Created by Jennine Profeta
“Yes, and…” is the guiding principle behind all improv. This course will teach you how to teach improv, and more importantly how to give feedback to your students. The course looks at making strong offers and also using gibberish to ironically improv communication skills. You will also see how feelings can safely be used to add flavour and get laughs in our scenes.
Jennine Profeta, Second City performer and theatre educator, leads this course with a clear methodology for teaching and giving positive nurturing feedback. This course will give you all the tools and the insight you need to teach improv with confidence.
2 hours, 10 minutes
4 Credit Hours
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National Core Arts Standards
Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work - Grade 6
TH:Cr1.1.6.c - Explore a scripted or improvised character by imagining the given circumstances in a drama/theatre work.
Select, analyze, and interpret artistic work for presentation - Grade 6
TH:Pr4.1.6.b - Experiment with various physical choices to communicate character in a drama/theatre work.
Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work - Grade 7
TH:Cr1.1.7.c - Envision and describe a scripted or improvised character’s inner thoughts and objectives in a drama/theatre work.
Select, analyze, and interpret artistic work for presentation - Grade 7
TH:Pr4.1.7.b - Use various character objectives in a drama/theatre work.
Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work - Grade 8
TH:Cr1.1.8.c - Develop a scripted or improvised character by articulating the character’s inner thoughts, objectives, and motivations in a drama/theatre work.
Organize and develop artistic ideas and work - Grade 6
TH:Cr2.1.6.b - Contribute ideas and accept and incorporate the ideas of others in preparing or devising drama/theatre work.
Develop and refine artistic techniques and work for presentation - Grade 6
TH:Pr5.1.6.a - Recognize how acting exercises and techniques can be applied to a drama/theatre work.
Organize and develop artistic ideas and work - Grade 7
TH:Cr2.1.7.b - Demonstrate mutual respect for self and others and their roles in preparing or devising drama/theatre work.
Develop and refine artistic techniques and work for presentation - Grade 7
TH:Pr5.1.7.a - Participate in a variety of acting exercises and techniques that can be applied in a rehearsal or drama/theatre performance.
Refine new work through play, drama processes and theatre experiences using critical analysis and experimentation - Grade 6
TH:Cr3.1.6.b - Identify effective physical and vocal traits of characters in an improvised or scripted drama/theatre work.
Speaking and Listening
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.1 - Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.L.3 - Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening.
Reading: Informational Text
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.9-10.4 - Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone (e.g., how the language of a court opinion differs from that of a newspaper).
California VAPA Standards (2019)
6.TH:Cr1 Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work
6.TH:Cr1.b - Explore a scripted or improvised character by imagining the given circumstances in a drama/theatre work.
6.TH:Pr4 Select, analyze, and interpret artistic work for presentation.
6.TH:Pr4.b - Experiment with various physical choices to communicate character in a drama/theatre work.
7.TH:Cr1 Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work
7.TH:Cr1.b - Envision and describe a scripted or improvised character’s inner thoughts and objectives in a drama/theatre work.
7.TH:Pr4 Select, analyze, and interpret artistic work for presentation.
7.TH:Pr4.b - Use various character objectives in a drama/theatre work.
8.TH:Cr1 Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work
8.TH:Cr1.b - Develop a scripted or improvised character by articulating the character’s inner thoughts, objectives, and motivations in a drama/theatre work.
6.TH:Cr2 Organize and develop artistic ideas and work.
6.TH:Cr2.b - Contribute ideas and accept and incorporate the ideas of others in preparing or devising drama/theatre work.
6.TH:Pr5 Develop and refine artistic techniques and work for presentation.
6.TH:Pr5.a - Recognize how acting exercises and techniques can be applied to a drama/theatre work.
7.TH:Cr2 Organize and develop artistic ideas and work.
7.TH:Cr2.b - Demonstrate mutual respect for self and others and their roles in preparing or devising drama/theatre work.
7.TH:Pr5 Develop and refine artistic techniques and work for presentation.
7.TH:Pr5.a - Participate in a variety of acting exercises and techniques that can be applied in a rehearsal or drama/theatre performance.
6.TH:Cr3 Refine and complete artistic work.
6.TH:Cr3.b - Identify effective physical and vocal traits of characters in a drama/theatre work.
Florida Sunshine State Standards
Critical Thinking & Reflection
TH.912.C.1.5 - Make and defend conscious choices in the creation of a character that will fulfill anticipated audience response.
TH.912.C.2.5 - Analyze the effect of rehearsal sessions and/or strategies on refining skills and techniques by keeping a performance or rehearsal journal/log.
TH.912.C.2.7 - Accept feedback from others, analyze it for validity, and apply suggestions appropriately to future performances or designs.
TH.912.C.2.8 - Improve a performance or project using various self-assessment tools, coaching, feedback, and/or constructive criticism.
Innovation, Technology & the Future
TH.912.F.3.3 - Exhibit independence, discipline, and commitment to the theatre process when working on assigned projects and productions.
Skills, Techniques & Processes
TH.912.S.1.6 - Respond appropriately to directorial choices for improvised and scripted scenes.
TH.912.S.2.4 - Sustain a character or follow technical cues in a production piece to show focus.
TH.912.S.2.8 - Strengthen acting skills by engaging in theatre games and improvisations.
TH.912.S.3.2 - Exercise artistic discipline and collaboration to achieve ensemble in rehearsal and performance.
TH.912.S.3.3 - Develop acting skills and techniques in the rehearsal process.
Georgia Performance Standards - Theatre Arts
Grade 6 - Creating
TA6.CR.1 - Organize, design, and refine theatrical work.
a. Identify artistic choices, utilize theatre vocabulary, and demonstrate non-verbal communication skills in the rehearsal process.
b. Interpret a character’s motivation by understanding the relationship between their background and their behavior.
c. Identify the variety of relationships between characters.
d. Identify, define, and classify character traits.
e. Recognize and demonstrate the roles, responsibilities, and skills associated with collaborative performance.
f. Use resources to identify and create technical elements of theatre.
Grade 6 - Performing
TA6.PR.1 - Act by communicating and sustaining roles in formal and informal environments.
a. Demonstrate effective verbal and non-verbal communication skills (e.g. rate, pitch, volume, inflection, posture, facial expression, physical movement).
b. Execute character creation in a performance.
c. Demonstrate a variety of types of theatre performances.
Grade 7 - Creating
TA7.CR.1 - Organize, design, and refine theatrical work.
a. Identify and rehearse effective communication skills.
b. Compare and contrast character types and relationships by analyzing character motivations, objectives, and goals.
c. Compare the physical, emotional, vocal, and social dimensions of a character.
d. Investigate the role and responsibility of the cast and crew.
e. Identify and model ensemble skills in the rehearsal process.
f. Utilize staging and blocking choices to enhance the performance.
g. Compare, contrast, and design elements of technical theatre.
h. Utilize theatre vocabulary throughout the rehearsal process.
TA7.CR.2 - Develop scripts through theatrical techniques.
a. Create ideas for stories.
b. Analyze the theme and structure of a play.
c. Use the dramatic writing process to generate a script.
d. Utilize dramatic conventions in the scriptwriting process (e.g. stage directions, dialogue, scenes).
Grade 7 - Performing
TA7.PR.1 - Act by communicating and sustaining roles in formal and informal environments.
a. Execute effective verbal and non-verbal communication skills in performance (e.g. rate, pitch, volume, inflection, posture, facial expression, physical movement).
b. Participate in a variety of acting exercises and techniques that can be applied in a rehearsal or theatre performance.
c. Engage in various performance styles.
Grade 8 - Creating
TA8.CR.1 - Organize, design, and refine theatrical work.
a. Differentiate the physical, emotional, vocal, and social dimensions of a variety of characters.
b. Compare the relationships and interactions between characters by analyzing character motivation (objectives, obstacles, strategy, action, stakes, outcome).
c. Incorporate dramatic elements through improvisation.
d. Connect theatre vocabulary to the application of theatre performance.
e. Identify and demonstrate both ensemble and leadership skills in the rehearsal process.
f. Evaluate the effectiveness of artistic and technical elements used in a theatre production.
g. Design and create scenery, props, costumes, lighting, and sound.
h. Assume different roles and responsibilities in the rehearsal process.
TA8.CR.2 - Develop scripts through theatrical techniques.
a. Classify different points of view in a story.
b. Identify, analyze, and articulate the structure of a script.
c. Utilize improvisation techniques to generate script ideas.
d. Use the dramatic writing process to generate a script.
Grade 8 - Performing
TA8.PR.1 - Act by communicating and sustaining roles in formal and informal environments.
a. Demonstrate the physical, emotional, vocal, and social dimensions of a character in different types of theatre performances (e.g. rate, pitch, volume, inflection, posture, facial expression, motivation, physical movement).
b. Demonstrate appropriate ensemble skills throughout a performance.
c. Use appropriate listening and response skills during performances.
Grades 9-12 - ACTING LEVELS I-IV - Creating
TAHSA.CR.2 - Develop scripts through theatrical techniques.
a. Examine theatre practices regarding the development, structure, layout, and format of scripts.
b. Use improvisation, personal experiences, heritage, imagination, literature, and history to develop scripts.
c. Perform formal and informal monologues and scenes based on published and original scripts.
Grades 9-12 - ACTING LEVELS I-IV - Performing
TAHSA.PR.1 - Act and direct by communicating and sustaining roles within a variety of situations and environments.
a. Examine and implement the voice, body, observation, and imagination as tools of the actor in presentations of formal and informal theatre.
b. Research and assess the development of acting skills for character creation and performance including historical movements, personal experience, and cultural influences.
c. Act by developing, communicating, and sustaining roles within a variety of situations and environments.
d. Identify and examine the responsibilities and tasks of an actor in relationship with directors, designers, and technical crew.
e. Use the skills and tools of a director to conduct rehearsals for performance.
Grades 9-12 - ADVANCED DRAMA LEVELS I-IV -Performing
TAHSAD.PR.1 - Act and direct by communicating and sustaining roles within a variety of situations and environments.
a. Examine and implement the skills and tasks associated with acting, incorporating voice, body, observation, and imagination to create characters for formal and informal performances.
b. Implement the duties of the stage manager, including communication and safety procedures, that will assist the director in all areas of production.
c. Develop a schedule and organizational plan to prepare a scene for performance, including a rehearsal schedule and a prompt script.
d. Conduct rehearsals and present a full theatrical presentation to a live audience.
Grades 9-12 - FUNDAMENTALS OF THEATRE LEVELS I-IV - Creating
TAHSFT.CR.1 - Organize, design, and refine theatrical work.
a. Recognize and/or employ realistic and conventional speech patterns within dialogue or dramatic verse.
b. Incorporate dramatic elements through improvisation.
c. Recognize and interpret artistic choices in performance.
North Carolina Essential Standards
Beginning High School Standards - Communication
B.C.1.1 - Use non-verbal expression to illustrate how human emotion affects the body and is conveyed through the body.
B.C.1.2 - Apply vocal elements of volume, pitch, rate, tone, articulation, and vocal expression.
B.C.2.1 - Use improvisation and acting skills, such as observation, concentration, and characterization in a variety of theatre exercises.
Beginning High School Standards - Culture
B.CU.2.2 - Use acting conventions, such as stage presence, subtext, style, and ensemble work, to perform formal or informal works.
Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Theatre Arts
MS 117.212 LII - Creative Expression: performance
B.2.G - create improvised scenes that include setting, character, and plot.
MS 117.212 LII - Creative Expression: production
B.3.A - determine specific technical elements to provide a safe setting and to support character and action in improvised and scripted scenes.
MS 117.213 LIII - Creative Expression: performance
B.2.C - create characters, dialogue, and actions that reflect dramatic structure in improvised and scripted scenes, individually and collaboratively.
HS 117.315 LI - Foundations: Inquiry and Understanding
C.1.B - develop and practice theatre preparation and warm-up techniques.
C.1.C - develop and practice stage movement techniques such as mime, pantomime, stage combat, Laban, Lecoq, or Viewpoints consistently to express thoughts, feelings, and actions non-verbally.
C.1.F - demonstrate a working knowledge of the language of theatre such as stage terminology, elements of theatre, or theatrical conventions.
C.1.H - define the roles of and appreciate the collaborative relationships between all artistic partners such as playwrights, composers, directors, actors, designers, technicians, and audience.
HS 117.315 LI - Creative Expression: performance
C.2.D - use physical, intellectual, emotional, and social awareness to portray believable characters and convey a story when applying acting concepts, skills, and techniques.
Speech Drama 10
Speech Drama 20
16 - communicate mood and emotion through voice
20 - apply movement and gesture to clarify and enhance spoken interpretation
Speech Drama 30
Improvisation Drama 10
1 - use warmup techniques for preparation of body, voice and mind
10 - demonstrate appropriate rehearsal methods
11 - apply the essential elements of a story: character, setting, conflict, climax and plot in planned and unplanned scenes
12 - create, relate and polish a story
13 - communicate meaning without words
14 - discover how various emotions affect one vocally and physically
15 - initiate a dramatic situation in response to a given stimulus
16 - make logical choices spontaneously within the boundaries of situation and character
17 - demonstrate the ability to accept, advance, offer or block thought and action, quickly and effectively
18 - extend the illusion of the onstage environment by creating an offstage reality
19 - demonstrate techniques for creating effective entrances and exits, consistent with character
2 - demonstrate the ability to be still
20 - critique the work of self and others through observation and expression of specific detail
21 - demonstrate techniques for communicating the “illusion of the first time” within a planned situation
22 - distinguish between performer and character
23 - use varied stimuli for character development
24 - select and use vocal techniques appropriate to a character
25 - select and use language appropriate to character and situation
26 - use body language to add physical dimensions and depth to a character
27 - demonstrate economy in movement and speech by making appropriate selections
28 - demonstrate how attitude, and change in attitude, affects a character
29 - demonstrate understanding of and apply the concept of status
3 - maintain concentration during exercises
30 - demonstrate understanding of and apply the concepts of a character’s objectives and motivation
31 - demonstrate the ability to focus on, and achieve, the objective of a scene
32 - sustain a character throughout a scene or exercise
4 - demonstrate heightened sensory awareness
5 - create experiences through imaging, visualizing and fantasizing
6 - demonstrate thinking in a divergent mode
7 - examine and express feelings
8 - tell a story spontaneously
Improvisation Drama 20
33 - sustain a single character in a variety of situations
34 - demonstrate the techniques of sharing, giving and taking focus
35 - demonstrate understanding of how the use of levels and planes can focus the stage picture
36 - integrate improvisational skills learned, in planned and spontaneous improvisations
Improvisation Drama 30
37 - demonstrate various ways of expressing emotions that are consistent with a character
38 - demonstrate various ways of creating and communicating mood
Acting Drama 20
7 - demonstrate the ability to play a character from the character’s point of view
Movement Drama 10
10 - demonstrate focus, concentration and energy in all movement and gesture
14 - create physically shapes in space
18 - appreciate that physical expression can enhance language
19 - demonstrate qualities of energy
22 - translate words, images and emotions into movement
24 - demonstrate understanding of mood, and communicate mood
Improvisation/Acting Level III - Advanced
27 - identify and create a believable emotional build
28 - use contrast such as dramatic elements (movement and stillness, light and dark, sound and silence) and groupings (solo and group) in scenes
29 - use improvisational skills and concepts in exploration of text
30 - analyze text for meaning and character development
32 - rehearse, polish and present text
33 - critique the work of self and others through observation of specific details
Junior Goal II Objectives
develop belief in, identification with, and commitment to a role
develop the ability to give form or expression to feelings, ideas and images
develop the body and voice as tools of communication
explore specific techniques demanded by various dramatic forms
communicate through use of voice and body
demonstrate awareness of the multidisciplinary nature of drama/theatre
demonstrate trust by becoming comfortable, physically and emotionally, with others
offer and accept constructive criticism, given specific guidelines, with a desire to improve
share ideas confidently with others
show awareness of story sequence
speak, move, and generate ideas spontaneously
support positivity the work of others
work cooperatively and productively with all members of the class in pairs, small groups and large groups
Movement Level I - Beginning
13 - control focus and energy in movement and gesture
17 - use movement to communicate non-verbally
19 - translate sounds, words, images, and emotions into movement
2 - demonstrate awareness of personal and shared space
Movement Level II - Intermediate
21 - display clarity of movement and gesture
22 - use exaggerated movement and gesture
25 - communicate environment, character and situation nonverbally
Movement Level III - Advanced
Speech Level I - Beginning
Speech Level II - Intermediate
12 - demonstrate a stage whisper
13 - use voice to communicate mood and emotion
Speech Level III - Advanced
16 - use movement and gesture to clarify and enhance speech and character
18 - apply speech skills in a variety of speaking situations
Improvisation/Acting Level I - Beginning
1 - use warm-up techniques for preparation of body, voice and mind
10 - use essential story elements in spontaneous and planned scenes
11 - create a dramatic situation in response to varied stimuli: objects, pictures, music
12 - make logical choices within the boundaries of situation and character
2 - respond to directions without breaking concentration-side coaching
3 - demonstrate the ability to be still
4 - create experiences through imaging, visualizing and fantasizing
5 - create and tell a story spontaneously
6 - understand and apply the essential elements of a story: character, setting, conflict, climax and plot
7 - use stage vocabulary: stage areas, body positions and crosses
8 - demonstrate appropriate rehearsal behaviours and routines
9 - communicate a clear beginning, middle and end in spontaneous and planned scenes
Improvisation/Acting Level II - Intermediate
13 - recognize the techniques of offering, accepting, advancing and blocking
14 - use varied stimuli for character development
15 - use the body and body language to enhance characterization
16 - demonstrate economy in movement and speech
17 - select and use language appropriate to a given character and situation
18 - use voice variety to enhance a character
19 - discover how feelings affect a character
20 - enter and exit in character
21 - sustain a character throughout an exercise or scene
22 - create business appropriate to character and situation
23 - demonstrate understanding of character motivation
24 - recognize that relationships exist between characters in given situations
25 - demonstrate understanding of focus and the processes of sharing, giving and taking
Junior Goal I Objectives
develop the ability to initiate, organize and present a project within a given set of guidelines
develop the ability to interact effectively and constructively in a group process
explore and develop physical and vocal capabilities
extend the ability to explore meaning through abstract concepts
extend the ability to explore, control and express emotions
extend the ability to think imaginatively and creatively
Theatre Studies Level III - Advanced (The script)
7 - define the elements of script, dialogue, directions, characters and settings
8 - demonstrate understanding of directions used in a script
Technical Theatre - Levels I, II, III - Awareness
1 - recognize the basic terminology associated with the component being studied
2 - demonstrate understanding of the basic functions of the component being studied.
5 - demonstrate understanding of the various conventions of the components being studied
Technical Theatre - Levels I, II, III - Readiness
10 - demonstrate understanding of and use appropriate methods and tools for designing the project; e.g., makeup charts, cue sheets, working drawing
11 - arrange and sequence time, ideas, information, materials and/or personnel for achievement of the project
6 - demonstrate understanding of the importance of planning and organization
Technical Theatre - Application
13 - determine and acquire necessary supplies or substitutes to construct the planned project
16 - demonstrate the integration of technical theatre with other disciplines in order to enhance dramatic communication
Senior Goal I Objectives
apply imaginative and creative thought to problem-solving situations
demonstrate a sense of responsibility and commitment, individually and to the group
demonstrate the ability to offer, accept, and reflect upon, constructive criticism
extend physical and vocal capabilities
extend the ability to concentrate
extend the ability to control and express emotions
sharpen observations of people, situations and the environment
Senior Goal II Objectives
be capable of creating and expressing a believable character from scripted and non-scripted material
develop techniques that enhance vocal and physical communication
develop the ability to select appropriate physical and vocal expression for feelings, ideas and images
Orientation Drama 10
concentrate on the task at hand
demonstrate trust by becoming comfortable with others, physically and emotionally
demonstrate willingness to challenge and extend oneself: physically, emotionally, intellectually and artistically
make effective decisions or choices
positively support the work of others
recognize that values are expressed through the arts
solve problems imaginatively and creatively
British Columbia (2018)
GRADE 6 - ARTS - Exploring and creating
Intentionally select and apply materials, movements, technologies, environments, tools, and techniques by combining and arranging artistic elements, processes, and principles in art making
GRADE 6 - ARTS - Communicating and documenting
Adapt learned skills, understandings, and processes for use in new contexts and for different purposes and audiences
Take creative risks to express feelings, ideas, and experiences
GRADE 7 - ARTS - Communicating and documenting
Express, feelings, ideas, and experiences through the arts
Take creative risks to express feelings, ideas, and experiences
GRADE 8 - ARTS - Communicating and documenting
Take creative risks to express feelings, ideas, and experiences
GRADE 9 - DRAMA - Exploring and creating
Select and combine dramatic elements and principles to intentionally create a particular mood, effect, and meaning
Take creative risks to experience and express thoughts, emotions, and meaning
GRADE 9 - DRAMA - Reasoning and reflecting
GRADE 9 - DRAMA - Connecting and expanding
Collaborate through reciprocal relationships during creative processes
Demonstrate respect for themselves, others, and the audience
GRADE 10 - DRAMA - Explore and Create
Develop performance skills in a variety of contexts
GRADE 10 - DRAMA - Reason and reflect
GRADE 10 - DRAMA - Connect and expand
GRADE 11 - DRAMA - Explore and Create
Develop and refine performance skills in a variety of contexts
Improvise and take creative risks using imagination, exploration, and inquiry
GRADE 11 - DRAMA - Reason and reflect
Receive and apply constructive feedback to develop and refine ideas
GRADE 11 - DRAMA - Connect and expand
GRADE 12 - DRAMA - Explore and Create
Develop and refine performance skills in a variety of contexts
Improvise and take creative risks using imagination, exploration, and inquiry
GRADE 12 - DRAMA - Connect and expand
Grades 9 & 10 - Foundations - Responsible Practices
C.3.2 - identify and apply the skills and attitudes needed to perform various tasks and responsibilities in producing drama works (e.g., use active listening and cooperative problem-solving skills; practise punctuality; use tact in suggesting changes and improvements; demonstrate willingness to accept criticism and build consensus)
C.3.3 - demonstrate an understanding of theatre and audience etiquette, in both classroom and formal performance contexts (e.g., as a performer: show willingness to take direction and behave appropriately towards other actors; as a viewer: demonstrate respect for performers and other audience members by paying attention, not interrupting or talking, and applauding when appropriate)
Grades 9 & 10 - Reflecting, Responding and Analyzing - Connections Beyond the Classroom
B.3.1 - identify and describe skills, attitudes, and strategies they used in collaborative drama activities (e.g., brainstorming, active listening, and cooperative problem-solving skills; strategies for sharing responsibility through collaborative team roles)
B.3.2 - identify skills they have developed through drama activities and explain how they can be useful in work and other social contexts (e.g., explain in a journal how their brainstorming and negotiation skills support teamwork in a variety of contexts)
Grades 9 & 10 - Reflecting, Responding and Analyzing - Drama and Society
B.2.2 - explain how dramatic exploration helps develop awareness of different roles and identities people have in society (e.g., explain what they learned through role playing characters from different socio-economic groups)
Grades 9 & 10 - Creating and Presenting - Presentation Techniques & Technologies
A.3.2 - use a variety of voice and movement techniques to support the creation of character or atmosphere during rehearsal (e.g., use voice and movement to suggest an airport, circus, or factory environment)
Grades 9 & 10 - Creating and Presenting - The Creative Process
A.1.3 - use role play and characterization to explore personal and social issues (e.g., with a partner, create or assume a role that explores an issue such as bullying; create a scenario that reveals details about a character’s motivation)