Our aim is to reach people who may not yet have thought about improvisation as a set of skills for life. Perhaps you’ve been impressed when watching comedy improvisation on stage or television.
Those performers are applying various principles and techniques in order to create spontaneous entertainment. They are collaborating in intricate team-work, with awesome creativity, while dealing moment-by-moment with the intense pressure of producing an end product of high-quality for their audience.
All those skills are useful in many settings beyond the stage or screen. And they are all teachable, step-by-step to anyone who is willing to learn. After all, our lives are for the most part unscripted. We all make up stuff as we go along. At the Academy we put a framework and vocabulary to those abilities, encouraging you to access more of your resources.
Our first job is to teach those skills. The focus is on how you can apply the skills for your personal and professional development.
We’ll be teaching in the tradition of Keith Johnstone and Viola Spolin. That means an experiential approach in which you learn in a safe environment. There’s clear explanations and purpose to every activity, with time for questioning, reflection and discussion. You don’t have to be funny, though the classes are almost always fun. We’re not training you to perform on stage, but to perform better in life.
Our vision says our classes ‘will be of the highest standard’, so we want the best faculty we can find. The first group of tutors are Paul Z Jackson, Neil Mullarkey and Lee Simpson.
You can read about our credentials elsewhere on the site.
We’re starting with an 8-part foundation course that gives you a good grounding in all the basics. Next year, we’ll be expanding the curriculum with more advanced and specialist classes and will be introducing more of the world’s top improvisation teachers.
As the academy develops, we’ll also be supporting research into the uses of improvisation, collecting data and developing case studies.
We are running public courses open to all – with both evening and weekend options.
If you’d prefer to bring sessions into your workplace for a group of colleagues, then give us a call. Whether the focus is on leadership, communications, teamwork, innovation or presentation skills, we’ll bring you workshops that will make an immediate positive difference.