WICF 2015 Workshops

 SATURDAY, APRIL 25TH


Comedic Storytelling with Giulia Rozzi

10am-12pm, ImprovBoston (Studio)

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Take your personal experiences and turn them into an entertaining, engaging, and funny performance! Whether you want to perform in front of an audience or simply get better at telling a good story - this one day workshop will introduce you the art of comedic storytelling and help you get more comfortable being yourself as you share honest stories about yourself. Through verbal and written exercises we'll find what stories to tell, work on point of view, character, and finding the truth in the tale. Each student will be coached on a story (or two) and receive guidance and feedback from the instructor and other students. The goal is for students to leave class with a stronger stage presence, increased confidence, improved delivery and more ideas for stories to tell. Students should bring a notebook, pen/pencil. and any story ideas they may already be working on to class. ( It's okay if you don't have any ideas yet.)

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Instructor Bio:
Giulia Rozzi Giulia Rozzi is a comedian/writer/actress that has been seen on Chelsea Lately, Vh1, MTV,TLC, Playboy TV, CNN and Comedy Central's This Is Not Happening. As a writer Giulia has worked on MTV's Girl Code, Silent Library, TV Land's Younger and Bravo's Odd Mom Out and has also contributed to Esquire, xoJane, Playgirl, BUST, The Huffington Post and more. She's a Moth GrandSLAM Champion, a TEDx speaker, and is currently touring internationally with her solo show Bad Bride. Giulia also co-hosts the highly acclaimed nationally touring storytelling show Stripped Stories and it the co-star/writer of the web series Seeing Other People. More at giuliarozzi.com.

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Love the One You're With Improv Workshop
with Kelly Buttermore and Justin Peters

10am-12pm, ImprovBoston (Classroon 2)

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If most improv scenes were real life, most meetings with your boss would lead to your firing, the divorce rate would be 95%, and no one has ever, ever had a positive experience in a restaurant or retail store. But what if instead of choosing conflict, we chose love instead? Making a conscious choice to enjoy the company of and care deeply about your scene partner can be a much more interesting, rewarding and empowering choice that can only serve to enhance your scene and make it that much more fun to be in. We'll run exercises to illustrate these points, and help improvisers focus on the things that bring them together, rather than those that drive them apart.

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Instructor Bios:
Kelly Buttermore has been performing improv and sketch comedy in New York since 2003, having trained at the Upright Citizens Brigade and Magnet Theater. She has coached and directed improv groups for the past three years, and currently teaches Level One at the Magnet, where she also leads corporate improv workshops. As a performer, she has been a member of numerous house teams and special ensembles at the Magnet, most recently the veteran team Horses, from 2011- 2014. She has also written and performed numerous sketch revues and two original autobiographical solo shows. She can currently be seen performing with her comedy partner Justin Peters as From Justin to Kelly at venues both in the city and around the country.

Justin Peters has been performing and coaching improv and sketch comedy in New York City since 2003, and has led workshops for novice and expert performers alike. A longtime member of legendary house teams Dunk and Chet Watkins at the Magnet Theater, he has also written and directed several acclaimed one-man shows and sketch revues, most recently the musical comedy "Kill Yourself! with Deke Davis." He now performs with comedy partner Kelly Buttermore as From Justin to Kelly at venues across New York and around the country. His book "The Idealists," about Internet activist Aaron Swartz and the rise of free culture, will be published by Scribner in 2015.

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Satire Writing with the Editors of Reductress

10am-12:50pm, ImprovBoston (Classroom 1)

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Learn how to sharpen your satirical writing skills, create pointed headlines and punch up your writing with the editors of Reductress, Beth Newell and Sarah Pappalardo. From news to magazines and infographics, we will explore satire writing in various formats, and how to pitch and submit to satire publications. reductress.com

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Club Passim Stand-Up Showcase

Instructor Bios:
Beth Newell is the creator and editor of the satirical women's magazine, Reductress. Her work has been featured on The Huffington Post, The Onion News Network, McSweeney's, Pendulous Breasts Quarterly, The Best Week Ever Blog, and The Bygone Bureau. Beth was formerly the managing director of sketch teams at The Magnet Theater in New York City, where she also teaches sketch writing. She has been performing improv comedy since 2005 in various venues, including The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre.

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Club Passim Stand-Up Showcase

Sarah Pappalardo is the co-founder of the first and only satirical women’s magazine, Reductress. She has also produced a small handful of documentary shorts and has written several plays including Cold, which was produced at the Plays and Players Theater in Philadelphia. Sarah has studied and performed sketch and improv at Second City, IO Chicago, The Annoyance Theater, UCBNY, and the Magnet Theater.

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Hip Hop Improv Comedy with North Coast

12:30pm-2:30pm, ImprovBoston (Studio)

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North Coast is New York City’s premier hip hop improv comedy team! Named one of the “Top 10 Comedy Shows of 2014″ by Time Out NY, North Coast is a unique collaboration of comedy, hip hop, and music. This workshop will get even the most beginner performers learning how to get comfortable and confident with free-style rapping and how to really drill into the deal of your scene and its’ characters. Learn how to set yourself up, find your flow, and weave your rapped verses in and out of your improv scene-work.

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Instructor Bios:
Rachel Rosenthal is a comedian and performer with over 15 years of experience. She is currently an improv instructor and performer at The People’s Improv Theater in NYC, where she performs weekly with the improv house team, Family Haircut. She also tours nationally with free-style rapping Hip Hop improv comedy team, North Coast, who was named one of the “Top 10 Comedy Shows of 2014″ by Time Out NY. Rachel has performed and taught workshops both here and abroad and was named the 2014 People’s Improv Theater Instructor of the Year. Rachel has been featured on several podcasts and radio shows including Slate’s “The Gist,” WBUR’s “You’re the Expert,” and Kevin Alison’s RISK! – for which the AV Club called her performance a “tour de force.” Previous students have described her teaching style as "engaged" and "enthusiastic,” and in 2013 the Huffington Post called her an “improv whirlwind.” Find that article and more at www.theraeroshow.com.

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Beatboxer Mark Martin (aka Mandibul) has been performing with North Coast since 2011. He is an internationally touring member of the Voca People since 2011, an acapella musical theatre show that features beatboxing and vocal acrobatics. Mark competes in a variety of beatbox battles and beatbox festivals in the USA, and was a judge for the New England Regional Beatbox Battle in 2014 as well as the SingStrong Chicago Acapella Festival in 2014. Mark is a mentor at the BEAT Rockers program that teaches beatboxing to the blind at the Lavelle School for the Blind in the Bronx. Mark Graduated from NYU in 2011 from the Gallatin School of Individualized Study where he worked on analyzing beatboxing from a linguistic perspective. Mark loves to beatbox.  

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Auditioning for Film, Commercial, and Television Using improv with Zabeth Russell

12:30pm-2:30pm, ImprovBoston (Classroom 2)

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Wondering how to parlay your improv skills into television work? This workshop will show you how to take your improv training from the stage to the audition room. Zabeth Russell is one of the nation's top improvisers and is a working actress and comedian in Los Angeles. She appears steadily in television shows, commercials, film, and print advertising.

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Instructor Bio:
Zabeth Russell is an actress, writer, improviser, improv coach, and person who lives in Los Angeles, California. Zabeth was born in Mooresville, Indiana, and stayed there for a while before moving to Boston. She began doing improv and later was a member of the artistic staff at ImprovBoston before getting on a plane and landing at iOWest in Hollywood, California, where she improvises weekly with Trophy Wife, Armando, Kind Strangers, IO Repertory, and Middle Seat, among others. She's performed and taught in improv and comedy festivals too numerous to mention. I mean, she could mention them, but she won't, unless you really want her to. Most recently she taught Harold technique in Austin, Texas, and scenework at the Women in Comedy Festival in Boston, Massachusetts. Film and TV credits include Raising Hope, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Atom TV's Great Moments in Human Interaction, the PBS film Breaking the Mold, the FOX-TV pilot Page Six (which she also co-wrote) and the Clint Eastwood-directed Mystic River. You may have also seen her yell at Howie Mandel to quiet down in a commercial.

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The Business of Show with Sue Costello

1pm-2:30pm, ImprovBoston (Mainstage)

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Sue Costello will educate you about the business side of "show" business, and empower you to take charge of your own career and not have to rely on outside factors. Sue is one of the first woman stand ups to co create and star in her own sitcom at a very early age. Because she was so young, she was able to take that experience and turn that into a huge career, from all angles of the business.

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Instructor Bio:
After starring in two TV pilots for CBS, Sue Costello was the co-creator of her very own self-titled television series, Fox's Costello, in which she was also a producer. Sue has appeared on countless television shows including NYPD Blue and Comedy Central's Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn. She has served as a guest host on NBC's Later, performed on Comedy Central's Premium Blend, and made it to the finals of NBC’s Last Comic Standing. Sue has also been a panel member on Comics Unleashed with Byron Allen. She has appeared twice on Marc Maron’s WTF Podcast, episode 172 "Sue Costello" and episode 407 “Live from Boston.”

As an actress, and in addition to her television appearances, Sue has also honed her performing skills on the big screen. She was cast in such films as the Academy Award winning The Fighter starring Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale, directed by David O. Russell; Southie starring Donnie Wahlberg, directed by John Shea; and Once in the Life with Laurence Fishburne. Sue also just wrapped filming on the movies The Witching Hour co-starring William Forsythe and Michael Madsen and Best Man In The Dark.

A multifaceted performer, Sue's extensive resume continues to grow. She has performed with Mike O’Malley and Michael Birbiglia at the Nantucket Film Festival's Storytelling event. She even shot her first music video with Jim Breuer. Sue has a one-woman stage show called I Wasn't Trying to Be Funny, whose audience continues to grow and which continues to garner praise. She also has her own weekly podcast, The Kadoozie Kast, which covers a broad range of topics from comedy to lifestyle and everything in between.

The Boston Herald says: “As a performer, Sue Costello is energetic and fearless.”

The Huffington Post states: "Costello, a brilliant comedian.”

Visit Sue at her website suecostello.com.

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Writing for Late Night TV, with Opus Moreschi

1pm-2:30pm, ImprovBoston (Classroom 1)

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Opus Moreschi will tell you everything you need to know about late night comedy writing, including monologue, desk bits, remotes, and how to craft the finest writing sample. He is capable of teaching a tin can to be funny, and you will walk away from this workshop with seventeen Emmys. (This workshop description is non-legally binding)

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Instructor Bio:
Opus Moreschi is a writer and producer, known for The Colbert Report, The New Tom Green Show, The LAte Late Show with Craig Kilborn, and Lil' Bush: Resident of the United States.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Pitching to Networks, with Abbey MacDonald

3pm-4:30pm, ImprovBoston (Classroom 1)

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You've got a killer show idea and you're dying to pitch it to networks, but how do you go about that? Development Executive Abbey MacDonald can answer that question and produced numerous comedy specials and worked alongside projects for Comedy Central, Hulu, Netflix and Amazon. She has also set up projects with NBC, UCP, and Showtime. In this talk Abbey will walk through common pitching related questions such as; How do I get a meeting? What happens there? What does the network need to hear from me? How should I follow up? She has a wealth of knowledge and experience to share and you won't want to miss out on it!

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Instructor Bio:
Abbey MacDonald is the Head of Digital Acquisitions at LAFF, a 24 hour comedy broadcast network that launched earlier this month. Abbey began her comedy career in LA in 2008 producing the massively popular stand up at Candor Comedy Specials. She then spent five years managing talent at New Wave Entertainment, where she produced numerous comedy specials and worked alongside projects for Comedy Central, VH1, MTV, Hulu, Netflix and Amazon. She has also set up projects with NBC, UCP, and Showtime. This is her first year attending WICF and she's excited to see the wealth of talent the festival has to offer.

 

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Tight Five: The Art of Off the Cuff Stand Up

3pm-5pm, ImprovBoston

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Tight Five is the brainchild of Sean Clarke and Josh Poirier where comics are faced with the challenge of creating new jokes on the spot using a slideshow consisting of topics, phrases, and images. Joke writing is very challenging and even Jerry Seinfeld says it takes him six months to create a polished five minute set of stage ready jokes. There are many factors that stand in the way of joke writing: self doubt, self editing and even lack of ideas. In this workshop, we’ll give you tips and tricks to speed up your wit, use your life experiences, and connections to thoughts you didn’t think you had to work out material based on the randomest suggestions possible. We are challenging those involved to learn how to drop script, throw caution to the wind and live in the moment of humor.

Workshop participants are invited to perform a live version of the show following the workshop at 5:30pm at the festival. Participation in the live show is not mandatory but highly recommended, as it will be a great way to get in front of an audience in a fun, supportive atmosphere. Show details are here.

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Instructor Bios:
In his role as Head of the Standup Comedy Program and as a veteran instructor at the ImprovBoston Comedy School, Dana Bein has made his life all about comedy. Dana currently books and hosts The Peoples Show and The Comedy Lottery at ImprovBoston and he's a veteran cast member in the Face Off cast on Saturday nights. He has been featured as a standup comedy coach on MTV's Made and has performed over 1000 shows as a comic and comedic improviser. "Impressive to say the least. Hilarious to say the best. Enormous, both in stature and heart. Dana Jay Bein is one of the most influential artists you will ever meet in the comedy world." - Boston Comedy Examiner. http://www.djbfunny.com/

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Sean Clarke is a comic from Bellingham, MA. He performs throughout New England and has appeared at The Comedy Studio, ImprovBoston, Johnny D's, Lots of Laughs Comedy Lounge, Dick Doherty's Comedy Den, and The RI Comedy Connection. Along with his friend Josh Poirier, Sean producers and hosts the local improvised stand up show Tight Five. His comedy consists of his struggles with losing weight, making sense of the world with his degrees in English and Theater, and providing commentary on his own personal mishaps. He loves pumpkin flavoring and cheesy horror films but dislikes broken glass and writing his own biographies.

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 SUNDAY, APRIL 26TH


Storytelling Workshop with Kevin Allison

10am-1pm, ImprovBoston

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In this class, Kevin Allison (founder of The Story Studio, RISK! and member of The State) will teach you the skills to wow a crowd with your story. You’ll learn how to select compelling story topics, use the “five beat” structure to build suspense, and tap into the larger thematic meaning of your ideas. This class encourages participation: everyone will be given the opportunity to apply storytelling techniques to one of their own stories. A few students will be given the opportunity to share aspects of their story live on stage, and receive criticism so that we all can learn together. Each participant will leave with a 3-minute story that builds upon the principles taught during the class.

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Instructor Bio:
Kevin Allison is the creator of the hit storytelling podcast RISK!, and has been a regular on VH1's hit series Best Week Ever. He is also a writing and performing member of The State, the legendary sketch comedy group best known for The State on MTV, which The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Details called the funniest sketch show on the air. Recent film and TV appearances include Reno 911!: Miami, The Ten, The Next Girl I See and HBO's Flight of the Conchords.

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The Business of Show Business Class with Sue Costello

Featured Video
Writer, director, producer
Paul Feig (Bridesmaids, The Heat)
delivers WICF 2015 Keynote!