Tag Archives: training

Improvising in Ireland at Improv Utopia

I had an amazing time this weekend  at Improv Utopia in Ireland.  Joining over 100 improvisers from all over the world for games, workshops and loads of fun.

An opportunity to meet an improvise with folk from the USA, Ireland and  other countries all in one place. I’ve been to plenty of improv conventions in America over the last ten with my comedysportz troupe,  and honestly didn’t know what to expect from this – but it was every bit as cool as I’d hoped.

 

We took over Newgrange Lodge just North of  Dublin with some expert teachers including Nick Armstrong, Katy Schutte, and Neil Curran as well as the lovely Craig and Carla Cackowski From L.A.

Watching improv people together in large groups is quite a thing to behold, and probably quite curious to the outside world.  We played ‘diamond dance’ outside in the blistering sunshine. It’s a game about dance moves, but also leadership…but really – dance moves!  I could see the staff of Newgrange Lodge watching us, clearly a little bewildered and  amused by what they were watching.

Each workshop covered a different discipline.  From group work to using emotion, character and selling yourself.  The weekend reaffirmed  my love for improv and how it’s a great tool for connecting and building relationships.  Improv Utopia has been running for many years in the US, but this is the first time they have organised a residential outside of the US – and it proved to be a great success.  Big thanks to all the guys who put it together, it felt like being in America without actually being in America.

Sell it! – workshop with Craig Cackowski

Links:

About John Cooper

He’s performed in hundreds of theatres around the UK and internationally as part of the CSz Manchester improv troupe. He has delivered workshops on how to use humour  and improv in business, taking part in the BBC2 series ‘The Speaker’ and the BBC New Comedy Awards. John is author of Present Yourself! – An illustrated guide to speaking in public and building confidence.

 

Jim Ansaldo – Teaching improvisation to teenagers with autism

Applied improvisation is where we use improv as a tool to teach and learn. The Bring a Brick podcast interviews professionals from all over the world who use applied improvisation in their work to discover how they use the ‘how’ of improvisation.  I take the role of curious student, to learn how people teach and benefit from the unique values of applying improv.  Teaching improvisation.

Teaching improvisation to teenagers with autismJim Ansaldo is a Research Scholar at Indiana University Bloomington, a member of Comedysportz Indianapolis and an instructor at Camp Yes And, which teaches improv Teenager on the Autism Spectrum.

“Improv gives us a means for everyone to bring their life experience to the table”

I had the chance to catch up with Jim earlier this year in San Jose, California. We talked about his approach to teaching, and his work bringing improvisation to with children and teenagers with autism, and how it can be used to highlight and aid communication and interaction. We also touched on the broader aspects of improvisation as a tool in therapy, Jill Bernard mindfullness in improv workshop that we both attended and the legacy of Keith Johnstone.

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Direct Link

Bullet Points

  • Creating a safe space for improvisation without the pressures of ‘performing’.
  • Working with educators at Camp Yes And.
  • Improv Camps and Classes for Teens on the Autism Spectrum and Educators
  • Using improv to facilitate discussion on how to improve teaching methods and generate new ideas.
  • The core values of CSZ worldwide – Collaboration, Inspiration, Values, fun.
  • Musical improvisation – The Yes And band.

Links

The host John Cooper is a professional stand-up comedian, improviser, tutor & illustrator based in Manchester, UK.

Click here to listen to previous podcast interviews  with other experts who use improvisation.