What's Coming Up?

Click the link below each course listing for a description and teacher bio(s)

 

CSz 101

Mondays, beginning January 8

CSz 101 improv classes start three times a year. These classes are the gateway for adults to all things ComedySportz®. The classes begin in January and you can reserve your place now

We've been called one of the top eight comedy schools from around the nation by Paste Magazine.

To register, call us now at 503.236.8888, e-mail us, or register on-line.

You will have an amazing time:

  • Learn improv the CSz Way - in a concise and organized sequence.
  • Gain incredible insight into what's funny and why
  • Experience the power of letting good things happen
  • Improve your public speaking skills
  • Improve your auditioning skills
  • Equip yourself with new tools for all arts: Speed, Narrative, Movement, Character-building, Conflict, Status and Fun. The improv tools we teach will give you a strong foundation for almost any style of improv.
  • Learn how ComedySportz and other improv styles work
  • Classes are how we find new CSz talent (Does getting paid to play sound interesting? Our pro players get paid.)
  • Meet interesting people, network and make new friends
  • Have a great time, become extremely funny and yes, even smell better!
  • Here are two blog pieces from recent CSz 101 students, on the unexpected effects of taking this class:

Experience is not necessary (although certainly welcome); our classes feature a level and nurturing playing field.

Our lead teacher - Patrick Short - brings over 30 years of improv teaching experience to the class and the September classes will be his 95th CSz 101 sequences. Patrick does a terrific job of leading new and experienced adult students to great discoveries, as well as melding folks from different backgrounds into a united group - and CSz never forgets the fun of improv.

When: Mondays, January 8 through February 19, 2017; 7:30-9:30pm; 7 weeks.

Where: CSz Portland, 1963 NW Kearney St.
How Much: Cost is $195 for the 7-week, two-hours per week series and includes a Loyal Fan Card loaded with enough points for four free admissions to our ComedySportz shows (a $60 value - and it gets you a permanent discount on ComedySportz tickets).

To register, call us now at 503.236.8888, e-mail us, or register on-line.


CSz 201 - the Next Adventure!

101 gives you the basic tools and theory; in 201, we take those tools and put them to use in lots of scene work. 201 is a six-week class devoted to the who, what and where of improvisation, and we'll work on scene starts, positivity, getting to the point, heightening and finding the game within scenes. 201 is focused on building scene skills for all types of improvisational performance.

Led by CSz GM Patrick Short, this class will also feature co-teachers each week from our CSz Pro Team. Each teacher is selected for their area of expertise.

Prerequisite: CSz 101 or equivalent class at another theatre; contact us if you have questions. 

201 will be offered 3 times each year, immediately following the run of a 101 class.

When:  Mondays, October 30 - December 4, 7:30-9:30pm
Where: CSz Portland, 1963 NW Kearney St
How much: $175, including a CSz Loyal Fan Card for show discounts.

To register, call us now at 503.236.8888, e-mail us, or register on-line.


CSz 301

ComedySportz® Games and Format

group 301.jpg

After learning the tools, and building the skills, it's time to learn ComedySportz®! In this fast-paced 8 week class, you'll learn at least 20 of our games and the format that turns them into the show that's played to millions around the US and Europe since 1984. The same folks who've performed this format over 4,700 times will be guiding  you. The Week 8 Class on February 27 is a public show for friends and family, featuring a Pro Referee and Announcer, where we will make you look like a rock star!

Prerequisite: CSz 201 or substantial improv experience at another theatre; contact us if you have questions. Folks who took CSz 101 prior to Fall 2015 may be eligible as well. Contact Patrick at 503.236.8888 x4 to discuss.

Begins January 9, 2018 and runs through February 27. To register, call us now at 503.236.8888, e-mail us, or register on-line.

 

CSz 302

Survey of Long Form Styles and Formats

Is your next step the exploration of longform improv? This 8-week course takes you on the journey, exploring several key elements and formats of longform culminating  in a public performance by your class. You may be involved in the creation of an entirely new way to play!

Teacher:  TBA

Prerequisite: CSz 201 or substantial improv experience at another theatre; contact us if you have questions. Folks who took CSz 101 prior to Fall 2015 may be eligible as well. Contact Patrick at 503.236.8888 x4 to discuss.

Thursday Nights from 7:30-9:30pm, Begins TBA, with a performance for the public TBA

To register, call us now at 503.236.8888, e-mail us, or register on-line.

CSz 303

Short Form for Longform Players

Learn the ins and outs of game-based improv from the folks who've been getting paid to play for years. Betse Green leads you to discoveries in what's happening now, strong scene starts, heightening and playing within game structures. Take your long form scene skills and heighten them with the focus, energy and quick decision-making that are the hallmarks of the CSz style. This class will also lead toward a new short-form format debuting at CSz in 2017.

With 15 years of improv experience across the U.S. and Canada, Betse Green has taught and performed with CSz Portland, Portland's Brody and Curious Comedy Theaters, and has also made her way around to festivals including Chicago Improv Festival, The IFCincy, SFIT and more. She is a sought-after teacher at the ComedySportz World Championship every year.

2017. TBD.

There will be a performance - time to be determined - at the end of the class run.

To register, call us now at 503.236.8888, e-mail us, or register on-line.

 

CSz 304

Musical Improv Basics

This four-week course explores how you'll boost your improv skills to create memorable songs - right in the moment. We'll overcome fears and learn tools to help you make what appears to be extremely difficult and astounding almost effortless. Confidence, structure, chorusing, rhyme, duets and common styles will be covered. What you'll learn can be used in any improv style, and can boost your songwriting skills as well.

Patrick Short, our co-owner and GM, has been making music since 1967, and teaching improv since 1984. He's a very experienced improv accompanist with lots of experience helping people overcome improv fears. Stage musical experience includes music direction for scripted musicals, including performances at the Kennedy Center, as well as Screaming Mee-Mees, who appeared at the Chicago Improv Festival, in New Orleans and Seattle. He has 4 albums to his credit this century, including Front Left Corner of Heaven, and writes all the music for Thinking People's Theatre shows.

Maybe we will use ukeleles and maybe we won't. 

Maybe we will use ukeleles and maybe we won't. 

CSz 304 will lead to CSz 404 - Intermediate/Advanced Musical Improv with Patrick Short & Betse Green. See info below.

This class is also suitable for accompanists. You'll learn a ton about how Patrick approaches making people look and sound good.

When: Begins November 9 - four Thursdays from 7:30-9:30pm (no class on Thanksgiving Day; classes resume November 30 and finish December 14)
Where: CSz Arena, 1963 NW Kearney St.
Cost: $125, including a CSz Loyal Fan Card for show discounts.

Prerequisites: Two levels of improv training at CSz or equivalent at another Portland-based theatre. Call us if your training was elsewhere. 

To register, call us now at 503.236.8888, e-mail us, or register on-line.

CSz 402

The Art of Noticing with Special Guest Teacher Tracy Burns

As improvisers, we talk a lot about “being in the moment,” but most of the time we’re so busy looking for "offers" (or coming up with our own ideas) that we don’t notice what’s happening right in front of us. In The Art of Noticing, Tracy will give you tools and techniques to help you stay present while connecting to what truly inspires you most. Your scenes can become effortless, playful and more often than not, hilariously surprising. Scene work has never been this easy!

In this class students will explore:

  • Replacing Invention with Discovery
  • Having a strong point of view
  • Expanding your emotional range and depth
  • Building trust in yourself whether or not you trust your scene partner
  • Taking the spotlight when it’s yours and knowing how to give it
  • Being an investigator of a scene rather than an architect
  • Mining a moment for all its worth
  • Keeping a scene alive until its final conclusion
  • Playing with commitment and abandon
  • Having a crazy good time onstage!

When: TBA late 2017 or early 2018
Where: CSz Arena, 1963 NW Kearney St.
Cost: $240. Limited to 14 people.

Tracy Burns has been teaching and performing internationally for over 25 years. She teaches acting, improv, performance analysis and visual storytelling at Pixar, DreamWorks, Blue Sky Animation, Cinesite, The Third Floor and other animation studios and production houses. She was named one of the top improv instructors in Los Angeles by Backstage magazine. She was the director of the improv program at Pepperdine University for 13 years and has taught at Disney, California College of the Arts, Chapman University, Cal Tech, S.F. State, Middlesex College in London and the University of Central Florida, among others. She’s facilitated workshops for Google, General Motors, Telltale Games and Women in Animation. Tracy was a founding member and co-artistic director of London Theatresports and was the artistic director of Los Angeles Theatresports. She has also taught numerous comedy groups in England, Germany and Holland. She was a core member and instructor for the award-winning improv group Impro Theatre. She has also taught and performed with many other groups such as BATS in S.F., Second City, ACME Comedy Theatre and ComedySportz.

 

Prerequisites: CSz 301 or 302 or permission of the instructors. Call Patrick at 503.236.8888 x4 or email patrick (at) portlandcomedy.com

To register, call us now at 503.236.8888, e-mail us, or register on-line.


CSz 401 - The Minor League

For people who have completed our 101, 201 and 301 classes (or those who have taken our 303 class).

  • Ongoing Wednesday Night Classes from 7:30 - 9:30 p.m.
  • Build improv skills and learn our games in a supportive and fun atmosphere
  • Performance opportunities in our Minor League matches every other Sunday at 6:00 p.m.
  • Just $7 per class on a drop-in basis
  • CSz 101/201/301 or 303 graduates only

Some folks are in Minor League Class because they want to join our team; some because it's a fun time with a great group of people.

Need more info?  Email Brooke Chamberlain at brooke (at) cszportland.com

 

CSz 404

Intermediate Musical Improv

Teachers will be Betse Green (see bio under CSz 303) and Patrick Short (see bio under CSz 304.).

When: Begins January 4, 2018 (7 class meetings)
Where: CSz Arena, 1963 NW Kearney St.
Cost: $200. Limited to 12 people.

Prerequisites: CSz 304 or permission of the instructors. Call Patrick at 503.236.8888 x4 or email patrick (at) portlandcomedy.com

To register, call us now at 503.236.8888, e-mail us, or register on-line.

CSz 306

Improv With Puppets

Working with puppets in improvisation is a whole new level that can bring deeper focus to your whole game.

These three classes will cover:

1) Puppet and mask basics
2) Making Puppets
3) Improv and sketch with puppets

 

Teacher:  Amy Gray, founding member of CSz Portland, and producer/founder of Puppets vs People; Amy has performed with Tears of Joy and produced her own shows for Zing Productions.

Prerequisite: CSz 201 or improv experience at another theatre; contact us if you have questions. Folks who took CSz 101 prior to Fall 2015 may be eligible as well. Contact Patrick at 503.236.8888 x4 to discuss.

3 Wednesday Nights from 7:30-9:30pm, Begins TBA

To register, call us now at 503.236.8888, e-mail us, or register on-line.

Standup Classes

We are not currently offering Stand Up Classes at CSz.

Alex Falcone has taken his talents to Helium Comedy Club and will be offering classes there. We still recommend Alex as the best Stand Up teacher in the Portland area.

We may develop new offerings in 2017. Stay tuned and take some improv classes in the meantime.