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ELECTIVES & WORKSHOPS

iO OFFERS A VARIETY OF UNIQUE WORKSHOPS THROUGHOUT THE YEAR

Kevin McDonald Sketch Workshop

Join Kevin McDonald of the Kids in the Hall for a one or two day workshop (it's up to you) to learn how to write sketches through improvisation - just like the Kids in the Hall used to do. Kevin will talk about the secrets of writing comedy sketches (hopefully they're secrets and not lies) and teach you the Kids in the Hall process of coming up with an idea and turning it into a sketch through improvisational rehearsal. You will be performing and writing (through improv) with Kevin supervising, all weekend. All you have to bring is pen and paper. If you decide to take the whole two days, you will also be in a show with Kevin on Sunday night. Kevin promises bathroom and lunch breaks and if you ask him, there's a good chance Kevin will tell stories about the Kids in the Hall. Lots of stories about the Kids in the Hall. You might actually have to ask him to shut up and stop telling stories about the Kids in the Hall. He's beside me now, telling stories about the Kids in the Hall. Shut up Kevin

When: Saturday February 9th and Sunday February 10th from 10am-5:30pm, You can register for Saturday only or both Saturday and Sunday. There will be two options posted on the registration site. Participants in both Saturday and Sunday will perform with Kevin McDonald Sunday, February 10th at 8pm in the Mission Theater.
Where: “Mission Theater” located on the first floor of the iO Theater.
How many: 30 student maximum

Saturday only $185.00. Saturday and Sunday: $255 (Participants in both days will perform on Sunday, February 10th at 8pm in the Mission Theater.
Instructors:

Kevin McDonald

Register Here

The Musical Improv Toolbox Intensive

The Musical Improv Toolbox is a 4 week intensive course for students already familiar with the basics of improvisation who are looking to expand their toolbox – by adding some music to the mix! Focusing on song structure, commitment to style, singing in character, creating memorable choruses and putting it all together into musical magic. We will experiment with both organic and narrative forms as well as touching upon many others!

With David Yontz as Musical Director

Stacey Smith is a loud Long Island who just relocated back to Chicago by way of Boston where she was the Comedy School Manager at ImprovBoston, in addition to a cast member in their Music Improv Cast and Mainstage cast. Stacey performs regularly at iO in both The Musical Armando and The Deltones. She also teaches in the A-E program, Youth & Teen Program and Wellness Program at The Second City in addition to teaching at international improv festivals. Stacey performed in many theatricals at The Second City, including Life Hacks, #DateMe and two cruise contracts on The Norwegian Breakaway. Stacey recently toured her solo musical improv show STACEJAM and taught musical improv in Bulgaria, Germany, Amsterdam, Greece, Belgium, Norway and Denmark. She is also the creator of the Chicago Musical Improv Festival. To find out more, check her out at www.staceysmithcomedy.com.

When: Sundays from 12-3pm from February 3rd - February 24th
Where: “Chris Farley Cabaret” located on the second floor of the iO Theater.
How many: 16 student maximum

$140.00
Instructors:

Stacey Smith

Register Here

Group Games Made Easy and FUN

Level up your Harold game play in this 3-week workshop that applies game design theory to improvised Group Games. You’ll gain experience building games on the fly and making them more interesting to watch and fun to play. Learn to utilize the simple structures that govern all games- from board games to video games- so you can quickly and easily “find the game” on stage. Get introduced to seven universal game types, and diversify your games! Go deeper than a regular class to strengthen your skills and discover more possibilities for the game slots. We’ll hit the basics, expand our possibilities, and work to breathe some artistry into Harold games. We’ll even play a few scenes... but mostly games.

Matt Higbee has twenty years experience performing and teaching improvisation. He has been a member of the iO roster since 2006, and has played on more than ten teams over the years. Most recently, he was on the cast of the long running house team, Chaos Theory. Matt is also the founder of The POOL, and a current Level 5 instructor. When not teaching and performing, Matt spends time working toward a computer science degree at Illinois Tech. Over the years, he has studied design thinking and game design theories and he believes that games are some of the most influential ways of connecting people to content.

Prerequisite: Completion of Level 4 of iO's Improv Program.

When: Saturdays from 12-3pm. 3 Class meetings: 1/19, 1/26, 2/2
Where: “3rd beat” located on the second floor of the iO Theater.
How many: 16 student maximum

$85.00
Instructors:

Matt Higbee

Register Here

Introductory Storytelling Workshop

In this well-rounded introductory storytelling class, we will discuss basic tenets of storytelling art, including the structure of stories, oral vs. written traditions, storytelling vs. live-lit scenes in Chicago, performative and emotional components in storytelling, the dynamics between storytellers and audience members, and the purpose of storytelling. Students will learn to construct and tell stories in this class.

Ada Cheng is a professor-turned storyteller and performing artist. She has been featured at storytelling shows in Chicago, Atlanta, Cedar Rapids, New York, Asheville, and Kansas City. She debuted her first solo show, Not Quite: Asian American by Law, Asian Woman by Desire, and performed it at the National Storytelling Conference, Capital Fringe Festival, Minnesota Fringe Festival, and Boulder Fringe Festival in 2017. She debuted her second solo show, Breaking Rules, Broken Hearts: Loving across Borders, with Fillet of Solo and performed it at both The Exit Theatre in San Francisco and the United Solo Theatre Festival in New York in 2018. She will be taking this solo performance to Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival in March this year. Ada is a speaker for Illinois Humanities 2019-2020 Road Scholars Speakers Bureau. She is also a teaching artist for Changing Worlds and an adjunct faculty member at Dominican University. She is the producer and the host of several storytelling shows, including Pour One Out: A Monthly Storytelling Series, Am I Man Enough?, and Talk Stories: Asian American/Asian Diaspora Storytelling Show. Her motto: Make your life the best story you tell.

Her websites: www.renegadeadacheng.com & www.storytellingjourneyadacheng.com.

When: Saturdays from 12-3pm from February 2nd - February 23rd
Where: “1st Beat Room” located on the second floor of the iO Theater.
How many: 12 student maximum

$180.00
Instructors:

Ada Cheng

Register Here

Advanced Level Storytelling Workshop: Narrative, Meanings, and Performance

This workshop is for people with some experiences in telling personal stories and for those who seek to strengthen their skills. In this advanced-level workshop, we will focus on major components in storytelling, including but not limited to narrative, meanings, performance, and the storytelling journey. During these four sessions, we will learn how to create stories through excavating personal histories as well as construct powerful and effective narratives consistent with our intended purposes and goals. We will explore the different meanings we attach to our stories as well as the relationships we would like to create with the audience. We will discuss processes through which we can strengthen our performance on stage. In addition to skill building, we will also explore the artistic journey and ask some fundamental questions about the art of the storytelling. That is, what is storytelling to you? How do you envision yourself as a storyteller? What impact do you want to exert with this art form? This workshop aims at helping you to tell personal stories and to speak your truths with power. Join me and embark on a different kind of storytelling journey.

Ada Cheng is a professor-turned storyteller and performing artist. She has been featured at storytelling shows in Chicago, Atlanta, Cedar Rapids, New York, Asheville, and Kansas City. She debuted her first solo show, Not Quite: Asian American by Law, Asian Woman by Desire, and performed it at the National Storytelling Conference, Capital Fringe Festival, Minnesota Fringe Festival, and Boulder Fringe Festival in 2017. She debuted her second solo show, Breaking Rules, Broken Hearts: Loving across Borders, with Fillet of Solo and performed it at both The Exit Theatre in San Francisco and the United Solo Theatre Festival in New York in 2018. She will be taking this solo performance to Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival in March this year. Ada is a speaker for Illinois Humanities 2019-2020 Road Scholars Speakers Bureau. She is also a teaching artist for Changing Worlds and an adjunct faculty member at Dominican University. She is the producer and the host of several storytelling shows, including Pour One Out: A Monthly Storytelling Series, Am I Man Enough?, and Talk Stories: Asian American/Asian Diaspora Storytelling Show. Her motto: Make your life the best story you tell.

Her websites: www.renegadeadacheng.com & www.storytellingjourneyadacheng.com.

When: Sundays from 12-3pm from February 3rd - February 24th
Where: “2nd Beat Room” located on the second floor of the iO Theater.
How many: 12 student maximum

$180.00
Instructors:

Ada Cheng

Register Here

A Little Bit Louder Now

As improvisors, our voice can be our secret weapon or, our achilles heal. You may have said something hilarious, but if the person at the back can’t hear or understand you then your brilliance may never be discovered! This vocal basics workshop is for the budding improvisor, as well as more seasoned improvisor who may just want a brush up on some vocal technique or explore their voice a little more. Whether you’ve gotten that dreaded note to “speak up” one too many times, or been told to try a different vocal affect, that you can’t be understood, or if you merely want to learn a vocal warm up to have at the ready, then this workshop is for you my friend! In our three hours you will:

- Leave with a fully developed vocal warm-up that will keep your voice safe,
heard and expressive
- Explore techniques to keep your voice clear and articulate on stage
- Play with developing different character voices through physicalisation and
sound

Please wear clothes you can move in (no jeans), think comfy clothes, and if you would like something to lay on the floor with (i.e. yoga mat, towel) please bring that as well.

Nikki Hartung is a comedian, voice over artist (Xenoblade Chronicals 2) and voice teacher (Identity School of Acting/iO/Privates). Originally from Florida’s forgotten capitol, Tallahassee, Nikki received her B.A. in Theatre Arts from the University of West Florida, where her interest in the voice first developed whilst studying how to do accents. She went on to receive her MA in Classical Acting at the Royal Central School of Speech & Drama in London, UK, where she learnt many different vocal techniques to free the voice, use it properly so as not to harm it, and how to develop a character through subtle vocal choices. Nikki feels very passionately that the voice is an underrated tool which performers sometimes overlook. She also feels very passionately that pasta cures all. She performs around Chicago regularly with Stable Manners and Lemon Heaven.

When: Saturday January, 26th from 1-4pm
Where: “2nd Floor Event Space” located on the second floor of the iO Theater.
How many: 16 student maximum

$40.00
Instructors:

Nikki Hartung

Register Here