What's Coming Up?

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

 

Meet Ho'onani. Improv with CSz has made an impact on her life.

CSz 101 - The Foundation

Thursdays, beginning September 6
Mondays, beginning September 10

CSz 101 improv classes start three times a year. These classes are the gateway for adults to all things ComedySportz®. The classes begin in September 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.

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 34 years of improv teaching experience to the class and the September sets of classes will be his 97th & 98th 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: Thursdays, September 6 through October 18, 2018
Mondays, September 10 through October 22, 2018; 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 Discount Code 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:  Six Mondays, beginning October 29, 7:30-9:30pm
Where: CSz Portland, 1963 NW Kearney St
How much: $180, 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 & Europe since 1984. The same folks who've performed this format over 4,700 times will be guiding  you. The Week 8 Class on October 23 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 September 4, 2018 and runs through October 23. To register, call us now at 503.236.8888, e-mail us, or register on-line.

 

CSz 302 - Fall TBA

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 - Fall TBA

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. 

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.

2018. 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 - January 2019

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 5 albums to his credit this century, including Front Left Corner of Heaven and Bold 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 January 10, 2019 - four Thursdays from 7:30-9:30pm
Where: CSz Arena, 1963 NW Kearney St.
Cost: $150, 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 502

CSz 502: Turn up the Heat with Tracy Burns

 Tracy with Dave Razowsky. Dave not included with this class. Photo by Ken Krauss.

Tracy with Dave Razowsky. Dave not included with this class. Photo by Ken Krauss.

Turn Up The Heat is an exciting workshop for improvisers (and actors) looking for the challenge of going deeper into their work. Participants learn to take risks onstage and raise the stakes in a scene by exploring sexuality, intimacy and their own vulnerability. Working from the body instead of the brain, students connect viscerally with one another while playing with wild abandon. Players have a chance to bond with each other in ways they may never have before. The class concentrates on working more truthfully, which allows the improviser the freedom to do dramatic scenes while also giving more depth to comedic ones.

In this class students will explore:

  • Being in your body
  • Working from a physical and emotional place rather than an intellectual one
  • Building a tight ensemble
  • Finding the humor organically in a scene
  • Creating dynamic tension in a scene (and breaking it in a satisfying way)
  • Learning that your own vulnerability is your greatest asset
  • Discovering things that are blocking you in your work and removing them
  • How to be more powerful onstage

When: Thursdays, 7:30-9:30pm - May 10 through June 14 (potential make up day, if needed on June 21)
Where: CSz Arena, 1963 NW Kearney St.
Cost: $180. Limited to 14 people.
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.

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 (SF), Second City, ACME (LA), The Comedy Store Players (London), On Your Feet, Brody Theater, The Siren Theater and ComedySportz.

What students have to say about Tracy's classes:

“Thank you for such an awesome workshop. I feel I came away from it with a lot of tools for my improv, acting, and voiceover work. You have a real gift for communicating the ways to find the necessary components within myself for a unique and powerfully focused performance, and I enjoy your energy and humor.”

“It's not just that she challenges you to explore new creative avenues; it's that she provides a safe environment and encourages you to challenge yourself. It's one of the best improv classes I've ever taken. I'd recommend it to anyone who's serious about improv comedy.”

“Tracy’s class reminds you that you also have an entire body to bring to a scene. Allows you to really understand and explore how mistakes are just new discoveries. Allows you to find security in silence. Opens your eyes to movement all around you.”

“One of Tracy's superpowers is her ability to show her students how to work from the deepest source of their creativity, immediately and powerfully, with unconventional "tools and techniques" that spring from her years of working with her own creativity, and watching others do the same.”

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 - February 2019

Intermediate Musical Improv

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

When: Begins February 7, 2019 (5 class meetings)
Where: CSz Arena, 1963 NW Kearney St.
Cost: $160. Limited to 12 people.

Prerequisites: Completion of CSz 304 Music Improv, or you have already completed beginning musical improv classes elsewhere. Call Patrick at 503.236.8888 x4 or email patrick (at) portlandcomedy.com

CSz 404 - Intermediate Musical Improv

This class is for people already at an intermediate improv and musical improv experience level. 

Week 1 - Delivery - Stage presence
Week 2 - Singing with Heart - How you do what you do informs who you are
Week 3 - Character Archetypes - The Hero's Journey
Week 4 - Choreography and format (creating a format for a show) 
Week 5 - Putting it all together - Review work on skills people need to work on.

We will perform as the opener for a CSz After Hours show in March as an option for this class.

Register HERE!

Parking: use the lot one building to the east of us, next to Guild Mortgage (formerly Oregon Jewish Museum). Don't leave stuff in your car. If you are arriving way early and going off to dinner, please let us know. Or put a whapner on your dash.

Payment: we take checks, credit cards and cash on the first day of the class. 

Snacks and Soft Drinks: available at half price during classes.

Questions: call Patrick at 503.236.8888 x4 or email patrick (at) portlandcomedy.com if you have questions.  

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

CSz 504

Music Improv Performance

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

This is a subscription-model class for people at an intermediate to advanced musical improv experience level.

Offered 3-4 times per year, this class will run for 4 consecutive weeks each time, leading to a performance at CSz After Hours (and maybe beyond). You can take all of the classes, or just "subscribe" to months where it's convenient for your schedule.

Prerequisites: Completion of CSz 404 Music Improv, or substantial music experience elsewhere. Call Patrick at 503.236.8888 x4 or email patrick (at) portlandcomedy.com to chat about whether this is a fit for you.

Next offerings:

When: Spring 2019 (4 class meetings)
Where: CSz Arena, 1963 NW Kearney St.
Cost: $80. Limited to 12 people.

Register HERE!

Parking: use the lot one building to the east of us, next to Guild Mortgage (formerly Oregon Jewish Museum). Don't leave stuff in your car. If you are arriving way early and going off to dinner, please let us know. Or put a whapner on your dash.

Payment: we take checks, credit cards and cash on the first day of the class.

Questions: call Patrick at 503.236.8888 x4 or email patrick (at) portlandcomedy.com if you have questions.  

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 2018/19. Stay tuned and take some improv classes in the meantime.