Most corporate clients, teachers and parents know why Improv is so much more than great entertainment, so if you are reading this you probably already know all the amazing things we can do with improv shows, classes, workshops, residencies, professional develop, team building etc etc etc
So this blog post is more to help you promote the idea to your bosses, PTA presidents and principals… But please read and educate yourself and others.
Scroll down to find
– CREATIVITY – COMMUNITY – LEADERSHIP
– CORE CURRICULUM in SCHOOLS
– OVERVIEW OF OUTREACH PROGRAMS
– A scientific case for why WE (ALL) NEED Laughter
CREATIVITY – COMMUNITY – LEADERSHIP
Our shows are the coolest way to inspire… (Creativity, Community and Leadership)
Our workshops are the coolest way to introduce…
Our residencies are the coolest way to develop…
Our Professional Development helps your staff build the future…
CREATIVITY Thinking & writing – students spend 12-20 years in classes learning literature. I was in honors Language arts classes all my life. Hated Shakespeare because of the way teacher presented such a dry, uninteresting take. Analyzing what authors meant etc. However, as an actor, I discovered the characters, learn to love the settings and lived the actions. In Improv we apply all of the techniques we read and talk about in Language arts. We create characters, settings and actions. We teach great story telling from a real interactive experience. We teach a new way to brainstorm that truly frees the mind of judgment and other walls. Students and labor teams return to day to day activities with a fresh take on life.
COMMUNITY I sit in on teacher conferences and professional development and I hear complaints of students that lack respect. Lack of Focus. Lack of Participation… Corporate Teams and the Teachers themselves often suffer the same problems. In our new world of pass the blame, things are only getting better. Our programs take on this issue head on…. Our workshops and residencies are all about working as a team to create stories and scenes. We stamp out diva behavior – showboating & even bully type activities – and break down walls of the most shy. We build the strength of a team that is focused on making other team mates look great. This requires focus, listening, eye contact and respect. Check out our study guide that even ties IMPROV into Anti-Bully Behavior. http://eightimprov.biz/antibullwordfind
LEADERSHIP These days finding a job and keeping it is no longer something we can take for granted. The ability to talk to and with others is one of the utmost valuable skills. Inteligence is great, but if you are unable to communicate great ideas you are useless to a team and better be an amazing computer programmer. Improv is the by far the most fun way to teach public speaking skills. Without worrying about memorizing or reading, we get right down to focusing on stage fright, projections, diction / annunciation, and focusing thoughts into presentation. We teach students the basics of smiling, eye contact and speaking clearly in every warm up exercise. In the corporate world every great team member is a potential leader. Every great leader is a great team member/follower. Check out our study guide focusing on basic presentation skills… http://eightimprov.biz/STAGE101
Don’t trust me on the subject. Below is possibly the best pitch ever made for our programs made by Lisa Palotti (Speech Teacher) to John Renner (Principal) from Summit School Queens following a day of shows and workshops. Since this email came to me 4 years ago, we have regularly returned to the Summit school including providing weekly classes every Fall for 15+ weeks.
“Here’s my report: OMG it was awesome! Truly one of the best activities I’ve ever seen take place here at Summit! We gave them a very large group of kids to work with, and they handled them wonderfully. The way that they related to the kids was terrific, and the activities they led worked on so many pragmatic language skills in SUCH an effective way, including increasing the kids’ awareness of their bodies in space, body proximity, eye contact, voice, and generally how others perceive them from their non-verbal cues. They also did word association and one-word stories that involved verbal expression and required kids to follow a story line. Almost all of the kids looked like they were having a fantastic time, and it was an activity where the shy kids could get to interact with others in a very structured (hence comfortable) way. At the end I spoke to the three members of the improv group and raved about how great they were and told them the specific ways that the activities helped our students. They asked me a number of questions, such as regarding how to handle various students’ behaviors, and we talked about upcoming activities.”
We believe, our programs – and similar programs – are the best course of action to fight Bully issues in schools. Both creating self confidence and community attack both the Bully and Victim behavior patterns. Insecurity and poor communication leads to animosity, fear and more…. The Bully Behavior most often is an overcompensation for the same reasons other become victims.
CORE CURRICULUM IN SCHOOLS
Our Improv Shows –disguised as modern comedies – introduce students to classic theater and music. The cast create original skits and songs based on audience suggestions and participation. No two shows are ever the same. We perform at many schools year after year. The students, teachers and parents equally love the entertainment. The break form the stress of the classroom refreshes all…
The shows, workshops and residencies all focus on story telling – creating original characters, scenes and action. Our methods are unequaled developing creativity. We take away the fear of creativity and public speaking. Through a series of theater games we submerge ourselves in otherwise dry academic topics. We teach students how to learn.
We have great study guides that tie in our messages of team to Anti-Bully themes. The workshops both serve to teach team skills that deter bully and other disrespectful behavior AND build self-respecting, self-confident individuals better equip to handle bully behavior from others. Even in our workshops for adults, we find fear of making eye contact and public speaking one of the biggest obstacles to success.
OVERVIEW OF OUTREACH PROGRAMS
In addition to being great a cultural arts experience, Improv shows, workshops and residencies are the coolest way to get students excited about and teach creativity (writing and thinking), community (communications, listening, focus, respect, eye contact), and leadership (public speaking, self-confidence).
Our cast presents original music and skits created on the spot based on audience suggestions and participation. The shows are so much fun, the students don’t even realize the valuable skills they are learning. Our study guides help teachers prepare students before and follow up with important concepts following the program.
30-120 minutes of fun playing team building and storytelling games that warm up the mind and body to create and work together. These workshops get the students on their feet developing exposition (WHO & WHERE) and rising action (WHAT) for original stories. Students are asked to project and speak clearly so the whole class can hear. YES AND is the main focus, supporting your teammates.
MASTERCLASS PART 1
MASTERCLASS PART 2
RESIDENCIES / Weekly Classes
Great afterschool, activity period, weekends OR as Unit within English Elective (Theater, Creative Writing, Film, etc). 10-20 hour programs prepare a group of students to perform their own show, diving much deeper into performing and creative concepts. Each session begins with warm-up and team activities. Students learn 5-10 classic games for performance. Students also share life stories that we develop into comedy monologues. Our teachers tie in everything we do to writing reports and other activities for classes.
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT for TEACHERS, MANAGERS, TEAM LEADERS
Our Improv Workshops for teachers serve a dual purpose. Team building for your staff AND providing teachers valuable tools to continue the work we begin. A team that enjoys working together gets things done! Many schools cannot afford teaching artists to work full time in the building. However, we can train your staff to teach these programs with our online support materials (which are TOTALLY FREE BY THE WAY). So for the price of one teaching artist for two hours, you can run your own weekly classes.
A Scientific Case for why We NEED Laughter
Humor and creativity work in similar ways, says humor guru William Fry, M.D., of Stanford University–by creating relationships between two disconnected items, you engage the whole brain.
This defines what we do in Improv every day!!!
When I was a kid, my grandfather introduced me to “Readers Digest: Laughter Is The Best Medicine.” While those stories/articles were not meant to be truly medical in purpose, turns out they were on to something big….
For years we – the cast and administration at EIGHT IS NEVER ENOUGH – were all about being the most fun a school ever had on a field trip or at an assembly. Or we just aimed to simply entertain at a Corporate Team Building event. Then in recent years, thanks to feedback from clients, teachers and parents, we realized we offered so much more, inspiring and teaching creativity, community and leadership. But now science tells us that perhaps our greatest gift to the students is the laughter!
This blog is designed for teachers and administrators of K-12 students. HOWEVER, the case can be made for college and corporate settings as well. While our shows, workshops and residencies are incredibly valuable for Team Building, Public Speaking, Performance Training, Writing, Leadership and so much more, the pure entertainment factor of the laughs we generate in every show – and participating in creating scenes during workshops and residencies – may be the of the highest value to all…
All of the following are clips from various medical websites and blogs reporting on the subject….
What can laughter do?
Here are just some benefits for mental, physical and social health
•Lower blood pressure
•Increase vascular blood flow and oxygenation of the blood
•Give a workout to the diaphragm and abdominal, respiratory, facial, leg, and back muscles
•Reduce certain stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline
•Increase the response of tumor- and disease-killing cells such as Gamma-interferon and T-cells
•Defend against respiratory infections–reducing the frequency of colds–by immunoglobulon in saliva.
•Increase memory and learning; in a study at Johns Hopkins University Medical School, humor
during instruction led to increased test scores
•Improve alertness, creativity, and memory
In children social play is critical to the development of social skills and emotional intelligence. Restricted play results in deficient social skills which can lead to life-long physical, mental, emotional and social problems. Laughter promotes childlike playful behavior. New research shows that playful adults continue to learn social skills and improve their emotional intelligence. Learning requires that one lower what linguists call the “affective barrier.” You can’t be uptight and learn much. You have to ease up and laugh to create.
For More Research on Benefits of Laughter Click These Links
Our program always begins with a show demonstrating the art of Improv Comedy, getting the entire student body and staff laughing together. Workshops and Master Classes teach the basics of Creativity, Community and Leadership. Residencies develop future leaders while preparing for a public performance with in depth discovery into creative writing and thinking, public speaking, self-confidence and more.