Stephen has been studying and working in improvisation since 2001 when he was introduced to the theater games of Viola Spolin. He has performed on many NYC stages including: The PIT (Striker & Underground), PIT Loft, Magnet, UCB, UCBeast, The Tank, Creek and Cave and others and in Improv Festivals: The Del Close Marathon, NYC Improv Fest, IF Cincy, We’re Trying Here Fest, and others. Since 2010, he has been coaching improv teams and teaching Improvisational Theatre workshops in NYC and abroad in Lisbon, Portugal. He has also taught at The Armory, AND Theater Company, The Treehouse Theater, Teens PACT, Community Healthcare Network, and Wix. He is also a former member of “The Panel” for The Armory House Teams at The Tank and was the Artistic Director of Workshop Facilities for the AND Theatre Company from 2016 - 2018. In 2019 he founded Stephen Thornton Improv in Lisbon, Portugal where he now lives.
What exactly are you listening to while you’re onstage? Hopefully, to your partner and what they are saying. But what about the emotions behind your partner's words? Or the way they’re physically holding themselves? The gestures they use to accompany their words? The timbre of their voice, or the physical distance between the two of you? What about the way they are looking at you? …or maybe through you. And don’t forget to listen to the environment, and most importantly, to yourself. Listening is the most important tool of any improviser. Listening is what keeps the mind present, in the moment, and allows a player to follow and explore where the scene wants to go. Not the other way around.What gifts are you being given, intentionally or unintentionally, that you are not picking up on? ….yet.
Are You Listening?
Duration: 2 hours
Times: Friday Afternoon
Speak Your Truth
Duration: 3 hours
Times: Friday Morning
There is a reason why the famous book by Del Close and Charna Halpern is called “Truth in Comedy”. Speaking the truth, more importantly your truth, will never be a false move on stage. When the truth is spoken it allows an audience to care and relate to a character. The truth deepens relationships and in turn the scene. So, what is your truth? How do you find it? More importantly how do you use it.
Make Group Scenes Work
Duration: 5 hours
Times: Thursday All Day
If you've ever been in a group scene you know how chaotic they can be. But group scenes are not impossible. There is a way to build group scenes that are colorful and spontaneous. It’s about listening and accepting all offers that appear in the moment, intentionally or unintentionally.
Duration: 5 hours
Times: Saturday All Day
Twelve characters spend their time and money in a small town café where they tell their tales. Everyone knows everyone and everyone’s business is everyone else’s. / The main focus of the workshop will be about playing coherently together to create a group scene that has flow and rich, colorful characters. The workshop will also address and work on Character Monologues, Space Work, Give & Take and Character Development. The overall goal being to improvise a short one-act play.
* This workshop culminates in a mixer team performance