QuestionS

Professionals

What is applied improv?


Applied improv is professional development training that takes the theory behind theatrical improv and applies it to everyday communication. Applied improv refines participants abilities to listen, adapt, and respond in a variety of circumstances. It fosters communication, collaboration and innovation among peers.




Who are the Bird City Improv facilitators?


Our facilitators are seasoned improvisers and educators with diverse backgrounds and at least five years of improv experience. Before Bird City comes to your organization, we will provide you with a complete facilitator bio, including their headshot, contact information, and a description of the workshop they will be leading.




What do participants do in a Bird City workshop?


Participants will learn the principles of improv, perform improv exercises, and make real-world connections through peer-to-peer discussion in a low-pressure, fun, and explorative environment. The improv exercises include team-building games, cognitive challenges, and simple performances that demonstrate the concept of "yes, and." Participants walk away with practical skills for professional success.




How does Bird City facilitate learning?


To effectively engage with participants, Bird City teaches to accommodate multiple modes of learning. Lessons are discussion based. Key topics are summarized with reading materials that Bird City provides, and supplemental resources are readily shared. Exercises are experiential and highly participatory. When directing an exercise, Bird City scaffolds the activity with incremental levels of difficulty so that the lesson is progressive and cumulative. Every Bird City workshop ends with a short debrief in which we discuss revelations, challenges, and applications of improv in the workplace.




Where does Bird City provide trainings?


Bird City Improv provides professional development training across the nation. Bird City does not have a brick and mortar training center, although our business is based in Baltimore, MD. We readily travel to provide onsite training. For clients without a suitable training location, Bird City will work to acquire a low-cost venue to accommodate your needs.




What is the price range for Bird City workshops?


Rates vary depending on number of workshops, number of participants, number of facilitators, travel expenses, and client needs. For a quote please contact us with a description of your goals.




How long are Bird City workshops?


A typical applied improv workshop is two to three hours, although we are happy to accommodate an abbreviated workshop at a pro-rated cost. Many clients elect for a workshop series or a training intensive.




What is a workshop series?


A workshop series refers to multiple sessions hosted by an organization to maximize the training’s impact on company culture. Many clients choose a workshop series to accommodate a larger workforce, providing equal opportunities for professional development among their employees.




What is a training intensive?


A training intensive refers to multiple learning sessions which build cumulatively. These sessions may take place over several days, weeks or months depending on the client’s objectives. Training intensives are ideal for organizations looking to deepen, reinforce and maintain communications skills through consistent practice.




How many participants can Bird City Improv accomodate in a workshop?


Bird City can accommodate virtually any number of participants, after taking a few factors into consideration: number of participants, number of facilitators, and number of workshops. When workshops reach a large capacity, participants begin to experience diminishing returns. Don’t worry, Bird City is happy to offer multiple workshops or use multiple facilitators to accommodate larger class sizes.***

1 Instructor: 10-25 participants

2 Instructors: 26-40 participants

3 Instructors: 41-60 participants

***Multiple workshops are recommended for an organization with more than 60 participants.





Communities

What can Bird City Improv provide my community?


Many things! First and foremost, Bird City can provide your community with an enjoyable and challenging learning opportunity. As the most collaborative art-form, improv is great at building teamwork. Improv can reduce stress, depression, and anxiety. It sharpens participants’ abilities to be present, react, and find the hidden the potential in any situation. Like many games, passions, and sports, it also builds self-confidence and strengthens our connections to others.




What do we do in an improv workshop?


Participants learn the principles of improv, perform improv exercises, and make real-world connections through group discussion. Bird City works hard to create a low-pressure, high-energy experience that is fun and supportive. The improv exercises include team-building games, mental challenges, and simple improv performances guaranteed to make you think and make you laugh. Participants walk away with practical skills for self-improvement, community building, and interacting with others.




How can I bring improv to my community?


It’s easy! Give us a call or send us an email, and we will work with you to find a date and time when Bird City can partner with your organization.




How long is a Bird City workshop?


A typical community workshop is one to two hours, although we are happy to accommodate an abbreviated workshop at a pro-rated cost or provide multiple workshops to accommodate a larger group.




How much does Bird City charge?


Rates vary depending on number of workshops, number of participants, and number of instructors. For a quote please contact us with a description of your goals.




What if my organization has a small budget?


Bird City believes in the virtues of community, volunteerism, and charity. If you represent a non-profit organization in the DC/Maryland area that is dedicated to giving back to your community, we will work with you to find a solution. If you do not live in the DC/Maryland area, we will work diligently to connect you with other improv theatres around the country.




How many people can participate in a workshop?


Bird City can accommodate virtually any number of participants, after taking a few factors into consideration: number of participants, number of instructors, and number of workshops. When a workshop with only one instructor reaches a large capacity, participants begin to experience diminishing returns. Don’t worry, Bird City can use multiple instructors to accommodate a larger class sizes.***

1 Instructor: 10-25 participants

2 Instructors: 26-40 participants

3 Instructors: 41-60 participants

***multiple workshops are recommended for organizations with more than 60 participants.





ACTORS & ARTIST

What is improv?


Improv is unscripted theatre! It is dependent on moment-to-moment discovery and flexibility. It helps inspire creativity, collaboration, and awareness. It is both an artform unto itself and a tool for invention.




Who teaches Bird City Improv classes?


Bird City has a network of teachers who can readily teach the BCI curriculum. All Bird City teachers have at least five years of improv experience and are practicing artists.




Which Bird City Improv class should I take?


We offer classes and workshops for different skill levels and backgrounds. Our introductory workshops and classes are for students who have little to no experience with improv. Some of our introductory workshops have a specific focus such as working with anxiety or setting intentions. Anyone of any experience level may enroll in these workshops.

Our Core Curriculum is carefully scaffolded for students who want a clear educational path. Students begin by learning scenework and creating characters, progress to an undertanding of comedic and dramatic improvisation, before graduating to narrative exploration where students learn how to create a fully-improvised play. Advanced improvisers may enroll in higher level courses within the core curriculum provided they have experience that is commensurate with the pre-requisites.

Special Topic Classes are for experienced students that want to refine a performance skill.




What's the difference between a workshop and a class?


A class refers to a series of lessons that introduces, explores, and refines a skill. A workshop is an individual lesson that teaches a concept and demonstrates a technique. A class amounts to 12-21 hours of training. A workshop is typically 1-3 hours.




How long are Bird City Improv classes?


Each Bird City Improv class is a seven-lesson series. Each lesson is two to three hours long. Our classes can be offered once a week over a seven-week period, or over the course of several days. Typically, at the end of the seventh class, there will be a final performance where students may showcase their newfound skills for friends and loved ones.




Where does Bird City teach classes?


Bird City travels to teach classes and workshops across the country. Bird City does not have a brick and mortar training center. Instead we readily provide onsite training at your school, studio, or theatre. Bird City will acquire a low-cost, nearby venue for artists without a suitable classroom. We also offer classes online.




How much is tuition?


As of 2020 our regularly offered classes and workshops are flex-priced. Classes are free or pay-what-you-can (PWYC).

Our fees for bringing workshops to schools and arts organizations vary, but are commensurate with other theatre and improv training centers. Accommodations can be made for smaller community organizations.




What is Bird City's teaching philosophy?


Bird City thinks the classroom is a place for mutual respect, and also a place for experimentation. We believe kindness, empathy and progressive dialogue are imperatives. If transgressive or taboo topics are brought up, we solicit peer insights to unite students in an atmosphere of respectful conversation.

To effectively engage with students, Bird City teaches to accommodate multiple modes of learning. Lessons are discussion based. Key topics are summarized via email where Bird City also shares videos, articles, and excerpts from improv textbooks. Classwork is experiential and highly participatory, consisting of theatre exercises, improvised challenges, and extensive scene work. When teaching material, we layer activities with incremental levels of difficulty, so that lessons are progressive and cumulative. To reinforce lessons, Bird City classes begin and end by discussing questions, comments, and discoveries.




I cannot take a class right now, but I still want to learn improv. What can I do?


We are happy to provide you with recommendations to other improv theatres. Simply contact us. We also recommend you check out the following resources.

Online Resources
Improv Encyclopedia
Improv Tips
Improv Nerd
Improv Network
Improv Resource Center

Introductory Books
The Upright Citizens Brigade Comedy Improvisation Manual
Improvise: Scene for the Inside Out
Jill Bernard’s Cute Little Book of Improv

Intermediate Books
The Complete Improviser
Long Form Improv
How to be the Greatest Improviser on Earth

Advanced Books
The Improv Handbook
Acting on Impulse
Improv at the Speed of Life