For 35 years, ImprovBoston has been New England’s leading theater and school dedicated to the art of comedy in all its forms. Voted “Best of Boston” by The Phoenix, The Improper Bostonian, and The Weekly Dig, ImprovBoston performers, teachers and students have included film stars, Emmy Award-winning comedians, and acclaimed producers, directors, musicians and writers. ImprovBoston alumni are featured on The Daily Show, America’s Got Talent, Funniest Wins, Real Time with Bill Maher, Last Comic Standing and John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight, to name a few. In 2014, the Independent Reviewers of New England honored ImprovBoston with an award recognizing its longstanding contributions to the Boston theater community. As a nonprofit arts organization, ImprovBoston serves the community through laughter with youth outreach programs, workshops for businesses, scholarships, a national touring company and, of course, performances at its theater complex in Central Square, Cambridge.
Sarasota Improv Festival favorite ImprovBoston is staying in Sarasota for one week longer to perform shows and offer workshops. Tickets are available online by clicking the button above or by calling the FST Box Office at 941-366-9000.
AllForm: Beyond Structure
Instructor: Deana Criess
Description of workshop: Explore ImprovBoston's signature AllForm approach to improvisation. Follow the Fun to discover how every moment, beat, line and movement in a show can be deconstructed, leading you to the next scene. Find form where there was no form. We'll explore the tools that enable performers to create a unique improvised running order with every show. In this "everything is on the table" style, Harold beats, shortform lay-ons, narrative edits, game moves, audience interaction, heightened physicality, genre play, callbacks and pretty much everything else you can imagine, converge to answer 3 fundamental questions: 1) What does the show want? 2) What's come before? 3) What's fun? Let’s learn to move beyond chasing the laugh and learn to discover the joy in every moment of our show. Join us and discover the exhilaration of laying down tracks in front of a moving train.
DEANA CRIESS is the Director of ImprovBoston’s National Touring Company and a cast member in ImprovBoston's Mainstage, Family Show and MIC (Musical Improv Cast). Deana performs and teaches at festivals, theaters, Fortune 500 companies and colleges around the country. Her industry leading workshops have been featured on PBS, NPR, KBS (the Korean Broadcasting System) and in The Boston Globe. Deana's comedy has been featured on CNN and Slate.com. She has over 15 years of professional experience with audiences of all ages performing, directing and teaching longform and shortform improvisation as well as sketch writing, stand up comedy and musical theater. She has also written several plays including Lube! The Musical. During her years in comedy she has worked with some amazing artists including Dan Castellaneta (The Simpsons), Laura Hall (Whose Line Is It Anyway), Eric Drysdale (Full Frontal), Josh Gondelman (Last Week Tonight), Jen Kirkman (Drunk History), Faith Soloway (Transparent), Anthony Atamanuik (The President Show), Kevin MacDonald (The Kids in the Hall), Sasheer Zamata (Saturday Night Live), Janeane Garofalo, Dave Razowsky (The Second City) and many more.
Enroll online: Monday, July, 17 at 7:00pm
Sing it!: Better Improv Through Music
Tuesday, July, 18 at 7:00pm
Instructor : Mike Descoteaux
Description of workshop: Sing it! introduces students to the fundamentals of how to improvise songs that sound as if they had been written. Explore rhyming (and effective alternatives to rhyming), common song structures that lend themselves to improvising, creating memorable hooks, and how to convincingly get into songs from an improvised scene. Discover the many connections between traditional improv and "singprov," allowing students to heighten emotion, strengthen relationships, and access new characters instantaneously. By the end of the day, students will be singing off the cuff with confidence and joy. Take this workshop and unlock a new, deeply rewarding approach to improvisation.
No previous singing experience required.
MIKE DESCOTEAUX is the Artistic Director of ImprovBoston. Mike served as head and creator of the Music Program at The Second City Training Center and music director of the Second City Etc stage in Chicago. Named one of the top young songwriters in the country by the Johnny Mercer/AMTP association, he has had the privilege of working with Tony Award-winning artists such as Jason Robert Brown, William Finn, Mark Hollmann and James LaPine. His work has been seen on NBC, A&E, WGN and stages across the country. He has “composed” and “conducted” over 1,000 completely improvised musicals with Baby Wants Candy, Musical! the musical, I Eat Pandas, BLANK! The Musical Off-Broadway and many others. In addition to teaching at institutions like the Second City, ImprovBoston, Northwestern University, and Columbia College, Mike has lead workshops in music improv around the world.
Enroll online: Tuesday, July, 18 at 7:00pm
Advanced Music Improv: Game of the Song
Wednesday, July, 19 at 7:00pm
Instructor: Mike Descoteaux
Description of workshop: Discover the simple joy and comedic power of ImprovBoston-style game-driven songs. Using two fundamental structures, participants will explore the ridiculous fun that comes through effortlessly heightening the lyrical, emotional, physical, situational and musical patterns that present themselves in the scene leading up to a song. We’ll play with the emotional and reactive scenic building blocks that lead to the best improvised songs. Experience how the success of the song is virtually guaranteed before the first note is even sung (the secret’s in the scene). With over 15 years of singprov directing, teaching and music direction across the country, Mike is thrilled to share his passion for mind-melting musical improv.
Enroll online: Wednesday, July, 19 at 7:00pm
Whole Body Improv
Thursday, July, 20 at 7:00pm.
Instructor: Sara Burns and Matt Fear
Description of workshop: The best improv lives in the body, not the brain. Liberate your improv from the confines of the mind and explore everything a scene can be when you invite your whole body to the party. This 2 hours is designed to unlock next level improv as we explore what the body can bring to your work. We will explore stage crashes, physicality, lead and support moves that live in the body. Perhaps most importantly we will learn to shut off the clever and bring our full potential to our work. Be dressed to move, be ready to sweat and be ready to have the most fun you've ever had doing improv.
SARA BURNS is a cast member of ImprovBoston's National Touring Company, director of ImprovBoston's Face Off, and teaches several courses in the ImprovBoston Comedy School. She is an alumni of ImprovBoston's Face Off, Harold Night, and Studio 40, and adds many sketch shows, studio runs and national festivals to her credits. Sara is a current cast member of national free-form group Big Bang Improv and IB's Musical Improv Cast, and is a professional stage and screen actor in the Boston area. Her offstage passions include plant life, poetry, and puns.
MATT FEAR is a cast member of ImprovBoston's National Touring Company and Face Off casts. He is also the member of the improv team Something Wicked and Boston sketch favorite Terrible People. He has years of experience coaching and directing improv and scripted theater and is an accomplished stage actor with a BA in Theater Arts.
Enroll online: Thursday, July, 20 at 7:00pm
Workshop passes can be purchased by clicking the links above or by contacting Pamela Smith at (941) 366-1350.
SARAH BURNS is a cast member of ImprovBoston’s National Touring Company and Musical Improv Cast. She is a director and educator in the art of improv and performs nationally with free-form group Big Bang. Sara has traveled the country performing in festivals, teaching workshops, and sharing her passion for honest, emotional discovery in improvised scenes. In addition to her work in unscripted theater, she is a professional stage and screen actor in the Boston area.
DEANA CRIESS is a member of the ImprovBoston Mainstage cast and is a the Director of, and performer in, ImprovBoston’s National Touring Company. Deana’s comedy and workshops have been featured on PBS, NPR, CNN and Slate.com. She is also a current cast member of ImprovBoston’s Musical Improv Cast (MIC) and the ImprovBoston Family Show.
MIKE DESCOTEAUX is the Artistic Director of ImprovBoston and former director of the nationally renown Charles River Creative Arts Program as well as founder of the Music Program at The Second City Training Center in Chicago. Mike is founder/director of the critically acclaimed satire, Best Church of God, named “Best Sketch Comedy in Chicago” several years running. Mike has collaborated with Tony, Emmy and Oscar-award winning artists and comedy giants like Baby Wants Candy, Improvised Shakespeare, The Annoyance, ComedySportz, iO, and the Magnet. He is also the co-creator of the Off-Broadway sensation, BLANK: The Musical, headlining SIF this year.
MATTHEW FEAR originally from the great state of Illinois, Matt Fear has been part of the ImprovBoston National Touring Company for just over 2 years. In addition to the Touring Company, Matt is part of the Shakespearean improv troupe, Something Wicked. When he's not on stage, Matt enjoys coaching and teaching improv while double-fisting espressos and searching for the perfect slice of coconut cream pie.