Providence Improv Guild (P.I.G.) is an organization dedicated to building a community of improvisers in Providence. In conjunction with the Southside Cultural Center, we provide a venue for local and regional improv artists, as well as affordable entertainment for Rhode Islanders. P.I.G. is also committed to providing affordable improv workshops and classes to a wide audience, including free workshops to children and teens.
Why we started:
Providence has a lot of talented improvisors, students with tremendous potential, and audience looking for a good time. Back in 2012, what it didn't have was a home. It was difficult to share a sense of community because many improv troupes were disconnected, classes were scattered, and audiences inconsistent. We formed P.I.G. because we wanted to change the culture of improv in Providence and the region. There's still more work to be done, but what continues to amaze us is how quickly the community transformed.
What we do:
First and foremost, we will continue to grow the community.
We have a venue and an open stage policy.
Put on consistent shows both in terms of schedule and quality.
We've standardized our curriculum and teacher training to ensure consistency.
Access to learn from experienced improvisers in the region.
Give students a place to grow, perform, and even teach.
Provide coaches for existing troupes, or expirimental groups.
Develop house teams through auditions that we refresh with new performers every year.
What we need from you:
Come to the shows, take a class, spread the word, perform on our stage!
Our core curriculum has four levels:
1. Intro to Improv
2. Scene Work: Support & Game
3. Advanced Scene: Character & Advanced Game
4. The Harold
The goal of our curriculum is to get students confident and on stage as quickly as possible. We achieve this by not overwhelming students with every abstract theory of improv and theater too early. Instead, our classes offer targeted learning, with each week building directly on the next throughout all four levels. Our classes are designed to make improv less frustrating while still providing the necessary foundation for students to be able to perform or take classes in any city. We believe that early exposure to the rhythm of running a show in front of an audience is the key to growth as an improviser.
This class gives you the basics of improv. Environment, Character, Storytelling, it's all there. Using a mixture of short-form and long form exercises students will have the improv tools to have fun on stage. The foundational concept of 'Yes, And...' is introduced early. After eight weeks, students will run their own improv set in a performance at one of our Friday night P.I.G shows.
Once you have the basics covered, we take you deeper into long form improv. This class uses the concept of 'Finding the Game' as a method for making scenes less confusing and more fun. The game is generally the funny or interesting thing that should be the focus for an entire scene. You will work on finding the game early, whether you are in the scene or not. Making the game a group responsibility teaches active listening and helps you learn about scene dynamics. These concepts are the key to good support. Knowing when and how to do scene edits, walk-ons, and tag outs (the foundation of support) will also be covered in this class. After eight weeks, students will run their own show in a performance at one of our Friday night P.I.G shows.
Building on what you've learned in Level 2, this class gives you more experience with doing great scenes. You will continue to work on finding game but with more freedom to explore comedic elements across a series of scenes. Callbacks, heightening and advancing game, and connecting scenes together with larger themes are part of what make an improv show magical. Character, as a concept, is used to better understand how to track information and create the patterns throughout a show. You will learn to work together as a group to discover these patterns and find the fun in your shows. After eight weeks, students will run their own show in a performance at one of our Friday night P.I.G shows.
It's all led up to this. The Harold is the foundation for all the long form improv formats you see today. It stresses all skills of an improviser by providing a simple structure inside of which patterns, themes, and characters must connect to one another. Doing it well requires the entire group to have one mind in order to provide the right pacing through support and edits. This class makes the Harold easier for you by focusing on the core element of heightening game, ending scenes with wipe edits, and practicing organic group games. After completing this class you will have the skills to audition for Harold house teams, where more possibilities for the format are explored. After eight weeks, students will run a Harold at one of our Friday night P.I.G shows.
Level 1: Intro to Improv - starts January 15th
Level 2: Scene Work - starts January 14th
Level 3: Advanced Scene - starts January 14th
Level 4: The Harold - starts January 15th