We are hosting the Dramatic Improv Festival this October!
Interested in taking a workshop?
We will have classes running on Saturday, October 5 and Sunday, October 6. The time slots are listed below:
Saturday: 10 AM-12:30 PM, 1:30 PM-4 PM, 4:30-7 PM
Sunday: 10 AM-12:30 PM, 1:30 PM-4 PM
The workshops are on sale now!
Sign up while they last!
See below for full details on the classes being offered:
Improv is stagecraft… let’s treat it that way! You’ve learned to be spontaneous, to accept and build off of your scene partner’s ideas. You’re already awesome at really being in the moment and creating delightful outcomes. So how do you take your work up to the next level? By bringing professional acting skills to the stage! In this workshop you will gain acting, staging and delivery skills frequently practiced by professional actors in scripted works and apply them to your improv. Learn easy tricks to create beautiful stage pictures. Gain voice projection skills to make sure you can be heard in any venue. Learn to set up and balance your stage. Want to look better at what you already do wonderfully? Join us in learning new ways to properly grace the stage.
Instructors: Aden and Eric Nepom
Real life couple Aden and Eric Nepom have been improvising for over 50 years between the two of them. They have been playing together for roughly five years, and have only been married for three blissful years. Recognized for outstanding skills in theatre, speech, communication and development, these two share a passion for committed character work, grounded platform building and that moment where one realizes that anything can happen in improv! Individually they’ve created programming, won awards and traveled the world as improv teachers, stage performers and educators. Together, they’ve taught and performed on stages from as close as 20 minutes from their house, to as far away as Tel Aviv. Their festival appearances include the Fertile Ground Festival in Portland, OR, the Out of Bounds Comedy Festival in Austin, TX, the Alaska State Improv Festival in Juneau, AK, the Seattle Festival of Improvised Theatre in Seattle, WA and Mount Olymprov Greek International Improv Festival in Athens, Greece.
[4 slots left!]
Our improviser skills are honed to be clear and obvious, so conveying and reading subtext in a scene can be tricky. In this workshop we fill focus on tools and tricks you can use in scenes to both communicate and respond to subtext. With these tools you’ll find scenes take on a deeper, richer meaning for the characters, their relationships, and the overall scene or narrative.
Instructor: Megan Sherrod
Megan is a classically trained singer, actor, and improviser in Austin, Texas. On stage, critics have called her “charming” and said her performances have a “vulnerability [that] is manifest and moving.” She performs regularly with her duo Megan and Quinn and her modern musical troupe Rook. Megan has performed at the Improvised Play Festival (Austin, TX), FronteraFest (Austin, TX), Out Of Bounds Comedy Festival (Austin, TX), Dallas Comedy Festival (Dallas, TX), Improv Festival Oklahoma (Oklahoma City, OK), and Big-Little Comedy Fest (San Antonio, TX). She has performed in productions such as the awarding-winning Nothing and Everything: Improvised Anton Chekhov Plays (The Long Center), the wildly popular Happily Ever After: Improvised Musicals Inspired by Disney Classics (Hideout Theatre), and local favorite Austin Secrets (Hideout Theatre).
Outside of performing, Megan regularly teaches and directs improv at the Hideout Theatre, which specializes in narrative improv. She has taught masterclasses and workshops locally and abroad as far away as New Zealand. She recently directed the return of Hideout Theatre’s hit musical show Happily Ever After: Improvised Musicals Inspired by Disney Classics as well as Wonderland.
Megan completed her Master of Music in voice performance at the University of North Texas and her Bachelor of Music in vocal performance at Oklahoma City University. She frequently performs with Austin Opera. When she isn’t singing, improvising, or teaching, she’s spoiling her dog Caesar.
You were born into a story that had been “on the air” for a thousand seasons. Since then you’ve been living completely unscripted; never knowing exactly what’s going to happen next. Meanwhile, you’ve read hundreds or thousands of books, watched thousands of hours of TV, and you’ve told stories to your family and friends and listened to their stories. You’ve heard good storytellers and bad ones. Yet you get on stage and… fail to tap into your own expertise and experience. You’ve been improvising since birth, this seminar will help you discover how to bring that experience to the stage in the Theatre Momentum style of dramatic improv.
Instructor: Peter Athans
Peter Athans has been performing stand-up comedy, acting, improvising, and directing for over a decade and is delighted to be a frequent performer in and director of various Theatre Momentum shows. When not directing, he’s probably acting the fool during make-em-up’s all about town and drinking too much coffee while also enjoying directing the new talent in Theatre Momentum’s Einstein ensemble It’s Too Late to Be Arthur. As a performer he can be seen in the show A Thousand Words.
Class: Emotional Vulnerability: The Art Of Getting Hurt On Purpose
$30 / Saturday, 1:30-4 PM (LOL Theater-Stage)
[FULL!] Email for waitlist
The greatest gift to the dramatic improviser is learning to “take the hit” at the right time, for the greatest effect. This tool can help shape the scene, reveal and deepen the reality and relationship and heighten the intensity to great purpose. But to do so organically and authentically is a skill that requires practice! In this workshop, students will practice basic emotional responses and scene building techniques, specifically applied for dramatic effect.
Instructors: Sarah Marie Curry & Cat Drago
Sarah Marie Curry has been a passionate coach, director, teacher and producer of improvisational theater since 2012. She is currently teaching advanced improv in three of the five dedicated improv schools in Austin: The Hideout Theatre, The Fallout Theater and Merlin Works School of Improvisation.
She has been an actor since 2002 and an improvisational actor since 2008. On stage she has been called “hilarious” “fierce” “truly exceptional” and is an Austin Award winner for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy this past season. Her regional credits include: Reefer Madness (Mary Lane), Ordinary Days (Deb), Company (Jenny) Into the Woods (Cinderella) Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (Chorus) to name a few. On stage she has been called “hilarious”, “fierce” and “truly exceptional” and is the Outstanding Lead Actress in A Musical of 2016 for her role as “Jamie” in The Last Five Years.
She was a proud member of the award winning troupe: Girls Girls Girls Improvised Musicals for 7.5 years and currently stars as one half of dramatic improv duo Cascade also nominated by the Austin Improv Community for Outstanding Improv Troupe.
Cat Drago is an improvisor, director, coach and teacher based out of Austin, Texas. She performs and teaches with Rook and Cascade and has been featured in several B Iden Payne award-winning shows, including Nothing and Everything: Improvised Anton Chekhov Plays and Kindness of Strangers: Improv inspired by the works of Tennessee Williams. Last year Cat directed La Vida de los Muertos at the Hideout Theatre, an improvised play with an all-Latinx cast set in the world of Dia de los Muertos, and she is currently directing Make It So, improvised Star Trek episodes inspired by Next Generation. When she’s not doing improv and teaching, she is a registered nurse and educator for an elementary school and regularly crushes her 8,000 steps a day goal.
This workshop is an exercise in “saying the hard thing”. The thing that your character desperately wants to say. The thing that your scene partner desperately wants to hear. Because that thing is what propels the action and takes your scene to the next level of emotion and circumstance. Say it, and deal with it. We will go through practical exercises that allow you to create an on-stage dynamic that allows you to say those difficult things AND deal with the aftermath in a way that serves the scene.
Instructor: Gretchen Wirges
For nearly 10 years Gretchen has been acting, directing and writing for stages in Tucson, Arizona. She is a member of Old Pueblo Playwrights. Two of her plays were featured in the 2018 New Play Festival. She is an accomplished improv teacher and performer. She spent 4 years on stage with Not Burnt Out Just Unscrewed and now travels the country with her improv duo Ex-Boyfriend. She is the creator and director of a troupe, Unwritten, that performs a full-length, fully-improvised play. They have performed to much acclaim, including winning the Audience Favorite award at the 2019 Fringe Festival.
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Improvisers are, by our nature, storytellers. We need to be vulnerable onstage and – in dramatic improv – get to truly intimate places. But in scripted theatre, those intimate moments are carefully choreographed so that actors stay safe while maintaining the right storytelling arc. How can we create an improvised moment of intimacy, make sure everyone’s boundaries are maintained, and keep the story pushing forward? This workshop will teach you how to run an intimacy rehearsal with your troupe, how to navigate moments when a physical offer needs to be rejected, and how to have the hard discussions about boundaries – all while maintaining a spirit of collaboration and creativity. Drawing from the tenets of Intimacy Directors International, Planned Parenthood, and Theater Intimacy Education, we’ll make sure players understand how to communicate their consent – or lack thereof – within scenework.
Instructor: Joy Carletti
Joy has been improvising for over 15 years on both coasts and now finds herself in the country’s high plains, making her home in Denver. She is currently the Education Director at Voodoo Comedy Playhouse, the director for Bent Improv, and a member of Orchestrated Happenstance and Secret Service. In the past, she’s been a guest artist with SF’s Un-Scripted Theater Company. She lives for narrative improv and her goal is to make you happy cry.
Too many times improvisers send scenes in weird directions because they panic or because they think they need to be funny for the audience to enjoy what they’re watching, without realising that so much is already happening in a scene. We don’t need to struggle to create stories because we carry stories within us. Sometimes just a twitch, a look or a reaction are more than enough to tell a story or are the beginning of one.
In this workshop we will explore what is already present and work on not creating anything new. We will also work on silences and take the emphasis away from words. We will explore the importance of listening and of being truly present in a moment and the emotional reactions this can trigger.
Staying in the moment, not forcing the comedy in a situation, relying on what is already there, help to give a scene more weight, lending itself to dramatic possibilities without being overly dramatic while at the same time not blocking the comedic opportunities present in any human situation. This workshop will allow participants to be more grounded. Using what is already there is extremely liberating and it is surprising to see what can already be found in even the simplest of situations.
Instructor: Simone Ellul
Simone attended drama school for four years in Malta, and then furthered her training in the UK, specialising in Shakespeare and obtaining an MFA in Staging Shakespeare. She trained as an actor-combatent and certified in all weapons with the British Academy for Stage and Screen Combat. She currently works as a freelance interpreter with the European institutions, and has previously also worked in media and communications. She taught drama for five years, giving drama classes to children aged 5 to 16. She has also given classes and workshops to adults, including an improvisation workshop requested by the European Commission.
Simone is a founding member of the English-language improvisation theatre troupe The Ghost Sheep, which is based in Brussels. She performs in improvisation shows regularly, mainly with The Ghost Sheep, but also with other improvisation troupes. She has also performed in numerous international improvisation festivals including Improv Fest Ireland, Impro Amsterdam, Improfestival Mainz, Compenhagen International Improv Festival, Tilt, Improfestival (Salento), Tolfama and Wip. She also attended the International Improvisation School, including the Teaching Programme at Loose Moose in Calgary, Canada. Simone is also a member of the Mediterranean Improvisation Project Sabir.
Class: Objects in Motion: Environment and Emotion for Dynamic Drama
Saturday, 4:30-7 PM (Pendulum-Stage)
Have you ever had scenes that take place in a vacuum, with two talking heads chatting aimlessly, disconnected from each other, the story, and the show? Let’s fix that!
This workshop will help you use solid environment work to empower your scenes in deep and meaningful ways. Your environment is another character in your scene, who will always agree with you and support you. Every scene is made better with object work. Through the use of psychological tools, simple mime techniques, and an outside-in approach, you will learn to get out of your head and into the moment, to connect to your scene partner with strong emotion, and to avoid the pitfalls of planning, gossiping, and hiding from the relationship.
Instructor: Tony Rielage
Tony is the Artistic Director and Head Instructor at Theatre Momentum and the Festival Director of The Dramatic Improv Festival. He has been performing, directing, and producing improv theatre for over 27 years. He has trained at iO Theater, the Annoyance Theatre, and the Playground Theater, and founded TM’s precursor workshop, Workshop-in-Progress. He firmly believes that the best improv is about vulnerable human beings acting naturally, bravely, and honestly.
Class: Sh*t Just Got Real: Expanding Your Emotional Boundaries with the Meisner Technique
$45/ Sunday, 10 AM-12:30 PM (Pendulum Space-Stage)
[FULL!] Email for waitlist
Every improviser seeks the same things in their performance: authenticity, spontaneity, truthfulness, connection, vulnerability. But do you know how to live in those states in your own scenes, or are you really just “performing” them? Do you know how to recognize your own habits that you rely on, or are you coasting on tricks? This intense and profoundly personal class starts with the human being – your blocks, your emotional freedom, your sense of truth – and pushes you to expand past what you think you know about your own abilities of expression.
Using the Meisner repetition technique, we will push the boundaries of your ability to focus and respond to your partners in a deep and truthful way, and open you to possibilities of real connection you never knew you had. The goal is to intensify the impact of your performances and allow you to express the full and unvarnished range of human emotion while on stage.
Instructor: Allison Asher
Allison Asher has been working as a scripted actor for over 20 years, and added improv to her life in 2011. She has an MFA in Acting from Northern Illinois University, and has worked across the country from California to Texas to New England as an actor, improviser, acting and dialect coach for both scripted and improv productions. She studied scripted acting at ACT in San Francisco, the Stella Adler Studio in New York, and the Moscow Art Theatre in Russia, among other places, and improv at iO Theater, the Annoyance, Second City, and the Hideout Theatre and The Institution Theater in Austin, Texas.
Allison is a “second-generation” Meisner teacher whose MFA training focused in the technique. She trained with and was mentored by master teacher Kathryn Gately, who herself trained under Sanford Meisner, as well as teacher trained with William Esper. Allison has taught Meisner Technique to scripted and improv actors for over a decade, and currently teaches a class in “Meisner Technique for Dramatic Improvisers” at Theatre Momentum. She is an ensemble member at Theatre Momentum and has taught public speaking and accent reduction at Northwestern University and the University of Chicago.
Every object in the Universe has an affect on every other object in the Universe. The mere fact that you share the stage with someone else gives you a relationship. Your relationship is affected by your distance from each other, how you move relative to each other and each individual’s perception of time (Yes, sometimes two characters can be functioning on two different scales of time in the same scene). We will explore the multiple dimensions that make up a scene.
Instructor: Will Luera
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 is co-creator of Healing Moments for Alzheimer’s, a non-profit organization that provides education, advocacy, and ministry for persons with dementia and their caregivers. 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.
Improv tech takes performances to the next level. It builds rich and engaging worlds. It shapes and builds emotions over time. And it raises a show’s production values, really giving your audience their money’s worth.
This workshop teaches you how to make that magic happen. With a fun mix of theory, games, and exercises, you’ll learn how to paint with light and layer together sounds, and how to collaborate effectively with the actors onstage.
Whether you have a single laptop or a full-fledged light grid, World of Techcraft will teach you how to make your shows magical.
Instructor: Lindsey McGowen
Lindsey McGowen is the award-winning Mainstage Technical Director and Production Manager at the Hideout Theatre in Austin, TX. She’s designed lights, sound or video (sometimes all three!) for more than 30 improvised plays, and been a regular featured collaborator of the Hideout’s own Parallellogramophonograph. Improvised theatrical design is her passion, and she can’t wait to share it with you!
A psychological approach to acting from emotional truth and situational awareness. This workshop will give you a beginning glance at how emotions are Jazz and situation, context & circumstances are Engineering. You will leave the workshop with the ability to apply this awareness to any approach to improvisation but especially to Dramatic. Neuroscience tidbits included for no extra charge!
Instructor: Joe Bill
Joe Bill is widely regarded as one of the best teachers of Scenic and Comedic Improvisation in America today. He is one of the founding members of Annoyance Theater Chicago where, for 12 years, he performed in and/or directed more than 60 different shows. He is the Director of Corporate Training at iO Chicago and is a Guest Artist in Residence at The Second City Training Center where he teaches intensives in Duo Improvisation and Improvisation for Actors. Joe first learned Improvisation and in 1977 studied and worked with Del Close from 1985 through the mid 90’s.
Joe is ½ of the original improvised Monoscene (we used to call it “Real Time”), BASSPROV with Mark Sutton, (Annoyance Theater Co-Founding Member and Artistic Director for Training and Development at The Second City). They have been heralded by the NY TIMES: “BASSPROV refreshingly has the feel of a quiet character study…jokes emerge organically, using wordplay, character quirks and quicksilver wit.”
Joe tours all over the world, teaching and headlining with extremely talented Duo partners like Jill Bernard (Huge Improv Theater – Mpls.) in their hit show SCRAM!, with International Improv Legend Patti Stiles (AD – Impro Melbourne) in their groundbreaking show Our Play, Stacey Hallal (Curious Comedy Theater – Portland, OR) in Stacey & Joe and We Slept Together, Susan Messing (Annoyance, iO, Second City) in Messing With a Friend, with Lee White (CRUMBS – Winnipeg, Berlin) in their heroic Duo show PARADIGM and with David Razowsky (Host A.D.D. Comedy Podcast) in Razowsky & Bill. He’s played with many other Duo partners, in the U.S. and abroad, in many Festival Ensemble shows and in every improvised format and/or style imaginable. For the last 5 years he has also been teaching and performing in French, in many cities in France and in the Spring of 2019 he’ll expand that to Belgium, Luxembourg and even more cities in France. He is living his dream!
He has played as a guest in The Scene and Chica GO-GO at The PIT in New York City, with Let’s Have A Ball and ASSSSCAT 3000 at UCB Theater in New York & L.A and with Kornfeld & Andrews at Magnet Theater in New York City.
He has performed, directed, taught and served as an Artistic Adviser for a number of Improvisation/Comedy Theaters & Festivals all over North America, Europe, Australia and South Africa and at every major Improv Festival in The United States.
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The very first exchanges of your scene tell you all you need to know about who you are and where to emotionally and energetically go. Are you aware of that? Are you listening to yourself at that time? Hmm? Are ya’? This workshop will guide you to your point of view, and have you following yourself confidently, bravely, excitedly, and easily. It’s as simple as that!
Instructor: David Razowsky
David Razowsky’s approach to improvisation:
“I have a simple approach to improvising: Your present awareness is the only thing you need to create compelling, smart, truthful, and surprising scenes. Period. No games, no preconceived premises, no ideas, no ego. All that matters is now. The actor’s level of improvisation experience doesn’t matter, for all you need to bring to my workshop is your present presence. All you’ll leave with is your joy and excitement and confidence. And after all, what more do you need?”
David Razowsky is the former artistic director of the Second City Los Angeles, and the host of the award-winning podcast ADD Comedy with Dave Razowsky. His teaching and performing has taken him all over the world, from the US to Australia, Ireland, Italy, Germany, The Netherlands, the UK, and New Zealand, where he recorded a TEDx Auckland Talk (http://bit.ly/TEDxRazowsky). As an actor at The Second City David worked with Martin Short, Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, Rachel Dratch, Chris Farley, Amy Sedaris among others. He’s directed The Second City Mainstage, The Second City Hollywood, The Second City Detroit, and The Second City National Touring Company. He is a consultant for Dreamworks, a teacher for Steppenwolf Theater, adjunct faculty for California State University, and has directed two productions for Amsterdam’s Boom Chicago Theatre. David’s a member of the Reduced Shakespeare Company and performed in their Kennedy Center run of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, Abridged.