WORKSHOPS 

laugh, play, and learn all weekend from some of the most talented people in our field

Introducing Master Class Instructor

Jill Bernard

Jill Bernard (she/her) has been performing with ComedySportz-Twin Cities since 1993, and is a founding member of HUGE Theater in Minneapolis. Her one-woman improv piece, Drum Machine, has been featured in over forty improv festivals. She has taught and performed improv in Argentina, Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Colombia, England, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates and in over forty of the United States; and also on an episode of MTV “Made.” And Jill was our first Improv Festivus Master Instructor during our 2nd year, back in 2012! Her books, "Jill Bernard's Small Cute Book of Improv" and "Jill & Patrick's Small Book of Improv for Business" are standards for improvisers across the country, and even in France, Italy and Romania.

 

2019 Workshop Schedule

Please note that the exclusive workshops are only available to our registered participants. Master Classes are open to participants in early December and  to the general public on a first-come, first-served basis starting December 11, 2019.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Being a Dream Partner

10:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Improv is rarely a solo endeavor. This workshop will focus on how you can become the best possible partner your teammates could imagine. Games and exercises showing how to listen to what your partner really wants, and turn them into a rockstar. If we’re all doing this for each other, we’re a team of rockstars and we all win!

Jill Bernard is our Festivus 2019 Master Instructor. Her extensive bio can found at the top of this page!

MASTER CLASS

Jill Bernard - Minneapolis

This Time It's Personal

10:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Are you... making the same moves over and over again? Hitting a plateau? Practicing great, but performing not-so-great?

Learn to play to your strengths, downplay your weaknesses and recognize your go-to moves. Betzi has a knack for seeing what's tripping you up and how to make improv easier and more fabulous! Betzi gives kind, direct personal feedback and offers solutions to improve each players PROV!  This time it’s great. This time it’s personal.

Betzi has trained at iO South, UCB, Annoyance Theatre, Coalition Theater and CSz Richmond and has been performing for over 14 years. She currently performs with the musical improv group Sounds Good to Me! and duo Disco Lemonade Improv. Betzi teaches Annoyance based classes: Forward Focus Long Form Improv, Forward Focus Plus and the Harold Forward Focus Style at CSz Richmond, and also offers private coaching.

PAY WHAT YOU CAN

(FOR REGISTERED PARTICIPANTS)

Betzi Hekman - Richmond

Get to the Point!

2:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Getting out of your head and diving into the heart of the scene. Build confidence and speed through the workshop.

 

Rachel has been a Major League performer with ComedySportz Richmond since 2005. She has worked the last 8 years teaching improv to all ages in the D.C. area, and performing across the country. Rachel is the CSz Richmond Access Coordinator, producing sensory friendly matches & teaching improv to those on the Autism spectrum.

PAY WHAT YOU CAN

(FOR REGISTERED PARTICIPANTS)

Rachel Garmon - Richmond

Triumphs and Scars from the Musical Improv Trenches

10:30 AM - 12:30 PM

We love musical improv! Some people are intimidated by it. But that can change once you have a well-rounded, immersive experience of what's possible within improvised musical theater!

In this intensive, experience mindsets, tools, methods, and disciplined training that help unleash your inner musical improviser!

Chris Barry and Richard Paul, of the musical improv duo Four First Names and SAK Comedy Lab, have more than 30 combined years performing, hosting, and teaching experience. They’re joined in this workshop by musical director Ralph Krumins, of the University of Central Florida’s Theatre for Young Audiences and SAK Comedy Lab. You’ll learn what they’ve tried that has worked, what they’ve tried that has failed (and provided VALUABLE lessons) and what others have shared with them so that you can apply and use these new musical improv tools for yourselves no matter your level of experience.

PAY WHAT YOU CAN

(FOR REGISTERED PARTICIPANTS)

Chris Barry, Richard Paul & Ralph Krumins

- Orlando

Turning the Corner

2:00 PM - 4:00 PM

This workshop is a survey of methods to turn the corner on a scene that has stalled out and is struggling to progress. Come prepared to expand your improv toolkit and discover your natural ability to get unstuck!

Jill Bernard is our Festivus 2019 Master Instructor. Her extensive bio can found at the top of this page!

MASTER CLASS

Jill Bernard - Minneapolis

The Environment is a Character (and your friend)

2:00 PM - 4:00 PM

We establish a location quickly in our scenework. Our characters, relationships, choices and plot can be dependent on our selected location or setting. Learn how to use with the environment in your scenework, let it become another character in the scene and allow it to play and influence the story.

James Wasilewski has enjoyed people laughing at and with him on stage for nearly two decades.  His experiences include improvisation training and performances in RVA (Take 5, RAI and West End Comedy) and in Florida (Random Acts and Sak Comedy Lab).  His improv background has helped him immensely in two other arenas of his life off-stage: at work as a nonprofit fundraiser and at home with wife Rachel (huge thanks) and his sons – Embry and Turner. 

PAY WHAT YOU CAN

(FOR REGISTERED PARTICIPANTS)

James Wasilewski - Richmond

Glenn's Status Workshop

10:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Whether we plan it or not, in every improvised scene characters take on a
status level... high, low or somewhere in between.  In this workshop,
we'll work on recognizing those status levels and using them as tool in
your improv tool belt.  You'll also get to play with a deck of cards and
wear a swanky headband.

Glenn Packman has been improvising with ComedySportz since 1986. He has a BA in Theatre Arts from Drew University, has portrayed about a bazillion supporting roles on stage (but only 3 leads ever), and won some cash on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.

PAY WHAT YOU CAN

(FOR REGISTERED PARTICIPANTS)

Glenn Packman - New York City

The 4th Rule of Improv, and How It Will Give You Your Improv Breakthrough

2:00 PM - 4:00 PM

So you’ve taken a couple improv classes, and you’ve learned that there are a few guidelines that everybody tries to follow when they improvise. Then you saw a couple shows and you notice that everyone appears to be following those “rules”, but there is something different between the shows that your teachers put on and the showcase your friends invited you to…and you can’t quite put your finger on it.

 

This workshop spotlights an approach to improvisation that will allow improvisers of any level to conquer that feeling of “trying to keep up” and give any improviser with some amount of training the confidence and ability to hold their own and play with anybody. The 4th Rule of Improv will erase the fear and mystery of how to survive in an improvisation…with anyone.

 

Joe Spence is a graduate and former house team member and has teaching or coaching experience through the Second City LA, iO West, Nerdist School, and LA Connection, and has also studied at UCB and with Groundlings founder Gary Austin. Currently Joe performs and coaches as a member of the ComedySportz Los Angeles Main Company. Joe is also a member of the teaching staff at Gary Spatz’s The Playground, the only bonded young actor’s conservatory in Los Angeles. Joe has been teaching improvisers from age four to sixty-four for several years and enjoys the ability of the art form to take an artist places they never knew they could go.

 

PREREQUISITE: Participants should have completed one or more levels of improv training from any program anywhere.

PAY WHAT YOU CAN

(FOR REGISTERED PARTICIPANTS)

Joe Spence - Los Angeles

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Creating Realistic Characters

10:30 AM - 12:30 PM

In recent years in the United States, improv teachers such as Joe Bill and TJ Jagadowski from Chicago, David Razowsky from Los Angeles, Greg Tavaras from South Carolina, and Jill Bernard from Minneapolis have begun working with the idea that improv can contain realistic characters who are vulnerable. Having the ability to create improv that is honest and vulnerable adds another layer to your work, a little bit of cake underneath your frosting to take your work from light entertainment to something with resonance. In this module, we start with your true self as a completely valid and powerful launchpad to creating original improvisation. We will explore emotion as a driver. We will practice letting your relationship, and how your partner sees you, define your character. We will learn to trust assumptions in place of inventions.

Jill Bernard is our Festivus 2019 Master Instructor. Her extensive bio can found at the top of this page!

MASTER CLASS

Jill Bernard - Minneapolis

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VISIT

CSz Richmond Theater

8906 West Broad Street, Richmond, VA 23294

We're located in Gold's Gym Plaza along with delicious neighbors like Peking, Gelati Celesti, and more!

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Thank You for Your Support

All proceeds from Improv Festivus help support Yes Balloon, the nonprofit behind CSz Richmond. Yes Balloon fosters lasting relationships within our community by creating and providing professional and positive improv education, training, and entertainment through collaboration, inspiration, gratitude, and fun. Find out more about our programs for kids, dementia caregivers and patients, those on the Autism spectrum, partnerships with childhood cancer foundations and more HERE!

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