Men With Coconuts are thrilled to welcome internationally renowned improv teacher Tom Tollenaere from Belgium! He'll be teaching two full-day workshops on the weekend of July 22nd and 23rd 2017.
Saturday July 22nd (10am-4pm) - Improvised Singing
Sunday July 23rd (10am-4pm) - Antifactual Storytelling
Price: £40 for each workshop.
To book, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and payment instructions will be sent to you
Saturday July 22nd
10am - 4pm
Sunday July 23rd
A well-performed song can really spice up an improv performance. However, even seasoned improvisers sometimes shy away from singing.
In this workshop we focus on creating and performing improvised songs, and the good news is that anyone can do it! Absolutely no experience is required.
You do not need musical skills, and it is perfectly fine if you have no sense of rhythm or rhyme. We will prove in this workshop that each of us has been so immersed in (western) pop music, that we all unconsciously know ‘the rules’ of pop music. This workshop will help you unlock this unconscious knowledge.
Expect to learn:
What to sing about
How to make a song stick
How to create song structures
How to create a variety of melody and rhythm
When (not to) rhyme!
How and when to sing together in duets and group songs
Since the workshop is focused on creating songs, there will be little or no scene work involved. But we will cover some short-form game handles that are based on song & music. Class size is limited to 10 so there will be plenty of stage time for each participant.
As improvisers we invent stories; by training we are good at that. But in this workshop we will steer away from explicit storytelling. And we do that by steering away from facts.
Facts are boring, because they take away surprise. Telling a story is merely stating facts in an ordered way. What is far more interesting than facts, is anti-factual stuff: things that may not be true: opinions, suspicions, preconceptions, hunches, etc.
In this workshop we will learn to offer these as gifts to our co-players. By doing that we do not create a story, we create a sea of possibilities for stories to emerge; we will create that stuff that stories are born out of!
This is great fun to play. This is great fun to watch as an audience. It is at first sight counterintuitive to improvisers trained in yes-and, because we will, on purpose, destroy realities created by characters. Or so we think - since these realities are not factual, we destroy nothing! It is great fun, as a player, to set up stuff, purposely for your co-players to muck about with.
We will learn this by means of exercises. Some of these will be familiar, but we will use them in a new way. This way is playing improv is like discovery of a new muscle: you need to train it.
Tom Tollenaere got introduced to improv in 1997 and was instantly hooked.
Tom is founder and artistic director of RIOT - the Royal Improphonic Orchestra & Theatre, specialising in musical long-form improv theatre, and now celebrating it’s 10th year. Prior to that, between 1999 and 2005 he was artistic director for The Lunatics, Belgium’s largest short-form collective.
As an improv musician Tom has accompanied improv players from Belgium, Netherlands, France, UK, Ireland, Italy, Denmark, Spain, Romania, Colombia, Russia, Japan, Finland, Germany, Israel, Turkey, Canada and the USA. He has also performed as dedicated musical director at several international festivals.
Tom has been training and coaching improvisers since 1999. Today, he focuses on 2 key areas. One the one hand on musical improv, teaching improvisers how to sing, and incorporate music and song into improvised performances, both short-form and long-form. On the other hand he spends a lot of energy on character-based narration, mainly for long-form performances.