Workshops in Los Angeles & New York

UPCOMING WORKSHOPS IN LOS ANGELES & NEW YORK

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 SOON:

  • Alumni Theater Game Workshop Starts March 12 in Los Angeles
  • Developing a Solo or Ensemble Show with Improvisation Starts March 14th in North Hollywood
  • Weekend Intensive in North Hollywood March 16 & 17th, 2019
  • Weekend Intensive in New York City May 18 & 19th, 2018

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…


Alumni Theater Game Workshop Starts March 12 in Los Angeles

This 9-week workshop is for returning players who would like to delve deeper into exploring the exciting theatrical possibilities in Viola Spolin’s Improvisation for the Theater. Our last session will be a workshop performance/demonstration and a potluck reception for an invited audience of friends and family on Saturday, May 4th.

We’ll meet: We’ll meet for 8 Tuesday nights, March 12 – April 30 plus a workshop demonstration/performance for an invited audience on Saturday, May 4th. All sessions meet from 7:30 – 10pm.
Location: Subud Los Angeles, 5828 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, 90036. 
Tuition: $380. A few sliding scale spaces available. Please ask if you need a payment plan. Tuition is refundable minus a $50 registration fee if you cancel by February 12.
Registration: Email me with questions if needed, then please fill out the registration form found here.


Developing a Solo or Ensemble Show through Improvisation Starts March 14th in North Hollywood

Players will create and develop a monologue or personal story with the goal of beginning a longer piece. Teams of players who would like to develop an ensemble show are also encouraged to participate. We’ll use theater games and improvisational methods to help us round out the characters, fill in detail, and deepen the connections in our scenes and stories. At our last workshop we will present our works-in-progress to an invited audience of friends and family. All experience levels welcome.

We’ll meet: Seven Thursday nights, March 14 to April 25th, plus a final meeting on Saturday, April 27th, which will be a performance of our works-in-progress for an invited audience. All classes meet from 7:30 – 10pm.
Location: 5628 Vineland Ave, North Hollywood, CA 91601.
Tuition: Tuition is $375 for new players and $340 for returning players. sliding scale spaces available. Please ask if you need a payment plan. Tuition is refundable minus a $50 registration fee if you cancel by February 14.
Registration: Email me with questions if needed, then please fill out the registration form found here.


Weekend Spolin Intensive in North Hollywood March 16 & 17th, 2019

Designed to introduce the key principles of Viola Spolin’s revolutionary acting, directing, and teaching methods in two days, the weekend intensive will help players be more fully present onstage and off.  Beginners and experienced players are welcome.

We’ll meet: Saturday and Sunday, March 16 & 17, from 11am to 5pm each day, with an hour break for lunch at 2pm.
Location:  5628 Vineland Ave, North Hollywood, CA 91601.
Tuition: $265. A few sliding-scale spots are available. Payment plans ok. Tuition is refundable minus a $50 registration fee if you cancel by February 16.
Registration:  Email with questions if needed, then please fill out the registration form found here.


Weekend Intensive in New York City May 18 & 19th, 2018

Designed to introduce the key principles of Viola Spolin’s revolutionary acting, directing, and teaching methods in two days, the weekend intensive will help players be more fully present onstage and off.  Beginners and experienced players are welcome.

We’ll meet: We’ll meet: Saturday and Sunday, May 18 & 19th, from 11am to 5pm each day, with an hour break for lunch at 2pm.
Location:  Simple Studios, 134 W 29th Street, 2nd floor, New York, NY 10001
Tuition: $275. A few sliding-scale spots are available. Please ask if you’d like a payment plan. Tuition is refundable minus a $50 registration fee if you cancel by April 18.
Registration:  Email with questions if needed, then please fill out the registration form found here.


Sidecoach Aretha Sills is the granddaughter of Viola Spolin. She studied theater games for many years with her father, director Paul Sills (creator/director of The Second City and Story Theater), and has conducted workshops for Paul Sills’ Wisconsin Theater Game Center, Bard College, Stella Adler Studio of Acting, Stockholm International School, Sarah Lawrence College, and Northwestern University. She has worked with Tony- and Emmy-Award winning actors and has trained faculty from Northwestern, DePaul, Columbia College, The Second City, The Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science, LAUSD, CETA, and many other institutions and schools. She is the Associate Director of Sills/Spolin Theater Works and she directs The Predicament Players. She received her MFA in Creative Writing and Writing for the Performing Arts from UC Riverside where she also taught as a lecturer in creative writing.

To be notified about upcoming workshops, or to inquire about private coaching or workshops for your school or group, please email. 

Quotes about the workshops:

“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 around the country, or to inquire about workshops for your school or group, please email.

Learn about youth theater workshops in Los Angeles here