FNA950 - Improvisation I

Outline info
Last revision date 2018-07-20 11:32:56.479
Last review date 2018-07-20 11:33:18.931

Subject Title
Improvisation I

Subject Description
From educators and business professionals to doctors and nurses, an Improv class is ideal for anyone seeking to step out of their comfort zone, improve their presentation skills or excel at public speaking.  This Improv class combines learning with laughter and uses engaging improvisational exercises and games in teaching students to bring spontaneity and creativity to their work.

Improvisational exercises and games pioneered by Viola Spolin, Stanislavsky and others, are covered and used to explore comic and dramatic modes: working spontaneously and creatively; making strong presentation choices quickly.

Credit Status
One Credit

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

1. Incorporate a basic 'improv' vocabulary.
2. Demonstrate improvisational skills at an entry level.
3. Incorporate and apply constructive criticism given by the instructor.
4. Identify and apply basic improvisational techniques
5. Apply observations and feedback of other students' work to make effective decisions about what ?works? theatrically.
6. Create relationships, place, and situation at an entry level, without benefit of props, scenery, and costumes.
7. Demonstrate spontaneity and creativity with other actors.

Cheating and Plagiarism
Each student should be aware of the College's policy regarding Cheating and Plagiarism. Seneca's Academic Policy will be strictly enforced.

To support academic honesty at Seneca College, all work submitted by students may be reviewed for authenticity and originality, utilizing software tools and third party services. Please visit the Academic Honesty site on http://library.senecacollege.ca for further information regarding cheating and plagiarism policies and procedures.

All students and employees have the right to study and work in an environment that is free from discrimination and/or harassment. Language or activities that defeat this objective violate the College Policy on Discrimination/Harassment and shall not be tolerated. Information and assistance are available from the Student Conduct Office at student.conduct@senecacollege.ca.

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
The College will provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities in order to promote academic success. If you require accommodation, contact the Counselling and Disabilities Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.


Topic Outline
Students will develop their improvisational skills and comprehension of a basic approach to improv through: 

  1. generating, improvising, practicing new ideas and taking 'acting risks'
  2. observing, reflecting, comparing, evaluating, sharing, focusing
  3. bringing past life experience to bear upon the work
  4. using imagination quickly and spontaneously
  5. offering relevant input and feedback
  6. integrating improvisational concepts into the work
  7. applying critical feedback
  8. working-playing the moment with another actor(s)
  9. listening, creating who, what and where
  10. listening effectively and speaking clearly and directly as participants in class activities
  11. respecting other students' work and ideas

Mode of Instruction
To ensure that students are engaged as much as possible in the communication process and in developing basic skills, the instructors will use appropriate teaching modes, such as the following:

  • ongoing constructive criticism
  • appropriate examples
  • question and answer techniques
  • classroom discussion
  • theatre exercises and games
  • pair and group work
  • pair and group presentations
  • consultation

Prescribed Texts

Reference Material
Spolin, Viola, Improvisation for the Theatre
Johnstone, Improv

Required Supplies
Students should bring a pencil and notebook to take acting notes.

Promotion Policy

Grading Policy
A+ 90%  to  100%
A 80%  to  89%
B+ 75%  to  79%
B 70%  to  74%
C+ 65%  to  69%
C 60%  to  64%
D+ 55%  to  59%
D 50%  to  54%
F 0%    to  49% (Not a Pass)
EXC Excellent
SAT Satisfactory
UNSAT Unsatisfactory

For further information, see a copy of the Academic Policy, available online (http://www.senecacollege.ca/academic-policy) or at Seneca's Registrar's Offices.

Modes of Evaluation

Grades are entirely based on participation, commitment, individual growth and attendance and the ability to apply improvisational notes and criticism given by the instructor.  The instructor analyzes and criticizes individual work and offers constructive criticism applicable to the individual and the group as a whole. 

Improvisational Exercises (5 x 20%) 100%

The highly practical nature of the sessions makes regular attendance a vital factor in understanding new vocabulary and methodology. 

Approved by: Lisa Somers