Beginning Improv

Beginning Improv

Improvisation is more than just a useful tool for actors, it’s a different way of approaching life. Through fun games and exercises, students will gain more confidence, more creativity, and more playfulness with the basic improv skills of listening, reacting, working with others, and trusting oneself. Not only will it make you more comfortable while thinking on your feet, it’s really fun! This class does NOT culminate in a graduation show as it is focused on process, not  performance; it’s simply eight weeks of meeting and playing in an enjoyable, supportive environment without the pressure of a final show.

  • DatesSaturdays, January 22 - March 12, 12-2pm EST
  • Cost($260) $210*
    Holiday Savings: Save $50 if you sign up before December 12
  • LocationOnline
  • PrerequisitesNo previous training or experience necessary.
  • Amanda’s classes feel the least zoom-like of all the zoom/online
    meetings. She creates the most fun and interactive environment that
    makes you actually forget you’re on a computer alone in your room and
    are instead transported to a room full of laughter and games…

    —Amelia

Online Personal Storytelling Workshop

Online Personal Storytelling Workshop

Everyone can tell a personal story, but in this online workshop, you’ll learn some of the technical ins and outs of taking true events from your own life and weaving them into a truly engaging performance. We will touch on personal style, story structure, and different approaches in this introductory workshop.

This online workshop is pay-what-you-can ($20 suggested).

  • DatesSunday, January 23, 1-3:30pm EST
  • Cost$20
  • LocationOnline
  • PrerequisitesNo experience necessary.
  • Amanda’s online personal storytelling class is the perfect activity
    for being stuck at home right now. She creates a supportive and
    inspiring environment to reflect on and share your personal stories.
    And, she helps you discover the most valuable parts of your story
    while guiding you in the best way to share them with others!

    —Amelia

Talk to Strangers

Talk to Strangers

“Don’t talk to strangers!” Many improvisers treat the concept of avoiding scenes with strangers as an unbreakable rule of improv.  But actually, with the right tools and using the right skills, improvisers can create very entertaining scenes between complete strangers. In this workshop, students will exercise those fun and important acting skills, elevating their play to engaging improvised theatre.

  • You need to know how to teach to make a difference, and she surely does.

    —Irv Levinson

Not At All Human

Not At All Human

From gods to gremlins; parakeets to pencils, when improvisers try to play characters so wholly unrelated to themselves, they can get stuck.  It can sometimes be difficult to fully commit to an unfamiliar reality, which can cause  abandoned ideas and flailing scenes.  In this workshop, players will exercise both the physical and not-so-physical skills it takes to sustainably play non-human characters, opening up new worlds for scenes and longer narratives.

  • Amanda’s ‘Not At All Human’ class provides tips and techniques to help improvisers create nonhuman characters that not only reflect the physical features of the character, but also their personality, point of view, and objects of their desire.  There are exercises which help the student get grounded in the different body type (e.g., where is the new center of gravity, how does it feel to have wings or a tail, how do the sedentary natures of rocks and trees differ).  There are also exercises that focus on what makes a nonhuman character tick.  …While there is lots to learn, Amanda focuses on the fun.  There isn’t much point of playing a ‘fantastical fungus with sensual spores’ if you’re not having fun.  So, come for the instruction, stay for the fun, and then look for reasons to bring nonhuman characters to your improv play.

    —Gil

Online La Ronde Workshop

Online La Ronde Workshop

‘The Round’ is a lovely improv format both on its own or as a jumping off point for a broader narrative, in which players explore characters, relationships, and dynamics.  Students in this class will hone their character and relationship playing skills through exploring this format and learning all that it can teach us.

This online workshop is pay-what-you-can ($20 suggested).

 

  • LocationOnline
  • Prerequisitesprevious improv training/experience required
  • Request this class
  • There’s a certain level of anxiety when taking an improv class. Amanda gets rid of the “fear of the unknown” with her Southern hospitality and charm. Come in nervous, leave with a great friend and coach. I can’t wait to take a class with her in person.

    —Anthony

Dramatic Improv Fundamentals

Dramatic Improv Fundamentals

Scripted theatre expresses all subjects, moods, and styles; improvisational theatre should have the same limitless possibilities. In this workshop, improvisers will learn the techniques needed to create a space in which dramatic improvised scenes can occur, without feeling forced or pretentious. Students will revisit and review acting techniques in a fresh way that is applicable to all improvised play. In this workshop, students can expect individual feedback on their scenework in a safe, supportive environment. Even improvisers who don’t have the goal of improvising dramatic scenes will gain skills to help improve all of their improv.

  • LocationOnline
  • Prerequisitesprevious improv training/experience required
  • Request this class
  • It reminded me that improv comes from a place of truth, memory and emotion.

    —Barb S.

Scene Doctor

Scene Doctor

These classes are tailor-made for improvisers to get personal, specific feedback from the instructor on their improvised scenework. Students can inform the instructor of any goals they might have for themselves and/or request that she make her own recommendations based on their performance. Class size is limited.

This workshop is pay-what-you-can ($20 suggested).

 

  • LocationOnline
  • Prerequisitesprevious improv training/experience required
  • Request this class
  • Amanda Rountree’s skill as an instructor is top notch. Her insight is amazing, and it is matched by her succinctness in giving constructive and critical feedback. She offers the learner clear directions on their path of development in the art of improvised theater and a deeper understanding of the nuances of performance.

    —Brad Fortier, Author, A Culture of Play

Forms

Forms

Students will spend the first four weeks of this eight week class learning a sampling of different long-forms. This class goes far beyond the Harold to explore character-based, narrative-based, and deconstruction-based formats.  Students will spend the second half of this session workshopping and developing a new original format that they will perform in a final graduation show. Both the class and the graduation performance will take place online.

  • PrerequisitesAdvanced Scene Study completion or preivious long form improvisation class/training at any reputable training center
  • Request this class
  • I felt like I relearned exercises that I’d known for years in a way that finally connected me to them and gave them new life.

    —Galen E.

Online Personal Storytelling

Online Personal Storytelling

First person storytelling shows are all the rage on stages and podcasts across the country.  In this class, you will learn how to take true events from your own life and weave them into engaging performances. We will work on presentation, story structure, different approaches, and creating your own unique style.  Each week, students will be given a new assignment for how to structure a story.  Students choose their own subject matter for their personal stories.  This class culminates in a private online performance (invite only), where each student will get to tell a 3-7 minute personal story.

 

  • Amanda’s Online Personal Storytelling class was amazing! I learned about myself and built new skills. It was a cathartic experience. Highly recommend it to anyone!

    —Elizabeth

Online How to Talk Like Shakespeare Workshop

Online How to Talk Like Shakespeare Workshop

We have a whole day dedicated to talking like a pirate, why not talking like Shakespeare? It might sound inspiring, impossible, intriguing, or even intimidating. But this class will simply make it fun!  Performers and non performers alike can take this class; every student will be put at ease with some enjoyable games and exercises to learn the difference between our “thees” and “thous.”  If you felt like you could just never “get” Shakespeare in high school, this class will rectify that.  You’ll be throwing around both compliments and insults, Shakespeare-style, in no time!

This workshop is pay-what-you-can ($20 suggested).

  • Amanda’s classes feel the least zoom-like of all the zoom/online
    meetings. She creates the most fun and interactive environment…

    —Amelia

Online Narrative Collage Master Class

Online Narrative Collage Master Class

Although not as well known in many improv communities, Narrative Collage is a unique and entertaining improvisation format originally developed by Del Close. Because it relies on individual monologues to create a connected story through separate narratives that are expertly woven together, it is a perfect fit for online play. This format highlights the players’ abilities to create and sustain strong characters and stories.  In this 4-week class, students will exercise both their skills of building a strong, cohesive narrative and creating and sustaining clear characters, all while learning the tools needed to execute an engaging Narrative Collage performance.  

  • LocationOnline
  • Prerequisitesprevious improv training/experience required.
  • Request this class
  • Amanda Rountree’s skill as an instructor is top notch. Her insight is amazing, and it is matched by her succinctness in giving constructive and critical feedback. She offers the learner clear directions on their path of development in the art of improvised theater and a deeper understanding of the nuances of performance.

    —Brad Fortier, Author, A Culture of Play

Creating & Sustaining Characters

Creating & Sustaining Characters

In this 8-week classs, improvisers will learn how to create and sustain characters effortlessly. Students will practice building characters from both within and without. Going far deeper than playing a cartoonish caricature, actors will develop long-lasting skills that will assist in playing a variety of genuine, believable characters who have heart.

  • LocationOnline
  • Prerequisitesprevious improv or acting training/experience required.
  • Request this class
  • Every week of class, Amanda introduced a new way of creating characters, or gave a fresh perspective on a familiar approach. Her approach really empowered me since I came into improv without an acting background, she gave me the confidence to be more bold with my characters.

    —Alex

Intermediate Personal Storytelling

Intermediate Personal Storytelling

This 8-week class builds on the skills that students exercised in their first Personal Storytelling class, as they continue to explore the most engaging ways to share their personal experiences. The instructor will give specific feedback so that students can sharpen their own unique storytelling style. This 8-week class culminates in a final online performance, wherein each student will showcase a personal story.

  • LocationOnline
  • Prerequisites8-week Personal Storytelling class or instructor permission
  • Request this class
  • Each week she finds the pearls in each of our stories. Everybody gets help to create their own style of storytelling…Zoom didn’t change her ability to give helpful feedback and guidance to the class.

    —Suzanne Elbon

Online Harold

Online Harold

In this 4-week class, students will learn the classic, simple format of the structured Harold.  This format, much looser when it was originated by The Committee in San Francisco, found more structure as Del Close continued working with it in Chicago.  Students will explore different schools of improv play, within the specific rules of this format, which lift up both ensemble work and scene work.  Improvisers with no previous Harold experience, as well as improvisers who want to explore how this format translates to online play, are welcome!

  • DatesSundays, August 9-30, 10am-12:30pm Eastern Daylight Time
  • LocationOnline
  • Prerequisitesprevious improv training/experience required
  • Request this class
  • You need to know how to teach to make a difference, and she surely does.

    —Irv Levinson

Online Spoon River Workshop

Online Spoon River Workshop

Spoon River is a delightfully dark improv format based off the book, Spoon River Anthologies by E. L. Masters.  Students in this one-day workshop will learn and play with the form, while working their character, storytelling, and monologue skills.  With monologues as its core structure, Spoon River is an ideal format for online improvised play.  We will explore the different approaches individuals and ensembles can make to this mostly forgotten format.

This online workshop is pay-what-you-can ($20 suggested).

  • LocationOnline
  • Prerequisitesprevious improv training/experience required.
  • Request this class
  • Amanda’s teaching style was at once relaxed enough that I didn’t feel a need to impress, professional enough so that I felt compelled to do my best, and friendly enough that I didn’t feel it would matter how I did. Thankfully, with her coaching, I did better than my previous best and came away from her workshop feeling more confident in my abilities and able to approach Improvisation in a new manner.

    —G.G.

Online Creating a Character (from the Inside Out) Workshop

Online Creating a Character (from the Inside Out) Workshop

In this one day workshop, students will explore what makes a character tick and how to go deeper than playing just a cartoonish caricature.  Actors will exercise the techniques that assist in portraying genuine, believable characters who have heart.

This online workshop is pay-what-you-can ($20 suggested).

  • LocationOnline
  • Prerequisitesprevious improv or acting training/experience required.
  • Request this class
  • Amanda’s Online Creating a Character Workshop is sensational. I left it with several new ways to find heartfelt and realistic characters, and a handful of specific new characters to summon as needed. I highly recommend this workshop and all of Amanda’s other classes. You need to know how to teach to make a difference, and she surely does.

    —Irv Levinson

Online Advanced Personal Storytelling

Online Advanced Personal Storytelling

This class builds on the skills students executed in both Personal Storytelling and Intermediate Personal Storytelling, as they continue to refine their own unique style. Based on each student’s individual needs, the instructor will give further story structure assignments or specific homework based on the student’s individual goals with a particular story. This class is not just for students of storytelling, but for experienced storytellers who would benefit from the weekly homework deadlines of a master class.

  • LocationOnline
  • Prerequisites8-week Intermediate Personal Storytelling or instructor permission
  • Request this class
  • Each week she finds the pearls in each of our stories. Everybody gets help to create their own style of storytelling…Zoom didn’t change her ability to give helpful feedback and guidance to the class.

    —Suzanne Elbon

Build a Form

Build a Form

We will create a new improvised format every single class! Based on the students’ improv experience and preferences, as well as an idea we will draw out of a hat, the director/instructor will lead the ensemble of students in exercises that move into a brand new mid-form or long-form improvisation each week. Students can sign up for just one class, the whole session of classes, or any number in between.

  • If Amanda offered Build a Forms Class all year long, I would take it every time. Experiment as an improviser with great friends. I’m in!

    —Anthony

Advanced Scene Study

Advanced Scene Study

Learn how you can nurture the skills needed to create grounded scenes that can sustain themselves for longer than just a few minutes.  In this class, we will focus on breaking out of any habits you may have formed that can hinder sustainable work, while we explore the small steps we can make to do truly sustainable, dynamic scenes.

 

  • LocationOnline
  • Prerequisitesprevious improv training/experience required
  • Request this class
  • Amanda’s Advanced Scene Study Class is not just the best improv class I’ve taken, it’s the best performance class I’ve taken in general. She is incredibly specific with her instruction, pushing and pulling at each performer where they need it. At the end of each class, I walked away feeling challenged. At the end of the session, I walked away a stronger improviser and actor.

    —Cody S.

Relieve Stress Through Improv

Relieve Stress Through Improv

It’s easy for us adults to forget to set aside time in our lives to play and laugh, but it’s one of the most important things we can do for our happiness (especially when it feels like our lives are filled with stress and anxiety).  This feel-good improv class is play-time for adults, a delightful and necessary break from the work and stress that can build up in our lives.   You’ll spend the entire online class-time simply playing and having fun, as Amanda leads the group through both beloved classics and lesser known games.  Since this workshop is just about playing fun games, it’s open to adults with all levels of experience with improv, whether that’s no experience at all, just a little bit, or a whole lot.  Making time for play is an act of self-care.

This online workshop is pay-what-you-can ($20 suggested).

  • Who isn’t stressed from the pandemic? Taking Amanda’s Stress Relief Improv Workshop allowed me to socially connect to people for the first time in months. I left Amanda’s class  feeling like I was leaving a really fun party with my cheeks hurting from laughing so hard.

    —Anthony Saldana

Narrative Improv Online

Narrative Improv Online

Find out how to apply narrative to any scene or improvised show—without being in your head about it! Learn story structure beyond the basics so that you can recognize and utilize it in your work. Students will learn the ins-and-outs of storytelling, exploring common story structures from ancient fairy tales and legends to contemporary movies, applying their new skills to expertly weave together a narrative-based, format-free, online improvised performance.

This class culminates in a final online graduation performance.

 

  • LocationOnline
  • PrerequisitesAdvanced Scene Study completion or preivious long form improvisation class/training at any reputable training center
  • Request this class
  • I am astounded at this unique process based upon trust in our ‘natural storyteller’ and playful impulse  to create an improvised story. Amanda takes us on a journey through storytelling. She pulls each one of us out of our heads to reach a natural state of play and ease through group exercise and personal homework. In Long Form Narrative, I have been challenged to find my own story, and to fully trust in myself as an actor and ensemble member. Everyone should take this class who is interested in honing his or her improvisational skills, or to go deeper into the craft—Do it!

    —Stephanie Davis

Online Improv for Actors Workshop

Online Improv for Actors Workshop

Improv is a useful tool for actors, which helps bring forth ease and sincerity in your acting.  Plus, it makes auditioning easier and less stressful. In this online workshop, not only will you gain the skills and confidence to stray from the script when needed, you will learn how to apply different improv techniques to engage with your scripted material in fresh ways.  This medium is a perfect fit honing your skills for taped and live online auditions!

This online workshop is pay-what-you-can ($20 suggested).

  • After taking both her Improv for Actors and Character Intensive classes, I felt empowered as an improviser and found a renewed confidence and love for improv.

    —Amor Owens