Traditional Curriculum is typically a restrictive concept aimed at creating structured safety and a false sense of certainty, but it avoids inspired adapting of ideas and the actual needs of the student.
Traditional school has nothing to do with or for Improvisation. The Improvisation School is IMPROVISATION in content and in practice.
Some of our moving targets
Traditional education theory screams out to define the student experience without understanding the student. Traditional curriculum sets restrictive expectation, limiting potential and discovery.
The Improvisation school is an IMPROVISATION SCHOOL. Your limits will be pushed and you will grow based on your needs, abilities and inspiration.
Goals will be assessed and constantly reassessed based on who you are and will alter as needed.
The story is the thing. A large focus throughout much of the work will be on story. Whether it is organic or constructed, the stories are what the audience remembers when the packaging is forgotten.
Non Verbal work will factor into our long term focus . Mime emphasis will look at body control, illusion work, variety of expression and clarity of communication. This is not “traditional” mime.
Development of formats and performance concepts will be actively explored. This concept is largely ignored in traditional training which leaves performers development and their skills poorly suited to the work they will eventual do.
Married to the concept of devising and narrative work, some of our time will be devoted to creative writing skills, a useful tool and exercise for expanding narrative styles and breaking self imposed physical limitations.
Mask work comes in many forms. We will explore the existing masks we carry every day and how that aids and inhibits our expression.
We will create and explore physical masks and mask styles.
This work will overlap strongly with Character and body masks.
Clown work is the place between mask and the removal of protective masks we place between us and the everyday world. Clown work is the skill that compliments the thoughtful narrative mind with it’s often anti narrative, self focused presence.
Character is mask work. It can aid in the expression of ideas and it can be the engine of expression. It can also be a dangerous shield from better choices and vulnerability.
Connection and interaction that makes you mix with a partner or production is a mystery to many performers looking for the spotlight. While this part of the “curriculum” will rarely be addressed separately, it will shadow almost every lesson we explore.
The emerging “science of play” is starting to give play credibility in some areas of study and practice. Focused Play benefits people socially but has surprising side benefits in areas of communication, problems solving, and health (physical and mental). Suppressed to near extinction, play is being “re-branded” and valued as a means to a more rewarding life and work.
Dance, but not. Movement without choreography. Connection and response. Contact improvisation used practically can release an intuitive part of the student that often lives in a controlled intellectual definition of what intuition can be.
From physical and practical we will dive into theory and questioning. In the Socratic style we will question and explore what we understand and look deeper at assumptions that threaten to limit improvisation and the artist.
Whether you want to teach or not, the skills needed to see your students, reach your students and express your ideas are just another way to explore and improve yourself as an improviser.
This is improvisation. The content in the curriculum are tools aimed at creating more effective improvisers. The means to teach is the same as the content. Improvisation.
“The Truth is outside of fixed Patterns”
Content and time spent on topics is based on your actual needs.
Adaptability is the first lesson.
-The Improvisation School