Workshops

Get Out of Your Head and Into Your Body

How often are you in a scene wondering why your scene isn’t going well? Odds are you are ignoring how you feel and how you scene partner feels. This class will focus on getting out of your head and into how you feel and on letting your emotions lead. Just noticing how your character feels in the scene gives you a clear point of view to improvise from. Improvisers almost always have an emotional response to their scene partner, however we are often too distracted by our brains to notice how we really feel. Let’s focus on finding how you already feel and bring that into your scene work.

Group Work: Buying in

Tired of the chaos and confusion in group scenes? This class will work on simplifying offers by working on thinking same, not different. Simple offers with everyone buying in completely will clear out the clutter of group scenes. Committed agreement to a simple idea is the key to making any group scene work. Let's build some buildings and help keep them standing instead of compromising the foundations. We will make group scenes fun again, and do things on stage that are only possible when the whole group buys in completely.

Leap First

Remember how exciting every move used to feel when you first started improvising, when you were surprised all the time by your scene partners. Now lots of your scenes start like this “hey what’s up”. Are you ready to get back into exciting scenes? This class will work on making bold choices and jumping in and heightening those bold choices. Making a strong choice at the top of a scene not only makes your job easier it makes your scene partner’s job easier too. Let’s get back to the thrill of scenes with big unknowns, let’s leap first.

Improv Shakespeare Workshop

Learn to improvise using the styles and themes of The Bard from the eloquence of his language, to keeping thee, thine and thou straight. Discover how much fun this underutilized but fabulously entertaining form can be. Improvising Shakespeare style works to get improvisers out of their heads by focusing on letting their emotions lead them. The class will focus on letting your emotions lead and this will give you a clear point of view to improvise from. The focus on flowery language helps to teach performers to let their words get ahead of their brains, and from their, performers will discover they are capable of things they had no idea they could do.  

Slacker Workshop

The class teaches the Slacker in which, all scenic transitions are made via tag out no sweep edits or “cut to”. Every new scene will have at least one character from the previous scene. The Slacker is a unique form that allows for much of the freedom of the Harold along with the opportunity to explore a more linear story. Come to learn to explore characters more deeply and to find new ways to make connections. 


Email Michael with questions.

Empire's Core Curriculum

Foundations: The Two Person Scene

All good improvisation depends upon the quality of the two-person scene. The class will hone those two person scene skills. This class will focus on noticing how you feel and how your scene partner feels and reacting to that. Just noticing how your character feels in the scene gives you a clear point of view to improvise from. Improvisers almost always have an emotional response to their scene partner, however we are often too distracted by our brains to notice how we really feel. Let’s focus on finding how you already feel and bring that into your scene work. This class is a great place to start for new improvisers and a great place for experienced improvisers improve on their scene work skills. 

Foundations: Group Work

The class will expand on the concepts in The Two Person Scene and apply them to group scenes, editing, and supporting scenes. Group scenes function in much the same way that two person scenes do only there are more moving pieces, so we focus on joining what is already there. Being a part of an ensemble requires give and take, and this class centers on the skills necessary to better support all aspects of group improvisation.

Foundations: The Harold

This class takes the concepts of The Two Person Scene, and Group Work and applies them to creating a whole improv performance. Noticing and listening are just as important while in out side of a two-person scene as they are within. Connections, edits, exploration, and scenic variation all require noticing all aspects of the show and playing with them. The Harold invites you to create a whole world and each part “agrees” and supports the whole.

Email Michael with questions.

about Empire's Classes

  • Contact Michael Lewis to schedule a class. 
  • Workshops are 3 hour classes.
  • Empire's core curriculum are 8 week classes 3 hours each week.
  • Students enrolling in classes must be at least 18 years old.
  • All curriculum created by Michael Lewis.