Improv 101

I just finished the first class of a new Improvisation 101 class at The State Theatre School of Acting ( The energy was great. The class was totally full with 15 people showing up. January is always the best time to hold an improv class. It almost always fills up. And when you have a group of fifteen, teaching feels more like performing. You can get big laughs, nodding heads, applause and all kinds of good feedback.

I was feeling the flow and did some things differently than I usually do. We had the whole building to ourselves, so we did the name-clap game in two rooms simultaneously, with people switching rooms each time they messed up. Before halftime, we went down to the lobby of the theatre to play elbow tag in the great big space. And at the end when we were playing word-at-a-time, I changed it up. We did one expert game, one fortune teller game and then the last one I played a scene with the word-at-a-time character where I was an employee asking for a raise and they were the boss. It turned out not only was my job being outsourced to China, but I was being sent to China to do it!

I’m excited about this new group. It’s amazing how quickly you can turn a room full of strangers into good-time-play-friends.

About Shana Merlin

Merlin Works is the brainchild of Shana Merlin: improviser, teacher, and performer. Since 1996, she’s been leading classes that stretch people’s imaginations, push them out of their comfort zones, and make them laugh out loud for hours at a time.

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