Gary Jacobs is founder of The Center for Narrative Improvisation and Precipice Improv Theater in the Washington, DC, area. He has taught improvisational theater all over the U.S. and internationally and is author of the upcoming book The Third Wave of Improv. During his 36-year career in improv, he apprenticed for 10 years with Second City director and teacher Michael Gellman, coiner of the term “long-form improv.”
Gary’s book The Third Wave of Improv explores these questions: Can improvisation create great theater, theater as good as the best scripted work? If so, how? It includes interviews with leading improv teachers, directors, and troupes, as well as the latest cutting-edge exercises and techniques.
In 1996, Gary founded Precipice Improv Theater, dedicated to performing only improvised plays. Upon hearing of his plans for Precipice, Gary’s mother said, “This will either be the most brilliant contribution to Western Civilization since the invention of scientific one-point perspective by Filippo Brunelleschi in 1413, or theatrical suicide.”
Twenty years later, Precipice Improv Theater is still improvising plays for delighted audiences. Gary teaches the tools they’ve developed for keeping scenes strong and audiences engaged!
Saturday, July 9 2pm – 5pm
The Improvised Play – A Challenge to the Improviser
Twenty-five hundred years ago, Athenians playwrights invented an art form so successful that their progeny the writers, directors, and actors working in theater, film, and television today routinely create entertainment for over seven billion people in the same form. What is the secret to this ancient form’s success, and why aren’t improvisers using it to gain mass appeal and possibly earn a good living doing improv?
One reason may be that it seems impossible. The essence of improv is spontaneity, while the essence of playwriting and screenwriting is planning how all the scenes and events fit together to produce carefully sequenced pay-offs for the audience.
After wrestling with this problem for 30 years, a handful of directors have begun to bridge the gap between these opposing mindsets spontaneity versus careful story crafting allowing improvisers to create scenes and plays that combine the excitement of short-form improv with the coherence and emotional payoffs of a good scripted play, TV show, or film.
This workshop illuminates the fundamental differences between short-form improv, long-form improv, and improvised plays, some of which are quite profound. You’ll learn the principles and techniques to make the mental shift needed to successfully jump from one to the other. It is based in part on the research Gary Jacobs has conducted for his upcoming book, The Third Wave of Improv. You will be challenged to operate at a level of excellence comparable to the best scripted work done today, whether you do short- or long-form improv, and you will come away with the tools to meet this challenge.
Maximum number of students for the workshop is 16. Students must be 18 years or older. Tuition is non-refundable.
Workshop sales end July 9 at 1pm
Unscrewed Theater is located at 3244 E. Speedway Blvd. Tucson, AZ 85716 (across from The Loft Cinema, next to Fronimo’s). Parking and entrance are located in the rear of the building. Turn in to the Walgreen’s parking lot and go to the left around the building.
Unscrewed Theater is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to teaching, performing, and producing all forms of live improvisational theater in Tucson, AZ.