Adult Classes

Youth-classes

We are thrilled to announce that ACT will be hosting the Asheville School of Improv for upcoming adult classes. All Asheville School of Improv classes are taught by Tom Chalmers. Tom will also co-teach an acting class for adults, Essentials of Acting with Kim Mako.

Register Now For:

Rotating Curriculum:

 


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Physical Comedy: Being Funny In & With Your Body

Taught by Tom Chalmers

The course will be taught indoors on the Mainstage of Asheville Community Theatre. All expectations are that masks will be required while attending class. Clear masks will be provided for those who wish to wear them. The class will finish with a limited friends-and-family performance.

This six-week course taught by Tom Chalmers covers the spirit and techniques involved in creating and performing physical comedy. Some call it clowning. Some say it’s slapstick. Others point to pratfalls and pantomime. Known by many names, the craft of physical comedy comes from an expressive exaggeration and a command of the face and body to bring the funny. This course will teach many of the tools used to build a bold physical comedy bit, such as trips, stumbles, falls, takes, doubletakes, slow burns, and more. Students will learn how to do these stunts sharply and safely. They will also learn to demand an audience’s attention, how to enter with purpose, hold the spotlight, and leave on a laugh. The class will also encourage collaboration, creating scenes employing classic comedic dynamics like shadowing and status switch. Participants will be asked to do both improvised exercises as well as planned and practiced pieces.

6 Week Session: June 15-July 20, 2021
Tuesdays, 6:30-8:00 pm
Cost: $180 for full 6 week session, in person

Register Now!

Masks at Asheville Community Theatre: Education Programming

In order to create a safe and equitable environment for everyone participating and leading educational classes or events on ACT grounds, all individuals will be required to wear masks over their mouth and nose at all times. If a student, patron, or participant does not have a mask, one will be provided. We thank you for your support as we work to keep our family, and yours, as safe as possible.


Rotating Curriculum:

Improv I: The Basics of Inspired Improvisation

Taught by Tom Chalmers

This class will be offered in person on the ACT Mainstage, following all the recommended protocols for safety and sanitation. Limited to 8 students. In person classes are 50 minutes with an added 10 minutes for temperature checks. For ages 18+.

Incorporating aspects of the top improv programs in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, this course covers the fundamentals of improvisational acting with an emphasis on comedy; such as listening, commitment, adding information, agreement, intuitive reaction over desperate invention, as well as recognizing and capitalizing on emerging patterns. The class is crafted in such a way to have participants gradually gain their improv instincts through enjoyable and achievable exercises rather than teaching them the taste of disappointment and frustration. Students will gain experience and confidence in unscripted comedic performance through a series of improvised stories, scenes, and group structures; all done from a safe distance.

6 Week Session: TBA


Improv II: Beyond the Basics – Learning to Fly

Taught by Tom Chalmers

This class will be offered in person on the ACT Mainstage, following all the recommended protocols for safety and sanitation. Limited to 8 students. In person classes are 50 minutes with an added 10 minutes for temperature checks. For ages 18+.

Improv II reinforces all of the skills learned in Improv I by applying those skills to advanced scene work, character creation structures, and at times intentionally conflict-filled scenarios. Beyond Basic will encourage students to no longer be bound by the rules of improv but to swing freely and see that the strategies are not restricting but sound instincts. A sense of play is as important as proper technique. Students will gain further experience and confidence in unscripted comedic performance through more-involved improvised stories, scenes, and group structures; again all done from a safe distance.

PREREQUISITE: Improv I or extensive improv experience (*must be pre-approved by instructor)

6 Week Session: TBA


The Essentials of Acting – Online Class

Taught by Tom Chalmers and Kim Mako

This online course is offered as a primer in the craft of scripted performance, exploring the steps to submitting audition tapes, sustaining connected scene work through a screen, and creating three-dimensional characters on a two-dimensional medium. Learn how people see you and what you convey when you are on stage, and now on screen. Armed with that awareness, learn how to best choose and deliver the monologue to land you the parts that are perfect for you. If given material to audition with, learn how to break down the sides, how to discover the beats of the scene, and how to offer varied options. And when you land the part, learn how to attack the script, build the arc of your character, and establish the thoughts behind the lines. This course will culminate with a streamed showcase of the best work created in the class.

6 Week Session: TBA


About the Asheville School of Improv

The Asheville School of Improv has emerged as the central training ground for aspiring improvisers in the Asheville area. Led by esteemed instructor Tom Chalmers, the Asheville School of Improv offers classes that cover the fundamentals as well as the finer points and far-reaching possibilities of performing in an improvised format. More and more people from more and more places are saying “yes” to The House of “Yes And,” from those focused on a future as an improv comedian, to aspiring actors seeking to expand their skills, to interested individuals who are intrigued by the challenge of the sport of spontaneity.

Launched in 2016 , the Asheville School of Improv grew out of the former Asheville acting conservatory, NYS3, which had been offering improv classes since 2012, all taught by one teacher, Tom Chalmers. A graduate of Columbia University, Tom has been absorbing, performing, and advocating improv comedy for over thirty years. While at college, Tom spent summers in Chicago studying with Second City and Improv Olympic, where he learned under improv legend, Del Close. Tom chose to stay in New York where he trained with The Groundlings East / Gotham City Improv. He was a student, performing company member, teacher, and eventually Artistic Director. While in New York, Tom also trained with the Upright Citizen’s Brigade and Burn Manhattan. Tom’s former students have gone on to work on such shows as Saturday Night Live, The Simpsons, and Family Guy, as well as several successful feature films. Tom has been an instructor at NYU, a guest lecturer at Columbia, and is currently an Adjunct Professor at Warren Wilson College. Tom takes all the best ideas and approaches from all the people and programs that he has worked with and blends them together to define his supportive yet demanding style of teaching.



Other Information

We are still working remotely, and email is the best way to reach us. If you have questions, please contact Education Director Amanda Klinikowski or Box Office Manager Cassandra Marcelo.

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