A 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization | info@improvutopia.com
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CAMP IMPROV UTOPIA East

WHEN

September 3 - 6, 2021 (Labor Day Weekend)

WHERE

WHAT

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.

Registration is Now Open!

  • $495 Registration Price - Includes food, lodging, education and more!
  • $520 Payment Plan Available - 2 Pay Plan
    • ($250 USD first payment the rest in 30 days.) *Payment Plan available up to 30 days before camp.

There is a one time non-refundable 2.3% + $0.30 fee added to each transaction.

*COVID-19 Update: Improv Utopia will follow all CDC, State and City COVID19 Guidelines and will update campers of any changes or restrictions that will be enforced during the time of camp. To help us ensure that we are creating a safe environment regarding COVID-19 please fill in the following questions. It is not required to answer. It will be useful for us to know if we can reach the 80% herd immunity to safely operate all camp activities. We are also pursuing the option of requiring vaccination. If this becomes an issue for anyone, refunds can be issued.

 

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!

CAMP INSTRUCTORS AND WORKSHOPS

Workshop: Matching
with Woody Fu

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Workshop

Matching is the most effective way to get on the same page with your scene partner. But being peas in a pod isn’t just doing what the other person does. It’s a subtle dance, with each player continuously heightening and adding something new. This workshop will give you the tools for powerful, high fidelity matching by focusing on listening, aggressive agreement, and going to your body.

About Woody

Woody Fu has improvised for over 10 years and appeared on Comedy Central, TBS, FX and The New York Times. He performs regularly on Characters Welcome, Maude Night and Baby Wants Candy at UCB NY. He was a castmember of Boom Chicago (Amsterdam), and Thrones! The Musical Parody (Edinburgh Fringe). His one-man show Asian Gracefully toured New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Austin, and Toronto. He is 100% Irish.

 

 

Workshop: Finding Your Inner Weird-y
with Allison Reese-Shapiro

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Workshop

Students will get hands-on improv training in this class focused on improvising characters and premises that resonate with their inner weirdy. Students will receive gentle guidance on how to follow a fun idea and trust their gut. In this class, students will find what their freak flag is and let it fly high!

About Allison

Allison Reese is a Chicago based comedian. This summer Allison was featured in NBC's Breakout Comedy festival at The Second City. She was also Chicago's 2019 JFL and Comedy Central showcases, as well as the 2018 SCOUT showcase. Allison is a regular contributor to The Paper Machete at the Green Mill. Her one-woman show 'You Listen To White People Music?'  was a Chicago Tribune recommended show to see. Allison is 2016 Bob Curry Fellow and Urban Twist alumni. She is the founder/creator of Matt Damon Improv at the Annoyance Theatre. Follow Allison online! Twitter: @monsterrese

Workshop: Working with Musicians: Breaking the Rules and Raising Your Game
with T.J. Mannix

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Workshop

This workshop brings musicians and improvisors together to break the traditional barrier between "actor" and "accompanist". What happens when you empower your musicians to step in and drive a scene. Break the rules of song structure and free your musicians to provide sound effects, underscoring, and even surprise themselves. Musicians are artists, and if we invite them to do more than accompany, we can inspire each other to do ridiculously creative things on stage. As Musical Improvisors, we strive to have strong musicality. During this workshop, improvisors will be pushed to really listen to the music and sound and let it change their scenes and choices. Every improvisor and musician can be a cast member, pushing the boundaries of musical improv as we know it.

About T.J.

T.J. Mannix has been teaching improv, acting, and auditioning in NYC and around the world for over 15 years. He got his start on one of the first UCB Harold teams, “The Bureau,” training with Amy Poehler, Matt Walsh, and Armando Diaz. He has toured with several casts of The Second City/NCL. He was an original cast member and host of ”BLANK: the Musical" off-Broadway.

He is the Founder/Artistic Director of the 12th annual New York Musical Improv Festival at the Magnet Theater in NYC www.NYMIF.com. When he is not quarantined, he tours the world with his epic one-man improvised musical “LimboLand.” He is an alumnus of the University of Miami, Florida and has taught master classes across the U.S., Canada, and 14 countries.

During his 20+ years in NYC, T.J. has appeared in more than 85 TV and radio commercials - along with roles on "Law and Order: SVU," "Law and Order," "Law and Order: Criminal Intent," "All My Children," "One Life to Live," "As the World Turns," and numerous appearances on "Late Night with Conan O’Brien.” He admits to spending a very dark year working as a Mouseketeer.

Workshop: Games, Sub Game and No Games
with Lou Gonzales

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Workshop

This workshop will explore how you focus on the game of the scene. We will break down what aspects of a scene have games that are playable, games that are better as subgames or fun moments that can make a scene flourish without having to play a game.

About Lou

Lou Gonzalez is a comedian based in NYC. You can see him in bit roles on Netflix's Teenage Bounty Hunters, The Other Two and the upcoming movie Black Bear starring Aubrey Plaza. He was a performer and writer for the CBS Diversity showcase in 2019. He also is a cinematographer and director whose work you can see on IFC and a bunch of other comedy websites that don't exist anymore, Having taught and performed improv comedy for 7.years, Lou created platforms for diverse performers in New York and abroad with class experiences and shows that celebrated marginalized voices. His teaching has taken him to various comedy theaters and training centers around the globe celebrating diverse voices. You can see Lou every evening on twitter (@angrylou) contemplating giving it all up and starting a turtle farm.

Workshop: Enjoying Gifts
with Maritza Montañez

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Workshop

Giving and receiving gifts is a key part of surprising yourself in improv. In this workshop, students will practice giving simple and specific gifts, receiving gifts enthusiastically and with commitment, and using precise listening and observation skills in order to treat surprises, potentially conflicting information, "mistakes" as gifts.

About Maritza

Maritza Montañez is a Brooklyn-based improviser and bookseller originally from California's San Joaquin Valley. She performed at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, where she improvised with The Law Firm, At Last!, and Party City, and co-produced Living Room: The First Generation, an improv show based on stories from first generation Americans. Maritza taught improv at UCB Theatre, and has led workshops at universities and in New York City high schools and middle schools. She has been featured in videos for Disney+, MTVNews, and Fusion. She trained in improv, sketch, and characters for nine years, studied history, creative writing, and Spanish literature at New York University, and previously worked in political organizing and labor and nonprofit operations.

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Workshop: Connection and Joy
with John Windmueller

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Workshop

Connection and joy are at the heart of great improv, so how do we get more of that in our scene work and shows? In this workshop we’ll rehearse concrete techniques and new habits to get you out of your head and redirect your focus to your partner and the joy of the scene.

About John

John Windmueller loves improv. Loves it! Being present in the moment, supporting and being supported, laughing and creating art… what’s not to love? John has over 16 years of improv teaching and performance experience and has led sold-out workshops at improv festivals and camps across the US and abroad. Leaving a cushy career as an academic for improv (who does that?), John holds a PhD from the Carter School and serves as the Director of WIT@Work, the applied improv branch of Washington Improv Theater, teaching improv everywhere from NPR to the NSA. Along with helping found the DC District Improv Festival, John is the founder of CIU’s Tiny Improv Festival because, again, John loves improv and loves to help others joyfully connect and create.

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Elective Workshop: POV as an Accesory
with Jacque Arend

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Workshop

Strong POV is a great tool to bring into your scenes. This workshop will exercise how we find a simple POV and use it as an accessory rather than the focus. Create rich characters with dimension, who are fun to watch in any situation.

About Jacque

Jacque Arend began her improv journey in 2005 at the IO Chicago’s summer intensive. She co-founded The Torch Theatre, Phoenix’s first longform theater in 2007, along with the design and instruction of their six level program until 2017. In 2013 Jacque created and continues to coach the improv programs for actors at Arizona Actors Academy. Jacque has brought her workshops to DC, San Diego, Camp Improv Utopia East and often to Tucson, AZ. She is a regular performer at Second Beat Improv Theater performing with Skewed News Hour, a 10 year house team and the duo Birds & Broads. She has been featured in festivals with groups like Mail Order Bride, JaxN Reed, MuChuChu and Light Rail Pirates. Jacque was the very first camper ever and began working officially with Camp Improv Utopia as the registration coordinator in 2015.

Elective Workshop: Acting Schmackting
with Kriten Schier

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Workshop

Let’s talk about our feelings! The best improv comes from allowing yourself to be vulnerable when all eyes are on you, so stop protecting yourself with that contrived "schmacting"! In this workshop we will explore playing scenes with real emotion. You will learn how to launch yourself headfirst into an experience, engaging both physically and emotionally. Allow yourself to take emotional risks, and be truly affected by you scene partner. Allow how you feel to create your point of view, and watch your improv reach new heights. No “schmackting” necessary.

About Kristen

Kristen Schier is the Co Artistic Director of Curious Comedy Theater in Portland Oregon and was the former long time Improv Producer at the Philly Improv Theater. Kristen was also the long time Artistic Director of the Philly based short form ensemble The N Crowd for 13 years. In addition to teaching and directing Kristen brings extensive performance experience in both scripted and unscripted theater, as well as clown. She has  worked regularly as an actor with various professional theater companies in Philadelphia. Kristen has toured both internationally and around the country performing, teaching and headlining at improv festivals in Seattle, Edmonton, Chicago, Toronto, Vancouver, Boston, Montreal, Providence, Austin, DC, Baltimore and Detroit –  to name a few. Kristen has a BFA in the Performing Arts from The University of the Arts Ira Brind School of Theater, where she was a Senior Lecturer having taught Acting for Non-Majors, Freshmen Acting Studio and Improvisation for the Actor. In addition to training she received at UArts Kristen continued to pursue her education in  long-form improvisation with intensives at The Second City in Chicago, The Annoyance Theater in Chicago and The Magnet Theater in New York as well as workshops in physical theater through Pig Iron and The Movement Theater Studio in New York City.

Elective Workshop: The Power of Patient Play
with Wendy and TJ Penrod

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Workshop

Have you ever felt like the improv you play is frantic, chaotic, or impatient?  Does silence in a scene scare you?  When you're doing a scene, have you ever thought to yourself "I loved those characters, I wish we could've spent more time discovering them"?  In this workshop, you'll learn how to slow yourself down and really take in your partners and discover the world they live in. Instead of feeling like all your work must be fast paced, you'll begin to see the value of slower more patient play. We'll focus on tactics to use when you feel stuck to break that thought and propel the scene forward, as well as conversational relationship exercises that can keep a single scene interesting for 30 minutes or more.

About TBA

TJ Penrod is a founding member as well as the education director of OTC Comedy in Cedar City. His love affair with improv began all the way back in high school. He has his bachelor's degree in acting and directing from Southern Utah University and has studied improv with some of the best the business has to offer. He is a member of Pawn Takes Queen and Tapestry. TJ also helped found the Red Rocks Improv Festival and Ye Olde High School Improv Competition. When he's not on stage, you can find TJ enjoying the outdoors, traveling, and spending time with his friends and family.
 
Wendy is a founding member of OTC Comedy in Cedar City Utah and the current Artistic Director. She has been studying and performing improvisational theatre for over 20 years. Wendy earned a BFA in classical acting from Southern Utah University. She is also a member of Pawn Takes Queen and Tapestry. Wendy co-founded both the Red Rocks Improv Festival and Ye Olde High School Improv Competition, both of which have been going strong for over 10 years. In addition to improv Wendy loves traveling, the 49ers, and anything leopard print.

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