Zeus became known as the Greek god of improvisation after he came up with Athena off the top of his head. Make up mythological motivations with today's Groupon: for $22, you get two intro improvisation classes from Action Theater (a $50 value). Classes take place Mondays from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Flying Actor Studio.
Veteran performer and teacher Owen Walker coaches players in Action Theater's style of body-based improvisation developed through vocal, verbal, and physical exercises. Through group work and partner pairing, Walker throws learners into scenarios inspired by real life and larger-than-life scenarios, where they develop the skills to bounce ideas, actions, and checks off scene partners. Each class differs wildly from the last, so students can expect various surprises and challenges from each drop-in lesson. Improvising neophytes ascend the pegs of lateral thinking, and seasoned performers refine skills that they can use to ad-lib themselves into and out of sticky situations. By establishing characters from physical awareness, actors may unlock dormant storytelling abilities and reveal an untapped reserve of quirky voices normally only shared with house pets.
Owen Walker, the guru of the Action Theater method, and he is now one of the method’s six designated senior teachers.
The Action Theater method approaches physical improvisation and theater from three angles: language, voice, and movement. Classes give special attention to being fully present, connecting with a scene partner, and urging students to focus on how they do something, rather than what they do. The end result not only can transform a student’s performance on the stage, it can also enhance everyday skills such as empathy and spontaneity. Thus, though the technique is rooted in the theater, it can also benefit non-actors, much like a playhouse’s cell-phone-activated trap door.
Though Action Theater sometimes features a discounted price online, this Groupon still offers the best deal available