We are starting a new kids improv program in January for children 8-11 called Under The Fun, and I recently had a change to talk to Rebecca Grossman and Tyler Ross who are the instructors.
Why do you think that kids love improv?
Kids love improv because it gives them an opportunity to explore their imagination through characters and games in ways they couldn’t on their own. And any chance to laugh just makes your stomach tickle in the best way.
What do you think parents will love about the program?
It gives their children skills they’ll need later in life, but in a very palatable and fun way. Communicating socially with their peers becomes second nature. Many parents have noted that even just being on a stage and hearing their own voices out loud gives a new sense of confidence their child never had before.
What gave you the idea to create a kids program at Under The Gun Theater?
We run a recess and after school program together, and as soon as the kids found out that we did improv and comedy they would ask to play games and tell jokes, and seemed to want to learn more. For a few months UTG was running a children’s show called Apples to Improv, and Rebecca noticed that when the kids got on stage their faces were lighting up.
What kinds of things will the kids do in class?
Everything from learning the basics of “Yes And” to games that will teach them to think quickly on their feet. Our full curriculum explores a different aspect of improv performance each week.
Who is teaching the class and what is their experience with kids?
Rebecca Grossman has been performing and teaching improv for ages 5-adult for more than 10 years all over the country. She currently works with J @ School here in Chicago running and implementing recess and after school programming in the Chicago Public School system. She is also currently an ensemble member at Under the Gun Theater, and an Associate Producer of Women in Comedy.
Tyler Ross has worked for the [email protected] School Program for the past year and a half where he met Rebecca and the two found that as a team, they worked well with the kids in their program. Between summer camps, nannying, and co-running the J at School program, Tyler has been working with children aged 5-13 yrs for the better part of a decade. In addition to his work with children, Tyler has been performing professionally as a comedian for the last 6 years.
The class will be held on 1pm – 2:30pm Sundays at Under the Gun Theater, January 10th to February 14th. There will be a final performance on the last dat at 3pm. The class costs $200, but if you register before January 1st, it’s only $175.