Viola Spolin Improvisation Intensive with Aretha Sills
About The Show

“The heart of improvisation is transformation.” -Viola Spolin

This is a rare opportunity to work with an expert teacher in Spolin technique. Viola Spolin’s Theater Games launched the American improvisational theater movement and changed the way acting is taught. Her work has influenced generations of actors and educators. In the weekend workshop with side-coach Aretha Sills, we'll explore the groundbreaking exercises and theatrical concepts found in Spolin’s Improvisation for the Theater. Don't miss this once in a lifetime experience.

The intensive is an accelerated version of an introductory workshop. Actors, educators directors, and improvisers learn (through play) how to incorporate Spolin's transformative techniques into their practice. The workshop is open to beginners and experienced players and is designed to help players be present onstage and off. 

Explore the improvisational acting method of Viola Spolin to enhance your training as an actor, improviser, educator, writer, or director. Named "one of the most prominent acting techniques" by Backstage, Viola Spolin's Theater Games release the intuition through spontaneity and play, opening up new avenues of expression in your work and life.

Date: Nov. 18 & 19
Time: 10AM-4PM (with an hour lunch break at 1pm
Location: Unexpected Productions Improv School
Maximum Students: 18
Cost: $225 (normally $250 and above in other cities)
Prerequisite: None, 18+

Teacher Bio:
Aretha is the granddaughter of Viola Spolin. She studied Spolin’s improvisational theater games for many years with her father, legendary director Paul Sills, creator/director of The Second City and Story Theater. She is the associate director of Sills/Spolin Theater Works and she has conducted workshops at Paul Sills’ Wisconsin Theater Game Center, Bard College, Stella Adler Studio of Acting, The Art of Acting Studio, Sarah Lawrence College, Stockholm International School, and Northwestern University. Aretha was nominated for an INNY Award for Best Improvisation Instructor and was the keynote speaker at the California Educational Theatre Association conference. She also teaches Improvisation for Writers and directs The Predicament Players. Aretha offers workshops regularly in Los Angeles, annually in Chicago and New York, and occasionally around the world. 

Quotes about the workshop:

"Aretha is dedicated to preserving the pureness of this technique, which from my point of view assists the actor to find the courage to find themselves and then to fly. I believe she has, innately and amazingly, all the elements of the technique of both Viola Spolin and Viola's son, the extraordinary director, Paul Sills. I have studied with Aretha, and believe me, the thrill lives on.-Paul Sand, Tony-award winner for Paul Sills' Story Theater; original Second City cast member

"Aretha Sills, carrying on the work of Spolin and Sills, is an amazing, insightful side-coach and teacher. We were fortunate enough to take a workshop in L.A. with her and it helped us reconnect with theater game work on a deeper level. She knows her stuff. Can't wait to work with her again!" -Deb Lacusta & Dan Castellaneta, The Simpsons, writers/ actor

“As an educator and instructor of acting and directing, I was eager to learn about the American theater improvisation developed by Viola Spolin and expounded by Paul Sills. Aretha Sills provides an insight into the authentic roots of the system that has been utilized for years by theatre training programs. The workshop will provide you with an excellent opportunity to explore various games and exercises to enrich your view of performance and acting.” -Norma Saldivar, professor and chair, UNLV Department of Theatre, and executive director of the Nevada Conservatory Theatre

"Aretha is one of the century's best improvisation teachers. Like her grandmother before her, she understands people, theater, and improvisation in an intuitive and deep way. As someone who has studied with some of the top teachers in the country and has performed for over 15 years, I can honestly say Aretha's work opened my eyes. I understood improv on a deeper level. I was refreshed and returned to beginner’s mind." -David Alger, founder Pan Theater

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Saturday, Nov 18, 201710:00am

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Viola Spolin Improvisation Intensive with Aretha Sills