED JOKE WRITING - MORE OF THE INSIDE SECRETS OF JOKE WRITING

How to write, rewrite, edit and organize your jokes into an order that packs the most punch lines.
Week 3 - ADVANCED PERFORMING - MORE INSIDE SECRETS OF PROFESSIONALS
Everything onstage, from overcoming stage fright to dealing with hecklers and everything in between.
Week 4 - YOUR TOTAL PACKAGE
A personal review of your progress on stage and off from your act to your business skills.

Week 5 - REHEARSING YOUR TOTAL PACKAGE

Improv Playhouse Stand-Up students will rehearse new material.  Either this week or the week prior, they will have been an opportunity to experience an "open mike" night at a nearby venue.

Week 6 - SHOWCASE

Yes...you  STILL want to perform doncha?!   You'll put up what you've created on stage for family and friends AND Improv Playhouse family. 

(NEW) DIGITAL FILM MAKING

101:  Intro to Film Making

102:  Intermediate

103:  Advanced Technique

Filmmaking students will gain knowledge in every aspect of filmmaking. Our Filmmaking Instuctor/ Directors are chosen from professional ranks and some of the top film making schools in the country.  They instruct/ teach our students all of the important elements of pre-production, production and post-production.  You will learn hands on filmmaking technique through digital technology and professional software.  You will be immersed in story boarding, shot list creation, casting, shooting and digital film editing. The following goals will be achieved as students progress from beginning to advanced stages of training.

Pre-Production:  Pre-production planning will involve developing scripts, storyboards, location scouting, set design and casting.

Production:  You will work closely with seasoned professionals in specific crew positions, using props, wardrobe and set dressing if not on location shooting exterior scenes.

Post-Production:  You will study and evaluate each shot and select the best takes based on camera work, composition, continuity, sound quality and other criteria that we will discuss as a group.

Screenwriting:  You will work with honing your ideas into scripts ready for production. Campers will be encouraged to bring in their stories for consideration, but it is not necessary.
Acting for Film with Script and Improv: Our filmmakers might act themselves, or select from acting students in the program, friends or family members when available. This program is designed for the film making process, not for those wishing to act in film, thus, film students will learn to do the best to live truthfully within their scenes should they perform. They first sharpen their listening skills and then work improvisationally, learning to concentrate, trust and collaborate with their teammates.

Gear:  Film students will be encouraged to bring their digital video cameras if available.  All professional equipment, software, digital tape and a duplicated copy of the final edited project(s) on DVD are included in our registration fees.

 

ACTING

   

THE ACTORS WORKOUT
This class is for students who are looking for an exploration of in-depth acting.  Students will focus on growth and creativity in classroom activity centered upon basic acting fundamentals. Rehearsal and improvisation are used to help students connect the body and the voice allowing students to become comfortable and confident on stage, in auditions and in life.

BEGINNING ACTING
Through the use of objectives, character development, given circumstances, sub-text, obstacles and physical actions the student will focus on how the actor portrays human behavior.  The students learn to eliminate the paralysis of the beginning actor and become comfortable and confident on stage by learning to be “in the moment”.

INTERMEDIATE ACTING
This “on your feet” class will look at various works from contemporary American and British playwrights and teach students how to break down a scene and make more creative and daring choices. Learn the various techniques used by arts professionals. Students will explore improvisation to make creative choices, complemented by research and scene analysis. Students will work on different scenes with a focus on stretching creative range. Outside rehearsal time will be required.

ADVANCED ACTING:  FOR THE CAMERA

This class is an in-depth look at what it takes to truly “make it” as an On-Camera Actor, whether it’s here in Chicago or on either coast. Students work with material from current on-air television shows, films (both indie and studio), and commercials/PSAs. Students get insight not only from practical experience and “Auditioning Successfully”, but also on what to do once the job has been offered! Students will have the benefit of working with an actual union member or agent who will provide honest, direct, constructive feedback and guidance.

THE ACTOR'S ARSENAL : MONOLOGUES, METHOD, SCENE
Students will breathe new life into audition pieces by exploring Lee Strasberg’s Method and/or Michael Shurtleff’s method, made famous at the Actors Studio in New York. Using techniques such as relaxation, sense memory and substitution, students will discover ways to create playable realities within the confines of an audition situation. Please come with at least one prepared 1-3 minute monologue.  Midwest and/or National Casting Directors will assist in critique of actors during the process or at a final "looksee".

BEGINNING COMMERCIAL VOICE-OVER
Learn the “how to’s” of radio and television voice-over. Ideally suited for students with some acting experience, this class covers analyzing and acting commercial copy, taking direction, audition skills and techniques used to increase versatility as a voice actor. In addition, students learn the ins and outs of the biz including demo tapes, agents and the voice-over market in the Chicago area. A local voice-over talent/agent will lead sessions which will take place in a professional recording studio. Please bring two blank burnable CDs to the first class.

INTERMEDIATE COMMERCIAL VOICE-OVER
Take the next steps towards a career working in voice over. This class will delve more deeply into voice over technique as well as help you put together a useable demo. Weaknesses and strengths will be addressed and worked on. Outside work will be assigned. Several sessions will take place in a professional recording studio. Please bring one blank CD to the first class.
Pre-requisite: Students must have taken Beginning Commercial Voice-over, have equivalent educational or professional experience, or permission from the instructor

THE ACTOR’S VOICE
Discover the elements of the speaking voice and its application to acting, presentation and studio work. Exercises are used to protect and strengthen the voice focusing on breathing, resonance, projection, inflection and communication skills. This course will talk about taking care of the voice including how to properly warm it up resulting in vocal health, longevity, and stamina.

STUDENT AGREEMENT: aka "The Fine Print"

1) I understand that upon confirmation a place is being held for me in class. Therefore, should I not attend, there will be no refund. 2) I agree to pay all tuition in full and on time as required by Improv Playhouse for all classes attended. 3) Tuition is non-transferable/non-refundable. 4) iP Students hereby save and hold harmless the Actors Workshop Company and Improv Playhouse and its instructors jointly, severally, or personally and each and every one of them from any act or acts and any and all claims or liabilities arising from participation in instructed classes and class performances inclusive of staged public performances. PRICING reflects the length of the session, number of classes and level of training. Minimum enrollment is 6 (six) students. MAKE UP POLICY: If a student misses a class there will be no make up classes due to the cohesive nature of our workshops and commitment to ensemble. Students may not come to a similar class on a different day to make up for missed classes. Classes may be cancelled due to inclement weather conditions and neither refund nor make up class will be offered. TRANSFERS may be made upon determination of skill level. Classes and levels may be consolidated and locations changed due to enrollment. We reserve the right to substitute instructors from our professional staff.

AGENCY and I.P. RECOMMENDED HEADSHOOTERS (Photographers)

IN THE NORTHERN SUBURBS

Sherry Bell, Photographer. ( 224 ) 513-5650

Sherry's focus is on locational imaging, using the natural light to bring out the best in each subject. She is well known and recommended by Chicago's top talent agencies.   Sherry has extensive experience photographing Actors Headshots, Fashion & Beauty images for children and adults.  Many of the children she has photographed such as Danielle Campbell of Disney's "Starstruck", "Prom" and the upcoming "Originals" are enjoying successful acting careers. Others have landed national commercials, TV/Film roles and have performed at some of Chicago's most prestigious theatres such as the Cadillac Palace and Steppenwolf Theatre. Her photo sessions are scheduled at locations in the northern suburbs. Improv Playhouse and our staff is pleased to recommend her services to our students. For further information call Sherry directly at: 224-513-5650 or email her at: SherryBellPhotography@yahoo.com

IN THE CITY

Brian McConkey Photography. ( 312 ) 563-1357

Click for Brian's Website Here

312 N May St # 6J, Chicago, IL 60607-1234

One of Chicago's busiest headshot photographers is Brian McConkey, who for the past 10 years has been capturing the hopes, dreams, and most importantly, personalities of Chicago's young and veteran actors.  In addition to photographing Chicago's up-and-comers, Brian has photographed such well known actors as David Schwimmer, Martha Plimpton, Morgan Freeman and Brian Dennehy.  Ask I.P. about Brian's on-location shoots that will get the results you want for a discounted price from his already reasonable rates.

Zoe McKenzie, Photography. (773 ) 852-1189

Who is Zoe Mckenzie? She is the owner/photographer's daughter and inspiration.   The studio is a team of women who inspire and push each other to produce beautiful photos and wonderful experiences. The owner, SANDY SAGER has been shooting for 30 years and working exclusively with talent for the last 15 years.  JULIA MARCUS started working with Sandy 15 years ago doing hair/makeup and styling and has been shooting at ZMP for the last 8 years. she has worked with some amazing celebrity photographers such as, Jerry Avenaim and Marc Hauser. NATALIE GOLDEN has been shooting with ZMP for the last 5 years and before she came to us spent most of her time shooting products and interiors. Her passion is shooting people and it shows in her work!  Natalie shoots most of child talent these days. The team would not be complete without NANCY VELA, she is our Hair/Makeup Stylist and is the very best in the business, she has worked in the industry for over 25 years. She is a Sassoon trained hair stylist and stays on the cutting edge of what is current in makeup. zoemckenziephotography.com

office/studio: 116 w. lake, libertyville, illinois 60048 • 847.968.4529 • 847.968.4530 fax•
black box space - /theatre:
735 n. milwaukee, libertyville, illinois 60048

north shore training space: 1991 sheridan road, highland park, illinois 60035

Last Update: 02/25/14
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