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Improv workshops can help people think faster on their feet

Improv Shmimprov is hosting workshops in Prince George.
Improv Shmimprov is hosting a three-part improv workshop series at Omineca Arts Centre in Prince George.

Looking to hone your witty repartee? Be quicker with the comebacks? Shut down that nagging Nellie or even dare to dream of taking to the stage?

Improv Shmimprov is hosting a three-night Improv Workshop that goes Nov. 28, Dec. 5, and Dec. 12 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Omineca Arts Centre, 369 Victoria St., and is geared for those 16 years and older.

People are invited to attend all workshops or just one.

The workshops will start off gently for beginners and then go on to cover a variety of theatre games as well as improvisational techniques.

Included in the three-part workshop:

● How to work on a stage, including volume levels, intensity and the central concept of giving ‘gifts’.

● Props. Line up and make suggestions for each prop. Suggestions should be as far from what the object actually is as possible. Never call a thing by its name. The goal is to allow players to break boundaries of reality and make new possibilities.

● Continue the story. Leader points to players in a lineup to continue a single storyline. The goal is to have players not interrupt, to listen and to support other’s stories.

● Yes, and… create a scene where your partner has to say ‘yes, and’, instead if no. The goal is to create scene, partners being open to suggestion. And to always support their partner.

● No but… have the players play suggested sketches with a member who has been secretly instructed to block their ideas. Once you know how it feels, you will do it less.

● Freeze. Create a scene for two players. When they finish the scene, freeze it and replace one player. Continue. Goal is to create scenes without expectation of payoff and helps with timing and character creation.

● Human props. Two players create scene and two other players are their props. The props move quickly into position. The props can only make prop sounds. The goal is to create dynamic scene and challenge other players.

● Raise the stakes. Set a scene. Allow two people to play and have the leader call ‘raise the stakes’. The players then raise the stakes of each statement and each scene. Continue until the scene gets crazy. Goal is to help players know the difference between stalled scenes and exciting ones.

● Basic story. Ask the audience for a word. A player does an honest monologue about their experiences around that word. The group then makes a series of interconnected sketches around that theme. The goal is to create connected stories and be of one mind. The leader has participants pursue the story until it has an ending. Make as many interconnections as possible. Blow minds.

The workshop will be led by Allan Dawson, Stephen St Laurent and the rest of the Improv Shmimprov team who have been doing comedic improv together for years.

There is a $20 drop-in fee for each workshop and water is provided.