This post has one title; I have two.

12 11 2014

Every artist is familiar with the uncomfortable feeling of being too far away from creative projects for too long; I was a bit nervous that I wouldn’t find something soon enough down south. But, boy, I sure did arrive in Atlanta at the right time.

Right about the time we moved down here, I met Ian Covell, the founder of Atlanta’s new improv theater, Highwire Comedy.

While gettin’ used to a new life and a new home, it has been really helpful to have fun improv stuff and fun improv people to ground me. And now that Highwire Comedy has its own space in Decatur, we’ve been making lots and lots of plans! I am absolutely overjoyed to announce that I have been made both the Artistic Director and the Associate Education Director of Highwire Comedy!

I'm pleased as punch to be a part of this fantastic theater!

I’m pleased as punch to be a part of this fantastic theater!

Just getting the chance to start playin’ with fun people right away was already a relief!   (I got to play in “The Soapbox, Highwire’s weekly Armando-style show, mere days after arriving here.  Plus, I’m currently directing a FANTASTIC group of actors in “The Day Before Tomorrow,” an improvised show in the style of a disaster film, which opens later this month.)  But man, oh man!  Now I have a title–more than one, even!  I feel fancy.

Ian (my Artistic Director cohort and the Education Director) and I have sat down and have started creating class offerings and show schedules for Highwire. Stay tuned, y’all. 2015 is going to be a very exciting year!





Sustainable Scenework Improv Workshop in Atlanta

8 10 2014

I’ll be teaching a one-day master-level improv workshop in Atlanta on October 18th!

This is a workshop for improvisers who would like to do scenes that can sustain themselves for longer than just a few minutes.  If you’ve been practicing/performing improv for a while now, but are still a bit intimidated when it comes to longer scenes, then this is the class for you!

Click here to register/pay for the class.  Space is limited–sign up now to reserve your spot!

Sustainable Scenework
Saturday, Oct. 18
12-4pm

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 workshop, we will focus on breaking out of any habits you may have formed that can hinder grounded work, while we explore the small steps we can make to do truly sustainable, dynamic scenes.  Come ready to dig in and play!

Amanda will be teaching her "Sustainable Scenework" master-class in Atlanta on 10/18/14.

Amanda will be teaching her “Sustainable Scenework” master-class in Atlanta on 10/18/14 at The Brink.

Amanda Rountree has been performing improvisational theatre professionally since 1992, teaching since 1998, and directing since 2002.  She recently moved to the Atlanta area from Chicago, where she was a faculty member with the Second City Training Center, an ensemble member with WNEP Theatre, and a writer/puppeteer with SNORF.   Her one-woman shows, The Good, the Bad, and the Monkey and 185 Buddhas Walk into a Bar… both had successful runs in Chicago and tours to other cities. Previously, she was a performer and instructor with Unexpected Productions and a performer and co-artistic director of Playback Theater Northwest in Seattle. Amanda has entertained audiences in seven countries and countless North American cities utilizing a wide variety of styles, disciplines, and formats.  She’s performed everything from improv games in Kentucky and improvised Shakespeare at the Colorado Shakespeare Festival to drama therapy in Japan and breakthrough formats in Germany.

The Brink Improv
3041 N Decatur Rd
Scottdale, GA 30079





Sincerely Yours — a master class for improvisers

4 06 2014

It’s been a while since I taught this master class here in Chicago.  So, it’s about time I brought it back!  This is one of my most popular master classes, and is frequently requested when I travel about the country to teach for various improv communities.  I like to keep the class sizes relatively small, so if you’d like to take this workshop, please reserve your spot soon.  They go fast!  Also, if you pay in advance with paypal, you save ten bucks!

Sincerely Yours Master Class
Sunday, June 29

11:30am-2:30pm
The Cornelia Arts Center
, Theatre Momentum Studio C
1800 West Cornelia Avenue
(just off the Addison brown line stop)
Chicago, IL

$40 per person, $30 in advance
To register/pay for this workshop please click here to pay securely with paypal and receive the advance discount–or email Amanda at andthemonkey at gmail dot com.

This workshop will help deepen your performance with the use of sincerity, emotional connection, and believability. Discover the real “first offers” of every scene, and make improv even more natural, playful, and invigorating than it was before. Gain richness in your humor and a more dynamic connection with your audience. How can your life be explored, translated, or applied in an improv performance? Come, find out!

What People Are Saying

“Amanda’s workshop was just what I needed. It pushed me to go to new places, gave me new perspective, and was above all really, really fun. Her teaching style focuses on the improviser going somewhere, not just making the audience laugh. Which allowed us all to go amazing places that the audience would have never expected. She’s playful, respects the art-form and wants all her students to succeed. I hope everyone gets to spend time studying with Amanda Rountree.”  -Adam H., Chicago

Amanda will be teaching her master class, "Sincerely Yours" in Chicago this June.

Amanda will be teaching her master class, “Sincerely Yours” in Chicago this June.

“Amanda’s honesty and enthusiasm for her craft are infectious! She’s great at encouraging us to open up and recognize our own lives and experiences for the rich sources that they are!”  -Tony B., Seattle, WA

“The class I took from Amanda has been incredibly useful to me. The techniques Amanda taught in that class dramatically improved my ability to connect emotionally with my work and to bring genuine feeling to my improvised characters. It’s no exaggeration to say that Amanda’s teaching was instrumental in bringing my improv to the next level.”  –Sean Harding, Seattle, WA

“Amanda, thank you for the workshop! I love your practical and fun approach to improv. The idea of bringing more of myself to the stage has helped my improv tremendously. 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. You rock!”  -Galen E., Bellingham, WA

“Amanda’s honest, lovable personality oozes right into her workshops.  I walked into a room with about 15 strangers, and I walked out of that room feeling like I’d just hung out with my buddies on a Saturday afternoon.  She knows the importance of taking the time to establish an environment of acceptance, openness and trust, and that makes all the difference in the learning experience!  SIGN UP, ALREADY!”  -Jeremy Chapman, Chicago

About the Instructor

Rountree B:W headshot '13

Amanda Rountree has been teaching improvisational theatre since 1998.

Amanda Rountree has been performing improvisational theatre professionally since 1992, teaching since 1998, and directing since 2002. She relocated to Chicago in 2007 from Seattle where she was a performer and instructor with Unexpected Productions and a performer and co-artistic director of Playback Theater Northwest. Amanda has entertained audiences in seven countries and countless North American cities utilizing a wide variety of styles, disciplines, and formats.  (She’s performed everything from improv games in Kentucky and improvised Shakespeare at the Colorado Shakespeare Festival to drama therapy in Japan and breakthrough formats in Germany).  Chicago audiences have seen her in Impress These Apes 2, Don’t Spit the Water, Soiree DADA:  Shmukt die Hallen, The (Edward) Hopper Project, and her one-woman shows, The Good, the Bad, and the Monkey and 185 Buddhas Walk into a Bar.  In addition to being a company member of WNEP Theatre, she has been a repeat performer with The Noah Ginex Puppet Company, The Beast Women Cabaret, This Much is True, Chicago Solo Theatre, and The Kates.  She is a resident teaching artist for Lifeline Theatre and the Second City Training Center.





Taking the time to be thankful

3 04 2013

I teach theatre classes in and around Chicago to all ages.  A few years ago, I began a reflection ritual with very young students.  It worked so well, that I started using it with my older students, and even adults.  Yesterday, I was feeling a little grumpy while working out in the gym, so I did this reflection ritual silently, to myself.  I felt so much better after!  Then I thought, “Why don’t I do this more often?  I should do this every day.”

Here is the little closing ritual I lead at the end of many classes.  But I discovered that I can do this any time.  I share it here in hopes it can bring others joy.

Place one hand on your belly and one hand on your heart.  Feel your heart beating and your belly moving every time you take a nice, deep breath.  Think of one thing you did today that you feel good about.  Put it in your heart.  Take a deep breath in and out.  Think of something someone else did today that you enjoyed or that you were delighted by or grateful for.  Hold it in your heart.  Take a deep breath in and out.  Finally, think of something you did today with another person or people–something that you were a part of–something you helped create.  Put it in your heart.  Take a deep breath in and out.

This is an easy way to reflect and it doesn’t take much time at all to do.  But I’m always a little happier afterward.





One Small Difference

29 07 2012

In the interest of speaking in highly general terms, there is one main difference between teaching improvisational theatre to kids and teaching improvisational theatre to adults.  With kids, you are supervising play.  With adults, you are facilitating play.

Keith Haring’s “Playing People”





For Performers

4 09 2011

You cannot move your audience unless you are moved.