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Improv Comedy Connection

Whit Shiller

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Improv Comedy Connection

Improv Comedy Connection

Whit Shiller

0
Followers
1
Plays
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About Us

The Improv Comedy Connection podcast explores how to more deeply connect with audiences and co-performers in improv, stand up, sketch, and communication through comedy.

Latest Episodes

Jonathan Pitts

EToday's new episode features Jonathan Pitts! In this episode, Whit talks with Jonathan - an award-winning, international improv theatre artist, creator, director, producer, and teacher from Chicago. He's been improvising for over 35 years, and has been involved in founding and directing important festivals and experiences like the Chicago Improv Festival and the College Improv Tournament. We talk tech, we talk the global improv community, we talk technique, and we talk about improv - all drawing on Jonathan's deep experience and interest in making connections across the globe with improv. You can connect with Jonathan on the web at JonathanPittsImprov.com & GlobalImprovWalkabout.com or on social media: Facebook: Jonathan Pitts Instagram: @pitts5038 Twitter: @jpitts_28

87 min2 w ago
Comments
Jonathan Pitts

Sheri Flanders

ESheri is an instructor at the Second City training center in the improv and music departments. She has performed at the Engaging Women Conference, been a guest on Vocalo Radio's Morning AMp Council of Feminist Thought show, and was a panelist for the Inside Jokes Comedy Conference hosted by Women In Comedy, and has appeared in numerous podcasts addressing wide-ranging subjects including art, equity, and criticism. Having performed in a variety of forms from Shakespeare to screen, Sheri is a member of the interracial, married sketch team FLANDERS, the head writer for CHOICE THE MUSICAL, was an ensemble member of Second City’s musical house ensemble, INFINITE SUNDAES, and founded the first and longest-running musical improv team CHEAP TRILLS at Just the Funny theater in Miami. She is represented by NV Talent. A member of the American Theater Critics Association, her writing as a freelance journalist, critic, and humorist, has been featured in publications such as McSweeney's, the Chicago Defender, the Chicago Sun-Times, the Chicago Reader, Rescripted, Performink, NewCity, Chicagoland Musical Theater, and the Windy City Times. Sheri was invited to cover the 2020 Sundance Film Festival as part of their Press Inclusion Initiative. There's more Sheri at www.sheriflanders.com or you can find her on Facebook and LinkedIn, too. You can find a lot of Sheri's writing online, but here are a couple of articles to get you going if you don't know where to start: Black Artistic Leaders Take Charge at Several Chicago Theaters -- The Chicago Reader Inclusion in Improv: or How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Use the Bomb -- Rescripted

70 minOCT 19
Comments
Sheri Flanders

Flavien Reppert

EIn this episode, Whit and Flavien Reppert discuss Flavien’s beginnings in improv in the Match format to his current work at Le Théâtre de l’Oignon. This particular conversation includes a segment regarding the role that language plays in improvising – something that Flavien is particularly positioned to talk about as he not only has travelled to 27 countries, but has improvised in French, English, German, Portuguese, Italian and Spanish. The theatre/professional improvisation company he founded in 2003 (Le Théâtre de l’Oignon) is still Flavien’s base. He is their artistic director, a performer and coach. There, he has created dozens of original formas, but the signature format of his and his theatre is Random which is performed by many groups worldwide. We also talk a bit about Ohana, an international exchange platform that Flavien is a member of that focuses on improvisation and is comprised of 50 members representing 20 nationalities: ohanaproject.eu You can get tons more info about Flavien at his website: flavienreppert.com (there is both French and English language versions) or follow him on social media: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Flaviencomedien/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/captainflav/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/improignon

61 minOCT 4
Comments
Flavien Reppert

Anna Ong

In episode 8, Whit talks with Anna Ong. Anna is a Singapore based Storyteller and Improviser. Anna's first exposure to live storytelling came while performing at an improv show in with The Magnet in New York City in 2018. That experience led to others, including at The Moth in NYC and with the Story District in Washington DC. Today she is the creator, host and producer of What’s Your Story Slam, a live storytelling competition show based in Singapore that focuses promoting a culture of personal storytelling and a consultant using storytelling, applied improvisation, and other disciplines to assist businesses achieve more. We discuss what goes into a good story, but also what goes into a good show. Given the basic human connection to story, these insights can impact improvisers, stand ups, and communicators of all types.

69 minSEP 20
Comments
Anna Ong

Omar Galvan

Season 3, Episode 7's guest is Omar Galvan - an improviser, workshop facilitator and author originally from Argentina, but now residing in Madrid. Omar is a sought after instructor not only throughout the Spanish speaking world but throughout the world, generally. It is a treat to continue the increasing breadth of experiences in the improv world in the podcast with someone as thoughtful and insightful as Omar. You can get access to Omar's Yes, But . . . essay and also an electronic version of his book, Del Salto al Vuelo through the Status magazine site -- with the essay available in English, French and Spanish. Click here to go there. Social Media/Contact: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/omarargentinogalvan

71 minSEP 8
Comments
Omar Galvan

Balasree Viswanathan

In this episode, Whit sits down with Balasree Viswanathan. Bala is an improviser based in Bangalore, India, where she is also the co-artistic director of Improv Comedy Bangalore and a performer with The Adamant Eves, India's first and currently only all-women improv ensemble. Improv is newer in India, and particularly Bangalore - and we discuss its developments and distinctives, inclusive of the specific experience she's had with The Adamant Eves. Bala has been improvising since 2016 and has performed in shows in the US, across India and more recently, in Sri Lanka - but has been very active in the global improv community online. She not only is performing with improvisers all over the world via Zoom, but she offers training herself as a facilitator of online workshops. Social Media/Contact: Facebook and Instagram : @ICBangalore and @adamanteves Website: www.icbangalore.com

56 minAUG 23
Comments
Balasree Viswanathan

Anne Libera

Get ready for a college level conversation in this one credit symposium with Anne Libera. Anne has worked with The Second City since 1986 and taught in their Training Center since 1991, but is also the Director of Comedy Studies for the Theater Department at Columbia College in Chicago where she teaches History and Analysis of Modern Comedy and Comedy Survey I and II. She is the author of The Second City Almanac of Improvisation and is working on a new book on what it takes to be funnier and other aspects of comedy. This is a wide ranging conversation that will provide you with a perspective on what makes improv and comedy work, aspects of the industry, and so much more. You can find more about Anne at the Second City or find her on Twitter @AnneLibera1. * Note that this conversation was recorded in early 2020, well before quarantine was instituted in most of the world.

67 minAUG 9
Comments
Anne Libera

Kevin Mullaney

In this episode, Whit has a conversation with Kevin Mullaney, who so many will know from the Improv Resource Center, the associated podcast, and his training that has impacted thousands of improvisers. He was the first Artistic Director of the UCB in New York, but is back in Chicago. The subjects include a consideration of what Kevin’s dream curriculum and approach to improv training would be and what characteristics might be found a transcendent improviser. In addition, we spent time discussing how improv might fit differently at different times in life. You can look Kevin up at kevinmullaney.com and @ircmullaney on Twitter to keep up with what he’s up to. * Note that this conversation was recorded in early 2020, well before quarantine was instituted in most of the world.

69 minJUL 27
Comments
Kevin Mullaney

Shannon Dale Stott

Shannon Dale Stott is an improviser and instructor out of Austin, Texas. She’s brilliant, fun and thoughtful and was the inspiration I (Whit) needed to start recording interviews again. We spent a fair amount of time on matters of vulnerability and attunement in this conversation. In fact, we probably spent another hour or so afterwards discussing related topics. The notion of vulnerability training I think deserves space in every improv curriculum, and not just as a one off but something closer to the core – and I think that dovetails in with attunement as a discipline individually and within a community. But all that requires work and thoughtfulness. The net result is better improv, better community, and more joy – so it’s worth it. But it still requires doing the work. This is definitely one of the longer episodes, and as jam packed as it was there’s a lot more we could have dove into. As much as you’ll get from the conversation, you’ll likely want to hear and experience more from Shannon. There are a number of ways to do that, including looking her up on social media (FaceBook, Instagram, and YouTube in particular), search for classes she might lead at The Hideout Theater in Austin, and on patreon too by going to patreon.com/shannonstottimprov/. Shannon posts some specific content there for supporters. Lastly, you can find out that much more at her website www.shannonunlimited.com.

101 minJUL 12
Comments
Shannon Dale Stott

Patti Stiles

Our second episode in Season 3* is with the incomparable, Patti Stiles! Patti learned improv and theatre at the famed Loose Moose Theatre Company in Calgary with Keith Johnstone as a direct mentor. She subsequently moved to Melbourne from where she works as an actor, improviser, director, instructor and playwright. Many in the improv community know all this, as few have traveled the world teaching and encouraging improv at the level that Patti does. This particular conversation occurred in early 2020, before COVID-19 and so much more -- so this is a rich and full conversation on the art of improv that I know you'll enjoy. But you can also hear more from Patti in the first, fourth, fifth and last sessions of the COVID-19 Summit. Patti has an infectious enthusiasm for improvisation that comes through, but is equally matched by her insight into improvisation technique, strong narrative skill and her spirit of play. Prepare to be inspired, and then be sure to look for more about and from Patti at pattistiles.com and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. * Note that what was to be Season 2 was pushed to Season 3 in light of the COVID-19 lockdown and the Summit that followed. This episode, and several others in Season 3, were recorded in January and February, 2020. No doubt that different conversations and topics would have been considered if this conversation had occurred later.

83 minJUN 29
Comments
Patti Stiles

Latest Episodes

Jonathan Pitts

EToday's new episode features Jonathan Pitts! In this episode, Whit talks with Jonathan - an award-winning, international improv theatre artist, creator, director, producer, and teacher from Chicago. He's been improvising for over 35 years, and has been involved in founding and directing important festivals and experiences like the Chicago Improv Festival and the College Improv Tournament. We talk tech, we talk the global improv community, we talk technique, and we talk about improv - all drawing on Jonathan's deep experience and interest in making connections across the globe with improv. You can connect with Jonathan on the web at JonathanPittsImprov.com & GlobalImprovWalkabout.com or on social media: Facebook: Jonathan Pitts Instagram: @pitts5038 Twitter: @jpitts_28

87 min2 w ago
Comments
Jonathan Pitts

Sheri Flanders

ESheri is an instructor at the Second City training center in the improv and music departments. She has performed at the Engaging Women Conference, been a guest on Vocalo Radio's Morning AMp Council of Feminist Thought show, and was a panelist for the Inside Jokes Comedy Conference hosted by Women In Comedy, and has appeared in numerous podcasts addressing wide-ranging subjects including art, equity, and criticism. Having performed in a variety of forms from Shakespeare to screen, Sheri is a member of the interracial, married sketch team FLANDERS, the head writer for CHOICE THE MUSICAL, was an ensemble member of Second City’s musical house ensemble, INFINITE SUNDAES, and founded the first and longest-running musical improv team CHEAP TRILLS at Just the Funny theater in Miami. She is represented by NV Talent. A member of the American Theater Critics Association, her writing as a freelance journalist, critic, and humorist, has been featured in publications such as McSweeney's, the Chicago Defender, the Chicago Sun-Times, the Chicago Reader, Rescripted, Performink, NewCity, Chicagoland Musical Theater, and the Windy City Times. Sheri was invited to cover the 2020 Sundance Film Festival as part of their Press Inclusion Initiative. There's more Sheri at www.sheriflanders.com or you can find her on Facebook and LinkedIn, too. You can find a lot of Sheri's writing online, but here are a couple of articles to get you going if you don't know where to start: Black Artistic Leaders Take Charge at Several Chicago Theaters -- The Chicago Reader Inclusion in Improv: or How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Use the Bomb -- Rescripted

70 minOCT 19
Comments
Sheri Flanders

Flavien Reppert

EIn this episode, Whit and Flavien Reppert discuss Flavien’s beginnings in improv in the Match format to his current work at Le Théâtre de l’Oignon. This particular conversation includes a segment regarding the role that language plays in improvising – something that Flavien is particularly positioned to talk about as he not only has travelled to 27 countries, but has improvised in French, English, German, Portuguese, Italian and Spanish. The theatre/professional improvisation company he founded in 2003 (Le Théâtre de l’Oignon) is still Flavien’s base. He is their artistic director, a performer and coach. There, he has created dozens of original formas, but the signature format of his and his theatre is Random which is performed by many groups worldwide. We also talk a bit about Ohana, an international exchange platform that Flavien is a member of that focuses on improvisation and is comprised of 50 members representing 20 nationalities: ohanaproject.eu You can get tons more info about Flavien at his website: flavienreppert.com (there is both French and English language versions) or follow him on social media: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Flaviencomedien/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/captainflav/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/improignon

61 minOCT 4
Comments
Flavien Reppert

Anna Ong

In episode 8, Whit talks with Anna Ong. Anna is a Singapore based Storyteller and Improviser. Anna's first exposure to live storytelling came while performing at an improv show in with The Magnet in New York City in 2018. That experience led to others, including at The Moth in NYC and with the Story District in Washington DC. Today she is the creator, host and producer of What’s Your Story Slam, a live storytelling competition show based in Singapore that focuses promoting a culture of personal storytelling and a consultant using storytelling, applied improvisation, and other disciplines to assist businesses achieve more. We discuss what goes into a good story, but also what goes into a good show. Given the basic human connection to story, these insights can impact improvisers, stand ups, and communicators of all types.

69 minSEP 20
Comments
Anna Ong

Omar Galvan

Season 3, Episode 7's guest is Omar Galvan - an improviser, workshop facilitator and author originally from Argentina, but now residing in Madrid. Omar is a sought after instructor not only throughout the Spanish speaking world but throughout the world, generally. It is a treat to continue the increasing breadth of experiences in the improv world in the podcast with someone as thoughtful and insightful as Omar. You can get access to Omar's Yes, But . . . essay and also an electronic version of his book, Del Salto al Vuelo through the Status magazine site -- with the essay available in English, French and Spanish. Click here to go there. Social Media/Contact: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/omarargentinogalvan

71 minSEP 8
Comments
Omar Galvan

Balasree Viswanathan

In this episode, Whit sits down with Balasree Viswanathan. Bala is an improviser based in Bangalore, India, where she is also the co-artistic director of Improv Comedy Bangalore and a performer with The Adamant Eves, India's first and currently only all-women improv ensemble. Improv is newer in India, and particularly Bangalore - and we discuss its developments and distinctives, inclusive of the specific experience she's had with The Adamant Eves. Bala has been improvising since 2016 and has performed in shows in the US, across India and more recently, in Sri Lanka - but has been very active in the global improv community online. She not only is performing with improvisers all over the world via Zoom, but she offers training herself as a facilitator of online workshops. Social Media/Contact: Facebook and Instagram : @ICBangalore and @adamanteves Website: www.icbangalore.com

56 minAUG 23
Comments
Balasree Viswanathan

Anne Libera

Get ready for a college level conversation in this one credit symposium with Anne Libera. Anne has worked with The Second City since 1986 and taught in their Training Center since 1991, but is also the Director of Comedy Studies for the Theater Department at Columbia College in Chicago where she teaches History and Analysis of Modern Comedy and Comedy Survey I and II. She is the author of The Second City Almanac of Improvisation and is working on a new book on what it takes to be funnier and other aspects of comedy. This is a wide ranging conversation that will provide you with a perspective on what makes improv and comedy work, aspects of the industry, and so much more. You can find more about Anne at the Second City or find her on Twitter @AnneLibera1. * Note that this conversation was recorded in early 2020, well before quarantine was instituted in most of the world.

67 minAUG 9
Comments
Anne Libera

Kevin Mullaney

In this episode, Whit has a conversation with Kevin Mullaney, who so many will know from the Improv Resource Center, the associated podcast, and his training that has impacted thousands of improvisers. He was the first Artistic Director of the UCB in New York, but is back in Chicago. The subjects include a consideration of what Kevin’s dream curriculum and approach to improv training would be and what characteristics might be found a transcendent improviser. In addition, we spent time discussing how improv might fit differently at different times in life. You can look Kevin up at kevinmullaney.com and @ircmullaney on Twitter to keep up with what he’s up to. * Note that this conversation was recorded in early 2020, well before quarantine was instituted in most of the world.

69 minJUL 27
Comments
Kevin Mullaney

Shannon Dale Stott

Shannon Dale Stott is an improviser and instructor out of Austin, Texas. She’s brilliant, fun and thoughtful and was the inspiration I (Whit) needed to start recording interviews again. We spent a fair amount of time on matters of vulnerability and attunement in this conversation. In fact, we probably spent another hour or so afterwards discussing related topics. The notion of vulnerability training I think deserves space in every improv curriculum, and not just as a one off but something closer to the core – and I think that dovetails in with attunement as a discipline individually and within a community. But all that requires work and thoughtfulness. The net result is better improv, better community, and more joy – so it’s worth it. But it still requires doing the work. This is definitely one of the longer episodes, and as jam packed as it was there’s a lot more we could have dove into. As much as you’ll get from the conversation, you’ll likely want to hear and experience more from Shannon. There are a number of ways to do that, including looking her up on social media (FaceBook, Instagram, and YouTube in particular), search for classes she might lead at The Hideout Theater in Austin, and on patreon too by going to patreon.com/shannonstottimprov/. Shannon posts some specific content there for supporters. Lastly, you can find out that much more at her website www.shannonunlimited.com.

101 minJUL 12
Comments
Shannon Dale Stott

Patti Stiles

Our second episode in Season 3* is with the incomparable, Patti Stiles! Patti learned improv and theatre at the famed Loose Moose Theatre Company in Calgary with Keith Johnstone as a direct mentor. She subsequently moved to Melbourne from where she works as an actor, improviser, director, instructor and playwright. Many in the improv community know all this, as few have traveled the world teaching and encouraging improv at the level that Patti does. This particular conversation occurred in early 2020, before COVID-19 and so much more -- so this is a rich and full conversation on the art of improv that I know you'll enjoy. But you can also hear more from Patti in the first, fourth, fifth and last sessions of the COVID-19 Summit. Patti has an infectious enthusiasm for improvisation that comes through, but is equally matched by her insight into improvisation technique, strong narrative skill and her spirit of play. Prepare to be inspired, and then be sure to look for more about and from Patti at pattistiles.com and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. * Note that what was to be Season 2 was pushed to Season 3 in light of the COVID-19 lockdown and the Summit that followed. This episode, and several others in Season 3, were recorded in January and February, 2020. No doubt that different conversations and topics would have been considered if this conversation had occurred later.

83 minJUN 29
Comments
Patti Stiles
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