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IDS 101: Improv: Making Something from Nothing: Using the Library

The Improv Comedy Club on Melrose Avenue in Hollywood, California

Course Description

Many of today’s best comedic actors have training in improv: the creation of a theatrical scene by two or more actors who work together without a script or other pre-planning. Improv is often used as a method of idea generation for sketch comedy, such as the sketches seen on Saturday Night Live or Key & Peele. But improv itself can be an end product, either in the form of live productions or television shows like Whose Line is it Anyway? In this course we will explore the art of improv and learn how actors tell a story collaboratively through a process of mutual agreement often summarized as “Yes, and…”. We will consider questions such as: What are the different schools of thought on improv performance, and how does an actor “rehearse”? Where does the funny come from in an improv show? What does cognitive science have to say about the brain on improv? How have the techniques of improv been applied outside of the theater, to such diverse areas as business, politics, and mental health? Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we will all DO improv every week in two-hour-long workshops, and then put on a show at the end of the semester! No experience in improv or other theater is necessary to join this class – just a willingness to be bold, take a risk, and have fun supporting your fellow improvisers. Unlike most College Colloquium sections, this course will meet for four hours each week. We will have two hours of regular class time, and then the two-hour improv workshop. The extra fourth hour will be considered part of the work that students are expected to do outside of official class time.

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Mark O. Hatfield Library Building

Humanities and Fine Arts Librarian

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Doreen Simonsen
Mark O. Hatfield Library
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Salem, OR 97301

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Library of Things

Whose Live Anyway?

Whose Live Anyway?

Live Improv from the stars of Who's Line Is It Anyway will be at the Elsinore Theatre in Salem on October 5th.

Willamette University

Willamette University Libraries

Mark O. Hatfield Library
900 State Street.
Salem Oregon 97301
Pacific Northwest College of Art Library
511 NW Broadway.
Portland Oregon 97209