Workshops

Femprovisor Fest ’17 Workshops

Femprovisor Fest is hosting some stellar improv instructors at this year’s fest!  We are offering both co-ed and women only workshops. Please take note of this information on each workshop.


The Animated Body with Amy Larimer

The use of the body is an essential part of improv. Strong physical choices can clarify characters, focus the mind and bring energy and direction to scenes.  Although improvisers know that physicality is important, there is often little time to work individually on expanding physical range.  This class will offer exercises to open and coordinate the mind and body as well as techniques that will help performers commit to heightened ways of moving. Performers will receive individual feedback and specific techniques for harnessing their physical potential. All levels are welcome!  Wear comfortable clothing and be prepared to go barefoot.

Bio: Amy Larimer is an Associate Professor and the Director of the Dance Program at Lehman. In her teaching, she combines her knowledge of dance with her knowledge of improv. Some of her primary areas of interest are: the ways that physical states influence performance, techniques for enhancing physical specificity and range in performers and the ways that the practices of dance and improv can feed each other. She is a certified yoga teacher and has published articles on improvisation and pedagogy in The Journal of Dance Education and The Journal of Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.

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Tuition: $60
Please Note: Men and Women encouraged to participate
Instructor: Amy Larimer
Day/Date/Time: Saturday, April 29th, from 10:30pm – 1:30pm
Location: Leela Training Center, 901 Mission Street, Third Floor, San Francisco


Be Here Now: Joy and Presence in Scene work with Tara DeFrancisco

Presence is the name of the game. Come do two person scene work, actively listen, find the fun. It’s all right there in front of you. Part bohemian methodology, part hardcore scene work, this workshop is both invigorating and full of straight talk.

Bio: Tara DeFrancisco is a headlining performer at iO Chicago (on the Deltones, Chaos Theory, Armando, defrancisCo), ComedySportz (Mainstage), and a three year vet of the Second City Touring Company. She’s taught for those theatres and independently, both at home and internationally. Media-wise, you might see her in a Las Vegas commercial campaign, on Delusions of Grandeur (ABC Family/Blip TV), soon in the new feature film The Life & Death of an Unhappily Married Man (2015), or in several projects filmed for the satirical newspaper, The Onion. She is also the founder and president of The Improv Retreat, the acclaimed and beloved summer camp for adult improvisers in the midwest. In March of 2015, weekly residency of Here (a two person long-form improvised musical, performed with Rance Rizzutto) is scheduled for Thursdays at iO around their worldwide tour dates. Tara has won numerous awards, including Top Performer in Chicago from New City, Funniest Person in Chicago by the Free Press, Top 25 Of Comedy in the US by Curve Magazine, as well as Chicago Tribune Show of the Season for the long running renegade feat, defrancisCo.

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Tuition: $65
Please Note: Women Only
Instructor: Tara DeFrancisco
Day/Date/Time: Saturday, April 29th, from 11:00am – 1:00pm
Location: EXIT Theatre (Main Stage), 156 Eddy Street, San Francisco


 

Musical Improv with Laura Hall and Shulie Cowen

Have you ever wanted to try improvising songs like we do on Whose Line is it Anyway? Then this fun, lively workshop is perfect for you, even if you’ve never done song improv before. If you’re already experienced with song improv, we’ll stretch your skills and help you explore all sorts of fun new ways to use music. We create a supportive, fun environment where you can grow, explore and move out of your comfort zone, starting with warmups and games. We’ll move on to creating songs that are a natural extension of the improv skills you already know. We’ll play with melody, rhythm, singing as a character, tricks for the less-confident singer, finding your own way of approaching a musical accompaniment, and more. Before you know it, you’ll be belting out your own great improvised songs!

Bio: Laura Hall is best known as the improvisational pianist the hit TV show, “Whose Line is it Anyway”, which is back in production again after a 10 year hiatus. Starring a new host, Aisha Tyler, the show is now in season five on the CW.  During the hiatus, Laura toured for several years with “Drew Carey and The Improv Allstars”. Laura got her start in Chicago at “The Second City” as an improvisational pianist, composer and musical director.  There she started with the National Touring Company, and went on to write music for the Jeff Award winning E.T.C. revue, “Channel This!”  She has played with countless improv groups in Chicago and L.A., including The Annoyance Theater, Improv Olympic, Improv Institute, Opening Night: The Improvised Musical, The Groundlings, Comedy Sports and Theatresports. Laura loves teaching improv, and leads music improv workshops around the country, often with her husband, Rick Hall.  They have developed “Improv Karaoke” a set of tracks to help improvisors learn how to perform song improv.  Laura has co-written a book, “The Improv Musician: The Ultimate Guide to Playing Music with an Improv Group”, to teach musicians how to do what she does on “Whose Line” and in live shows. Laura’s has an Americana style band, “The Sweet Potatoes”, where she writes, sings, and plays guitar, accordion and ukulele. Their music is mostly original, loaded with vocal harmonies and a touch of twang.  They tour nationally, performing everywhere from colleges to house concerts. Laura has written music for several indie films, including “Slice of Pie”, written by and starring Rick Hall. She scored two award winning documentaries about women holocaust survivors, “Swimming in Auschwitz” and “After Auschwitz”.  She’s done music for the romantic comedies, “Anatomy of a Breakup”, directed by Judy Minor, and “Look at Me”. She’s also had music placed on the hit TV show, “Gotham”. Laura has composed original musicals with the “Annoyance Theater” and “Theater-A-Go-Go”, including “Patty, Patty, Bang! Bang!” which won an L.A. Weekly award for Best New Musical.  She also wrote music for “Where Did Vincent Van Gogh?” and “Empire Burlesque” with Dan Castellaneta and Deb Lacusta. Laura has performed and recorded with such diverse talents as Keegan-Michael Key, Robin Williams, Jane Lynch, Sid Caesar, Roger Daltrey, Joe Walsh and Florence Henderson.

Bio: Shulie Cowen has taught improv to kids, senior citizens, and everyone in between.  She is a graduate of Northwestern University, a former member of The Second City National Touring Company, and a member of the original cast of Schoolhouse Rock Live!.  Shulie studied improv in Chicago at The Second City Training Center, The Annoyance Theatre, and at iO with Del Close.  She has taught at iO West and The Second City LA and currently directs and performs in Opening Night: The Improvised Musical!® every Friday at iO West in Los Angeles.

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Tuition: $85
Please Note: Men and Women encouraged to participate
Instructor: Laura Hall and Shulie Cowen
Day/Date/Time: Saturday, April 29th, from 2:00 pm – 5:00pm
Location: EXIT Theatre (Main Stage), 156 Eddy Street, San Francisco


Improv In 3D with Lauren Morris

Explore techniques of staying connected and engaged with fellow improvisors without leaving the stage at any point in the form.  Through exercises and scene work, we will joyfully play together and define relationship driven improv scenes. Scenes that are in “3D”!

Bio: Lauren Morris founded the only improv theater dedicated to training and performing long form improv in the Orlando area, AdLib Theatre Company, LLC. Within a year of opening AdLib, the theater went from one performance group and two shows per month to all levels of the training program being sold out on a regular basis, multiple teams under the direction of Lauren, shows almost every Saturday night, and a dedicated space for training and performances. Lauren has studied improv at The Annoyance Theater & Bar with Mick Napier and iO West with Paul Vaillancourt (co-Founder of iO West) whom she continues to work closely with on various projects. She has taken workshops and classes with such improv notables as Drew DiFonzo Marks, Kevin Mullaney, Jill Bernard, Rebecca and Rich Sohn, Adal Rifai, Susan Messing, and Mark Sutton. Lauren is a veteran of numerous improv and theater festivals where she has been invited to perform and teach. Festivals such as The Orlando Fringe Festivals, Omaha Improv Festival, Tampa Improv Festival, Miami Improv Festival, Duofest, Femprovisor Festival in San Francisco, and even internationally at the Ireland Improv Festival. Lauren is the host of the podcast, Tales from the Teacher’s Lounge. A weekly podcast dedicated to the art of teaching improv. Every week Lauren and an invited guest discuss teaching improv. As an instructor, Lauren has taught throughout the United States. Lauren teaches workshops on the philosophy of AdLib Theatre, The Triangle of the Scene (developed by Paul Vaillancourt), using your environment to build stronger scenes, playing “awesome”, improv in 3D, and various other techniques. She has worked with a variety of organizations including Down Syndrome Association of Central Florida where she helped design an inclusive theater program for the DSACF members. She also teaches workshops on group dynamics and working with families and individuals who have physical and intellectual disabilities. Lauren’s corporate workshops focus on stronger communication, inter-personal skills, team building, and strong presentation skills.

register_now_1

Tuition: $60
Please Note: Men and Women encouraged to participate
Instructor: Lauren Morris
Day/Date/Time: Saturday, April 29th, from 2:00pm – 5:00pm
Location: Leela Training Center, 901 Mission Street, Third Floor, San Francisco


It’s Already There with Tara DeFrancisco

We’ve all been in an improv scene that has felt like work. Something happens that either scares or confuses you (or both) and you spend the scene trying to figure out what is going on or force something to happen. Tara will show you that everything you need was in the scene from the beginning, and teach you to trust in that knowledge.

Bio: Tara DeFrancisco is a headlining performer at iO Chicago (on the Deltones, Chaos Theory, Armando, defrancisCo), ComedySportz (Mainstage), and a three year vet of the Second City Touring Company. She’s taught for those theatres and independently, both at home and internationally. Media-wise, you might see her in a Las Vegas commercial campaign, on Delusions of Grandeur (ABC Family/Blip TV), soon in the new feature film The Life & Death of an Unhappily Married Man (2015), or in several projects filmed for the satirical newspaper, The Onion. She is also the founder and president of The Improv Retreat, the acclaimed and beloved summer camp for adult improvisers in the midwest. In March of 2015, weekly residency of Here (a two person long-form improvised musical, performed with Rance Rizzutto) is scheduled for Thursdays at iO around their worldwide tour dates. Tara has won numerous awards, including Top Performer in Chicago from New City, Funniest Person in Chicago by the Free Press, Top 25 Of Comedy in the US by Curve Magazine, as well as Chicago Tribune Show of the Season for the long running renegade feat, defrancisCo.

register_now_1

Tuition: $65
Please Note: Men and Women encouraged to participate
Instructor: Tara De Francisco
Day/Date/Time: Sunday, April 30th, from 10:30am – 12:30pm
Location: Leela Training Center, 901 Mission Street, Third Floor, San Francisco


Musical Direction for Improv with Laura Hall

Laura Hall will lead a workshop and discussion on musical direction for improv. This workshop is for you, if you are already working as a musical director a musician who is thinking about playing with an improv group a member of an improv group who wants to know how to train or communicate with a musical director. Laura will talk about her improv career, from “The Second City”, and “Annoyance Theater” in Chicago, to “Whose Line is it Anyway”.  She’ll explain and demonstrate how she approaches gear, musical styles, working with different singers, short and long form, and playing with other musicians.  There will be plenty of time for questions and discussion.

Bio: Laura Hall is best known as the improvisational pianist the hit TV show, “Whose Line is it Anyway”, which is back in production again after a 10 year hiatus. Starring a new host, Aisha Tyler, the show is now in season five on the CW.  During the hiatus, Laura toured for several years with “Drew Carey and The Improv Allstars”. Laura got her start in Chicago at “The Second City” as an improvisational pianist, composer and musical director.  There she started with the National Touring Company, and went on to write music for the Jeff Award winning E.T.C. revue, “Channel This!”  She has played with countless improv groups in Chicago and L.A., including The Annoyance Theater, Improv Olympic, Improv Institute, Opening Night: The Improvised Musical, The Groundlings, Comedy Sports and Theatresports. Laura loves teaching improv, and leads music improv workshops around the country, often with her husband, Rick Hall.  They have developed “Improv Karaoke” a set of tracks to help improvisors learn how to perform song improv.  Laura has co-written a book, “The Improv Musician: The Ultimate Guide to Playing Music with an Improv Group”, to teach musicians how to do what she does on “Whose Line” and in live shows. Laura’s has an Americana style band, “The Sweet Potatoes”, where she writes, sings, and plays guitar, accordion and ukulele. Their music is mostly original, loaded with vocal harmonies and a touch of twang.  They tour nationally, performing everywhere from colleges to house concerts. Laura has written music for several indie films, including “Slice of Pie”, written by and starring Rick Hall. She scored two award winning documentaries about women holocaust survivors, “Swimming in Auschwitz” and “After Auschwitz”.  She’s done music for the romantic comedies, “Anatomy of a Breakup”, directed by Judy Minor, and “Look at Me”. She’s also had music placed on the hit TV show, “Gotham”. Laura has composed original musicals with the “Annoyance Theater” and “Theater-A-Go-Go”, including “Patty, Patty, Bang! Bang!” which won an L.A. Weekly award for Best New Musical.  She also wrote music for “Where Did Vincent Van Gogh?” and “Empire Burlesque” with Dan Castellaneta and Deb Lacusta. Laura has performed and recorded with such diverse talents as Keegan-Michael Key, Robin Williams, Jane Lynch, Sid Caesar, Roger Daltrey, Joe Walsh and Florence Henderson.

register_now_1

Tuition: $60
Please Note: Men and Women encouraged to participate
Instructor: Laura Hall
Day/Date/Time: Sunday, April 30th, from 11:00am – 12:30pm
Location: Leela Training Center, 901 Mission Street, Third Floor, San Francisco


Character with Shulie Cowen

Learn how to build strong characters in your scenes with a focus on point of view and physicality. Join Shulie in this fun filled workshop as she explores how bold choices can help you quickly find characters and express creativity in your scenes.

Bio: Shulie Cowen has taught improv to kids, senior citizens, and everyone in between.  She is a graduate of Northwestern University, a former member of The Second City National Touring Company, and a member of the original cast of Schoolhouse Rock Live!.  Shulie studied improv in Chicago at The Second City Training Center, The Annoyance Theatre, and at iO with Del Close.  She has taught at iO West and The Second City LA and currently directs and performs in Opening Night: The Improvised Musical!® every Friday at iO West in Los Angeles.

register_now_1

Tuition: $65
Please Note: Men and Women encouraged to participate
Instructor: Shulie Cowen
Day/Date/Time: Sunday, April 30th, from 2:00pm – 4:00pm
Location: EXIT Theatre, 156 Eddy Street, San Francisco


Get Out Of Your Own Way: Using Constraints & Challenges To Become A Better Writer with Allison Page

While it may seem romantic to sit down at an oak desk and just write for like 20 hours, for many of us, that doesn’t quite work and we need a little something more. In this 3 hour workshop, Allison will lead you through various challenges to unlock parts of your creativity which have been idling in the background, behind a bunch of your hang ups. Topics and exercises include: Writing Characters With No Defined Gender, Writing In Time Constraints, Collaborative On-The-Spot Character Creation, Crafting Personal Creative Challenges, And More Stuff To Terrify And Help You! We’ll focus on elements which can hamper your creative power and find tips and tricks to avoid things like: falling into unnecessary stereotyping based on a character’s gender, limiting who can play a certain character based on gender, agonizing over a first draft, getting distracted, feeling creatively stagnant, feeling isolated in your writing, being nervous for others to hear your creative voice. While this class will frame itself around sketch comedy, many of these strategies can also work for playwriting, improvising, and fiction writing. Some familiarity with sketch comedy and improv is helpful, though informational materials will be sent to students in preparation for the workshop. The only prerequisite is to be open to sharing your ideas and participating in assigned exercises in groups and pairs, and being ready to work quickly. Participants should expect to do some in-class writing and be prepared to bring writing utensils (laptop or paper and pen) and can also expect some on-our-feet exercises and should come in with an open mind, ready to collaborate and have fun.

Bio: Allison Page is a writer/director/actor/comedian and Artistic Director of San Francisco’s premier sketch comedy group, Killing My Lobster, wherein, among other things, she is constantly striving to innovate, refine, and polish writing processes. Her writing has been featured in Airmail: Women of Letters (Penguin Australia), Killing My Lobster, Give Me Fiction, Write Club SF, Shipwreck, The SF Olympians Festival, SF Theater Pub, Travel Tavern, and DIVAfest. She’s written sketch comedy videos for Benefit Cosmetics, Zoosk and Clorox, and has directed live sketch for Killing My Lobster (KML Under Pressure, The Political Show, Lobster Jones’ Diary, KML Takes It All Off I & II, KML Keeps It All Off, Lifetime: Theatre for Women, and others) and Hewlett Packard. As a playwright, she’s written: full length plays HILARITY (produced by DIVAFest 2015), JASONS (SF Olympians Fest 2015) and one acts OUT OF INDIANA, and HELLHOUND (SF Olympians Fest 2014), more shorts and monologues than she can count, and hundreds of sketches. Her most recent commissioned full length play KILGALLEN/JONES is being produced by EXIT Theatre in March 2017. You can also find her scattered across YouTube, especially in the web series Everybody’s A Comedian.

register_now_1

Tuition: $60
Please Note: Men and Women encouraged to participate
Instructor: Allison Page
Day/Date/Time: Sunday, April 30th, from 4:00pm – 7:00pm
Location: Leela Training Center, 901 Mission Street, Third Floor, San Francisco