“Improvisation is a great performance skill, sure, but I honestly see it as Human Being training.” – Jean-Michel Cliche

Instructor Jean-Michel Cliche

The TNB Theatre School had announced its upcoming winter program lineup, and there’s a new class in the works! Beginning January 7 and running for eight weeks, our Improv for Adults class will no doubt be one of the best ways imaginable to beat the winter blues.

This new program open to everyone 19 and over will be led by theatre school instructor, all around arts visionary and seasoned improv expert, Mr. Jean-Michel Cliche.

“I first started teaching improv classes for adults with Hot Garbage Comedy a few years back and it was an absolute blast. Because improv relies so heavily on group work, each class is unique in a really exciting way,” says Cliche. “Every individual brings their own ideas, sense of humour and interests to the room, which creates this large web of performance possibilities. For me, the best part of the class is watching people transform. Many of us, especially right now, are working in isolation. For some people, a class like this is their only chance to socialize and forget real life. It’s very freeing to come into a room and go, ‘okay, for the next five minutes, I’m a talking tree. I can handle that.’”

Beyond the immediate fun that can come from working together with a group to create something altogether unique, free of boundaries or creative limitations, improv is a great way to build confidence. Under Cliche’s guidance, students will develop new skills for listening, supporting and collaborating with others, skills that will not only aid in the collective creative process but can also work equally well in our individual lives, at work, at home and at play.

“I think improv is a hugely useful skill for anyone and can have a real impact on your social and professional life,” says Cliche. “Improv is all about listening to others, being supportive and working together to make something enjoyable for everyone involved, which are all skills that transcend the performance world. Plus, improv is just inherently fun. Everything you do is made up, so there’s this relaxed mutual understanding that things will probably go wrong. When they do, we laugh. And when things go right, we still laugh! Improvisation is a great performance skill, sure, but I honestly see it as Human Being training.”

If all this sounds interesting to you but you’re still a little bit, ‘I don’t know if I can do this,’ Cliche offers this quick explanation of the format each class will follow.

“Improvising is like building a house. At the beginning of a scene, you want to set down a really solid foundation and then you work your way up from there,” he says. “The class is going to micmic that formula; we’ll start with our basics and build upwards. Improv skills are neatly packaged into these larger concepts (listening, platforming, group mind, etc), so each week we’ll look at something new and add it to our little house! Improv is primarily taught through games, so everyone will have plenty of time to be both on the stage and getting to sit back and watch others made fools of themselves.”

Sounds fun, doesn’t it? Registration for Improv for Adults is now open and space is limited. The TNB Theatre School follows extensive health and safety practices, all of which can be read here.

Improv for Adults is an eight week program which will run on Thursday nights from 7:15 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. beginning January 7. Reserve your spot today!