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DRA 173 — Everyday Spontaneity: Improvising Our Lives

Quarter: Winter
Day(s): Mondays
Course Format: On-campus
Duration: 8 weeks
Date(s): Jan 14—Mar 18
Time: 7:00—9:20 pm
Drop Deadline: Feb 3
Units: 2
Grade Restriction: No letter grade
Tuition: $525
Instructor(s): Patricia Ryan Madson
Limit: 30
Status: Closed
Please Note: No class on January 21 and February 18
Winter
On-campus
Mondays
7:00—9:20 pm
Date(s)
Jan 14—Mar 18
8 weeks
Drop By
Feb 3
2 Units
Fees
$525
Grade Restriction
No letter grade
Instructor(s):
Patricia Ryan Madson
Limit
30
Closed
Please Note: No class on January 21 and February 18
Sometimes, as we move through adulthood, the world becomes more gray and serious. We start losing touch with our capacity for wonder and play. Fortunately, there is a road back to that place of color and adventure—improvisation. Improvisation is not about comedy or being clever. Rather, it is the practice of becoming awake. It calls upon us to access our common-sense intelligence as well as our spontaneity. It offers a metaphor and a practice that can renew our vision and open our minds to unexpected insights.

This course explores the terrain of saying yes, making mistakes, and learning how to work with a partner. The games and exercises focus on seeing what is inherently real around us. Improv teaches us to use what we have and to make an artful life from the offers that come to us. We will tell stories, find gifts, and above all, learn to trust our own voice. Life lessons emerge through the mayhem as we flounder, fall, pick ourselves up, and help others to do the same. Students will discover that imagining can be as effortless as breathing.

Students are required to attend the first class session. In addition to the weekly class sessions, students will attend a San Francisco improv performance on a Friday night. Field trip transportation will be the responsibility of the student.

Patricia Ryan Madson, Senior Lecturer, Emerita, Department of Theater and Performance Studies, Stanford

Patricia Ryan Madson founded the Stanford Improvisors (SImps) in 1991, and is the author of Improv Wisdom: Don’t Prepare, Just Show Up. In 1998, she received the Lloyd W. Dinkelspiel Award for Distinctive Contributions to Undergraduate Education.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Patricia Ryan Madson, Improv Wisdom (ISBN 978-1400081882)
DOWNLOAD THE PRELIMINARY SYLLABUS » (subject to change)