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Comedy Improvisation Beginners Course | Goldsmiths University
Wed, 21 Feb 2018, 18:30 – Wed, 28 Mar 2018, 21:00 GMT
Why study this course at Goldsmiths?
Goldsmiths’ highly respected commitment to praxis (theory and practice) means every exercise has roots and rationale in academic background. The course itself, however, won’t involve studying texts; it’s about having fun as a group.
Sessions are held in Goldsmiths’ internationally renowned Theatre and Performance Department’s dedicated performance workshop spaces: ideal for creative flow and a positive learning experience.
The facilitator is an alumna of Goldsmiths, cohosts a weekly comedy improv jam, has experience of teaching improv to a wide range of groups and performs regularly – it’s a unique triangulation of academic theory, practical experience and performance commitment.
Who will teach the course?
Course facilitator is Victoria Hogg. Victoria has trained in comedy for a decade and as an improviser for five years, and co-runs a respected and popular south London weekly improv jam, Duck Duck Goose Improv. She has studied with a wide range of international improv teachers and via UCB, Second City, Monkey Toast, Hoopla, Spontaneity Shop, The Free Association and The Nursery Theatre.
Victoria’s Applied Theatre MA allowed her to use improvisation and theatre techniques in socially engaged situations, and safe space is key to her practice. Victoria loves to take groups on a journey of self-discovery to help them ‘find the funny’ as they learn how to deal with new offers, people or situations. This course begins the process of being happy to fail, good at risk-taking and up for new challenges!
What are the aims of the course?
You’ll be good at finding fun and working well in a group. You’ll be familiar with the classic improv principles of ‘freedom to fail’, ‘yes, and’ and ‘yes, let’s’, without feeling flustered. You’ll think on your feet and respond in the moment. You’ll become more creative. You’ll feel less determined to ‘get it right’ and happier to take a risk. You’ll gain basic stage confidence, both solo and in a group, and know how to respond to your fellow players while in performance mode, whatever they throw at you. You’ll perform entirely improvised scenes with a scene partner using different characters and emotions.
How will the course be taught?
Each of the six weekly evening classes is physical rather than desk-based. Expect to laugh a lot while interacting with your classmates. Note-taking is welcomed but not compulsory. The sessions contain various improv warm-ups, exercises, short-form games and long-form techniques. There might be a small amount of homework, such as watching an improv show or comedy sketches online for inspiration.
What are the learning outcomes?
On completing the course, participants will be able to:
- Fabricate a scene on the spot with a scene partner.
- Play improvisation games in front of their peers.
- Have a knowledge of basic improvisation skills such as listening; ‘yes, and-ing’; spacework and status.
- Listen and notice more in any situation.
- Fail with confidence!
While it’s lots of fun and laughter in class is inevitable, improv’s wider benefits are no longer a secret, as evidenced by MBA business programmes around the world using improv as a core part of their courses. This beginner’s course provides a basis for better communication, faster failure recovery and a relaxed attitude to risk-taking. Participants will start to master an easier presentation style, find a more creative way to collaborate and will enjoy all-round faster responses to new situations. These are all skills to be carried positively into your work and social life – while having a laugh!