Long-form improv scheduled for winter term

Long-form improv

Nov. 8, Nov. 13

2-3:30 p.m. & 4-5:30 p.m.

Lincoln Hall, Room 119

Are you interested in taking a class in which you can operate in a supportive, group-focused environment, where your are ideas appreciated, and where you can let go of a lot inhibitions? Then consider taking TA 299, Long-form improv, scheduled for winter term.

“This class is great for unlocking creativity, working in a group setting and learning that thinking on one’s feet is not as hard as one might think. It is great in a lot of ways, because it takes the mysticism out of creativity, since all it takes to be creative in this setting is a willingness to play with each other’s ideas. It also takes the mysticism out what is generally considered ‘how to be funny,’ because you don’t have to be funny at all. You just have to listen and respond as you yourself would!” instructor Nate Hallorn said.

Consider, for a moment, some of the real-life skills one can acquire through this simple improvisational course: One gains acceptance for other’s ideas, one’s listening skills dramatically improve and one’s confidence increases.

While this course will appeal to anyone with a creative edge, there is a prerequisite. Students must have taken Improv I with Scott Parker or Jim Eikrem (possibly at Portland Community College or Portland Actors Conservatory) or a fundamentals course from the Brody Theater or Comedy Sportz. Hallorn adds, “I may waive the prerequisite, but students will have to contact me first if they are really, really interested.”

Hallorn began taking improv classes at the Brody Theater (the only theater in town at the time devoted specifically to long-form improvisation) five years ago. Originally, he just wanted to do it to get back into theater and acting, as a supplement to becoming a part of a scripted show, auditioning, etc. But then he discovered a bunch of very talented performers at the Brody Theater doing incredible work with improvisation as their sole means of support. He realized he wanted to work with them.

In April 1998, he was in his first “main stage” performance, and from there he did three full seasons at the Brody. Within three years, he taught and co-taught several improv fundamentals and intermediate improv classes. He also directed a few “diabolical experiments” (forms that the players don’t know about or rehearse before coming to the theater to warm up that night) and performed with the Brody cast in improv festivals in Kansas City and Chicago.

“Nowadays, I go back to the Brody for a show here and there or a run of shows. I am currently in ‘Scary Movie’ there, improvised spoofs of ’30s, ’40s classic horror movies. It runs through Nov. 2,” Hallorn said. “But I am putting a lot of energy into a two-person improvised show with a woman named Gretchen McNeely from Comedy Sportz. We will probably do a run in January called ‘Sad, Sad Town’ at Comedy Sportz in their late-night Friday slot.”

If you think this course may appeal to you, try one of the free improv workshops scheduled for Nov. 8 from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. and Nov. 13 from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in Lincoln Hall, Room 119. For more details, e-mail Nate Hallorn at [email protected].