meisner technique for improvisers
A new online mini-course.
Sanford Meisner was an actor and acting teacher at The Neighborhood Playhouse in New York who developed his own style of teaching known as The Meisner Technique. Over the years he worked with a diverse range of actors and directors including Sydney Pollack, David Mamet, Alec Baldwin, Tina Fey, Gregory Peck and more.
From all the techniques in “serious” acting we’ve found The Meisner technique the most helpful for improv, and it’s also been the most popular topic at our online drop-ins, so we’ve developed this mini-course for improvisers who are keen to know more.
Meisner technique helps create a strong emotional connection between you and your scene partner, even when online, as you find everything you need is with the other person. Through repetition exercises you gain an increased awareness of the emotional and physical offers from your scene partner, and the liberating ability to spontaneously act on impulse with pure honesty.
Using Meisner in improv means there is no longer a gap between what the improviser is thinking and what the character is thinking, and all thoughts, feelings and impulses are put into the scene there and then.
It’s liberating to say what we see, what we think, and what we feel in the present moment without filter and turn these into intense and fun scenes.
We’ll be looking at Meisner concepts like living truthfully under imaginary circumstances, repetition, emotional calls, specific activities and emotional preparation to bring scenes to life.
dates, time, location
2 day mini-course:
Friday 11th – Saturday 12th September 2020. BOOK
Friday 16th – Saturday 17th October 2020. BOOK
Time: 7pm – 9:30pm both nights.
Teacher: Steve Roe.
Venue: Online using zoom. All details for login for zoom will be emailed to participants on the day of the first workshop.
Only suitable for people with previous improv experience. If you haven’t got previous experience it’s best to start with our earlier level beginners improv course first.
The above course is online:
1. Book your preferred date on this page.
2. On the day of the first workshop we will email you a log-in for the zoom chat.
3. You then click on the link in the email to join the zoom chat and enter password.
4. You will just need a laptop with camera and internet connection, everything else will be in the link.
5. Don’t worry if you haven’t used Zoom before, we start the first session with an overview of how to use it.
Covid-19 Safety & Flexibility
We have followed government guidance to make sure all of our classes and shows are covid-secure, while also working hard to make sure socially-distanced improv is still fun, friendly and playful!
We also offer full flexibility on bookings to give you peace of mind when planning ahead.
teacher Steve Roe
Steve Roe is the Director and Co-founder of Hoopla and has been teaching improv for over 14 years.
Steve creates a friendly, fun & supportive atmosphere in workshops where people are free to play and be themselves.
Steve has experience of teaching beginners, experienced improvisers, stand ups, drama school students and professional actors.
He has also taught improv at East 15 Drama School, Imperial College London and Oxford University, and to various corporate clients including Accenture, Google, Facebook, Comedy Central, Apple, BBC and ITV.
In 2010 Steve founded the UK’s first ever improvised comedy club at The Miller in London Bridge, helping to create a vibrant community of performers and audience.
Hoopla’s Improv Comedy Club was recently recommended by Time Out, The Daily Telegraph, The Independent, The Guardian, The Evening Standard and The Londonist.
Steve has studied improv with Keith Johnstone, Charna Halpern from IO, Patti Styles from Improv Melbourne, Shawn Kinley from Loose Moose, The Annoyance, The Upright Citizens Brigade, Fooling with Jonathan Kay and Clown with Mick Barnfather. He has also studied Meisner with Salon Collective, City Lit, Act Up and Actor’s Temple.
Steve regularly hosts Hoopla’s nights at The Miller, as well as performing, producing and directing various groups across the London improv scene. Steve also produces and directs Hoopla’s house team programme.
He continues to support countless other shows that have popped up from Hoopla workshops and is influential in growing the UK’s improv scene.
We have followed government guidance to make sure all of our classes are covid-secure, while also working hard to make sure socially-distanced improv is still fun, friendly and playful! We also offer full flexibility on bookings to give you peace of mind when planning ahead.
For additional FAQs please see list below:
What comes after this course?
We have a variety of other online courses that would be suitable.
Who is this suitable for?
People with previous improv experience who want to learn and experiment with the mesiner tecnhique and apply it to improv. You don't need previous meisner experience, we'll cover that in the course.
How much improv or acting should I have done before doing this course?
While running online all we ask is that you have done at least our Beginners Improv Course or a similar amount somewhere else. This course is not suitable for people new to improv.
What’s the class size?
The group size is going to be limited to 12 people while online - small enough that you get lots and lots of practice and stage time, but big enough that there’s still a lively atmosphere in the workshop. It’ll be fun as we get to know each other and build a team together.
What tech do I need to take part?
Laptop with camera and an internet connection. Laptops work better than phones or ipads, but phones and ipads also work.
When do you email the Zoom link to take part?
On the day of the first workshop.
Can I transfer to this from my booking for a real-life course that has been postponed?
Yes. We don't have the tech on our website for you to do this automatically, but email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to do this and we will move your booking and payment over and refund you any difference.
Will this course keep going online if lock-down stops earlier than expected?
Yes, it will finish online to make sure everyone can make it including those from outside London.