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The Art of the Two-Person Scene (John Hartman Workshop – Laughtrack Theater Intensive)

    The Art of the Two-Person Scene – Saturday, August 14

Class Description
The two-person scene is the basis for all of long-form improv, and yet it can sometimes seem like the hardest to get right. Learn to sustain a powerful two-person scene with compelling, realistic characters and by finding what the scene is about right away. This workshop will provide lots of personal feedback so that you can find out how you as an individual can succeed in improv.

BIO
JOHN HARTMAN’S has been performing improv across the country for over ten years. After performing on the mainstage of the Improv Inferno in Ann Arbor, MI for several years, John now performs around Chicago at the iO Theater, at the Apollo Theater with the musical improv powerhouse Baby Wants Candy, and at The Annoyance Theatre, where he recently mounted his solo show, Your Friends and Enemies (Time Out Chicago Critic’s Pick). He also performs with ImprovAcadia in Bar Harbor, ME and on the NCL Pride of America with The Second City. has been performing improv across the country for over ten years. After performing on the mainstage of the Improv Inferno in Ann Arbor, MI for several years, John now performs around Chicago at the iO Theater, at the Apollo Theater with the musical improv powerhouse Baby Wants Candy, and at The Annoyance Theatre, where he recently mounted his solo show, Your Friends and Enemies (Time Out Chicago Critic’s Pick). He also performs with ImprovAcadia in Bar Harbor, ME and on the NCL Pride of America with The Second City.

Notes for Posterity
We talked about what makes a good two person scene and what we like that other improvisors do?

The VAPAPO (Acronym)
V-Voice
A-Attitude
P-Posture
A-Animal
P-Picture
O-Object

Warm ups-
Protector/Enemy
Where the F@#! is the Celery

Two person scene warm ups
one minute scene
30 second ”
15 second ”
5 second ”

Sense of urgency in your scenes – Approach a 5 minute scene like it will last 5 seconds and you have to get out as much information as you can in the beginning. (Start in the middle of the scene) Every scene should have a rise and fall.

Second half – VAPAPO
Game of the scene – finding it and participating in it should feel effortless if you’re responding as the character, which is where VAPAPO comes in.

– two characters, talking and relating – let the character inform the relationship.
– animal walk to character – character interview – let the character be influenced by the animal.

three ways to respond in a scene is with vulnerability, honesty, confidence.

My thought to explore, inspired by class – For me I think it’s always an interesting journey to play a scene with heightened emotion and awareness while STILL being connected to the other person you are on stage with. I feel if you go that route, i.e. play big and extremely at the top (which I’m not opposed to) you must be even more connected to the other person you are on stage with. Because the connection is always the most important to me but it’s even harder to hold on to when you’re in a heightened frame of mind.
I think naturally (in real life) when someone is playing a heightened emotion they are normally not thinking of the other people that are around them, but what they want and need. It’s not about connecting to the other person that’s there but about them connecting to you. BUT in improv it’s both people on stage that need to maintain a connection (if not in the scene, in the meta-improvisor way). Hmmm . . . I do wonder if it can be done with those components in mind though . . . .

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About improvunderdogs

A fan of improv and using it in a variety of ways. This blog is part of our quest to make improv more valued in the community.

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