Gary Schwartz workshops in Sydney, June 2016

This workshop has now finished.

Gary Schwartz is coming to Sydney in June 2016 for two very special and unique workshops exploring the methods and work of Viola Spolin, who is often called the mother of improvisation. Gary began working with Spolin in 1977, is one of the few remaining people who have worked extensively with her, and is the only teacher endorsed by both Viola Spolin, and her son Paul Sills, founder of the legendary Compass Players and The Second City.

Viola Spolin’s work is often greatly misunderstood as just a bunch of theatre games, so Gary has developed for us an initial 3 hour workshop covering the core principles, techniques and methods of Viola Spolin’s work, followed by a full weekend intensive for those who wish to continue exploring her work in more detail.

  1. Spontaneity & Transformation: Exploring the work of Viola Spolin
    Where: TBC, Alexandria
    When: 7pm, Friday 24 June 2016 (3 hours)
    Cost: $70 INC GST
  2. Excursions into the Intuitive: Further Exploration of the Spolin approach to Improvising
    This workshop follows on from the Spontaneity & Transformation workshop above, which is included in the cost of this workshop.
    Where: TBC, Alexandria & Newtown
    When: 9am-12pm, 1pm-4pm, Saturday 25 June and 10am-1pm, 2pm-5pm, Sunday 26 June 2016 (12 hours)
    Cost: $350 INC GST (cost includes Friday night workshop)

Apply for these workshops at the bottom of this page!

Viola Spolin’s work includes her ground breaking 1963 book Improvisation for the Theater, and many other books on acting, directing and improvisation over the following 30 years. If you’re an actor or improvisor, then you would have used her exercises in acting, improv or team building workshops or played her games on stage or with Theatresports. She made a huge contribution to acting and directing techniques that are used and taught in most acting schools around the world, and many schools even have curriculums based purely on her teachings.

These workshops are a once in a lifetime opportunity to work with the next best thing to Viola Spolin herself, along with Gary’s unique take on his almost 40 years of Spolin training. They will include work on spontaneity, awareness, transformation, point of focus, freeing tension, dealing with subjective preconceptions, relationship, character, concentration, being in the moment and more.

Both workshops are for all levels of experience, from no improvisation experience through to veteran players.

About Gary Schwartz

Gary Schwartz is an award winning TV and film actor, director, and a master improvisational acting coach. His coaching work has helped transform the lives of many, both on and off screen. His long association with Viola Spolin, led to Gary co–founding The Spolin Players in 1988. The group still performs to this day. The Spolin Players were winners 1989 DramaLogue Award for best ensemble and the L.A. Times called their work “brilliant and exhilarating” and “improv as pure and unpredictable as you’ll find.”

He’s a successful long time director and actor of both scripted and improvised works, with performances in the Oscar award winning film Quest for Fire, and 65 episodes of the Emmy winning TV series Zoobilee Zoo. As a voice actor, Gary has worked with directors Robert Redford, Barbra Streisand, Tim Burton, Kenneth Brannagh and many others, as well as voicing hundreds of video games, TV series’ and film.

Gary maintains Spolin Games Online a free internet video library of Spolin’s exercises, a resource for teachers, players and students. Gary’s acting career is detailed on IMDB, and his full bio can be found on his website.

Applying for the workshops

To apply for Spontaneity & Transformation, we require the full $70 INC GST to be paid in order to reserve your place. For Excursions into the Intuitive, we require an initial $70 INC GST deposit to reserve your place, with the remaining $280 INC GST to be paid by 1 June 2016 or your reservation will be cancelled.

To apply for these workshops complete this form and we'll respond usually within 24 hours regarding your enrolment.

Your Name (required)

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 Introduction (3 hours, $70) Intensive (Introduction + 12 hours, $350)

If you wish to add a message or special discount code regarding your application, then include it here

Sketch foundations

COURSE: Sketch foundations
WHEN: 6:30-9:30pm, Mondays 2, 9, (no 16), 23, 30 Nov, 7, 14 Dec 2015
COST: $199 INC GST
LOCATION: Inner west, Sydney, Australia
TEACHER: Tony Starr

Hone your sketch comedy writing skills! This 6 week program is designed for writers, actors and improvisors of all experience levels.

Learn basic scene structure, character development, establish action, and learn the styles and genres of comedy. Weekly writing assignments and in-class exercises generate material and establish a regular writing schedule. We’ll create a writer’s room, brainstorm ideas, create environment, write dialogue, work with story, write for the stage, and more.

This course lays the foundation for writing comic scenes in the Chicago style of sketch writing. No previous experience is necessary, but experienced writers and performers will still get a lot out of this course.

The program is lead by Tony Starr, a writer and improvisor who specialises in both written and improvised sketch, having trained in the Conservatory at Second City and UCB. He has spent many years in the L.A. sketch community and has been featured on Funny or Die, and written for iO West’s “Top Story Weekly”, The Second City’s “Second City This Week”, The Second City Show “Pretty in Pink Slips”, and video sketch team, Sketch Federation.

To apply for the program Sketch foundations, complete this form and we'll respond usually within 24 hours regarding your enrolment.

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

If you wish to add a message regarding your application, then include it here

Sketching writing and development

This workshop is now full, however we will be running another, so please contact us if you’re interested.

COURSE: Sketch writing and development
WHEN: 6:30-9:30pm, Monday 7 September 2015
COST: $30 INC GST
LOCATION: Inner west, Sydney, Australia
TEACHER: Tony Starr

The first of it’s kind in Sydney, in this workshop you’ll learn how to develop sketches in the Chicago style, from improvised scenes to the written page. Learn traditional sketch formats such as “Center and Eccentrics”, “Clash of Context” and “Inappropriate Response” along with premise generation tools to help get the juices flowing to create, define, develop and script complete sketches. In addition to the fundamental core concepts, we’ll explore finding the game of the scene, heightening, finding bits, fleshing out character, and writing for the stage.

The workshop will lead by Tony Starr, a writer and improvisor who specializes in both written and improvised sketch, having trained in the Conservatory at Second City and UCB. He has spent many years in the L.A. sketch community and has been featured on Funny or Die, and written for IO West’s “Top Story Weekly”, The Second City’s “Second City This Week”, The Second City Show “Pretty in Pink Slips”, and video sketch team, Sketch Federation.

Some formal improvisation training is preferred, but contact us if unsure.

To apply for the workshop Sketch writing and development, complete this form and we'll respond usually within 24 hours regarding your enrolment.

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

If you wish to add a message regarding your application, then include it here

David Razowsky improv workshops Sydney July 2015

Quick link to apply for these workshops through our contact form.

David Razowsky is doing a one off return to Sydney in July for 3 very special improvisation workshops. David is one of the top teachers of theatrical improvisation and acting, and is the most experienced Chicago improvisor ever to teach in Sydney. He had a huge impact on Sydney last year, with a number of groups forming around his work, and our long form community greatly improving in quality as a result of it.

For David’s return visit, we’re offering 3 unique inner west evening workshops.

  1. The Beat Goes on. How can two actors play a 40 minute show in one location? Playing scenes indefinitely, and how awareness and presentness keeps a scene intriguing, full, exciting and ongoing, even when you think it’s finished. — Tuesday 21 July 2015
  2. Shape/Gesture/Tempo: Viewpoints Elements in Action. Creating instant characters, dynamics, and scenes without adding anything but your awareness. David is a specialist in using Anne Bogart’s Viewpoints in improvisation. No previous Viewpoints experience is necessary. — Thursday 23 July 2015
  3. Group Scenes Reduced. Scenes of 3 or more characters have special traits beyond traditional 2 character scene work, and is very rarely taught in Sydney or in books on improvisation. This workshop breaks down the art of the 3 person scene, leading to stronger, challenging, surprising and easy long form scenes. — Friday 24 July 2015

Each workshop is 3 hours long, and is strictly limited to 16 people so you get more Dave time. (technically 15 though, because I’ve already bought mine)

The price is $70 INC GST per workshop. We’re also offering two special deals: 2 workshops for $120 INC GST, and all 3 workshops for $170 INC GST.

These will be the only workshops he’ll be doing, and the only opportunity to work with him while he’s here. They will fill very quickly.

If you want to come to these workshops, then apply through our contact form, or contact Richard Bennett directly. Minimum level of experience is roughly the first few levels of Impro Australia’s courses, or equivalent improvisation in acting experience, but David is pretty flexible. If you’ve done our Inside Long Form Improvisation course then you are uniquely positioned to get the most out of these workshops.

David Razowsky was Artistic Director of Second City LA for many years, and has worked as director, performer and in various consultancy roles with companies such as iO, Annoyance, Steppenwolf, Dreamworks, Whose Line Is It Anyway, and Amsterdam’s Boom Chicago. He was also a staff writer for The Simpsons Comic and The Simpsons Sunday, and of course directed and performed with the Second City main stage (with cast members including Steve Carrel, Stephen Colbert and Jeff Garlin) and Second City touring companies. He’s been called “the guru of improvisation, and an improvisor’s improvisor”, who connects mindfulness with improvisation’s core principals of being in the moment, taking care of your partner, and groundedness. Basically, he rocks, and his CV is way too long.

David Razowsky’s CV

Feel free to send this to anyone else who might be interested. But we recommend only after you’ve booked yourself in first!

Explore the Form: La Ronde – March/April 2015

COURSE: Explore the Form: La Ronde
WHEN: 7-9pm Tuesday evenings 17 March to 28 April 2015 (6 weeks, excluding Easter Tuesday)
COST: $195 INC GST
LOCATION: Inner west, Sydney, Australia
TEACHER: Pete Lead

Apply for this course

This 6 week course will develop your skills in creating characters and relationships with depth, initiating and heightening scenes, and will give you extensive experience experimenting with and performing the La Ronde form. Upon completion, you will have a thorough understanding of the format and will have developed the ability to play deeper and more complex character and relationship focused scenes.

Read more about this course

Inside Long Form Improvisation – Level 1 (Advanced) – Mar/Apr 2015

COURSE: Inside Long Form Improvisation – Level 1 (advanced)
WHEN: 7-10pm Monday evenings 2 March 2015 through 27 April (8 weeks, excluding Easter Monday 6 April)
COST: $245 INC GST
LOCATION: Inner west, Sydney, Australia
TEACHER: Richard Bennett

Apply for this course

This fun and information rich course covers an extensive range of material, and will provide actors and improvisors with a more grounded, holistic and actor based approach to long form improvisation than is taught anywhere else. It will forever change the way you look at improv, even if you’ve already been doing it for years.

Read more about this course

Inside Long Form Improvisation – Level 2 (Advanced) – August 2014

This workshop is now full.

This 8 week course focuses on advanced scenework for long form improv. You’ll learn how scenes work on the inside, what makes a good scene, how to discover a great scene in a bad one, and a bunch of acting and related skills you won’t learn in other workshops.

The class size is intentionallly small to allow many hours performing and exploring scenes and new techniques, and includes lots of personal feedback and coaching.

To apply for this course you must have either completed my Inside Long Form Improvisation Level 1 (Advanced), or have initially learnt to improvise in Chicago, L.A., New York or similar.

Course begins 26 August 2014 and runs for 3 hours each Tuesday evening at 7pm for 8 weeks, at a cost of $245 INC GST.

Note that The Harold will not be taught or performed in this course.

David Razowsky improv workshop Sydney 21 July 2014

This workshop is now full.

David Razowsky is one of the top teachers of theatrical improvisation and acting, and will be the most experienced Chicago improvisor ever to teach a workshop in Sydney. He was Artistic Director of Second City LA for many years, and has worked with iO, Steppenwolf, Dreamworks, Whose Line Is It Anyway, Amsterdam’s Boom Chicago, and of course Second City, amongst many others. He’s been called “the guru of improvisation, and an improvisor’s improvisor”, who connects the mindfulness of Buddhism with improvisation’s core principals of being in the moment, taking care of your partner, and groundedness.

David Razowsky’s CV

We are very lucky to have him for a single 3 hour workshop in Sydney on the evening of Monday 21 July 2014, as a quick stop over on his way back from Improvention. This unique workshop will focus on Dave’s passion for presence and groundedness, but will also be tailored to the Sydney improvisors who come to the workshop, so it won’t be the same as Improvention if you’re already booked into those.

The cost is $70 INC GST, and he’s limited the number of participants to 16 so you get more working with Dave time.

If you want to come to this workshop, then please send your interest through our contact form. Minimum level of experience is roughly the first few levels of Impro Australia’s courses, or equivalent improvisation in acting experience, but Dave tells us he’s very flexible. Whatever level you’re at, you will get something out of this course. Some knowledge of Chicago style preferred, but not required. If you’ve done our Inside Long Form Improvisation course then you are uniquely positioned to get the most out of Dave’s workshop.

Spaces will fill up very quickly, so act now or you will miss out. Dave only has time for one workshop before he flies back to the U.S., so this is it.

Feel free to send this to anyone else who might be interested. But we recommend only after you’ve booked yourself in first! 🙂