31 episodes

The Improv Comedy Connection podcast explores how to more deeply connect with audiences and co-performers in improv, stand up, sketch, and communication through comedy.

Improv Comedy Connection Whit Shiller

    • Improv

The Improv Comedy Connection podcast explores how to more deeply connect with audiences and co-performers in improv, stand up, sketch, and communication through comedy.

    Sheri Flanders

    Sheri Flanders

    Sheri is an instructor at the Second City training center in the improv and music departments. She has performed at the Engaging Women Conference, been a guest on Vocalo Radio's Morning AMp Council of Feminist Thought show, and was a panelist for the Inside Jokes Comedy Conference hosted by Women In Comedy, and has appeared in numerous podcasts addressing wide-ranging subjects including art, equity, and criticism. Having performed in a variety of forms from Shakespeare to screen, Sheri is a member of the interracial, married sketch team FLANDERS, the head writer for CHOICE THE MUSICAL, was an ensemble member of Second City’s musical house ensemble, INFINITE SUNDAES, and founded the first and longest-running musical improv team CHEAP TRILLS at Just the Funny theater in Miami. She is represented by NV Talent.

    A member of the American Theater Critics Association, her writing as a freelance journalist, critic, and humorist, has been featured in publications such as McSweeney's, the Chicago Defender, the Chicago Sun-Times, the Chicago Reader, Rescripted, Performink, NewCity, Chicagoland Musical Theater, and the Windy City Times. Sheri was invited to cover the 2020 Sundance Film Festival as part of their Press Inclusion Initiative.

    There's more Sheri at www.sheriflanders.com or you can find her on Facebook and LinkedIn, too.

    You can find a lot of Sheri's writing online, but here are a couple of articles to get you going if you don't know where to start:

    Black Artistic Leaders Take Charge at Several Chicago Theaters -- The Chicago Reader

    Inclusion in Improv: or How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Use the Bomb -- Rescripted

    • 1 hr 10 min
    Flavien Reppert

    Flavien Reppert

    In this episode, Whit and Flavien Reppert discuss Flavien’s beginnings in improv in the Match format to his current work at Le Théâtre de l’Oignon. This particular conversation includes a segment regarding the role that language plays in improvising – something that Flavien is particularly positioned to talk about as he not only has travelled to 27 countries, but has improvised in French, English, German, Portuguese, Italian and Spanish.

    The theatre/professional improvisation company he founded in 2003 (Le Théâtre de l’Oignon) is still Flavien’s base. He is their artistic director, a performer and coach. There, he has created dozens of original formas, but the signature format of his and his theatre is Random which is performed by many groups worldwide.

    We also talk a bit about Ohana, an international exchange platform that Flavien is a member of that focuses on improvisation and is comprised of 50 members representing 20 nationalities: ohanaproject.eu

    You can get tons more info about Flavien at his website: flavienreppert.com (there is both French and English language versions) or follow him on social media:

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Flaviencomedien/
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/captainflav/
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/improignon

    • 1 hr 1 min
    Anna Ong

    Anna Ong

    In episode 8, Whit talks with Anna Ong.  Anna is a Singapore based Storyteller and Improviser. Anna's first exposure to live storytelling came while performing at an improv show in with The Magnet in New York City in 2018.  That experience led to others, including at The Moth in NYC and with the Story District in Washington DC. Today she is the creator, host and producer of What’s Your Story Slam, a live storytelling competition show based in Singapore that focuses promoting a culture of personal storytelling and a consultant using storytelling, applied improvisation, and other disciplines to assist businesses achieve more. 

    We discuss what goes into a good story, but also what goes into a good show.  Given the basic human connection to story, these insights can impact improvisers, stand ups, and communicators of all types.

    • 1 hr 9 min
    Omar Galvan

    Omar Galvan

    Season 3, Episode 7's guest is Omar Galvan - an improviser, workshop facilitator and author originally from Argentina, but now residing in Madrid. Omar is a sought after instructor not only throughout the Spanish speaking world but throughout the world, generally.  It is a treat to continue the increasing breadth of experiences in the improv world in the podcast with someone as thoughtful and insightful as Omar.

    You can get access to Omar's Yes, But . . . essay and also an electronic version of his book, Del Salto al Vuelo through the Status magazine site -- with the essay available in English, French and Spanish.  Click here to go there.

    Social Media/Contact:
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/omarargentinogalvan

    • 1 hr 11 min
    Balasree Viswanathan

    Balasree Viswanathan

    In this episode, Whit sits down with Balasree Viswanathan. Bala is an improviser based in Bangalore, India, where she is also the co-artistic director of Improv Comedy Bangalore and a performer with The Adamant Eves, India's first and currently only all-women improv ensemble. Improv is newer in India, and particularly Bangalore - and we discuss its developments and distinctives, inclusive of the specific experience she's had with The Adamant Eves.

    Bala has been improvising since 2016 and has performed in shows in the US, across India and more recently, in Sri Lanka - but has been very active in the global improv community online. She not only is performing with improvisers all over the world via Zoom, but she offers training herself as a facilitator of online workshops.

    Social Media/Contact:
    Facebook and Instagram : @ICBangalore and @adamanteves
    Website: www.icbangalore.com

    • 56 min
    Anne Libera

    Anne Libera

    Get ready for a college level conversation in this one credit symposium with Anne Libera.  Anne has worked with The Second City since 1986 and taught in their  Training Center since 1991, but is also the Director of Comedy Studies for the Theater Department at Columbia College in Chicago where she teaches History and Analysis of Modern Comedy and Comedy Survey I and II. She is the author of The Second City Almanac of Improvisation and is working on a new book on what it takes to be funnier and other aspects of comedy.  This is a wide ranging conversation that will provide you with a perspective on what makes improv and comedy work, aspects of the industry, and so much more.

    You can find more about Anne at the Second City or find her on Twitter @AnneLibera1.

    * Note that this conversation was recorded in early 2020, well before quarantine was instituted in most of the world.

    • 1 hr 7 min

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