Electives & Workshops

DECONSTRUCTION DROP IN CLASS with Craig Uhlir
Craig Uhlir is offering a one day drop in class focused on the longform The Deconstruction. The Deconstruction originally developed by Del Close and Miles Stroth in the late 80’s and early 90’s is considered the sister piece to the Harold. The class will focus on the form , the types of scenes and structure within, and concepts as well as  the takeaways that apply to all long forms. Learn about the form while improving your own techniques with this three hour class. Students will learn and execute a full Deconstruction by the end of class.

This Drop in class is for students who have completed Level 4 at iO and Training Center Graduates.

About Craig
Craig has been learning/playing at iO since 1996. He was on teams with names like Varmit and Spank until becoming an early member of the house team Deep Schwa and later a member of the house team Valhalla. Craig still plays on Deep Schwa and following a six year run in the two man show Middle Age Comeback, he now plays every week with Search Engine. Craig toured with the Second City for over two years culminating with a tour of Kuwait and Iraq for the USO. Craig spent two years in Las Vegas performing for The Second City at the Flamingo, as well as teaching there too. Craig also played with ComedySportz Chicago in the 2000’s, and has hosted iO’s Jam on at least three separate stints starting all the way back in ‘97. Jam.

When:  Sunday, April 16th from 3:00pm to 6:00pm 
Where: 2nd Floor Event Space located on the second floor of the iO Theater.
Cost: $28.00
How many: 18 students

 

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THE INSIDE STORY with Janna Sobel
True, live storytelling is both a trendy new performance form popularized by public radio and community events, and one of the oldest performance forms there is. It is an art that belongs to everyone. This 8-week workshop helps you bring your own stories to the stage by teaching the mechanics of powerful personal-narrative, fostering comfortable, dynamic solo stage presence, and sharing the secrets of effecting your listeners. The skill-sets of improvisors and storytellers overlap in many important ways. Join us to find your truth and creativity inside this form, avoid common pitfalls, and learn to tell stories that are honest, entertaining, and fun to perform.

This class culminates with a student show on Sunday, April 23rd at 7pm at iO.

About Janna
Janna Sobel is a Storyteller, Improvisor and Actor. She created the long-running storytelling series Here, Chicago, which she co-hosts with Nnamdi Ngwe, and is a repeat feature for many beloved Chicago Live Lit events. She teaches Improvisation and Storytelling at The Second City Training Center, Stage 773, The University of Chicago, and privately. She created the game Intuitive Treasure Hunter (which has been used to open iO’s Summer Improv Intensives over the last few years) to strengthen people’s self-trust in both storytelling and improvisation.

When:  Sundays from 3pm-6pm beginning March 5th 
Where: The 3rd Beat Room located on the second floor of the iO Theater.
Cost: $295.00
How many: 10 students

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THE PYTHON PROCESS: WRITING, RE-WRITING, AND COLLABORATING with Kim Howard Johnson
After recently spending January on the road with John Cleese, Howard has returned to Chicago to present his own insights into the Monty Python writing process, and how it can work for you. This eight-week workshop will immerse participants in the Python creative process, and by the end of the final session, participants will have completed, polished sketches which can be presented on stage as a sketch show or revue.

The sessions begin with a detailed look at the Python process as Howard, occasional collaborator and former personal assistant to John Cleese, will discuss the general Python approach to writing and the various writing styles of the group members. Monty Python’s Flying Circus clips will be shown which demonstrate their styles, and clips from pre-Python and post-Python works will also be featured to demonstrate how their styles evolved. Howard will also discuss his own experiences and offer an insider’s perspective concerning their sketch-writing, with examples of extremely rare, never-seen-by-the-public scripts. Students will learn the value of editing with examples by the Pythons. Finally, students will “collaborate” with the Python teams on a sketch, and learn how to use John Cleese’s advice on sketch-writing.

Students will be asked to write three short sketches in this class, based on the various styles of the Python writing teams, but they won’t have to do it alone. Just as the Pythons collaborate, the students will collaborate as they complete their assignments. And then, after class discussion, their sketches will be passed along to other writing teams within the class—the same process used in so much modern television writing.

In addition to the writing and discussion, there will be lots of Python videos used throughout the sessions as examples. There will be some favorite well-known Python shows, but there will also be some rare clips of pre-Python sketches, live Python shows, and much more, including videos of Howard interviewing Terry Jones on writing, and a discussion of the John Cleese method for increasing creativity for writers.

By the end of the course, students will study running order and putting together a show, including criteria used for picking sketches, links, timing, and casting, so that by the final class, students will have a half-hour show prepared, which they will rehearse and present at the conclusion of the class to an invited audience.

About
Kim “Howard” Johnson has been associated with Monty Python since they first landed in America. He wrote a Monty Python fanzine, joined them (and even appeared) in Life of Brian, appeared in Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl, has written four and a half books on the Pythons (including The First 280 Years of Monty Python and Monty Python’s Tunisian Holiday), co-written a screenplay with Terry Jones, and served as personal assistant to John Cleese. He directed the U.S. premiere of Buchanan’s Finest Hour, written by Terry Jones and Michael Palin, at the Second City etc. He was also a founding member of the Baron’s Barracudas (the first house team of the ImprovOlympic–now the iO), co-wrote Truth in Comedy with Charna Halpern and Del Close, and wrote The Funniest One in the Room: the Lives and Legends of Del Close, the biography of his longtime friend. He has performed, taught, and directed improvisation and comedy for many years

When:  Sundays from 12pm-3pm beginning March 5th 
Where: The Writing Room located on the second floor of the iO Theater.
Cost: $325.00
How many: 14 students

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PYTHON PROV LEVEL 1 with Kim Howard Johnson
Everyone knows that there are two types of comedy that simply cannot be improvised—Shakespeare and Monty Python. Both are so carefully scripted, re-written and polished, with words so carefully chosen, that to try to improvise in the style of—

I’m sorry, I have just been informed that one of the most successful shows at the iO is, in fact, Improvised Shakespeare. Well then, in that case, why not improvise in the style of Monty Python?

And so, PythonProv Level 1 will guide experienced improvisers through the Monty Python style of comedy, and how to use improvisation to create new long form comedy inspired by the Pythons.

PythonProv will examine the components of Monty Python’s Flying Circus and the different writing styles involved, and focus on the stream of consciousness approach that was so important to their TV shows. Students will improvise sketches, interviews, documentaries, game shows, and music as portrayed by the Pythons. We will examine Python characters and create new ones of our own. And of course, we will watch videos of classic sketches (and some rare examples of pre-Python works).

And at the end of this eight week session will be a PythonProv show to present to a weary world.

About
Kim “Howard” Johnson has been associated with Monty Python since they first landed in America. He wrote a Monty Python fanzine, joined them (and even appeared) in Life of Brian, appeared in Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl, has written four and a half books on the Pythons (including The First 280 Years of Monty Python and Monty Python’s Tunisian Holiday), co-written a screenplay with Terry Jones, and served as personal assistant to John Cleese. He directed the U.S. premiere of Buchanan’s Finest Hour, written by Terry Jones and Michael Palin, at the Second City etc. He was also a founding member of the Baron’s Barracudas (the first house team of the ImprovOlympic–now the iO), co-wrote Truth in Comedy with Charna Halpern and Del Close, and wrote The Funniest One in the Room: the Lives and Legends of Del Close, the biography of his longtime friend. He has performed, taught, and directed improvisation and comedy for many years

When:  Sundays from 3pm-6pm beginning March 5th 
Where: The 2nd Beat Room located on the second floor of the iO Theater.
Cost: $295.00
How many: 16 students

Register Here


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