WHO WE ARE
THE FOCUS THEATER IS A PERFORMANCE VENUE AND TRAINING CENTER FOR ROCHESTER, NEW YORK’S BEST COMEDIC MINDS. WE ARE THE ONLY AREA THEATER DEDICATED SOLELY TO THE ART OF IMPROV, SKETCH, AND STAND-UP COMEDY. CHECK OUT OUR CALENDAR FOR UPCOMING SHOWS OR SIGN UP FOR ONE OF OUR CLASSES TO BE IN ONE YOURSELF SOMEDAY! WE OFFER CLASSES DESIGNED FOR EVERYONE FROM THE “DABBLER” WHO JUST WANTS TO BE MORE OUTGOING AT WORK TO THE HARDCORE PERFORMER WHO WANTS TO MAKE IT TO THE STAGE. YOU CAN ALSO HIRE US TO PRODUCE CUSTOM SHOWS, WORKSHOPS, AND TRAINING PROGRAMS FOR BUSINESSES AND SCHOOLS. WHATEVER YOUR COMEDY ITCH, THE FOCUS THEATER CAN SCRATCH IT. COME HAVE A LAUGH WITH US. WE TAKE COMEDY SERIOUSLY!
DATES: August 18, 2019 - October 13, 2019 (8 weeks - no class Labor Day weekend)
Level 1 - 7:30-9:30 PM w/ Kate Armstrong
Level 2 - 5:15-7:15 PM w/ John Forrest Thompson
Level 3 - 3:00-5:00 PM w/ Brian Mossa
By the end of this program students will be able to work within a cast to create full length, fully improvised plays that incorporate spontaneous monologues and scenes with recurring characters, themes, and games. Performers will develop skills that enable them to write, direct, edit, and act in pieces that are made up on the spot using a single audience suggestion.
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Explore the ins and outs of The Harold, Improv’s original long form piece. Learn to craft openings that create dynamic themes upon which to build your scenes. Explore ways of expanding play to flesh out your characters’ world. Find methods of tying together scenes and motifs for a satisfying conclusion. This two-part workshop will emphasize the importance of making strong choices early on, using “if, then” to build upon your ideas, and establishing and pursuing patterns of play.
Saturday, July 20 - 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM
GET OUT OF YOUR HEAD, GET INTO YOUR BODY with Ty Gagnon
Exercises to help circumvent ego and recognize the power of the subconscious connection to the body. Learn how to trust your most vulnerable self and improve your characters through embodiment and movement.
Sunday, July 21 - 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Intro to Improv Sampler (4 weeks)
A four-week session designed to give students an introduction to basic improv principles, as well as a sample of short and long form improv. This is a perfect class if you are new to improv and want more attention and stage time than you receive at the Open Jam.
Weeks 1 & 2: Focus on the concepts of Group Mind; “Yes And”; listening and responding honestly supporting your scene partner; and embracing mistakes.
Week 3: Introduction to long form, with a discussion of different forms; deeper experiences with scene work; continued emphasis on group mind and team support.
Week 4: Short form basics, with an emphasis on games for performance; continue to reinforce the principles from previous weeks; emphasis on stage etiquette and audience interaction.
Wednesdays - July 24 through August 14 (4 weeks)
6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Instructor: Joanne Brokaw
Looking for a fun way to improve your scene work? Let seasoned Improvisor Brian Mossa teach you his technique for finding the scenic game. Scenic games pick up on patterns of behavior and heighten them to hilarious ends. They are fun to play and fun to watch. This one-day workshop will explore methods of establishing two-person scenic games, personal games and premise-based games.
Saturday, July 27 - 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
KILL ALL HUMANS with Ty Gagnon
A workshop focused on improvising everything non-human, from living scenery to group games to maybe Muppets?!
Sunday, July 28 - 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Learn to gently push past fear as we use improv exercises and games to explore the concept of “Yes And” and give ourselves permission to make mistakes, play, and embrace creativity. You'll have fun in a non-judgmental, supportive environment. No improv experience necessary!
Saturday, August 3 - 11 am to 1pm
John Forrest Thompson is a certified Special Education Teacher who specializes in arts integration. During this workshop we will explore ways in which you can use improv and the theater arts to inject your math, language arts, and social emotional lessons and activities with creativity, rigor, and fun. You will leave this workshop with tangible skills and tools you can start using right away in the classroom related to lesson planning, presentation, and classroom management. Space is limited to ensure personal attention and stage time.
Sunday, August 25 from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM