A very exciting addition to our International teacher series, Michael worked with Del Close back in the day and has been teaching ever since.
Here is what he says about these classes:
“Improvisation is the Jazz of Theatre. It is, very simply, acting without a script.
Michael J Gellman will lead two one day workshops he likes to call Exploratoriums. An Exploritorium is an opportunity for both the students and the workshop leader to make discoveries in the art and craft of improvisational performance and story creation.
Michael will lead an exploration of the acclaimed “long form” techniques he and Del Close developed in the first year of iO and in his book: Process: An Improvisers Journey by Scruggs and Gellman. The participants will gain tools used to create long form improvisation and fully improvised plays as well as tools discovered within Canada’s collective theatre movement and Second City. In the first half of each day participants will work on new tools and in the second half apply those tools by focusing on one specific long form for performance.”
Each class costs £50 and lasts from 10am-5pm. For the benefit of all participants, these classes are intended for people with at least a year of improv experience and are limited to 12 participants.
Friday 25th: Process: An Improviser’s Journey
Building on the basics, participants in this one-day workshop will delve into emotional honesty, maintaining a point of concentration within a scene, connecting to your partner on stage and exploring and heightening to advance story. Based on the work described in his book this day will focus on truly unique approaches to improvisation going from silent scenes to developing and exploring long form for performance.
Saturday 26th: Down and dirty – Improvisation from the Heart
or how to get our impro heads out of our improv arses.
Improvisation has been for centuries a theatre created by actors for actors. Exciting and inspired performance comes from the ground up and Character is the DNA of our craft. Characters are at the heart of every improvisation. How long can your characters go in performance? What kind of amazing stories can they tell? Let’s find out.
Focusing on the tools necessary for performance (character, emotional and physical truth), participants will gain and practice methods used to create unique and truthful characters and explore ways to apply those skills to any improvisational form.
Michael Gellman Biography
Michael J Gellman now resides in Ontario Canada and is Artistic Director of The Process Theatre. He teaches at Loyalist College as well as Master Workshops for Second City International and Artistic New Directions NYC. He is an alumnus of the Second City mainstage and was a resident director for Second City in Canada and the USA for 25 years. He was Artistic Director of the Second City Toronto where his shows were nominated for 7 Dora Mavor Moore Awards including twice for Outstanding Direction, nominated for Best Director for Chicago’s Joseph Jefferson Award, and won a Chalmers Award for Best Director. He is a senior faculty and founding member of the Second City Training Center where he was a Program Head and also Director of the NY training Center.
Michael was an adjunct faculty member at Columbia College Chicago teaching Acting For Directors in the Film Directing department and designed and taught Improvisation and Acting III for the Comedy Studies department. In addition to Second City and Columbia College he has taught and designed classes and workshops in directing, acting and improvisation since 1976 at such notable institutions as: Actors Centre London, The Audition Centre, Victory Gardens Training Centre, Act One Conservatory and Loyola Law School as well as master workshops for hundreds of Universities, festivals, theatre companies and improv groups around the world. He is credited with originating “Long Form” Improvisation and his book “Process: An Improvisers Journey” (Northwestern University Press) co-authored with Mary Scruggs is a summary of his workshops on improvisational training.
His former credits include: co-founder and company member of Rendition Theatre, Artistic Associate at Organic Theatre, founder and Artistic Director of Theatre Works and Windy City Workshop and Co-Artistic Director of Wavelength. Since 1969 Michael has worked as an actor, director, writer and stage manager. He is a member of WGAw, AEA, Aftra-SAG, CAEA and ACTRA.
Over the past 40 years Mr. Gellman has directed, taught, and/or acted with: Dan Akroyd, John Candy, Bill Murray, Gild Radner, Chris Farley, Steve Carrell, Steven Colbert, Tina Fey, George Wendt, Del Close, Dan Castellaneta, Charna Halpern, Mick Napier, Armando Diaz, Jimmy Carrane, Mark Beltzman, David Pasquesi, Keegan-Michael Kay, Linda Cash, Pat McKenna, Joel Murray, David Razowsky, Susan Messing, Bruce Pirrie, Kathryn Greenwood, Ron James, Joe Bill and many others.