Member Log In

Guest Workshops

ImprovBoston regularly hosts nationally acclaimed improv instructors, directors, performers, authors, playwrights, and actors as part of our Master Class Series. Our goal is to provide ongoing opportunities for our students, cast, and wider community to experience a variety of talent and perspectives.

 

 

THE COMEDY OF OPPOSITION

Friday, June 29th from 6:00-7:30PM


Renowned comedy historian Jeffrey Sweet comes to ImprovBoston to talk shop. At that certain point (in the early fifties), comedy began dividing its audience, particularly with the rise of people like Mort Sahl and Lenny Bruce. If you laughed at their attacks on the established institutions and structures of American society, you were hip and welcome. If you were offended, you were part of the problem and fuck you. That division has been maintained in contemporary comedy (see Samantha Bee and Stephen Colbert). Second City and the other improv-based troupes were part of this opposition. (In the UK, BEYOND THE FRINGE and Monty Python were the chief providers of this kind of material.) Come learn about our improv routes, how we fit into the national scene, and how comedy can change culture. Bring your questions.

 

This presentation is sponsored by ImprovBoston and FREE for all our performers, students and staff.

Jeffrey Sweet wrote SOMETHING WONDERFUL RIGHT AWAY, the first (and unarguably best) book on the origins of the pioneer improvisational comedy troupes, the Compass and the Second City. In the intervening 40 years, he has also written more than twenty plays and musicals, a few hundred hours of television, and books on the O'Neill Center and playwriting. including WHAT PLAYWRIGHTS TALK ABOUT WHEN THEY TALK ABOUT WRITING and THE DRAMATIST'S TOOLKIT (both available on Kindle). For decades he was regularly produced in Chicago, winning various awards and counterfeiting humility. His stuff has also been produced in New York, London, Los Angeles, Tokyo and many towns with smaller populations. Last summer, his play KUNSTLER (about the radical lawyer) played off Broadway and transferred to sellout runs at the Barrington Stage Company in the Berkshires.

 

 


Current Master Classes

  • Master Classes Enrolling Now
  • Currently In Session