COMT106 Introduction to Improvisational Performance

Department of The Arts: Performance Arts

I. Course Number and Title
COMT106 Introduction to Improvisational Performance
II. Number of Credits
3 credits
III. Number of Instructional Minutes
IV. Prerequisites
V. Other Pertinent Information
Unless otherwise excused for medical reasons, all students will take part in an end-of-the-semester public performance.
VI. Catalog Course Description
This course will develop the student's performance skills in creating improvised theater. Emphasis is placed on developing ensemble compatibility, collaborative and creative skills, spontaneity, initiative, risk-taking, the creation of character and environment, as well as a full understanding of both character-driven comedy and drama.
VII. Required Course Content and Direction
  1. Course Learning Goals

    Students will be able to

    1. demonstrate the skills and concepts associated with improvisational theatre;
    2. demonstrate the fundamental concepts and principles of improvisational performance with particular emphasis on storyline, scenic structure, and ensemble-based creativity;
    3. identify creative and technical aspects of theatrical production; and
    4. demonstrate the ability to subordinate personal creative predilections to consensus.
  2. Planned Sequence of Topics and/or Learning Activities

    The standard methods used to teach improvisational performance derive from Viola Spolin (1906-1994) and her creation and publication of specific Theatrical Games (e.g., Improvisation for the Theater, 1963). These Theatrical Games begin with a scenario presented to the students by the instructor and do not involve a formal written script. Performing alone or in groups, students create a theatrical expression that draws on the physical awareness of the body, spontaneity, intuition, and sensitivity to the response of the audience. Students receive constructive criticism of their work from their peers and their instructor. Additional Theatrical Games that may be used in teaching this class are those which have been developed and employed at Second City Theater in Chicago, The Chicago City Limits in New York City, and the First Amendment Improv Company, New York City.

    Within the framework of the course, students will adhere to a contractual agreement; learn basics of improvisational performance, concepts of listening, mime, assumption, and aspects of nonverbal communication.

  3. Assessment Methods for Course Learning Goals

    1. Fulfillment of contractual agreement
    2. Participation in class activities and creative exercise
    3. Assessment of individual effort and teamwork skills through a final collaboration performance
  4. Reference, Resource, or Learning Materials to be used by Student:

    See course syllabus.

Review/Approval Date - 3/07; Revised 11/09; New Core 8/2015