DescriptionSuccess in a professional environment is dictated by more than just technical qualifications. Intangible skills, such as team building, communication, and creativity, are essential. The proposed course teaches personal skills through the power of improvisation. Improvised acting (acting without a script) is the ultimate exercise in teamwork. To create a scene spontaneously on stage, improvisers must work together and build on each other’s ideas in real time. They also must utilize personal tools such as being positive, being obvious, accepting other people’s ideas, being committed and confident, and most importantly, having fun and cooperating with colleagues. These same tools that improvisers use can inspire professionals to better workplace performance. Through concepts such as “yes, and”, groups can take simple ideas and quickly transform them into creative ones by utilizing the group mind. In fact, several premier improvisation centers have used the activity to train major corporations successfully for years.
Basel Al-Naffouri has graduated from MIT with a B.S. and Masters degrees in EECS. He currently is a Senior Software Engineer at Google in the Arabic Engineering team, developing products for the Arab Region. Basel is also a working improviser with over 11 years of experience studying, performing and teaching improvised acting. Combining his interest in the Middle East and his passion for improv, he produced, directed and acted in An Improvised Arabian Nights at the Magic Theater. Basel has appeared in numerous films including Tamer Tate, Muslims at Work and Inheritance. Most recently, Basel appeared in Golden Thread’s productions of No Such Cold Thing and I’m not a Serial Killer. He also regularly performs with improv troupes such as Double Entendre and Audible Clique and has studied with Studio ACT, Stanford Continuing Studies, and the BATS School of Improv.
Lisa Rowland is a San Francisco-based improviser and a member of BATS Improv, and Improv Playhouse of San Francisco. She is also a founding member of Awkward Dinner Party, and was voted Best Actor in the Bay Area in the SF Bay Guardian for 2012. In addition to performing, Lisa has been a teacher of improv for nearly ten years, teaching improv to students of all ages and experience levels. She coaches high school improv teams in the San Francisco Bay Area and is also is a trainer for improv-based workshops for professional teams. She has worked with organizations such as Google, Oracle, Stanford University and Genentech. She's been lucky enough to travel all over the country and the world doing improv, and is pleased to be coming back as a part of WEP 2017 at KAUST.
Regina Saisi, a native of San Francisco, is an actor, improviser and teacher. She has taught at San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Stanford University, UC Santa Cruz, California Institute of the Arts, Oklahoma Arts Institute and is currently the Dean at the BATS Improv school. She has worked in venues throughout the United States as well as Belgium, Holland, Italy, Finland, France, Beirut, Saudi Arabia and Sweden teaching and performing improvisation. She is a founding member True Fiction Magazine, helping pioneer long form Improv and is a member of BATS Improv. She has taught improvisation to inner-city youth in Oakland as well as corporate clients in the Bay Area.
Tim Orr has improvised since 1988 with many San Francisco-based groups, including BATS Improv, Rafe Chase's groundbreaking long form troupe Improv Theatre, the renowned True Fiction Magazine, and with the acclaimed troupe 3 For All. In 2009, he founded a new Improv group, the Improv Playhouse of San Francisco. He has appeared in numerous plays in the San Francisco Bay Area, and received critical acclaim for his leading roles in the improvised feature films, Suckerfish and Security. With Stephen Kearin, Tim co-wrote, and originated the role of Dirk Manly in, An Evening with Dirk & Blaine. Tim has performed and taught improvisation at the American Conservatory Theatre, BATS Improv, Stanford University, and many other venues nationally (Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Austin, Louisville, Atlanta, etc.) and internationally (Amsterdam, Beirut, Belgium, Helsinki, London, Paris, Saudi Arabia, Stockholm). He has served for many years as the Director of the BATS Improv Long-Form Intensive.
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