Workshops

Create characters, play in emotion, and challenge yourself in this series of workshops exploring improviser as performer. “Good actors are not thinking ahead. They are listening to what is going on right now.”  – Keith Johnstone

Status and Master Servant — P901 (SOLD OUT – Waitlist Only)

Patti Stiles – Australia  (9 hours)

Status play happens continually in life. It is a form of silent communication, significant in how we relate to and are affected by people every day. We are constantly relating and adjusting our status. On stage relationships look void of any real connection when status play is not present.

Master Servant work is anchored in status. It is the understanding of status play and the ability to raise and lower each other’s status which can build tension or create comedy. It is an important technique to have in your impro toolkit. This workshop is a physical workshop and will involve being hit by balloons.


Preparing Yourself to be Unprepared — P902 (SOLD OUT – Waitlist Only)

Steen Haakon Hansen – Denmark  (9 hours)

I would like to explore ways of training that will prepare you to face and work with the unforeseen in improvised theatre.

Just like the persons/characters we are portraying on stage have to find ways to realize their dreams and wants, so do we as improvising stage artists have to find ways to realize our dreams and wants. I think you have to come on stage with something that opens yours and your partners’ imagination and something that makes your skills ready for use. You should not wait for something to happen, make something happen with your imagination, skills and attitude. So, you have to find ways to prepare yourself for the unprepared.

Keith says that the scenes have to have a point. How can we do that? Working with premise, doing rants, listening to what is on your mind? I think so, let´s work on how we can make the scenes we are producing have a point. Where does the point of the scene come from, will it emerge all by itself from what is there, or will it show itself as a reaction to what we bring on stage, or is it a creative harmonizing of the two?


Punching Up — P301

Chris Wells – Japan  (3 hours)

Everyone has a different sense of humor, but dealing with stereotypes can be a touchy issue for any improv troupe. How do we develop a common philosophy that isn’t based on presumptions and do that before the issues come up during a show? And how do we keep it funny? We’ll approach the subject through activities, scenes and discussion in a process you can take home to your own group. “Punching up” is a term used to describe using satire against the powerful in society, as opposed to “punching down”, which is mocking those in a weaker position in society. What sort of comedy do we want to do? And how can we walk the line and represent all kinds of people in our work in the best way?


Zen Impro — P302

Jun Imai – Japan  (3 hours)

According to Keith Johnstone, impro resembles Zen. We will explore being here and now moment to moment. Free yourself from ‘success’ or ‘failure’; good or bad and right and wrong. Move from impulse, without thinking, unifying the mind, heart and body. Become one with others… and the world.


Acting for Improvisers — P303

Veena Sood – Canada  (3 hours)

“Don’t think. Don’t be clever. Dare to be more boring”  – Keith Johnstone

These are the unorthodox techniques Veena uses to encourage actors to free their mind & release their spontaneity. Actors who are in the future are so not-present that they’re not seeing what’s going on right in front of them. This workshop will focus on improv exercises specifically for actors to help them seek truthfulness, be spontaneous with scripted text, and assist in unlocking the secret to being a good listener. Eliminate that little voice in the head that seems to be concerned with what others think of it.
This class will give you valuable tools to assist you in your auditions, scene work, on stage & on film/TV sets.

“Never walk on the stage to be good. Walk onstage to create a relationship.”  – Keith Johnstone

Humans have been telling stories since before the beginning. In these workshops you will mine for ancient stories, discover new ones, and imagine those to come.

The Bechdel Test — S901 (SOLD OUT – Waitlist Only)

Lisa Rowland – USA  (9 hours)

Our world of fictional stories seems to belong to men. Statistics show that the vast majority of lead roles, spoken lines, and screen time end up going to male characters. When women show up in fictional stories, they tend to be shallow, uni-dimensional accessories in a man’s narrative!

And in spite of our limitless possibilities as improvisors, we can tend to perpetuate these patterns when creating improvised stories as well.

The Bechdel Test is a format developed in response to the ways that women, specifically, show up (or don’t show up) in popular stories. Taking a non-linear approach to storytelling, The Bechdel Test aims to create full-bodied, complicated, multi-faceted female characters and places them at the centers of their own stories. Asking “what else” instead of “what comes next?” The Bechdel Test highlights the seemingly contrasting elements in characters’ lives, leading us to put women on stage who have nuance and depth. Just like us.


Storytelling through Magical Realism — S902 (SOLD OUT – Waitlist Only)

Felipe Ortiz – Colombia  (9 hours)

Magical Realism is a genre where extraordinary, unreal and strange things appear as part of the daily life as if it was completely normal. This workshop is a journey through the complex world of magical realism exploring different tools that can help you dive into this amazing and powerful universe.

You will explore fantastic or magical things as part of normal life, different ways of playing with time, and what magical realism is or looks like in our cultures, characters, spaces, and social and political relationships.


The Internal Narrative (Oct 16) — S301A (SOLD OUT – Waitlist Only)

Joe Bill – USA  (3 hours)

When we are improvising scenes, our brains are often split between tending to the story that we are telling, and tending to the relationships in which our characters find themselves. How can we tell stories that make sense narratively, but also have the depth of connection between characters that make the story impactful as well as compelling? I will show you, using improvisation acting techniques that are infused with things I’ve learned in studying neuroscience, how to tend to the Internal Narratives of the characters. Great stories deserve compelling characters – let me show you some ways to help that happen!


The Internal Narrative (Oct 18) — S301B

Joe Bill – USA  (3 hours)

When we are improvising scenes, our brains are often split between tending to the story that we are telling, and tending to the relationships in which our characters find themselves. How can we tell stories that make sense narratively, but also have the depth of connection between characters that make the story impactful as well as compelling? I will show you, using improvisation acting techniques that are infused with things I’ve learned in studying neuroscience, how to tend to the Internal Narratives of the characters. Great stories deserve compelling characters – let me show you some ways to help that happen!


Connection, Colour, Character — S302 (SOLD OUT – Waitlist Only)

Derek & Michi Flores – New Zealand  (3 hours)

3 topics. 3 hours. 2 teachers! Using our unique two-teacher technique that focuses one pair of eyes on the work from inside the scene and one from without, we look at the connecting principles between different partners. We uncover characters through the use of heightened and poetic language, we also attempt to create engaging and authentic narratives through playful group exploration. This lively and active workshop will keep you on your feet for most of the 3 hours.


TIME – S303

Inbal Lori – Israel  (3 hours)

Improvisation – like any other story telling arts – uses the element of time, and does with it a variety of many cool things. It allows us to jump from one time to another, to be in two different times simultaneously, to slow down or fast-forward reality, to jump from the past to the future and much more! This intensive workshop will take us from being totally present in the moment to time-traveling in an epic, fast and funny way, with cinematic and theatrical qualities.

Dive deep into the history, or challenge yourself with new theatrical forms, to inspire your improvisation, and create a richer experience for your audiences.

Genre in Action! — TA901 (SOLD OUT – Waitlist Only)

Dan O Connor – USA  (9 hours)

What can Shakespeare teach you about improvising a story? What can Chekhov teach you about creating characters? What can Jane Austen teach you about building relationships? It turns out quite a lot. This class is about using the work of great writers to find new ways to create without a script. From character development and physicality to robust relationships that move narrative forward we will play with writer’s various tones and techniques to improvise bigger, badder, and bolder!


The Fascination of the Masks — TA902

Steve Jarand – Canada  (9 hours)

What are the differences between good Impro and great Impro? Good acting and great acting? It lies somewhere beyond wit, charm and precision.

In this workshop, gain some insight into the origins of improvised theatre and the heart of the performer through the use of masks and mask ideas. Experience how the impulse of transformation can come from something other than your thoughts, your concepts, or yourself.

We will work with half (Trance masks) and/or partial masks (noses, glasses, wigs, etc.) to give ourselves different inner and outer perception. We will also play with full masks to practice new physical and emotional states to reveal the stories of the audience as well as the personal feelings that go along with them.


Stage Fighting and Slapstick — TA301

Felipe Ortiz – Colombia   (3 hours)

This workshop is a technical journey through basic elements of this wonderful and useful tool for theater, clowning and impro. You will learn how to build a proper stage fight with punches, slaps, kicks and more, as well as the basic elements of slapstick: fall, roll, bump, etc…


The Ferocious Four — TA302

Laura Doorneweerd – The Netherlands  (3 hours)

In this workshop we will cover some core elements of the Ferocious Four format: working as a team, playing villains and spectacular action-movie techniques like high speed chases and stage combat.

Get ready to jump, move, chase, defuse, fight and basically… Kick ass.


Improvised Song — TA303

Jeff Gladstone – Canada  (3 hours)

Whether you love singing, are terrified of singing, or just aren’t sure which, this workshop will help you find your inner diva and shake the rafters. By playing together, we will learn the basics of rhythm & melody, chords patterns & song structure, by simply following the beat of our heart, and the interest of the group. There are many ways live music can enhance the action of an improv scene, and we’ll put them all to the test.

Bring an instrument, or just your voice. Everyone should be able to make a little music, and this workshop will help remind you that you already know how.

Leveraging Social Media — B301

Sarah Peretto Rainey, Rebecca Bollwitt  (3 hours)

Some people say that social media is the new word of mouth, but what are the best options for you and your company? This workshop will talk about many of the social media platforms out there, and how to reach your audience and build a following. By the end, you will be able to put together a solid social media campaign and get the most out of what social media has to offer your marketing strategies.


Leadership – Managing Trust, Decision Making — B302

Jay Ono  (3 hours)

What is the role of a leader, exactly? We will explore the answer to this question and more, as we cover building trust in your relationships with employees and coworkers, making tough decisions, and how to inspire and motivate people to create the kind of welcoming work environment that will have your staff bragging.


Marketing — B303

Nancy Wong, Teresa Trovato, Sarah Peretto Rainey, Sylvia Chan  (3 hours)

Most people think of Marketing as only paid advertising. While advertising is one of the tools in the Marketing Toolbox, it is not the only one. This workshop will include an introduction to Marketing’s 5 P’s – Product, People, Price, Place, and Promotion and will give you the tools to cultivate a recognizable brand unique to your company that speaks to your target audience whether you have a full-time marketing department or ‘improvise’ your marketing efforts on the fly.


Safe Spaces – Inclusivity, Diversity — B304

Karen Brown Fournell  (3 hours)

In changing times we are challenged to update our approach to recruiting, playing and interacting with each other. How can we make safe, inclusive spaces and still create outrageous, preposterous comedy? At what cost? The legal issues, the moral issues, the business issues.


Creating Additional Revenue Streams — B305

Jeff Tuttle, Daune Campbell, Jay Ono  (3 hours)

We all want to see our business grow into something great – but sometimes it can be hard to figure out how to make it happen. This workshop will focus on creating and diversifying revenue streams with an eye towards business development, where we will discuss what other groups are doing and what you can do for your business.


The Guest Experience — B306

Tara Berntzen, Peter Chapek, Jay Ono  (3 hours)

Part of running a successful business is creating such a wonderful experience that the patron keeps coming back! It’s not just about providing a great performance – it starts as early as when the guest visits your website. This workshop will examine the importance of the guest experience and how to find ways to keep improving it, particularly through recognizing that every interaction is an opportunity to make them feel valued and important.

Format Workshops

The following workshops are the three main Keith Johnstone impro(v) formats that form the foundation of the iTi.

Format Workshops are open to conference delegates for an additional fee of $15 (and to non-delegate improvisers for a fee of $30).

To register please contact services@vtsl.com. For dates & times of all the workshops please refer to the conference schedule.


“Classic” TheatreSports™

Patti Stiles – Australia  (4 hours)

Take a trip back in time to see firsthand the elements that made up the very first TheatreSports™ performances. In the 40+ years since, TheatreSportsgrew from the basement theatre experiment of Keith Johnstone and a group of his students, to a format that is played on 6 continents around the world. Understand the theories behind the format, the reason and role of the judges, how the horn promotes risk, how the basket supports and the many ways you can excite and engage your audience in this theatrical representation of competition.

For experienced TheatreSports™ players only.


Maestro Impro™

Steve Jarand – Canada  (2.5 hours)

Maestro Impro™ offers a simple and practical structure. It is a lightly competitive show that can include many players with differing skill levels. Although the format is easy to present as a sequence of games and scene set-ups, Maestro really shines when the content and variety comes from directors and actors working together in the moment. Success relies upon finding a balance between triumph (great scenes) and failure (poor scenes and elimination) and the efficiency of moving the whole show forward.
In this workshop we will address elements of the Maestro format such as:
  • Group dynamics and support
  • Elimination and failure
  • Show variety (pace, dynamics, content)
  • Scene types (group, solo, tie-breakers)
  • Emcee
  • Directing
  • Player initiative (balance between direction and free playing)
 Come train this ensemble-based format full of support and storytelling.

Gorilla Theatre™

Derek Flores – New Zealand  (2.5 hours)

Gorilla Theatre™ is an advanced form for experienced improvisers who are also skilled in directing improvisation. A cast of 4 – 5 improvisors take turns directing each other in scenes. The Audience is invited to reward, or punish the director of a scene by yelling “BANANA!” if they liked it, or “FORFEIT!” if they didn’t. Successful directors are awarded a banana. Unsuccessful directors are required to perform a forfeit. At the end of the evening the director with the most bananas wins “a week of quality time with the resident gorilla.”
In this workshop we will address elements of the Gorilla format including:

  • Impro directing skills
  • Working in a theme
  • Scene endings
  • Heat and misbehavior
  • Accepting and performing forfeits
  • The role of the Gorilla
  • The role of the scenographer

 


Public Workshops

These courses, conducted by some of the top improv instructors in the world, are open to both conference delegates and the general public. There are no pre-requisites. All four courses are limited to only 16 participants and are value-priced at $49 per course.

The First 30 Seconds with Joe Bill

Truths with Kati Schweitzer

ImproWow – The Power of Inclusion with Elena Lah

Masks and Trance with Steve Jarand

Contact us

Couldn’t find what you’re looking for? We’re here to help!
For general inquiries regarding the 2019 iTi Conference please contact conference@theatresports.org

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