Explore the improvisational acting method of Viola Spolin to enhance your training as an actor, improviser, educator, writer, or director. Named “one of the most prominent acting techniques” by Backstage, Viola Spolin’s Theater Games release the intuition through focus, spontaneity, and play, opening up new avenues of expression and communication in your work and in your daily life.
COMING SPRING & SUMMER OF 2018:
Chicago Spolin Intensive May 19 & 20 (wait list only)
Berkeley Spolin Intensive June 2 & 3
Seattle Spolin Intensive at Unexpected Productions June 23 & 24
First-ever 5-Day Summer Spolin Intensive in Los Angeles July 23-27 (wait list only)
Shakespeare & Spolin for Ages 7-14 at the Los Angeles Drama Club July 9-13
Viola Spolin’s Theater Games launched the American improvisational theater movement and changed the way acting is taught. Her work has influenced generations of actors and educators. In the workshops with sidecoach Aretha Sills, we’ll explore the groundbreaking exercises and theatrical concepts found in her seminal book Improvisation for the Theater, with an emphasis on the philosophies of legendary improvisation innovators Viola Spolin and Paul Sills, and on applying Spolin’s meditative methods to your work in any artistic discipline.
Learn more below…
Chicago Weekend Intensive May 19 & 20
The Chicago Intensive is sold out. For a spot on the waiting list, please email.
The weekend intensive is an accelerated version of a longer introductory workshop. Actors, educators, directors, and improvisers learn through play how to incorporate Viola Spolin’s transformative techniques into their practice. Workshops are open to beginners and experienced players. The intensive will introduce players to the the key principles of Spolin’s acting, directing, and teaching methods, and help you be more fully present onstage and off.
We’ll meet: Saturday and Sunday, May 19 and 20, 2018, from 10am to 4pm, with an hour meal break at 1pm.
Location: Foxhole Creative, 2444 W Montrose Ave., Chicago, Illinois 60618
Tuition: $250. I accept checks, Venmo, and PayPal. PayPal tuition is $257.50. I am open to payment plans.
Refund Policy: Tuition is refundable minus $50. if you cancel by April 19.
Registration: Email me for a spot on the waiting list.
Bay Area Weekend Intensive June 2 & 3
The intensive is open to beginners and experienced players and will introduce players to the the key principles of Spolin’s acting, directing, and teaching methods.
We’ll meet: Saturday and Sunday, June 2 & 3, 2018,
from 10am to 4pm, with an hour lunch break at 1pm.
Location: Shotgun Studios, 1201 University Avenue, Berkeley, CA, 94702
Tuition: $250. A few sliding-scale spots are available. Payment plans ok.
Registration: Email with questions if needed, then please fill out the registration form found here. I will reply with payment instructions.
Seattle Weekend Spolin Intensive at Unexpected Productions June 23 & 24
The intensive is an accelerated version of an introductory workshop. Actors, educators directors, and improvisers learn (through play) how to incorporate Spolin’s transformative techniques into their practice. The workshop is open to beginners and experienced players and is designed to help players be present onstage and off.
We’ll meet: Saturday and Sunday, June 23rd & 24th, from 10am to 4pm, with an hour lunch break at 1pm.
Location: Unexpected Productions Improv School
650 South Orcas, Suite 101 Seattle WA 98108
Registration: visit here.
First Ever 5-Day Summer Intensive in Los Angeles
A complete ten-week introductory class in five days! Actors, educators, directors, and improvisers learn through play how to incorporate Viola Spolin’s transformative techniques into their practice. Workshops are open to beginners and experienced players. The 5-day intensive will introduce players to the the key principles of Spolin’s revolutionary acting, directing, and teaching methods, and help them be more fully present onstage and off.
We’ll meet: Monday July 23rd through Friday July 27th, from 10am to 4pm. We’ll take an hour meal break at 1pm each day.
Location: Subud Los Angeles, 5828 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, 90036.
Workshop meets in the heart of the Miracle Mile/Mid Wilshire district of Los Angeles, right on Museum Row. Our location is steps away from LACMA, the Peterson Automotive Museum, and the La Brea Tar Pits Museum, and within short walking distance of many restaurants and other local attractions.
Tuition: $450. Returning players rate is $400. I accept checks, Venmo, and PayPal. A few sliding scale spaces are available, and I am open to payment plans. Email to discuss first. Tuition is refundable minus $50 if you cancel in writing by May 23.
Lodging and travel: Players find their own lodging, but I can put out-of-town visitors in contact with each other to discuss sharing car rentals or lodging, etc. Feel free to email me with any travel questions.
SHAKESPEARE & SPOLIN SUMMER SESSION FOR AGES 7 – 14 AT THE LOS ANGELES DRAMA CLUB JULY 9 – 13
July 9 – 13, at the Chromolume Theater, 5429 Washington Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016. For 2nd through 9th grade (Fall 2018).
Los Angeles Drama Club has always used Viola Spolin’s Theater Games as one of the foundations of the way we approach Shakespeare, and we are thrilled to have Aretha Sills with us this week. Ms. Sills is the granddaughter of Viola Spolin. She studied Spolin’s improvisational theater games for many years with her father, legendary director Paul Sills, creator/director of The Second City and Story Theater. Our Players will be introduced to a series of games and exercises designed to unleash creativity through spontaneity, focus, and play. They will have a chance to develop the sensory awareness and communication skills needed on-stage and in daily life in an encouraging and joyful environment.
Quotes about the workshop:
“Aretha is dedicated to preserving the pureness of this technique, which from my point of view assists the actor to find the courage to find themself and then to fly. I believe she has, innately and amazingly, all the elements of the technique of both Viola Spolin and Viola’s son, the extraordinary director, Paul Sills. I have studied with Aretha, and believe me, the thrill lives on.” – Paul Sand, Tony Award winner, Paul Sills’ Story Theater; Original Second City cast member
“Aretha Sills, carrying on the work of Spolin and Sills, is an amazing, insightful side-coach and teacher. We were fortunate enough to take a workshop in L.A. with her and it helped us reconnect with theater game work on a deeper level. She knows her stuff. Can’t wait to work with her again!” – Deb Lacusta & Dan Castellaneta, The Simpsons, actor & writers
“As an educator and instructor of acting and directing, I was eager to learn about the American theater improvisation developed by Viola Spolin and expounded by Paul Sills. Aretha Sills provides an insight into the authentic roots of the system that has been utilized for years by theatre training programs. The workshop will provide you with an excellent opportunity to explore various games and exercises to enrich your view of performance and acting.” -Norma Saldivar, professor and chair, UNLV Department of Theatre, and executive director of the Nevada Conservatory Theatre
“Aretha is one of the century’s best improvisation teachers. Like her grandmother before her, she understands people, theater, and improvisation in an intuitive and deep way. As someone who has studied with some of the top teachers in the country and has performed for over 15 years, I can honestly say Aretha’s work opened my eyes. I understood improv on a deeper level. I was refreshed and returned to beginner’s mind.” -David Alger, founder Pan Theater
To be notified about upcoming workshops, or to inquire about workshops for your school or group, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Learn about her new youth theater workshops in Los Angeles here.