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improv PLAYHOUSE training center
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
ADVANCED PERFORMANCE LEVEL
The deeper exploration of Long Form and Sketch Comedy is guided by an advanced professional from the ranks of Chicago (and the nation's) premiere improv venues. Mid-range and Long Form structures such as LaRonde, The Harold and additional "story" structures will immerse students in a "semi-pro" environment.
STAND UP COMEDY
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!
IMPROV FOR ACTORS
THE ACTORS WORKOUT
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”.
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.
AGENCY and I.P. RECOMMENDED HEADSHOOTERS (Photographers)
IN THE NORTHERN SUBURBS
Sherry Bell, Photographer. ( 224 ) 513-5650
TEEN COMPOSITE LINK CLICK HERE TWEEN COMPOSITE LINK CLICK HERE
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.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