As Stomping Ground heads into Year Two, we are rolling out improvements to the adult improv training program, which is at the core of our adult comedy Training Center. After a year of hearing your feedback and considering our long term goals and artistic vision, we wanted to let you know about the improvements we are rolling out in our improv training program.
First, these are the goals for the Stomping Ground Training Center:
- To create a positive and supportive learning environment where people from all experiences and backgrounds can learn about improvisation.
- To prepare students to perform on the Stomping Ground stage, including mainstage shows and long form house teams.
Second, all of the improv courses are being renamed:
BASIC is being split into Level One: Introduction to Improv and Level Two: Introduction to Scene Work.
- Level One (Introduction to Improv) will focus on the fun and joy of improv, “recess for adults,” for those students looking for a way to get to know improvisation in a low pressure way with others trying it for the first time. Students will apply skills like agreement, spontaneity, and support to short form games for their showcase. Students who have graduated from any improv training center, have completed the Improv for Anxiety course, or have equivalent experience are eligible to skip Level One.
- Level Two (Introduction to Scene Work) will focus on beginning to create grounded two person scenes, using object work and environment to establish a world on the stage, and creating a base reality (who, what, where). Students will then learn different tools to find the why of the scene, including creating behavior, finding the game of the scene, justification, and character. Students will apply all of these skills, including sweep edits, as they perform The Montage for their showcase.
- INTERMEDIATE is being split into Level Three and Level Four, with each class taking a deeper dive into relationships, character, the environment, and emotions, as well as introducing devices for supporting scenes, such as tag outs and walk-ons.
- ADVANCED will become Level Five, where students will explore the different show formats performed on the Stomping Ground stage, including short form (“Game Night”), narrative (“As Y’all Like It”) and the monoscene (“My F**ked Up Family”). In the final weeks, students will choose one of these formats to rehearse and perform for their showcase.
This coming term (Summer 2) we are offering Level One and Level Three. Students currently enrolled in BASIC will sign up for Level Three and students who are trying improv for the first time should sign up for Level One. In the Fall 1 term, we will offer Level Two for students who have completed Level One at Stomping Ground or are eligible to skip Level 1. We will also offer Level 4 at that time, and look forward to adding Level 5 during our Fall 2 term.
In the future we will roll out our improved Conservatory program (Level 6) so that it best reflects the needs of our students and feeds into our HOUSE and CORE team system, which we are working to revamp and rollout this fall. We’re also very excited about adding full Songprov course in the near future!
We appreciate all of the feedback provided to us over Year One as we worked to find the specific needs of DFW improv students, and the patience of our students as we work to make the Training Center a positive and educational experience!
The Stomping Ground Team