Online Improv Elective: Objectives and Super Objectives

Experience an age-old acting technique for getting to the heart of a scene and a character, fast.

About this Event

Great scenes are at the heart of great improvisation. So let’s spend some real time on them. Ideal accompaniments to the nursery longform or narrative courses, these classes are deep-dives into particular areas of scenework. They are also great workouts for intermediate or experienced players. Our expert teachers will give you simple, usable tools that can be employed in a wide variety of improvisation contexts. Students will work in detail on a single aspect of their scenes, receive feedback and, most importantly, get time to play, both in break out rooms and in front of the class.

The famous 20th-century theatre practitioner Stanislavski once said, “the basis of any characterisation is the simple statement I WANT”. In The Dark Knight, Batman once said: “It’s not who you are underneath, it’s what you DO that defines you”.

I ask, what do you WANT to DO?

In this session, we will explore how we can use the timeless acting technique of ‘actioning’ a scene to begin the process of using these actions to drive the scene from character rather than from structure or plot.

Our common human desires to find love, peace, fame, wealth or master the Harold are all basic human objectives. Or as Konstantin would say, our “Super Objective” They are the reason a character gets out of bed every day and the overall driving thrust of their individual narrative. How we go about achieving this or even compromising these goals are our objectives.

In this Nursery/Maydays elective you will learn a simple bag of tricks to build on the choices you make in both narrative and free-form improv shows. Work out how to isolate your individual objectives from the meta want or ‘super-objective’ and give every scene you enter unparalleled drive and purpose.

While open to Intermediate+ players, this intensive assumes some experience with narrative and storytelling improv. If you have previously taken Jonah’s Character Toolkit course, you will find this a great way to practice some familiar skills.

N.B Whilst not required reading you may find the following actors’ dictionary useful; https://www.nickhernbooks.co.uk/actions-the-actors-thesaurus

Syllabus includes:

  • IFTT or ‘If This Then That’: How to follow the logical progression of a character’s journey and understand how best you can support your scene partners character.
  • Transitive verbs: a shortcut to isolating what your character wants.
  • Story units: Beginning to see your character as having both agency and also a passenger of their circumstances will help you understand beats.

Min. participants 6, max. 12.

Jonah Fazel is a veteran character actor, Theatremaker and Television presenter who trained at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. He has trained in multiple improvisational styles and has been teaching improvisation for over a decade. He is a professor of improvisation at The University of Creative Arts and guest lecturers at many UK drama schools. He specialises in teaching; Short-form, narrative & genre, characterisation and acting for improvisers.

This intermediate elective runs Wednesday 2nd December 7 – 9.30 pm UK time

Intermediate (3/6 months+) These classes will be opportunities to add tools to your growing toolbox. Normally these classes will expect players to be confident playing scenes. These classes will provide practice and specific new skills.

NB: Our electives frequently sell out, but do not despair if this class has. You have not missed your shot. If enough people join the waiting list, we are often able to put the same class on a few days after or in parallel. So if you were excited, join up and we will be in touch.

JONAH FAZEL Producer, Thursday Night Lights & The Carousel Jonah is an experienced theatre-maker and comedian and has appeared at in the West End as well as being a veteran of the London Fringe and Edinburgh festivals. He has created work at The Battersea Arts Centre, Royal Court and The National as well as many...
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