This class will be an overview of key principles and practices used to create comedy on stage. Techniques to be explored include misunderstanding, incongruity, physical comedy, language skills (such as banter & wit), characterization, and status. Students will learn to structure comic builds and tune in to comic rhythms. Brian will use favorite theatre games and exercises that have helped him develop his comedic perspective throughout his four decades as a professional improviser, director and actor.
This is a comedy laboratory where we seek to understand why certain comic elements work and how we can use them as improvisers.
1) Define and employ key terms essential to comic acting, including, but not limited to, rhythm, exaggeration, subtlety, idiosyncrasies, status, misunderstanding, incongruity, repetition, timing, havoc and surprise.
2) Build a performance that will reach the size and intensity required for maximum comic effect.
EXERCISES WILL INCLUDE:
· Scenes where we purposefully misunderstand our partner.
· Scenes exploring character contrast: “Oil and Water/You infuriate me” Status and Temperament.
· Scenes that play with repetition and rhythm.
· Practicing breaking expectation and finding when interrupting is exactly right.
· Getting into trouble and how to give yourself permission to go as far with a choice as possible.
“Comedy is a series of events that you wouldn’t want to see happen to someone you care about.”
– Keith Johnstone