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ColdTowne Theater

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Comedy Classes

Improv Level 01 (Wed)

$265

with Tiana Stuart

Calendar Mar 27, 2024 at 6 pm, runs for 8 weeks

Level 1: Intro To Improv

Spontaneity. Playfulness. Listening. Trust. Honesty.

Learn the basic fundamentals of improv comedy and meet cool new people in the process! Our courses are designed to help students unlock their inner creativity in a fun and supportive environment. Whether you want to learn more about the comedic process to become a better writer/actor/performer, or you just want to loosen up and improve your communication skills while becoming more comfortable in your own skin, the lessons of improv we teach work to build your confidence both on-stage and off. This class will teach you how to celebrate who you are and to find truth in comedy through a series of improv and acting exercises that focus on honesty, spontaneity, playfulness, and saying “yes, and.” Find out when the next classes begin by clicking register!

TIANA STUART (she/her) is an actor, improvisor, musician, writer, and director.  Tiana discovered a love for improv comedy when she lived in Amsterdam from 2016-2019 where she studied long-form improv at the world-renowned Boom Chicago under Michael Orton-Toliver, who combined curriculums from both Boom Chicago and The Free Association out of London. She then moved back to the U.S. where she graduated from Coldtowne's conservatory program in 2022. You can now catch her goofing around on multiple House Teams at Coldtowne and in other troupes. Tiana co-wrote and directed Twinsies, a comedic short-film that has garnered 25 award nominations and 4 wins, including Best Comedy at the Austin Indie Fest. Tiana is also a co-producer of the Lysistrata Women's Comedy Festival, a four-day comedy festival celebrating the collective power of women. You can catch her in HBO's Love and Death and other films and commercials. She is represented by the Zephyr Talent Agency. 

Payment plan available: $50 deposit plus 2 payments of $107.50, paid every two weeks.

Improv Level 04 (Wed)

$265

with Asaf Ronen

Calendar Mar 27, 2024 at 6 pm, runs for 8 weeks

The Harold

Prerequisite: must have taken a Level 03 Improv class at ColdTowne

If Chicago-style improv were music, The Harold would be the twelve-bar blues, the language that’s shared by all improvisers in this tradition. In addition to being a challenging and rewarding form in itself, The Harold is also a great teaching tool, and the skills learned in mastering it are applicable to almost every other form of improv. This level builds on and challenges all of the skills the students have learned up to this point. Students weave together multiple story lines and characters to create shows that are each a unique tapestry spun from what has come before. This class includes a student performance.

ASAF RONEN is the author of Directing Improv: Show the Way By Getting Out of the Way. He regularly performs, teaches and produces in Austin, was Education Director at The Institution Theater for eight years and is currently the Conservatory Director at ColdTowne Theater. He is also a Producer and Education Director of Austin’s annual Out of Bounds Comedy Festival. He has taught and performed improvisation in Canada, Great Britain, Norway and in twenty-eight of these United States with such groups as the B. Iden Payne Award winning Confidence Men (improvised plays in the style of David Mamet) and imp (mostly silent improv). He was also producer on TRUST US, THIS IS ALL MADE UP, a documentary on legendary improvisers TJ & Dave that premiered at Austin’s South by Southwest Festival in 2009 and helped develop the improvised film Days of Delusion with director Scott Myers. In 1999, Asaf founded the improv website, YESand.com of which he is Editor-in-Chief.

Payment plan available: $50 deposit plus 2 payments of $107.50, paid every two weeks.

Improv Level 03 (Wed)

$265

with Will Cleveland

Calendar Mar 27, 2024 at 8 pm, runs for 8 weeks

Advanced Scene Work

Prerequisite: must have taken a Level 2 improv class at ColdTowne

Strong group work, or “group mind,” is the focus of Level 3, where students take a deeper look at their scenework and begin to create shows that are more than just a montage of disconnected scenes. While continuing to strengthen and build on the lessons of past levels, various storytelling techniques and other skills are introduced to help students go from improvising a single scene to creating an entire longform improv show. This class includes a student performance!

WILL CLEVELAND brings 20 years of theatre experience into his class. He has served as Artistic Director of ColdTowne since 2016 and trained in improv and sketch writing at New York's Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. He wrote and produced works for UCBComedy.com as well as produced for Above Average, Funny or Die, Official Comedy and more. His show "One Hour Til Air" received the B. Iden Payne award for best Improv Cast in 2019.

Payment plan available: $50 deposit plus 2 payments of $107.50, paid every two weeks.

Improv Level 06 (Wed)

$265

with Kristin Henn

Calendar Mar 27, 2024 at 8 pm, runs for 8 weeks

Level 06: Creating a Form

Prequisite: must have taken a Level 5 improv class at ColdTowne

In Level 6, you'll take everything you've been learning for the past year and apply it to creating and performing your class's own form. You'll also get a series of showcases at the theater that run concurrently with the class and culminate in a graduation show and ceremony. You get a certificate and everything!

This class includes a 4 showcase performances including a graduation performance.

KRISTIN HENN is a proud graduate of the ColdTowne Conservatory. Committed to continued training, she has taken additional classes and attended intensives regularly since 2009, including with The Annoyance Theater, IO Chicago, Improv Utopia,  and visiting performers  and practitioners from around the country. She holds a BFA in Directing and an MA in Theatre History and Criticism, both from Texas State University.

Payment plan available: $50 deposit plus 2 payments of $107.50, paid every two weeks.

Improv Level 01 (Thu)

$265

with Tauri Laws-Phillips

Calendar Mar 28, 2024 at 2 pm, runs for 8 weeks

Level 1: Intro To Improv

Spontaneity. Playfulness. Listening. Trust. Honesty.

Learn the basic fundamentals of improv comedy and meet cool new people in the process! Our courses are designed to help students unlock their inner creativity in a fun and supportive environment. Whether you want to learn more about the comedic process to become a better writer/actor/performer, or you just want to loosen up and improve your communication skills while becoming more comfortable in your own skin, the lessons of improv we teach work to build your confidence both on-stage and off. This class will teach you how to celebrate who you are and to find truth in comedy through a series of improv and acting exercises that focus on honesty, spontaneity, playfulness, and saying “yes, and.” Find out when the next classes begin by clicking register!

TAURI LAWS-PHILLIPS is a co-creator and facilitator of ColdTowne’s unconscious bias and inclusivity training, which utilizes improvisation and emotional intelligence strategies to create supportive environments where people feel free to be their full and whole selves at work and everywhere. Tauri also teaches Improv at ColdTowne and is a member of B. Iden Payne award winning Improv Troupe, Damn Gina. She has been in ColdTowne Main Stage shows: Express Yourself, Title Fine, and Damn Gina: Night Watch.

Payment plan available: $50 deposit plus 2 payments of $107.50, paid every two weeks.

Improv Level 04 (Sat)

$265

with Asaf Ronen

Calendar Mar 30, 2024 at 12:30 pm, runs for 8 weeks

The Harold

Prerequisite: must have taken a Level 03 Improv class at ColdTowne

If Chicago-style improv were music, The Harold would be the twelve-bar blues, the language that’s shared by all improvisers in this tradition. In addition to being a challenging and rewarding form in itself, The Harold is also a great teaching tool, and the skills learned in mastering it are applicable to almost every other form of improv. This level builds on and challenges all of the skills the students have learned up to this point. Students weave together multiple story lines and characters to create shows that are each a unique tapestry spun from what has come before. This class includes a student performance.

ASAF RONEN is the author of Directing Improv: Show the Way By Getting Out of the Way. He regularly performs, teaches and produces in Austin, was Education Director at The Institution Theater for eight years and is currently the Conservatory Director at ColdTowne Theater. He is also a Producer and Education Director of Austin’s annual Out of Bounds Comedy Festival. He has taught and performed improvisation in Canada, Great Britain, Norway and in twenty-eight of these United States with such groups as the B. Iden Payne Award winning Confidence Men (improvised plays in the style of David Mamet) and imp (mostly silent improv). He was also producer on TRUST US, THIS IS ALL MADE UP, a documentary on legendary improvisers TJ & Dave that premiered at Austin’s South by Southwest Festival in 2009 and helped develop the improvised film Days of Delusion with director Scott Myers. In 1999, Asaf founded the improv website, YESand.com of which he is Editor-in-Chief.

Payment plan available: $50 deposit plus 2 payments of $71.66, paid every two weeks. Final payment of $71.68.

Improv Level 05 (Sat)

$265

with Tiana Stuart

Calendar Mar 30, 2024 at 12:30 pm, runs for 8 weeks

Level 05: Advanced Forms

Prequisite: must have taken a Level 4 improv class at ColdTowne

Students will build upon their knowledge of the Harold by exploring other improv show formats and structures. These structures include The Deconstruction, Close Quarters, Spokane, and other popular forms. Through practice of these structures, students will hone their abilities while also gaining an understanding of the various parts and workings of an improv form. Understanding how to produce the kind of show you want to put up by creating your own form will be essential for the final level. This class includes a student performance!

TIANA STUART (she/her) is an actor, improvisor, musician, writer, and director.  Tiana discovered a love for improv comedy when she lived in Amsterdam from 2016-2019 where she studied long-form improv at the world-renowned Boom Chicago under Michael Orton-Toliver, who combined curriculums from both Boom Chicago and The Free Association out of London. She then moved back to the U.S. where she graduated from Coldtowne's conservatory program in 2022. You can now catch her goofing around on multiple House Teams at Coldtowne and in other troupes. Tiana co-wrote and directed Twinsies, a comedic short-film that has garnered 25 award nominations and 4 wins, including Best Comedy at the Austin Indie Fest. Tiana is also a co-producer of the Lysistrata Women's Comedy Festival, a four-day comedy festival celebrating the collective power of women. You can catch her in HBO's Love and Death and other films and commercials. She is represented by the Zephyr Talent Agency.

Full Course

Improv Level 02 (Sat)

$265

with Drew Wesely

Calendar Mar 30, 2024 at 2:30 pm, runs for 8 weeks

Level 2: Scene Work Strategies

Prerequisite: Must have taken an improv class at ColdTowne or elsewhere.

Strengthen your two person scenes using characters, relationships, and finding & playing “The Game.”

Building on the fundamentals from Level 01, students will begin to practice skills and techniques that strengthen their scenes and characters. Concepts will be introduced to help create deeper characters and relationships more quickly, while keeping things fun! Students will learn how to identify patterns within their scenes to create “The Game”: the engine that drives comedy in an improvised scene or sketch. This class includes a student performance!

DREW WESELY graduated from ColdTowne Conservatory in 2008, started as a Teacher’s Assistant in 2011, and became an improv teacher in 2015. He graduated from ColdTowne Conservatory’s Advanced Graduate Improv Studies program in 2016. He hosted the ColdTowne Theater monthly improv jam, and currently hosts his independently operated weekly drop-in improv class/jam. Instructors from UCB, iO, The Annoyance and The New Movement have either coached or taught him in classes or workshops.

Payment plan available: $50 deposit plus 2 payments of $71.66, paid every two weeks. Final payment of $71.68.




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