St. Louis

Liz Allen Workshops

Liz Allen visits The Improv Shop May 31st through June 2nd for three workshops, one talk/q&a, and two shows!

Liz entered the improv world over 32 years ago. She started performing with Frank Booth at the IO Chicago, and they took the first long-form to the Edinburgh Fringe in 1995. Liz became an improv teacher, a director, a corporate improv trainer, IO Chicago’s Training Center Director, and an award-winning improv coach.

Liz coached numerous teams over the years at the IO Chicago, including Valhalla, Fatty Four Eyes, and Mission Improvable, founders of the The Westside Comedy Theater in Los Angeles. Liz was honored to coach The Commune, the improv ensemble in Mike Birbiglia’s film Don’t Think Twice.

Liz currently coaches improv in-person and over Zoom, and has written a solo show, Tonight I Am My Mother.

Long-form & A Performance
Friday, May 31st 4-7pm, Show 8-8:45pm, $100

Liz’s approach to long-form includes

  • looking for strongholds and pitfalls inside every long-form
  • what to do when you’re discouraged and you and/or the piece feels stuck
  • how to manage theme
  • allowing the group’s voice to emerge
  • creating cohesive long-forms, consistently

The group will learn a form Liz designed with some of her all-time favorite elements, and perform together at 8pm on Friday 5/31 on The Improv Shop’s Sidestage.

From the Backline
Saturday, June 1st 11am-1pm, $75

From the backline, the improviser’s job is to watch and decide if anything is needed out there. Or not. It’s a constant decision-making process of restraint versus jumping in.

This requires intense listening and compassionate assessment of what’s happening and what’s needed. Too often, self-doubt or over-confidence take over those on the backline: Do they need me in this scene? What can I offer? Am I the only one who thinks they need something out there? Will they be mad if I jump in? Will I be mad if I don’t jump in? That scene looks fun and I wanna join!

When backline uncertainty creeps in, improv can become a slog. In this workshop, Liz offers her opinions on managing backline decision-making and responsibilities.

Techniques
Saturday, June 1st 2-4pm, $75

When you have a quick inspiration while improvising, such as the instinct to expand a storyline, delve into a character’s life, or support a pattern, it’s efficient to use a technique that serves the inspiration best. You think, should I do a walk on to convey my idea? A tag out? An edit? How about a thought bubble…wait, those can be confusing. And so on. Or, you might be improvising and a fellow player makes a move you don’t recognize, and you doubt yourself how to support it. It’s easy to forget all the techniques available, fall into a rut, and stop taking risks when inspiration hits. This workshop covers a variety of tecniques for serving our inspirations efficiently.

Thoughts on Improv, Instincts & Longform: A Talk & Q&A with Liz Allen
Sunday, June 2nd 10am-11:50am, $10

A talk and Q&A with Liz Allen. Light audience participation for a couple demonstrations.

Upcoming St. Louis Sessions:
  • Longform & A Performance Starts 05/31 Sold Out!
  • From the Backline Starts 06/01 Sold Out!
  • Techniques Starts 06/01 Sold Out!
  • Thoughts on Improv, Instincts & Longform Starts 06/02 Enroll Now