Advanced Improvisation: The Game of the Scene (DRA4380.01)

Shawtane Bowen

Advanced Improvisation: GOTS is an in-depth study of improvised comedy scene work. The central theme of this course is finding and playing “Game.” In order to find a Game in a long form improvised scene, you typically need to be able to answer three questions:

  1. What is the situation?
  2. What is the first unusual thing?
  3. If this is true, then what else is true?

We’ll be building upon the basics learned in Theater Games and Improvisation (keeping things simple, listening, reacting, agreement, accepting offers, commitment, playing at the top of your intelligence, being specific) to help us find Game in both ‘premise-based’ and ‘organic’ scenes.

This course emphasizes character development through exercises and scene work, while introducing advanced improv theory and technique. You will be encouraged to make strong emotional and character choices. This course is fully in-person and has THREE class shows.


Learning Outcomes:
•Honing the ability to listen and react in real time.
•Develop comfort with moment to moment work and unknown consequences.
•Engender a sense of play through performance.
•Learn to collaborate in ensemble settings or with a partner.
•Begin to develop your comedic point of view a.k.a. "the comedic voice."


Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Prerequisites: Theater Games and Improvisation or equivalent improv experience. Permission of instructor upon receipt of a brief, 2 min. Video Statement of Interest [via YouTube link]. Video Statement of Interest: What is your interest in comedy/improv and what do you hope to gain by taking this course? Who's your favorite comedian and why? What would your first executive action be if you were President of Bennington College? Hilarious answers only, please. Send these BRIEF YouTube videos to me at: shawtanebowen@bennington.edu by May 10, 2024. Late submissions will not be accepted!
Corequisites: Completion of a Dance or Drama lab assignment is a requirement for this course.
Course Level: 4000-level
Credits: 4
M/Th 1:40PM - 3:30PM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 16
Course Frequency: Once a year

Categories: 4000 , All courses , Drama , Four Credit , Fully In-Person
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