Every improvisor needs to be able to express strong and truthful emotions, no matter how ridiculous the circumstances of their characters. But emotions can be elusive. How do we practice them? How do we stay open to them, and help ourselves be more expressive, without simply “faking it” or pushing? This workshop will focus on stoking the “slow burn” - how to allow an emotion to cook underneath the action of a scene, energizing and inspiring the improv. Many performers experience a “tuning in and out” to their emotions; we start with a strong choice, which then gets lost as the scene unfolds. We’ll explore how to sustain these emotional extremes, and keep them fluid and responsive to the scene, without dropping out or losing the stakes. We’ll start with games, and physical and vocal exercises to increase expressivity, and then build into “slow burn” scenes, where we can hone this fun and vital skill.
Poornima Kirby is a Boston-based actress, playwright, teacher and coach. She has performed with theaters such as the A.R.T., Imaginary Beasts, and Shakespeare and Company, in roles as diverse as Juliet, Dr. Faustus, and a vengeful Sarah Palin. She has taught both adults and children on subjects as varied as immersive theater, choose-your-own-adventure playwriting, and the art and craft of public speaking. She also offers individual coaching in public speaking and acting. She most recently appeared as Ophelia in Hamlet, with Actor’s Shakespeare Project. Poornima holds a B.A. in Drama from Vassar College, and has also studied at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts. For more info, check out www.PoornimaKirby.com, or email her at Poornima.Kirby@gmail.com.