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Improvisational Theatre

Course Number: TA 144
Transcript Title: Improvisational Theatre
Created: September 1, 2012
Updated: December 19, 2014
Total Credits: 3
Lecture Hours: 30
Lecture / Lab Hours: 0
Lab Hours: 0
Satisfies Cultural Literacy requirement: No
Satisfies General Education requirement: No
Grading options: A-F (default), P-NP, audit

Course Description

Utilizes improv games, exercises and energizing challenges, incorporating and requiring movement, imagination, enthusiasm and desire to take risks and explore. Focuses on the process and not the product – “working in the moment.” Encourages student actors to rediscover the art of play in its rawest form by placing emphasis on the art of creating something from nothing. Working without a script, builds skills in ensemble, spontaneity, listening and observing, and organically creating characters. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Creatively develop and perform 1 and 2 man improvisations.
  2. Apply understanding of rules and framework of improvisations.
  3. Perform numerous ensemble formats in competitive Theatre Sports.
  4. Utilize collaborative and ensemble methods in creating long form Harolds.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Assessment strategies shall include:

  1. Completion of weekly homework assignments that address specific exercises.
  2. In-class commitment to performance and risk taking
  3. In-class analysis of self and others
  4. Midterm performance of short form Harold
  5. Final long form Harold

Course Activities and Design

Principles of improvisation using Spolin and Close exercises will predominate the strategies used in nurturing the student’s natural improvisational abilities.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Themes

  1. Collaboration  and ensemble building
  2. Team work
  3. Critical analysis
  4. Appropriate use of warm-up activities

Skills

1.0 IMPROVISATION FROM TEXT
    1.1 Analysis of character and plot line
    1.2 Rehearse and perform scene by improvisation
    1.3 Critique other performances using examples

2.0 BEGINNING USE OF IMPROVISATIONAL SKILLS
    2.1 Demonstrate rules of improvisation
    2.2 Perform improvisational exercises
    2.3 Develop ideas to form basis for exercises

3.0 PHYSICAL AND VOCAL WORK (TRUST EXERCISES)
    3.1 Use the body and voice to convey character
    3.2 Practice exercises to determine time and place
    3.3 Demonstrate "blind walk", "circle of trust", "free falling"

4.0 THEATRE SPORTS
    4.1 Rehearse and perform mirrors, one-line story, sound ball as methods for warm-up
    4.2 Develop competitive exercises such as Story, Die and Freeze Frame
    4.3 Practice use of the system of rating improvisations

5.0 HAROLD
    5.1 Define a Harold using improvisational terminology
    5.2 Rehearse scene-to-scene connections
    5.3 Perform a long-form improvisation or Harold
    5.4 Critique other Harolds