Acting & Improv, Research & Play

CORE Improv Theatre Course

Character. Objective. Relationship. Environment

If we treat each other as if we are geniuses, poets, and artists, we have a better chance of becoming that on-stage.” (Del Close)

Who: 
Anamaria Ciucanu
(anamaria.ciucanu@gmail.com)

anaonpier

Anamaria

When:
Fridays 10th of May – 28th of June
19:00 – 21:00
(!) Dates might change after taster session,
depending on room availability.

Where:
New Oriel Hall in Larkhall, Bath
Small Studio

How much:
[1] FREE taster on the 10th of May!
[2] Pay as you go 10£/7£ (cons*) per class
[3] Pay for all 7 weeks in one go 55£/40£ (cons)
(!) Offer [3] is the best value for money, plus you get to be in a show for family and friends at the end.
(!) cons* = students, unemployed, low income, retired

What:
Week 1 – FREE Taster Class
Subtheme: Yes and! (Acceptance)
Date: 10th of May 2019

Week 2 – Character 
Subtheme: Letting go of the fear of failure!
Date: 17th of May 2019

Week 3 – Objective
Subtheme: Listening
Date: 24th of May 2019

Week 4 – Relationship
Subtheme: Taking care of each other
Date: 31st of May 2019

Week 5 – Environment
Subtheme: Object work
Date: 7th of June 2019

Week 6 – Practice Class
Subtheme: Jump and justify!
Date: 14th of June 2019

Week 7 – Practice Class
Subtheme: Go deeper, find your why.
Date: 21st of June 2019

Week 8 – Show for Family and Friends
Subtheme: TBD
Date: 28th of June 2019

(!) Each class is self-contained, but people are encouraged to attend as many as possible to feel an improvement.

Who is it for?
CORE Improv is intended for beginners and those who want to hone their skills in the improv craft. People that struggle with anxiety, who want to enhance their spontaneity, confidence and creativity are especially welcome!

More Details:
Improv is a form of theatre without a script. Improvisers create characters and stories on the spot with their fellow actors. Simple techniques like “Yes and”, listening, collaboration and commitment are often used to make laughter and mystery appear out of thin air. Some of the pioneers of this artform are Keith Johnstone, Viola Spolin and Del Close. Their methods influenced the way I learnt and teach improv techniques. See https://anamariaciucanu.com/storytelling/ for a list of all my more modern influences, as well as teachers that shaped me along the way.

This course is a set of 8 self-contained classes, spanned over 8 weeks, starting with a FREE taster class! It is a journey through the realm of improvised theatre, with a strong focus on short form scenes, characters and storytelling. Although not specifically designed as a comedy course, you’ll find that laughter springs often from our interactions and wild ideas.

The acronym CORE stands for the building blocks of any good story: character (who?), objective (what?), relationship (why?), environment (where?). It can also be a metaphor for working on your core creativity muscles. This is pilates for your mind!

“There are no mistakes, just opportunities,” (Tina Fey)  

“as long as everyone is having fun.” (me)  

(!) Click here to see all of my improv related projects and testimonials.

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Chasing the Light, Research & Play, Thoughts About Life

Pebbles in the Storm

‘Let the little children come to Me, and do not hinder them! For the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’ (Christ)

girls

Girls in front of a mosque in Mumbai.

This week has been heartwrenching, but also eye-opening and fun. It started with a three day training led by Ash Perrin from the Flying Seagull Project. It ended with a masterpiece film, Capernaum, directed by Nadine Labaki and starring syrian refugee Zain Al Rafeea. The voices that echoed throughout the week, however, were the voices of children.

Children in refugee camps. Children running away from authority. Children making their own justice. Angry, sad, hungry, tired, alone children, who have lost so much and yet still find the strength to take care of each other. Like Zain (Capernaum) helping his sister hide her period from her mother, since the blood stain meant she was ready for marriage, at eleven. Or how Zain took care of an infant whose mother had been arrested due to illegal immigration.

Oh, child of the past, where are thou now? What deserts are you wandering through? Who feeds you and gives you drink? Who tells you bedtime stories and gives you shelter? For I have sheltered you in the depths of my heart and people have told me to leave you there. I added more and more layers of wood and brick and your voice became like a distant whisper.

‘Be more mature.’, ‘You have to drop the silliness.’, ‘You’d be so pretty with some makeup on.’, ‘It’s time you got a real job.’, ‘You’ve been in school long enough.’, ‘Stop running after princes and fairy tales.’, they said, sometimes even my family, although I know they meant well. But this week something changed. I was allowed to play. Actually I was told to be sillier, goofier, wilder! Improv for me is usually a place to play and be free, but the Flying Seagull Project (FSP) training was much more than that.

FSP have brought smiles to thousands of refugee and underprivileged children. Dressed up as figments of our imagination, Ash and his crew believe that childhood is a right that everyone should have. They bring games, songs and magic to children all around the world to help them play again. After training with FPS I believe that us grown ups can also learn a thing or two about the joy of being daft.  

Oh, how the tables have turned! Grown ups teaching children to play and children teaching grown ups to raise their young. But we need this, because in order to clean and bandage the wounds of our Earth, we need grown ups to be childlike and humble, while children need to be heard and taken seriously.

So if you have reached the end of this article, take a moment to think. How can you be a pebble in this stormy sea we live in today? Your ripples might seem swallowed by the waves, but they are never lost. The Flying Seagull Project (and I :D) will bring hope, courage and smiles to children. Capernaum and other similar films will help fight child neglect. How can your gifts be used to bring a voice to children…and not only the ones out there, but also the one inside your soul?    

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Formal and Polite, Poetry

The Interview

Mr. Perkings is quite glad,
This could be the job he had
Were he rich and educated
At top schools that man created.

He puts on a long blue tie,
Shines his shoes with deep dark dye,
Perkings likes his long grey beard
Bank Deadend likes them quite sheared.

‘Good afternoon, you must be Mr. Perk!’
‘Perkings ma’am’, he gave a smirk,
Mr. Banks will see you soon,
Have a seat in the saloon.

As he sat on a small chair,
A dozen others turned to stare,
They were dressed the same as him
With a tie and chin quite trim.

One was counting notes with speed,
Another stacking coins with greed,
Perkings had nothing to count
That could add to some amount.

‘Perkings!’, ‘Yes sir! I am here,
Of assistance with great cheer!’
He then stepped through a grey door
Of an office with grey floor.

‘I can see from your CV,
You can count to level three.’
‘I worked hard, sir, to become,
Through this job a level one!’

Mr. Banks gave him one glance,
From his dyed shoes to his hands.
‘We want at least a level two,
Don’t call us, sir, we’ll call you.’

(From  Formal and Polite)

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Chasing the Light, Chasing the Light Poetry, Poetry

The Keeper of Light

The Keeper of light and all that is good,
Brought life to the faces sculpted in wood.
His breath is like fire, deep from the Earth,
Scorching the makings of inferior birth.

He sees not only the sharp witted mind,
But delves deeper his treasure to find.
For thoughts are mere shadows of a higher art,
Crafted and shouting from deep in the heart.

(From Voice Mountain and Chasing the Light)

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