Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Backstage Glimpses: Improv Class

Students in the Teenage Drama Workshop's Improvisation Elective got a workout today as instructor Ronnie Sperling put them through their creative paces. 

Working in pairs, students created short scenes based on suggestions from the class. After running their scenes twice, the students had to think on their feet as Sperling changed things up, asking them to re-do the scene in a different genre. 

Students acting as home-repairmen suddenly had to redo their scene as a horror movie and as an MTV reality show.  A scene involving a pregnant woman and her husband stuck in an elevator suddenly became a game show, then was redone in the style of "Glee."  Another scene involving astronauts battling an asteroid field was redone as a samurai film and then as a Nickelodeon cartoon. 

Later, students worked in groups to tell a short story, with each actor adding the next word, one at a time.  After that, students played an improv game called, "Clue," in which an actor tries to convey the details of a crime using only gestures, movement and gibberish. Lots of laughter ensued, but the kids came away with real-life acting skills, too.

Sperling encouraged the class to stretch their imaginations--and their vocabularies--in their scene work. 

Beginning next week, students in the improvisation class will be cast in plays written by students in the play writing elective.  The short plays will be featured in TADW's upcoming "10-Minute Play Festival," which will run Aug. 5 and 6 in the Studio Theatre in Nordhoff Hall.

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