Improv Classes for 2020-2021 Season
Fall 2020 Improv Classes:
Because this year is likely to hold some surprises, we are announcing only the fall classes at this time. It is our hope that we can hold them in person using small class sizes, distancing and masking. If students prefer virtual classes, or if we receive new directives from the state, we will move the classes online.
We're partnering with Rocket Improv to offer our Adults & Teens classes below!
A Note on Levels:
We've revised our class levels recently to reflect the growth and diversity of our students. We want to make sure that those who want to continue their improv education have the opportunity to study further in the program after their first session, or their second, or... you get the picture!
So rather than Levels 1 & 2, which imply that you are an expert at that level after a few short weeks and you need to move along, we're renaming our levels Beginner and Intermediate. This way you can return to more deeply explore these skills and gain experience in techniques that you only get a chance to sample in one session.
Feel free to decide where you'd like to be, or consult with your teacher to select the correct level for your personal growth.
Improv Comedy classes for Adults & Teens
Fall Class Beginner:
Date: Tuesdays, September 29 - November 10, 2020 (six weeks - no Election Day )
Time: 7:30-9:30 pm
LOCATION: Oakes Center, 120 Morris Avenue, Summit, NJ
Course fee: $210 for six classes
(Instructor: Laura Ekstrand)
Fall Class Intermediate:
Date: Saturdays, October 3 - November 21, 2020 (eight weeks)
Time: 11:00 am-1:00 pm
LOCATION: Oakes Center, 120 Morris Avenue, Summit, NJ
Course fee: $280 for eight classes
(Instructor: Lulu French)
IMPROV COMEDY for Adults & Teens
Beginner and Intermediate
Ever wanted to try improv comedy but never found the time? Dive into improv with our six-week Beginner improv class. This class may be taken as many times as you wish until you feel you've mastered the foundational skills of improv.
Are you ready for more complicated games with wilder challenges? And a public showcase at the end of the session? Then the Intermediate class is for you. Take this class as many times as you like to deepen and polish your improv skills.
All classes are taught by improv professionals Laura Ekstrand, Lulu French and Dave Maulbeck. Laura, Lulu and Dave are long-time members of Dreamcatcher’s popular improv troupe, The Flip Side. You’ll learn how to think on your feet by freeing your mind, body and imagination through group exercises and games in a safe and supportive atmosphere.
These classes delve deep into the craft of improv with more complex games as the weeks progress. Improv is great for new or prior students of improv and also for actors who want to add another dimension to their skills. Improv is a valuable skill for auditions and job interviews, too!
Please note: Because the class has both adult and teen students, it is most comfortable for older teens - but you know your child, so you can determine whether a mixed class is right for them!
If you’ve always been curious about improv, this is your chance!
No experience required to begin
Learn traditional improv games
Explore your own creativity in a supportive environment
Develop spontaneity and learn how to shed your inhibitions
Not just for actors, but for anyone who wants to develop these skills
For actors who want to try another angle on performing
Repeat any level to deepen your understanding and tighten your skills
Instructors • Improv
Laura Ekstrand was one of the founding members of Dreamcatcher's house team, The Flip Side (formerly Multiple Personality Disorder) in 2002. Laura is the Artistic Director and founder of Dreamcatcher Rep, where she has appeared in What Stays; Sister Play; Rapture, Blister Burn; Motherhood Out Loud; and Shakespeare in Vegas, among many others. New Jersey Theatre: Bickford Theatre, Passage Theater, 12 Miles West, The Theater Project, Luna Stage, and the Pushcart Players. New York Theatre: Naked Angels, Ensemble Studio Theatre, and New Georges. Film: Fat Ass Zombies; Split Ends, High Art and I Shot Andy Warhol. Television: Hack, Sex And The City, Law & Order, and The Guiding Light.
As a director: Dead and Buried, Every Brilliant Thing, The How and the Why, Things Being What They Are, Next Fall, Distracted, The Pursuit Of Happiness, Melancholy Play, Pride’s Crossing, Full Bloom and many others. Podcast directing: The Weirdness and Young Ben Franklin for Gen Z Media. As a playwright: What Stays (with Jason Szamreta), Whatever Will Be, The Neighborhood (Book and Lyrics; Music by Joe Zawila), Brink of Life (Book; Lyrics by Steve Harper; Music by Oliver Lake) and Astonishment, How to be Old: A Beginner’s Guide, and At Ninety-Three (Adaptations). Laura is a private monologue and public speaking coach and holds a BA from Yale University and an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. Laura is a member of AEA, SAG-AFTRA and the Dramatists Guild.
Lulu French first took improv classes at Gotham City Improv two decades ago and has been improvising ever since. In addition to being a graduate of GCI, she has also studied improv under Amy Poehler, Matt Walsh, and Matt Besser — original members of the Upright Citizens Brigade, Armando Diaz — founder of the Magnet Theater, various Second City alumni such as Todd Stashwick (12 Monkeys), and improv masters Michael Gellman, Dave Razowsky, and Aretha Sills. She has appeared in numerous improv performances in NYC improv theaters such as Gotham City Improv, the Magnet Theater, and Upright Citizens Brigade.
Lulu has been teaching improv since 2000 and has had the privilege to teach for organizations such as Gotham City Improv, The Queens Theater in the Park, Arts Horizons, The Theater Project, The South Orange Maplewood Adult School, IN Studios, Beyond the Bell, and Dreamcatcher Rep in addition to teaching corporate improv workshops for companies such as Pfizer, Novartis and AstraZeneca. She can currently be seen improvising in Dreamcatchers Rep's twice yearly improv show, Multiple Personality Disorder and with Gary Austin's the Classroom at the People's Improv Theater in NYC.
Dave Maulbeck is an entertainment artist and member of the Screen Actors Guild and he recently relocated back to New York City after a multi-year stint in Los Angeles. He has starred in several commercials, including the Super Bowl Ad - Groundhog Day, for truTV, and as the Polish Polisher for Burger King. With film credits including the evil Dr. Wily in Megaman, and the main character Dracula Goes to Camp, Dave is no stranger to the screen. In 2007 Dave co-founded Chicken Scoop Productions where he executive produced several spec pilots, music videos, and web series. More recently he has been developing animation projects with BEHIND the BAG! Productions, where he is co-creator and illustrator of The Kinetix, a comic book series featuring high school superheroes whose powers derive from their respective disabilities, which recently reached full funding on Kickstarter.