CAMP IMPROV UTOPIA East
August 30 - September 2, 2019 (Labor Day Weekend)
Stroudsburg, PA at Camp Trout Lake
Our annual camp is a 3 night retreat for adults 21 and over and takes place at Camp Trout Lake, hidden away in the beautiful Pocono Mountains near Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. Improvisers from all over the world come together and learn improv from nationally renowned teachers. This three-night camping experience includes improv workshops from top instructors, camp activities like archery, lake swimming and kayaking. Your accommodations are great too with cabin camping with private showers and bathrooms, all your meals and much more. Camp is a relaxed environment to learn while experiencing camaraderie, community and nature.
Over 3/4 full sign up today!
- $480 Registration Price
- $495 Payment Plan Available - 2 Pay Plan
- ($250 USD first payment the rest in 30 days.) *Payment Plan available up to 30 days before camp.
CAMP TUITION INCLUDES
Tuition is All-Inclusive! You get:
- Workshops: 10 hours of workshops from master improv teachers! Performances: Improv jams and shows with your cabinmates!
- Camp Activities: Archery, kayaking, swimming, campfires, volleyball, basketball and so much more!
- Lodging: Shared cabins with private bathrooms, showers and electricity.
- Food: All meals are included and prepared by professional kitchen staff. Special dietary and allergy-friendly meals are available, too!
- Improv Summit: An opportunity to ask our expert panel any questions regarding improv, business, legal, marketing and more!
- Community: Meet improvisors from all over the world... community and camaraderie in nature!
Workshop: IT'S ALL ABOUT YOU!
with Amanda Blake Davis
Yes, improvisation is all about ensemble, so let's take a second to hone in on what makes you, YOU! We'll focus on bringing your authentic self to your improvisation. Whether it's tapping into your passions, your fears, or even dynamics of your day to day relationships we'll find a way to translate that to the stage.
Amanda Blake Davis is an actress, improviser and writer living in Los Angeles. She trained in Chicago and is a veteran of The Second City etc stage where she wrote and performed in five original revues, including Disposable Nation, Campaign Supernova and Studs Terkel's Not Working, for which she won a Jeff Award for Best Actress in a revue. She performed Twist Your Dickens! at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City in the role of Tiny Tim, et al. She was part of the hit show Undateable at The Second City Hollywood. She can be seen improvising musicals with Baby Wants Candy at UCB Sunset, and seen performing long form with Heyday and Triumph at various theaters around LA.
Workshop: Trust the Pattern
with Rachel Rosenthal
Your ability to identify patterns is innate - you’ve been doing it since you were a child. Focus in on that pattern and instantly find a way to create laughter from an otherwise stale moment. Your scenes can take off immediately! Learn to identify and manipulate 3 different tools for pattern: the idea, the reaction to the idea, as well as the reveal and you’ll be able to get tons of mileage you otherwise didn’t know was there. This workshop applies to all kinds of scenework, but especially give a boost to group scenes.
Rachel Rosenthal is an improviser and improv instructor with over 17 years’ experience. She is also a free-style rapper. She performs weekly in New York City with free-style rapping Hip Hop comedy team, North Coast, (“Top 10 Comedy Show” - Time Out NY) and with Blank! The Improvised Musical (Off-Broadway). An award-winning instructor, Rachel has led improv workshops all over the world from Barcelona to Iceland to Hawaii and has been a faculty improv instructor at The Peoples Improv Theater, Miami Ad School, Brooklyn Comedy Collective, and at Reckless Theatre in NYC. Once called an “improv whirlwind” by The Huffington Post, Rachel tours nationally and internationally with both North Coast and with free-form team, Big Bang. Prior to moving to New York, Rachel also worked at ImprovBoston for 8 years. Rachel is also a writer, storyteller and actress and has been featured on VH1, MTV, and on several podcasts and radio shows including “This American Life,” “Risk!,” Slate’s “The Gist,” and WBUR’s “You’re the Expert.” More at www.theraeroshow.com or on social media at @raeroshow.
Workshop: An Alternative Approach to Scene Work
with Bill Arnett
Many of the tradition improv rules and concepts separate us from the real world. By looking towards the rules of life we will discover how to create more natural and textured scenes that are easier for us to play and more compelling for an audience to watch.
with Jacque Arend
Allow yourself to speak through your body language, let that be a beacon for what comes next. We will explore behavior, turning our sense up to recognize it in our partners and let it live in ourselves. Adding behavior to your presence on stage can offer your characters more life and inner thought. These moments, which are often had in silence can be as significant a gift to your scene work as any content you can create. Let the behavior create the questions and then help you discover the answers.
Jacque Arend started improvising in 2005. Her first dose of education came from IO Chicago's summer intensive. She co-founded The Torch Theatre (Phoenix, Arizona) in 2007 and was a collaborator on their training program. Her focuses include Ensemble Performance, Advanced Formats, as well as various workshop focuses including Deconstruction. Jacque is the lead instructor for The Torch Theatre's Corporate Team Building program and administers the training center. She also instructs the improv/comedy programs for actors at Arizona Actors Academy and is the registration coordinator for Camp Improv Utopia.
Jacque is a regular performer with a handful of ongoing troupes, such as Light Rail Pirates, JaxN Reed, Skewed News Hour and MuChuChu. Jacque has played on main stage of the Phoenix Improv Festival for the last eleven years. Recently she has performed at the 2016 District Improv Festival, 2017 Del Close Marathon and the last three years of the San Diego Improv Festival. She has brought her workshops to the District & San Diego Fest as well as Camp Improv Utopia East.
Workshop: The Bigger Picture
with PJ Jacokes
The scene is bigger than just you and your partner. In this workshop you'll be focusing on environment, object work, and the world around us to help inform our scenes and make them even better.
Pj Jacokes had been officially improvising since 1997. He is the Producer and a Co-owner of the Go Comedy! Improv Theater, which just celebrated their 10th anniversary, in Ferndale, MI. Pj helped create GoU: The Improv Academy - Go Comedy's training program. Prior to opening GO!, Pj performed at The Improv Inferno in Ann Arbor, MI. At The Second City, Detroit - he was an Actor in the Touring Company, a Stage Manager for the Resident Company and as the Head Instructor of The Second City, Detroit Conservatory. Pj is a co-producer and co-founder of the Detroit Improv Festival. Outside of improv, Pj has been a comedy consultant for an adult novelty company, performed as an elf for a holiday app, and co-starred in the Hungry Howies “Ad Guys” spots for 8 years, Pj has acted on stage and little screens for all of this millennium, including starring in the short film, “Victor” and across from Eminem in “Em, Where Ya Been?”. He has co-written over 25 sketch comedy shows, as well as TV, web and radio commercials, a television pilot, and two-thirds of his great American novel.
Workshop: Postion Play
with Brian O'Connell
Brian James O'Connell teaches you the skills you need to find your "position" in the scene and then play it to the hilt.
Position Play was invented by Miles Stroth (Del Close's "Warchief", Founder, Owner & Operator of The Pack Theater in Los Angeles) as a way to understand and execute the "scene dynamics" of the Four Basic Scene Types: Straight/Absurd, Character Driven, Alternate Reality and Realistic. If you are able to understand the few tools & techniques needed to play these individual scenes, every other choice you make on stage will be from a place of renewed confidence and successful fun!
Topics include: "Thing. Concept. Idea.", "The Five Scenes Everyone Tells You *NOT* To Do But Darn It They Come Up On Stage Anyway", "Playing Archetypes" "Mapping Characters" and many, many more.
Brian James O’Connell is a working actor, writer, director in Los Angeles and a graduate of the prestigious North Carolina School of the Arts (David Gordon Green, Danny McBride, Jody Hill, Dane DeHaan and Jeff Nichols). A regular performer and teacher at the iOWest Theater in Los Angeles, Brian also currently teaches as part of the Core Faculty at The Miles Stroth Workshop.
His comedy troupe, Dr. God recently completed their first feature film project BLOODSUCKING BASTARDS (starring Fran Kranz, Pedro Pascal). which O’Connell directed (his third feature as a director) as well as co-writing the script. You can now find it on demand and online.
Elective Workshop: Vulnerable Improv Workout
with Vanessa Anton
The greatest moments in improv happen when you’re truly connected to your scene partner. But sometimes we don’t let ourselves be seen, and we become our own worst roadblocks.
The intent of this workshop is to turn these roadblocks into gifts so that you can play more authentically. Vanessa will help you work with vulnerability to get through those dreaded scene ruts. And we’ll see how vulnerability also helps in moments when it feels like other players have put up seemingly impenetrable roadblocks.
The theme is authenticity and vulnerability. Let’s get real!
Vanessa Anton has trained with Upright Citizens Brigade in LA, Pack Theatre LA, Annoyance Theatre Chicago and with many other teachers who have hailed from Second City, iO, Magnet Theater and The Nerdist. She has performed in the LA Improv festival, Femprov Festival in San Francisco, Ghostfest in Phoenix, Red Rocks Improv Fest and Improv Fest Ireland in Dublin. She enjoys traveling and getting to know other improv communities and has performed in Oslo, Norway and in London at the Hoopla. Vanessa received her BA in Theatre Arts from San Diego State University. She currently teaches at Finest City Improv and for UCSD Extension and enjoys being a part of the growing local improv community.
Vanessa has recently performed her solo show "Unpaired" at both the Torch Theatre in Phoenix, AZ, and Finest City Improv in San Diego, CA, where she bares her soul showing that she can walk the vulnerable talk!
Vanessa will help you find and speak your truth with her vulnerability in improv workshop. She has taught her workshops in San Diego for both Finest City and Cornerstone Improv, in Phoenix, AZ at the Torch Theatre and in Newmarket, NH for Stranger Than Fiction Improv.
Elective Workshop: Hardcore Emotion
with Nick Armstrong
Emotion is the glue to any improv scene. It's the thing that will lead you to stronger scenes with great POV, characters and connection to your partner. Without it your scene will fall off the rails pretty fast. In this workshop, we will work on intense emotion in scenes. Having a strong emotion gets you out of your head and playing to the top of your abilities. You will also learn how emotion will keep you in the moment and help you follow your instincts more.
*Note this will only be taught in one session at camp. There will be limited spots.
Nick has trained at The Groundlings and iO West. He is an alum of The Sunday Company at the Groundlings and currently performs at the M.I.'s Westside Comedy Theater with LA's Critically Acclaimed Harold team King Ten and County Line. Nick is currently the Artistic Director of Mi's Westside Comedy Theater where he teaches and performs. He is also Co-Owner of Voodoo Comedy Playhouse in Denver. Nick has taught improv at iO West, The Groundlings, The Pack Theater, Voodoo Comedy and has done workshops all over the world.
Nick is also the Camp Director and Founder of Camp Improv Utopia a a 501(c) (3) Non Profit improv retreat for grown ups. He is also one of the founding members of the The Improv Network.
Playing with Style
with Jessica Austgen
Is your scene work stuck in the here and now? Shake up your play by getting specific about your time, place and genre. This style-based workshop will help you free up your improvisation technique so you can feel comfortable jumping into brand new worlds of play. Whether you want to add style specificity to your short form work or infuse your long form with period and genre, you’ll leave this workshop with some new tools to jumpstart your stylized scene work.
Camp is one of the best improv experiences that I could have had. To be in a place where everyone loves improv as much as you do is such a rush. The teachers are supportive and are invested in your learning. The view is awe striking and I always wanted seconds at meal times. You truly do make amazing friends and memories there.
Christina L - Los Angeles, CA