Contact me if you're interested in having me teach a workshop in your city, college, theater or festival. This is my workshop menu. I can also tailor these for a particular group, or coach your group. If you're interested in something that is not on the list, let me know that too.
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We are taught to avoid conflict in improv yet in fiction, playwriting, screenwriting, conflict is an essential part of storytelling. This workshop embraces the inevitability of conflict, and gives you frameworks and tools to more reliably improvise productive conflict that heightens dramatic tension. It will be the most fun you’ll have fighting with someone.
Optimal Class Size: Up to 14 (2 or 3 hours) | Basic scenework skill required
A lot of improv training is dedicated to the holy two-person scene. But often we find ourselves in three to eight person scenes! Do you panic when you hear, “Everybody get in here!”? This workshop presents tools to make strong choices in group scenes then delight in discovering how to use those choices to support the scene’s evolving singular focus. I will focus on group scenes (over group games), so these skills will translate easily to Harold, the Onion, or Helga’s Zany Made Up Long Form!
Optimal Class Size: Up to 16 (3 hours) | Basic scenework skill required
Del Close preached treating our fellow players like “poets and geniuses,” yet many improvisers struggle to treat their scene partners OR themselves that way. Many of our choices, when we really examine them, come from a place of judgement– we judge the scene we’re entering, our teammates, or our own choices. This workshop shares techniques to identify and break the pattern of judgement, and instead play the hell out of whatever scene you’re in. Optimal Class Size: Up to 14 (2 or 3 hours) | Basic scenework skill required
Audiences love to see sympathetic characters–characters that they can relate to, see themselves in, and who grow over the course of a scene or a longer piece. As improvisers, we often get attached to our characters or invent so fancifully that these qualities can be hard to deliver. This workshop focuses on pushing past the defense mechanisms of actors to deliver on powerful character choices that allow you to open up, care for and be affected by your scene partner in a way that brings the audience to the edge of their seats. Optimal Class Size: Up to 14 (2 or 3 hours) | Basic scenework skill required
Monoscene is a form that takes place in real-time a single location. This workshop will familiarize you with the form as well as how to use it to push players to make bold choices, to move scenes toward action, and revel in the consequences of those actions. By doing this repeatedly, we will deepen characters and build tension–a recipe for satisfying comedy! Optimal Class Size: Up to 14 (3 hours) | Basic scenework skills preferred
Many improvisers first find their joy on stage in a duo. For twenty minutes, there’s just you and your partner–no one to save you (or screw with your scene!). This workshop explores ways to build the connection and vulnerability that are foundational for two-person work, and provides an opportunity to get feedback on your duo set. You can sign up as a duo or individual to be paired up. Solos or trios may also be created. Optimal Class Size: Up to 12 (3 hours) | Basic scenework skills required
The body and voice are the actor’s instrument. Flexing these muscles can allow improvisers to push their fun limits while doing a lot less work on stage. Through a series of acting exercises exploring topics like actions and tactics, intentional movement and viewpoints, we will explore how basic theatrical tools and terminology can expand the look and feel of your improv.
Optimal Class Size: Up to 12 (2 hours); up to 14 (3 hours) | Some improv experience
If you think shortform is easy, hacky, or gimmicky, you may be confusing the medium with the message. Discover the art of shortform as a framework to create performance games that challenge and inspire you and your group. Learn how to string these games together into a fully engaging performance including a killer setlist, hosting and audience interaction.
Optimal Class Size: Up to 14 (3 hours), ideally with a performance | Some shortform experience preferred
YETI (Yourself Eyes Tension Information) is a method of approaching scenework that moves you out of a thinky space and into an intuitive space. Built on skills that people use everyday, YETI will push you to get in and stay in the moment, discovering fascinating and deeply funny scenes quickly and naturally. Borrowing from ViewPoints, Meisner technique, The New Movement, and over 15 years of improv experience, this approach will appeal to beginners and experts who want a more grounded theatrical experience on stage.
Optimal Class Size: Up to 16 (3 hours) | Beginner and experienced players welcome
Brian Gray hails from the burgeoning comedy metropolis of Pittsburgh, PA where he has been improvising since 2002. Brian performs with Irony City Improv, Iguanatron, and the Arcade Comedy Theater house team Kill Screen. He designed and teaches Duo Improv and Improv Pop-Up Night, a monthly beginner drop-in, at Arcade Comedy Theater as well as The Softer Side of Software, a soft skills class that uses applied improv at Carnegie Mellon University, and he has taught workshops in Austin, New Orleans, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. He hosts Talking Shop: an Improv Podcast and is the Community Programming Director of the Pittsburgh Comedy Festival. brianmgray.com.