We have some of the coolest destination field trips with a high educational value in New York City. Our shows and workshops deliver fast paced Improv comedy that teach Cultural Arts, Language Arts and Character Building. And we teach students how to be better students with valuable training in Creativity (writing and thinking), Community (Listening, team, respect) and Leadership (Public Speaking, Eye Contact, Focus, Self Confidence, Self Respect).
In 2014 alone we presented over 600 show to K-12 audiences at our theater and touring nation wide. And student groups are not just from New York area field trips. We have groups from around the world stopping via numerous student travel organizations.
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Send us group name, your contact info, size of group and we will return a quote for your trip.
Scroll below to find these sections
OUT REACH OVERVIEW
WHY IMPROV COMEDY
OUTREACH PROGRAM HISTORY
MOST POPULAR – SHOW & WORKSHOP option for $15pp
2-3 hours as per your scheduling includes 60-minute show, 60-minute workshop and additional time (as your schedule permits) for lunch and Q&A.
Hosted at our Times Square theater, our basic 90-minute program includes a 60-minute show and if your time permits a Q&A session with the artists and time to eat a brown bagged lunch. Our theater can hold up to 200 people. Our smaller theater up to 70. During the busy seasons we often run 2-4 shows/day for student groups. In 2014 we presented 600+ shows for Student/Family audiences. We host private groups 7 days/week before 5pm. Evening shows require additional $5pp premium to all rates for public shows. Private events require
FOR SMALLER GROUPS we can add you to another group or host at one of our public shows. Public shows are very popular for smaller groups from Boy / Girl Scouts, Theater clubs, community / leadership programs. For groups under 20pp $15pp includes a soda at public shows (These shows require public purchase a 1-drink minimum per guest)
FREE CHAPERON admission per every 10 students. Let our booker know if you have special needs that require additional chaperons and we can make some concessions.
STUDY GUIDES – Print these out prior to attending show. Review before and after presentations to maximize educational impact.
We always recommend pairing with a show. But for smaller groups we can do a workshop by itself. Students play warm – up, technique and performance games. the focus is public speaking skills story telling and team. Students work together to create original stories and scenes. We try to keep class size down so we provide a teacher for every 20-30 students.
With younger students we focus on listening and following directions. We impress the importance of eye contact and respect.
For grades 3 and up we start to focus on public speaking and more advance story telling techniques. We have heard stories from students and teachers that, having completed our basic workshops – students have been inspired to start their own clubs and teams at school, furthering their development. Many teachers have reported using our games in class to teach literature and even role play historical figures or just wake up and get ready to learn.
LUNCH OPTIONS – no tax for non-profit groups. Other groups there is a NYC State sales tax added to the following. All rates include service fees.
FREE – Brown bag it – Most groups choose to have students provide their own lunches. This keeps the costs down and we allow the students to eat int he theater. If we provide food we cannot allow any outside food so other options below are all or none. Many groups, especially Kosher or other special dietary needs, will opt to provide lunch for the students. There are many pizza (including Kosher), fast food and deli’s in area, or schools often bring coolers with them.
$10pp PIZZA PARTY includes pizza, beverage and service MOST
$20pp GOURMET DELI PLATTERS – popular option for corporate luncheons, family events, birthday parties and theater groups looking for a fancier option, includes platters of gourmet wraps, salads, chips and cookies from local deli. Includes beverage and service fees.
When we first performing in 2002, education was the farthest from our vision. But ever since 2003, when Farmington, CT school asked us to perform for their four K-5 schools, we have realized and developed the educational program that exists today. Our entire program is built upon working with schools for the past 12 years, constantly upgrading the program based on teacher and administration feedback. Since 2003 we have performed well over 4000 shows for K-12 audiences via out Times Square theater and touring nationwide.
Our Improv Shows –disguised as modern comedies – introduce students to classic theater and music. Shows open with a mock Madrigal and close with a Jazzy & Rocking blues number. Depending on time we also include Jigs, Opera and Spoken Word. The entire show is theater and we include classic literature, Shakespeare and more. The cast creates original skits and songs based on audience suggestions and participation, bringing classic and original characters to life. But disguised as “comedy” we reach a far greater audience than the traditional “theater” or “music” presentations.
Beyond the education, students, teachers and parents equally love the entertainment. The break from the stress of the classroom refreshes all. SEE “WHY IMPROV” SECTION BELOW
The shows, workshops and residencies all focus on story telling – creating original characters, scenes and action. Even as a young honors student I hated “analyzing” literature (books or plays) until I studied Shakespeare as an actor. All of the sudden, the WHY became important to me. Similarly we address elements of plot and story from a practical application. We awaken imaginations, teach how to brainstorm, require good grammar and speech. And we teach simple warm-up, technique and performance games that can be recreated in the your class rooms. Now, in regular English Language Arts classes understanding an author’s intent is less of an academic exercise and more of a fun self-enrichment that students welcome.
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. It is our contention that most “character” issues stem from insecurity. Building self confidence and self respect both work to reduce behaviors of bullies and victims. As a result we build a strong community. And in our longer programs/residencies, we build leaders.
OVERVIEW OF OUTREACH PROGRAMS
Our shows are the coolest way to inspire…
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 – CUMMUNITY – LEADERSHIP
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 (team, communications, listening, respect), and leadership (public speaking, self-confidence, self respect, eye contact, focus).
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.
45-60 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.
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
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! We presented a workshop years ago at Preparatory Academy for Writers in Springfield Gardens. At a luncheon after the workshops, the principal pulled us aside and said, “See those two. They hated each other. now, after your two hour workshop, they are talking about how to fix some problems we have had for years. Well done!”
At our advanced workshops for teachers (please always start with basic program) we role play many issues facing teachers including relations with students, parents, admin and other teachers. We are the ice breakers and start the conversation. Similar to our corporate team building and communications workshops – which we have presented to Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan,. Johnson & Johnson and 100’s others – staff meetings following our presentation will be your most productive.
WHY IMPROV COMEDY
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 weekly classes year round.
“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.”
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.
OUTREACH PROGRAM HISTORY
EIGHT IS NEVER ENOUGH played its first show in 2002. At that time the show focused on sketch and music with a touch of Improv mixed in to add interactive element. When Farmington, CT schools called in 2003, working “clean” was not our focus – never mind educational intent. But being a new troupe hungry for gigs we said “OF COURSE.”
Soon after, we realized a niche under served by New York theater – quality family friendly affordable shows. There was Disney on Broadway, and “kids” theater comprised mostly of puppets, magic and horrible “original” versions of fairy tales which bored teens and parents. With rare exception, there was nothing fun the entire family could sit through.
So starting in 2005, the troupe was 90% focused on clean comedy for families and corporate crowds. Immediately schools, camps and other non-profits loved the new option. As a niche show, groups found us online. And we grew quickly thanks to word of mouth and social media. We never really advertised or marketed the shows. And every year we have grown exponentially as groups return. Now we go to schools and students say “I saw you at my summer camp” and vice versa. But that’s OK as no two shows are ever the same, and student, scared to participate prior, now lead their groups in the interactions.
After the 2008 economic crash, we suffered a slight decline, but we were still the relatively new kid on the block. We reduced our prices slightly to help our regulars and new clients continue to enjoy our services. But our field trip base rates ($10-25pp for show, workshop and or lunch) have not changed in 12 years. Most other groups need to raise rates to cover growing over head, but improv has little to no overhead, and our successful grass roots / “word-of-mouth” model add no marketing overhead, which allows us to continue to pass on those savings to you.
In 2009, the Comedy Hall of Fame named Walt Frasier – Artistic Director of NEW YORK IMPROV THEATER (AKA Eight IS Never Enough, LMAO, Improv 4 Kids / teens) as Director of Instruction. Mr Frasier developed a series of programs for New York City Schools including classes where student received fine arts or English elective graduation credits. Mr. Frasier has since stepped away to focus on this growing program, but our teachers still run those programs in school and after school.
Now as schools cut out the arts more and more from their curriculum, principals, teachers, and parents realize the importance of a program like ours – a program that reaches far beyond the circle of “theater kids” to deliver invaluable skills you cannot learn in the new TEST-TAKING focused educational system.