CAMP IMPROV UTOPIA East
September 8 - September 11 (Fri - Mon) 2017
Stroudsburg, PA at Camp Trout Lake
Our annual camp is a 4 day, 3 night retreat for adults 18 and over and takes place at Camp Trout Lake, hidden away in the beautiful Pocono Mountains near Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. Improvisers from all over the world come together and learn improv from nationally renowned teachers. This three-night camping experience includes improv workshops from top instructors, camp activities like archery, lake swimming and kayaking. Your accommodations are great too with cabin camping with private showers and bathrooms, all your meals and much more. Camp is a relaxed environment to learn while experiencing camaraderie, community and nature.
SOLD OUT FOR 2017
CAMP TUITION INCLUDES
Tuition is All-Inclusive! You get:
- Workshops: 10 hours of workshops from master improv teachers! Performances: Improv jams and shows with your cabinmates!
- Camp Activities: Archery, kayaking, swimming, campfires, volleyball, basketball and so much more!
- Lodging: Shared cabins with private bathrooms, showers and electricity.
- Food: All meals are included and prepared by professional kitchen staff. Special dietary and allergy-friendly meals are available, too!
- Improv Summit: An opportunity to ask our expert panel any questions regarding improv, business, legal, marketing and more!
- Community: Meet improvisors from all over the world... community and camaraderie in nature!
Workshop: Game On!
with Armando Diaz
What is the game in the scene? Does that question baffle and confuse you? Does it strike fear and dread into your heart? Does it put you in your head or does it mean absolutely nothing to you? In this class we will work on understanding what, "The Game" is and how to really play it.
Armando is widely regarded as one of the best improv teachers in New
York City and beyond. His list of teaching credits is a long one: the
ImprovOlympic Theater, Victory Gardens Theater, The Upright Citizens
Brigade Theater, NYU and Michael Howard Studios. He has trained dozens of actors who have performed or written for Saturday Night Live, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Mad TV, and The Daily Show.
A Chicago native, Armando studied improv under Del Close at the
ImprovOlympic, Mick Napier at the Annoyance, and graduated from the Second City Conservatory. He performed in and helped create one of the most popular improvised longforms in Chicago, "The Armando Diaz Experience...." For the last decade, "the Armando" has been performed weekly in Chicago, and is now taught and performed in many other cities including Los Angeles and New York.
with Carla Cackowski
This workshop explores how characters build a relationship together onstage. Looking at your scene partner and deciding right away that they’re the most important person in your character’s life is a great place to start from when thinking about relationship in improvisation. We’ll focus on making quick, specific choices about how well you know the other person so the audience understands why these characters are onstage together. We’ll run exercises on how to avoid talking about what you’re doing and focus on how you’re feeling so you’re able to sustain a scene based purely on the idea of how the characters feel about each other. We’ll also focus on the idea of different “types” of relationship scenes and how to follow your instincts to discover the dynamics of these relationships in a grounded way.
Carla Cackowski is an improviser, actor, writer, teacher, podcaster, and nap-lover. She toured all over Europe, Alaska, and the Caribbean performing sketch comedy and improv with The Second City. She currently teaches improvisation and directs sketch shows at Second City Hollywood. Carla is also a solo performance artist, having written and performed five solo shows that were produced in Los Angeles. She directs other people's solo shows too. She is a member of SAG-AFTRA and has done voiceover work on shows for ABC Family, TBS, and Disney. Her comedic monologues have been published in anthologies by APPLAUSE BOOKS. She is the host of "Improv Yak", a shop-talk podcast about improv comedy. She is also featured regularly on Craig Cackowski's podcast, "Craig's List", and occasionally on Paul F. Tompkin's podcast, "Spontaneanation". Most recently, Carla has written for sketch shows on PBS Kids and Dreamworks TV.
with Hannah Chase
At the heart of most good improv we find two or more characters affecting each other emotionally, be it in small subtle ways or larger more demonstrative ways. In this class, we'll explore tools and techniques to help us tap into the emotional lives of our characters. We'll flex our emotional muscles and push beyond our comfort zones to explore new ways of expressing emotion and connecting with each other in scenes. You'll leave this class with an arsenal of tools at your disposal, ready to tackle any emotion that comes up in a scene with comfort, depth, and honesty.
Hannah Chase is an instructor, director, and performer at the Magnet Theater in New York City. Since she first discovered improv in 2002, she has been lucky enough to study and work with some truly fantastic teachers from New York, LA, Chicago, and in between. Hannah has taught at festivals and theaters across the country and in Canada, and she performs weekly in New York with her long-running Magnet team, The Music Industry. She also created and directs the weekly show The Cast, which was described as "one of the most exciting improv shows in New York City.... the perfect show for comedy and theater fans alike" by Elise Czajkowski, comedy journalist for the New York Times.
Why is Improv So Damn Hard? - Simplify it!
with Rick Andrews
Rick Andrews is a teacher and performer at The Magnet Theater, and has been studying, performing, and teaching improvisation since 1999. He began improvising with Improv Boston, and continued with a stint in Saint Louis, MO. He has been fortunate to learn from many improv greats, including Armando Diaz, Ed Herbstman, Joe Bill, Mark Sutton, Amy Poehler, Ian Roberts, Will Luera, Jill Bernard, and more.
Rick has taught workshops at improv festivals across the country, including the Boston Improv Festival, Baltimore Improv Festival, Black Box Atlanta, and many more. He has taught improvisation to people as old as 75 and as young as 6, and has done workshops for production companies and zoos alike.
He enjoys running, putting words on pages, thinking about the brain, and he loves improv more than anything.
Two is All You Need
with Justin & Kelly
All improvisers are welcome: these are skills and techniques that can be used in any improv context.
Duo improv can be hard. We’re here to help make it easier! In this workshop, Kelly Buttermore and Justin Peters will share their own methods for creating memorable and hilarious two-person shows. You’ll learn tips and techniques for meaningfully connecting with your partner from the start; for identifying and maximizing your scenic choices; for discovering information together rather than inventing it individually; and for using the environment to build and heighten your relationships.
About Justin & Kelly
Kelly Buttermore and Justin Peters are two of America's foremost independent improvisers. As the duo From Justin to Kelly, they spend most of their time on tour, performing and teaching at theaters and festivals around the country; over the past two years, they have given over 100 shows and workshops in 22 different states. Their signature form is the Walter, a minimalistic monoscene that emphasizes silence, eye contact, and total commitment to the moment. Off stage, they promote a DIY ethos that encourages improvisers to find their own voices and own their own work. They are based in New York City, where they are the founders of Countdown Theater, a roaming pop-up improv collaborative. With Glassworks, they are the organizers of the Basement Improv Summit. They spend a lot of time in the car, talking about the radio.
with Josh Nicols
Josh is the Artistic Director/ Co-Owner of Spectacles Improv Engine in Fullerton Ca. He is the director of The Orange County Improv Festival and founder and former director of the The Improv Cup. He has been performing improv for 24 years and coaching/teaching for a decade. Josh seeks out opportunities to learn from improv's greatest luminaries. He has studied under instructors from iO West & Chicago, The Annoyance Theater, Groundlings, Second City & The Pack Theater. Josh is the creator of Spectacles Improv Engine's unique focus based curriculum. He has performed and taught around the country with a concentration on organic, in-the-moment improvisation which can help build confidence on stage and off.
Let's Play (Agreeing to the Group Game)
with Jacque Arend
Organic group games can be intimidating. It is a process of writing the rules as you go. How to you get an entire group to agree to the rules in the moment? This class will strengthen your tools of support, active listening, matching, pattern-making and heightening to help you turn any choice into a game. We'll focus on simple choices and small steps so that organic group games feel like play and not work.
Jacque Arend started improvising in 2005. Her first dose of education came from IO Chicago's summer intensive. She has been consistently performing and instructing since 2007 when she co-founded The Torch Theatre. She teaches several levels within the Torch Program as well as workshops and electives.
Her strengths are in advance formats, grounded scenework, specifics and ensemble games. Jacque is an active coach for teams and performers. She instructs the improv/comedy department at Arizona Actors Academy. Jacque was a founding member of three current Torch house teams; Mail Order Bride, Light Rail Pirates and JaxN Reed. She also performs regularly with MuChuChu, Skewed News Hour and The Torch Theatre's flagship show The Neighborhood. Jacque has played on main stage of the Phoenix Improv Festival for the last ten years. Recently she has performed at the Los Angeles Improv Festival, Pittsburgh Comedy Festival, San Diego Improv Festival, Del Close Marathon and the 2016 District Improv Festival where she also taught her group games workshop.
Play with All The Things: Into To Theatrical Clowning
with Kristen Schier
Find out how to use yourself and everything around you as a vehicle for pure play, and spontaneous theater. In front of an audience we can sometimes close ourselves off. We prevent ourselves from following our joy. Daring to be seen by the audience at every moment, will, in turn, reveal a whole world available for play. Allowing yourself to be exposed will open you up to celebrating your own stupidity, interacting with the audience and taking more risks. This workshop is perfect for those interested in unlocking playfulness, becoming more aware of how they are perceived by an audience, and anyone interested in clowning or developing solo work.
For participants: Please wear dark colored clothing that you can move in, without patterns or logos. No flip flops or heels please. We will be looking at the way the body moves, so we don't want the eye drawn to or distracted by the clothing or the way you walk radically influenced by your footwear.
Kristen Schier is Philly Improv Theater’s Improv Producer, as well as an instructor at PHIT and a member of house team The Future. She is also Artistic Director of the Philly N Crowd, which performs weekly shows at The Actor’s Center. Before coming to PHIT she taught improv for Delaware Theater Company, Drexel University, and The Actor’s Center.
Kristen has a B.F.A. in Theater Arts from the University of the Arts and has been working in Philly as a professional actor, improviser and teacher for several years. She has worked with Commonwealth Classic Theater Company, Shakespeare in Clark Park, and Ego Po. She has appeared in many productions including the originally created Art of War, which received a Barrymore Nomination for Outstanding Ensemble.
Kristen has studied clowning intensively with Giovanni Fusetti and has studied improv at The Second City and at the Annoyance in Chicago and the Magnet Theater in NYC. She has taken workshops and classes with such improv notables as Michael Gelman, Jill Bernard, Armando Diaz, Asaf Ronen, Mick Napier, Susan Messing, Jonathan Pitts Joe Bill and Mark Sutton and members of the UCB Theater in New York City.
Playing Improvised Genre
with Nick Armstrong
The improviser will explore a different side of long-form improvisation. Genre. In this workshop, improvisers will find how to successfully play genre-style improv and learn how to create rich and unforgettable characters. Stage picture, characters and environment all come together to create what we want the audience to think is a scripted piece.
Nick is an Actor, Improvisor and Writer living in Los Angeles, CA. On TV Nick has been on the Emmy-Award winning shows The Office and Grey's Anatomy. He has also made appearances on Jimmy Kimmel Live, New Girl, Hot in Cleveland, Stan Against Evil and Parks and Recreation.
Nick has trained at The Groundlings and iO West. He is an alum of The Sunday Company at the Groundlings and currently performs at the world-famous iO West on LA's Critically Acclaimed Harold Team King Ten. Nick is currently the Artistic Director of Mi's Westside Comedy Theater and teaches and performs there. He has also taught improv at iO West, The Groundlings, NOW Improv, The Pack Theater and has done workshops all over the world.
Nick is also the Camp Director and Founder of Camp Improv Utopia a a 501(c) (3) Non Profit improv retreat for grown ups. He is also one of the founding members of the The Improv Network.
Camp is one of the best improv experiences that I could have had. To be in a place where everyone loves improv as much as you do is such a rush. The teachers are supportive and are invested in your learning. The view is awe striking and I always wanted seconds at meal times. You truly do make amazing friends and memories there.
Christina L - Los Angeles, CA