Actors practice in workshops

Sarah Lee

Jackanapes mentor Lisa Fredrickson led improv workshops for students in the Actor and the Stage I class Oct. 31 and Nov. 1, 3 and 7.

Fredrickson led the class in activities in learning to develop characters onstage. Performing arts teacher Christopher Moore chose Fredrickson to lead the workshop because of her background in improv and teaching skills, he said.

“She is an incredible improviser with over 25 years of experience and a wonderful teacher,” Moore said.

The improv workshops are part of a larger series of classes that will be taught over the course of the first semester. These seminars are designed to become progressively more and more complex as the semester progresses. The improv workshop is the second to last in the series.

“There’s a very serious progression in terms of where the workshops are, a linear progression as to what they’re going to be working on next,” Moore said.

Moore said the workshops were a good introduction to improv for his students and that it also helped them learn how to improve interaction with other actors onstage.

“It helps the student open up to unscripted characters, working together with scene partners and further developing and engaging a sense of ensemble,” Moore said.

Moore hopes that his students are able to learn the value of improv with regards to character development and apply the lessons they’ve learned even when performing scripted scenes.

“We’re teaching the student that improv is not just about getting laughs but working to create a cohesive story, the ‘who, what and where’ and relating that to each other and the audience,” Moore said.