BIG SI Teacher
Ella is an Australian actress and improviser who has been studying, performing and teaching theatre for over 12 years. She earned a B.A. in Theatre Studies at Monash University, Melbourne and her performance experience ranges from improvised and musical theatre to voice, theatre in education and dance. Since joining BIG in 2012 she has trained with some of the most renowned improv teachers and coaches in the world and has studied and performed in festivals around Europe. Now in Barcelona, Ella co-runs the BIG School of Improv, where she co-designed a unique curriculum to train committed, joyful and well-rounded improvisers.
She teaches students of all levels in weekly classes, emboldening beginners and experienced improvisers alike to produce rich, vibrant and committed improv. Her improvisation style centres around bold, emotional play and uses the full extent of her theatrical background, implicating the body and voice to create scenes and shows that are dynamic and filled with joyful imagination and play. Her teaching style is energetic and supportive, and aims to unleash the unique potential of every improviser and scene.
Performer: BIG IF (Barcelona), Mt. Olymprov (Athens), Barcelona Improvisa (Barcelona), Gdanski Festiwal Impro (Gdansk), Neverending Improv Festival (Bucharest), Sofia Improv Festival (Sofia), Improtheaterfestival Würzburg (Würzburg), TILT (Tallinn), SPUNK (Zurich), ImproAmsterdam (Amsterdam)
Teacher: Barcelona Improvisa (Barcelona), Gdanski Festiwal Impro (Gdansk), Sofia Improv Festival (Sofia), BIG IF (Barcelona), TILT (Tallinn), SPUNK (Zurich), ImproAmsterdam (Amsterdam)
Training For IMPROVISERS
The big PICTURE
Symmetry, depth, perspective- all words one might associate with a painting more than an improv performance, yet these elements are what make up our world, and are what the audience see when they watch your show. The images we present to the audience affect how they interpret our work, while the physical choreography informs everything from a character's emotional perspective, to the action of the scene itself. In this workshop, we will explore how the content of each scene can inform its physical presentation and work with levels and body positioning, distance, stage craft and alternative performance spaces to build scenes that are vibrant, multi-dimensional and expressive. Go beyond space work to unlock the beautiful work of art inside your scene.
what comes next
The beauty of improv and of life lies in the infinite possibilities that envelope us at every moment, and yet all these options can overwhelm us in an improv scene, and leave us in a state of paralysis, stalling the scene unsure of what to do next. When we distil our options down to their simplest form, we discover that within each moment is a binary choice: fight or flee, tell the truth or lie, jump or stay on dry land, yes or no. When we start to make choices with confidence things start to flow and we are rocketed towards the scene’s heart. This workshop focuses on following our body, intuition and emotions and reacting instantaneously and with conviction in these moments of choice. The result is committed, heightened and emotionally driven improv.
Silence: Loud & Clear
In life, some of the most profound, moving or hilarious experiences play out in total silence. In this workshop, we will learn to lean on that familiar human state- silence- on the stage, discovering it’s unique theatrical power. This workshop is not directed towards mime, or even necessarily physicality, but rather the dramatic and comedic impact of not speaking, and all the actions, realisations and stories that rush in to fill space when we’re brave enough to leave it empty. During the workshop we will cycle through the myriad of ways silence can be utilised to make offers, ground scenes, heighten emotions, develop game and connect with the audience.
let go and EMOTE
If you've ever felt like you’re watching your improv scene from the outside, it’s time to drop in and play with emotion. Discover touching naturalistic scenes, heightened comedy and gripping narratives when you relax and allow emotion to be your guide. This workshop gives you the tools to react instantaneously to any offer with a grounded and committed emotional performance. High stakes and emotional importance are the lifeblood of any scene, and once you know how you feel, the scene unravels before you, so let go and emote!
the gift of presence
The greatest gift you can give your scene partner and the audience is being present. (Ha! Get it?) This 3 hour stage presence work shop will bring out the most confident, audible, invested and present version of yourself. We will work on voice tone and projection, body positioning and movement, stage picture, energy and mindset as they relate to being present on stage, or in a scene. The aim is to shed the fear until all that is left is beautiful shining you! Good for people who are new to the stage, or want to improve the theatricality of their improv.
MASTER OF CEREMONIES
You’re the first person the audience sees when they take their seats. You make them feel welcome, prime their hearts and imaginations and start to generate on-stage energy for the actors to step into. The audience trusts you and sit comfortably knowing they are going to be taken care of. This is the natural state of the emcee! In this workshop we’ll hone your authentic onstage persona with personalised feedback and equip you with the mindset you need to be the most present present-er you can be. From taking suggestions and dealing with the audience to your onstage ‘persona’ and stagecraft, you’ll leave this workshop ready to command any stage and welcome any audience.