Laughter is the best medicine, though it tends to be the worst legal defense. Salute the healing art of comedy with today's Groupon: for $65, you get eight weeks of Intro to Improv classes (a $150 value) from The New Movement Theater. Classes will be held at either the Shadowbox Theatre or Fair Grinds Coffeehouse, depending on scheduling and availability. The next level 1 session begins May 21 and will be held Saturdays at 4 p.m., and a second class begins June 7, at 6 p.m. New classes will be scheduled based on demand.
Headed by Stupid Time Machine troupe members, as well as Chris Trew and Tami Nelson, The New Movement Theater teaches performers or nonperformers the nooks and crannies of improv. Over the course of eight two-hour classes, level 1 improv classes provide comedy-hopefuls or life-wallflowers with the building blocks to perform long-form improvisation, a scenic style of improv that, unlike short-form, does not rely on wearing realistic-looking Pat Boone masks. With a maximum class size of 12, the instructors squeeze out as much performance time as possible from each class-rag and encourage students to see New Movement shows (students get free admission to all shows), ensuring that students pick up the craft quickly and potentially land a role in Fringe, an improvised sitcom on FOX.
The New Movement
Dubbed a “powerhouse of comedy” by the Austin Chronicle, The New Movement unleashes a dizzying number of comedy shows that belie the institution’s young age. Founded in 2009 by improvisers Chris Trew and Tami Nelson, the theater and conservatory has already established itself in two cities, training fledgling performers in the art of the extemporaneous by inspiring them to take comedic risks on stage, whether it’s connecting emotionally with a character or performing actual surgery. Whether or not the performers are costumed or bearing props, they aim to create a fully realized world on stage through grounded situations and elegant but always creative transitions between scenes.