$40 for Festival Performers with early-bird code
$55 to public. Tickets open to public 9/20
Musical Improv with Laura Hall & Shulie Cowen
Have you ever wanted to try improvising songs like we do on Whose Line is it Anyway? Then this fun, lively workshop is perfect for you, even if you’ve never done song improv before. If you’re already experienced with song improv, we’ll stretch your skills and help you explore all sorts of fun new ways to use music. We create a supportive, fun environment where you can grow, explore and move out of your comfort zone, starting with warmups and games. We’ll move on to creating songs that are a natural extension of the improv skills you already know. We’ll play with melody, rhythm, singing as a character, tricks for the less-confident singer, finding your own way of approaching a musical accompaniment, and more. Before you know it, you’ll be belting out your own great improvised songs!
Laura Hall is best known as the improvisational pianist for the hit TV show, “Whose Line is it Anyway”, which is back in production again after a 10 year hiatus. Starring a new host, Aisha Tyler, the show is now in season five on the CW. During the hiatus, Laura toured for several years with “Drew Carey and The Improv Allstars”. Laura got her start in Chicago at “The Second City” as an improvisational pianist, composer and musical director. There she started with the National Touring Company, and went on to write music for the Jeff Award winning E.T.C. revue, “Channel This!” She has played with countless improv groups in Chicago and L.A., including The Annoyance Theater, Improv Olympic, Improv Institute, Opening Night: The Improvised Musical, The Groundlings, Comedy Sports and Theatresports. Laura loves teaching improv, and leads music improv workshops around the country, often with her husband, Rick Hall. They have developed “Improv Karaoke” a set of tracks to help improvisors learn how to perform song improv. Laura has co-written a book, “The Improv Musician: The Ultimate Guide to Playing Music with an Improv Group”, to teach musicians how to do what she does on “Whose Line” and in live shows. She’s also had music placed on the hit TV show, “Gotham”. Laura has composed original musicals with the “Annoyance Theater” and “Theater-A-Go-Go”, including “Patty, Patty, Bang! Bang!” which won an L.A. Weekly award for Best New Musical. She also wrote music for “Where Did Vincent Van Gogh?” and “Empire Burlesque” with Dan Castellaneta and Deb Lacusta. Laura has performed and recorded with such diverse talents as Keegan-Michael Key, Robin Williams, Jane Lynch, Sid Caesar, Roger Daltrey, Joe Walsh and Florence Henderson.
Shulie Cowen has taught improv to kids, senior citizens, and everyone in between. She is a graduate of Northwestern University, a former member of The Second City National Touring Company, and a member of the original cast of Schoolhouse Rock Live!. Shulie studied improv in Chicago at The Second City Training Center, The Annoyance Theatre, and at iO with Del Close. She has taught at iO West and The Second City LA and currently directs and performs in Opening Night: The Improvised Musical!® every Friday at iO West in Los Angeles.