Workshops

FRIDAY, AUGUST 4

12:00PM – 2:00PM (ARTISTS REPERTORY THEATRE)

DASARISKI (LA):
WHAT ARE YOU DOING UP THERE?

This workshop is for those who want to work on making their partner look good by honing their skills of improvising from a base of truth and also understanding what it is we are pursuing when we get up on a stage. This workshop concentrates on initiating strong scenes, playing in the moment, reacting to your partner and exercising good scene-work skills. We’ll work on creating a solid foundation on which to build from and then sustaining play by exploring relationship and character and the dynamic of a two-person scene.

Recommended for Intermediate performers

ABOUT YOUR INSTRUCTOR
Bob Dassie is originally from Chicago where he has studied with many improv greats such as Stephen Colbert, Steve Carell, and Del Close. He has performed and taught improv all over the world, from New York to Los Angeles, from Singapore to Scotland. Over the years he has been involved with several long-form groups including the improvised musical Baby Wants Candy, The Armando Show, and alongside Stephanie Weir in the 2-person WeirDass. He currently performs with Dasariski and Quartet at the IOWest in Los Angeles and has appeared in the fully-improvised play, Stolen House, which premiered in Chicago and recently had a limited run in New York. Bob has appeared on various screen sizes in shows such as HBO’s Funny or Die Presents: The Carpet Brothers, NBC’s Community, Comedy Central’s Review, FX’s The Comedians, IFC’s The Spoils of Babylon and in “Casa de mi Padre” where you may have seen Bob as a heavily wigged, mustachioed musical marauder of sorts. He has also written for Adult Swim’s only satanic dog show, Mr. Pickles, the current reboot of the Bugs Bunny cartoon, Wabbit, and again with his lovely wife, in the web series, WeirDass: Eleven Year Itch.

sold out

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3:00PM – 5:00PM (artists repertory theatre)

HIP.BANG! (VANCOUVER, BC):
READY TO START-IMPROV SCENE STARTS THAT DON’T SUCK

In this class, you will learn, hone — hell, master — the tools you need to start diverse, dynamic scenes. Inspired by the philosophy Hip.Bang! uses in their live shows and their teaching at Blind Tiger Comedy, this workshop will get you out of your head and push you towards starting scenes that drive towards discovery, sincerity, and hilarity. Register and then buckle up.

Recommended for All Levels (but not “first time doing improv” folks!)

ABOUT YOUR INSTRUCTORS
Tom Hill is an improviser, writer, and sketch comedian from Regina, Saskatchewan. He is half of the Canadian Comedy Award (CCA)-nominated improv group Hip.Bang!, with whom he has toured the continent several times since 2010, including showcases at the San Francisco SketchFest, Rapid Fire Theatre’s Improvaganza, The Detroit Improv Festival, The Del Close Marathon, and The Out of Bounds Comedy Festival.

Tom is a founding member of Pump Trolley Comedy, a sketch comedy collective that sold out its Vancouver Fringe run in 2013. He co-founded GIANTS Comedy, a series of major comedy events that were part of the 2012-2013 Cultch season, and was Co-Comedy Curator of the 2013 Olio Festival. He writes for CBC Radio’s The Irrelevant Show, is half of the sketch group Suspicious Luxury (San Francisco SketchFest), and is a cast member of Vancouver TheatreSports™ League.

Devin Mackenzie is an improviser, comedian, writer and producer. He performs with Hip.Bang!, Ghost Jail Theatre, Vancouver Theatresports League, and Pump Trolley Comedy. He has entertained audiences in improv and comedy festivals all over North America including San Francisco SketchFest, Del Close Marathon, NXNE, Out of Bounds, Chicago Improv Festival, General Fool’s Fest and Improvaganza.

His improv duo Hip.Bang! was recently nominated for a Canadian Comedy Award and produces the popular monthly shows 10 SPEED and Cloud Comedy at the China Cloud Theatre.

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SATURDAY, AUGUST 5

12:00PM – 2:00PM (Artists repertory Theatre)

DASARISKI (LA):
object work: the secret weapon of improv

Learn the secret weapon of improv – Object Work.

A picture is worth 1,000 words, so why don’t you want 1,000 words worth of information streaming into your scenes every time you deal with the objects and spaces around you? “Rolling visualization” brings you fully into the skin of your character, in present tense engagement with the world around you. Object work makes callbacks easier, engages your audience, kills “talking heads” scenes, and creates opportunities for every other player on stage.

Join Rich Talarico, a 25-year improv vet and Alumnus of The Second City and Improv Olympic, as he leads this object work workshop that will leave you with many tools to create worlds and characters instantly.

Recommended for Intermediate performers

ABOUT YOUR INSTRUCTOR
Rich Talarico is an Emmy nominated and Peabody Award winning writer and producer best known for his work on Comedy Central’s “Key & Peele.“ Recently Rich sold a feature film to Covert Media and Broken Road Productions and is co-writing the new Key & Peele movie, “Substitute Teacher” for Paramount Pictures. Additionally, Rich has written/produced “Review” for Comedy Central, FOX’s “Mad TV,” NBC’s “Saturday Night Live,” “The Tonight Show w. Jay Leno”, and the 2-hour TV Special “Must See TV: A Tribute to James Burrows.” Rich also produced and wrote “Frank TV“ for TBS, “The Sketch Pad” for HBO, and co-produced The Naked Trucker and T-Bones Show for Comedy Central.

Rich took his first improv class from Stephen Colbert at Chicago’s Second City Theater back in the 1900s. Rich went on to tour with Second City’s National Touring Company and later co-created five original sketch comedy revues with SC’s etc., and Main Stage Companies. While in Chicago, Rich was also involved at Improv Olympic (Now iO) under the direction of Charna Halpern and the late, Del Close. Rich played on the Improv Olympic house teams “Mr. Blonde” and “Faulty Wiring” – co-created the long-form improv shows “Strap Heads”, “Trio”, “Close Quarters” and “Dasariski“ and played with the early casts of Chicago’s longest running improv show: “The Armando Diaz Experience, Theatrical Movement and Hootenanny.”

Rich has appeared in a number of TV commercials, most notably A&W Rootbeer’s “Mr. Dumass.” Rich also appeared in small roles on “Review”, “SNL”, “Late Night With Conan O’Brien”, “Early Edition”, “What About Joan?” and the feature film “High Fidelity”.

Rich runs comedy writing and improv comedy work-shops in Los Angeles and around the US.

sold out

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12:00PM – 2:00PM (curious comedy THEATer)

ORANGE TUXEDO (LA):
IMPROVISE LIKE A MARRIED COUPLE

The same communication skills that make for a good relationship make for a good improvised scene. Real-life married couple Craig and Carla Cackowski (from the duo Orange Tuxedo) share their favorite exercises that foster open communication between scene partners! Learn how to read each other’s minds, express your ideas clearly, and avoid arguments (while still getting what you want).

Recommended for Intermediate performers. Duos preferred but singletons will be paired.

ABOUT YOUR INSTRUCTORS
Craig Cackowski is an actor, improvisor and teacher based in Los Angeles. He has been involved with the iO and iO West theaters since 1992, and is the three-time winner of the Del Close Award as Teacher of the Year at iO West. He has played numerous improv festivals around the country with his long-running three-man troupe Dasariski (with Bob Dassie and Rich Talarico) and his duo Orange Tuxedo (with his wife Carla!). While in Chicago, he appeared in and co-wrote 5 revues for The Second City, and helped create such improv forms as JTS Brown and Close Quarters. As an actor, he has been seen in recurring roles on such shows as Community (as “Officer Cackowski”), Bajillion Dollar Properties (as “Todd the janitor”), Veep (as “Cliff”) and as part of the ensemble cast of Drunk History. Other film and TV credits include Son Of Zorn, Girlboss, Shrink, Comedy Bang Bang, Newsreaders, Welcome To The Family, The Mindy Project, How I Met Your Mother, Arrested Development, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Year Of The Dog, 21 And Over, and The Kings Of Summer. He may be heard frequently on such podcasts as The Thrilling Adventure Hour, Spontaneanation and his own podcast Craig’s List, in which he makes Carla watch his 100 favorite movies.

Carla Cackowski is an improviser, writer, podcaster, and nap-lover. She toured all over Europe, Alaska, and the Caribbean performing comedy with The Second City. She’s a member of SAG-AFTRA and has done voiceover work on shows for ABC Family, TBS, and Disney. She wrote and performed five solo shows that were produced in Los Angeles and her comedic monologues were published in anthologies by APPLAUSE BOOKS. Carla hosts Improv Yak, a shop-talk podcast about improv comedy. When they’re not touring their two person improv show Orange Tuxedo, she and her husband Craig Cackowski co-host a podcast called Craig’s List. Most recently, Carla has written for sketch shows on PBS Kids and Dreamworks TV. She currently teaches improvisation and directs sketch shows at The Second City Hollywood.

Craig and Carla

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3:00PM – 5:00PM (artists repertory theatre)

outside dog (la):
the confident coach: effectively leading an ensemble

This workshop focuses on coaching strategies designed to benefit both new improv coaches and veterans looking to add some new exercises to their routine .  We’ll specifically focus on:
-Setting and managing team expectations
-Exercises and games that focus on collaboration and ensemble building
-How to develop and cultivate your own coaching philosophy

Recommended for improv coaches and teachers.

ABOUT YOUR INSTRUCTORS
Mike McLendon has been a faculty member or coach at The Second City,  iO West, Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB), and the Westside Comedy Theater.  In addition to coaching roughly 3000 improv indie improv teams a week in Los Angeles, Mike has also led workshops in Austin, Oklahoma City, Omaha, Dallas, and Sydney, Australia.  Mike currently coaches Harold teams at both iO West and UCB and plays every week with the UCB house team, Outside Dog.

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3:00PM – 5:00PM (curious comedy theater)

Big bang (east coast):
GAME SQUARED

This workshop explores the makings of the unique style of Big Bang free-form improvisation. This mindset is built on the concept of “follow the funny” and proposes that every single moment, beat, line and movement in a show can be deconstructed and used to lead you to the next scene. During this exploration and deconstruction of content, a language and pattern are established that help define form where previously there was no form. Students will review the tools that will enable them to create a unique free-form performance every time they hit the stage. We will review the ideas of listening to what the show wants, what can be funny, fluid editing and creating an experience that is a result of the space, the cast and the audience itself.

Recommended for Intermediate performers

ABOUT YOUR INSTRUCTORS
Rachel Rosenthal 
is a comedian and improv instructor with over 15 years’ experience. She’s also a freestyle rapper. Currently residing in NYC, Rachel performs and teaches at Reckless Theatre and The PIT  (2014 Teacher of the Year). Rachel also tours nationally and internationally with many groups including free-form team, Big Bang, and with free-style rapping Hip Hop comedy team, North Coast, who was named a “Top 10 Comedy Show” by Time Out NY.  She has studied at UCB, The PIT, ImprovBoston, and at Reckless Theatre. Rachel, herself, has led improv workshops all over the world from Barcelona to Vancouver to Iceland to Hawaii. Although The Huffington Post once called her an “improv whirlwind,” Rachel is also a writer, storyteller and actress and has been featured on VH1, MTV, and on several podcasts/radio shows, including “This American Life,” “Risk!,” and WBUR’s “You’re the Expert.” More at www.theraeroshow.com.


Will Luera joined Florida Studio Theater in 2014. Before that he was with ImprovBoston since 1997 as a member of the Mainstage cast, TheatreSports cast, and also helped to start the Boston franchise of Sitcom. In 1999, he left ImprovBoston to start his own improvisational theater company called Blue Screen, where he continued to direct Sitcom but also developed and directed ground-breaking shows like Secret Society and Dropkick Bandito. In 2000, he rejoined ImprovBoston as Artistic Director, directing the Mainstage cast, and developed the nationally renowned productions of Sitcom, Secret Society, Blue Screen, and Quest. He has appeared in numerous improv festivals around the world and has studied improvisation with ImprovOlympic, The Second City, The Annoyance Theater, The Upright Citizens Brigade, and Keith Johnstone. In addition to his work at ImprovBoston, Will has taught improvisation classes for The United States State Department, Major League Baseball, Google, Thomson Reuters, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University, Boston College and has directed shows for the ImprovAsylum, The Tribe Theater, Another Country Productions, Longwood Players, The Footlight Club and The Alarm Clock Theater. In 2012, Will received the lifetime title of Artistic Director Emeritus of ImprovBoston. Will is a globally renowned improv and theater actor, director and instructor that performs and teaches regularly all across North America, South America, Europe and Asia.

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