Ever though about doing improv comedy? Well here’s your chance. Comedian Karen Jaffe will be leading a Short Form Improv class starting this Sunday from noon -2pm. This eight week course will end with a final public performance in late March/early April – date tba.
It is an adult class, with a minimum age requirement of 16. The ideal student is someone who wants to learn how to be “in the moment” more. You don’t need to be funny, in fact it’s mostly about learning how to listen and be on a team. According to Karen, “This class is not as much about acting like other classes can be. This is more about communication and interpersonal skills, but it happens to be really fun.”
Short Form means short fun games or exercises that last about 2 to 5 minutes, such as a group doing a collective task (like building a machine with each performer becoming one of the parts) or playing scenes with specific conditions imposed (such as starting every sentence with a particular letter). Performers are encouraged to use their spontaneity and overcome shyness. The performers often start with a prompt, making up the story as they go along. Although they improvise, the process draws on time-honored principles—the first among them being “yes, and.” Simply put, “yes, and” means performers accept whatever their scene partners do or say as part of the reality of the scene and then build on it with their own contributions. They must be present in the moment, listening carefully, and contributing freely. These skills turn out to be particularly useful in workplaces that rely on adaptability. The television show Whose Line Is It Anyway? is short form improv.
Your instructor, Karen Jaffe, has been making people laugh since the age of six, when she punched an actor from Sesame Street LIVE in a rather sensitive area in front of a theater full of people. However, she didn’t think about making people laugh on purpose until she studied improv at The Second City Conservatory in Chicago. After Chicago, she moved back to her hometown of Dayton, Ohio and tried stand up for the first time. An unnamed number of years later, she is still doing stand up in clubs and venues all over the US and Canada, and she teaches improvisational comedy to stand up comics. Her podcast, “Everybody Dies,” is available on Facebook.
How To Attend:
Wiley’s Comedy Club
101 Pine Street in the Oregon District
8 week class, $100
Sunday 12-2, Jan 19 – March 8
Plan on showing up about 15 minutes early to register prior to the first class.