Prerequisites: This is a mid-level to advanced level improv workshop. Having graduated from an advanced studies improv program and/or at least one year of improv experience is required.
Technical Requirements: Zoom with the capability to change backgrounds. For system requirements and enabling virtual backgrounds, please see the Zoom Help Center HERE.
Close Quarters is a long form that was born in the nineties by an improv group out of Chicago. The original production ran for four months at The Second City ETC and was directed by Noah Gregoropoulos. The entire piece takes place in one main location (ex. Hospital), with each subsequent scene exploring adjacent spaces in that location (i.e. emergency room, ladies restroom, nurses station, janitor’s closet, morgue, etc.). “Close Quarters: From a Distance” is an expanded format (based on the original) that embraces the online platform of Zoom. In this workshop we borrow the technique of adjacent spaces but rather than each scene taking place in the same space, each character is present in their own adjacent space. For example, instead of a scene between two cooks in a diner, the scene would be one chef in a diner’s kitchen calling their employee who’s been on a smoke break in the alley for too long. So the scene is one character in the kitchen, one in the alley.
In the six weeks spent together, each class will focus on creating grounded relationships, exploring the specificity of a character’s point of view, and building the environment through camera angles, props, and virtual backgrounds. It’s a new world of technology for improvisers and the purpose here is to embrace the opportunities the Zoom platform allows us. This workshop culminates in an online showcase to be streamed on the theater’s Twitch channel.
Carla Cackowski regularly tours across the world performing and teaching improv with her two person show, “Orange Tuxedo”. In 2019 they were headliners at both the Copenhagen Improv Festival in Denmark and Warsaw Improv Festival in Poland. Carla studied at The Second City, UCBLA, and iOWest. She taught improvisation and directed sketch shows at The Second City Hollywood for eight years before moving to Portland to become the Co-Artistic Director at Curious Comedy Theater for a year. She’s now the Artistic Director at Mi’s Westside Comedy Theater in Santa Monica, California where she plays on the House Team, County Line. Carla is a member of SAG-AFTRA. She stands 5 feet 3 inches and refuses to buy tickets to a live performance that doesn’t guarantee seating. She works hard and naps harder. She never-ever took the SAT or ACT and has no regrets!