Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 2 December 2020

Want to become the next Tina Fey or Will Ferrell? You can now take virtual improv classes

Home-grown theatre company The Courtyard Playhouse has launched online courses for different age groups

Dubai theatre company The Courtyard Playhouse has launched online improvisation courses. Courtesy The Courtyard Playhouse
Dubai theatre company The Courtyard Playhouse has launched online improvisation courses. Courtesy The Courtyard Playhouse

Training institutions across the country may be closed for the time being, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use your time at home to learn something new.

Practising improvisation is known to have several benefits, including building confidence, developing spontaneity and improving public-speaking skills, and home-grown theatre company The Courtyard Playhouse has launched a digital course that takes students through the fundamentals of the genre in about six weeks.

Separate courses are available for adults and teenagers.

“We’re very excited, because these specially designed and professionally produced online workshops offer participants things that they wouldn’t usually get from in-house courses, including one-on-one time with instructors, high-res videos covering the curriculum and more,” a representative of the company says.

“We will also be moving our kids’ and teens’ improv, drama and musical theatre workshops to the online platform in order to keep going during these difficult times.”

The course is designed to be completed over the course of six weeks, but can be studied according to your schedule. Led by Marie Vercruyssen, artistic director of the Courtyard Playhouse, and Rushdi Rafeek, a comedian and instructor, it includes high-resolution videos delving into improv theory, followed by personalised online classes with the instructors.

At the end of the course, participants will be able to showcase their new skills on the Courtyard Playhouse stage, once the venue reopens.

The online course costs Dh1,115 per person, with additional participants charged Dh558. A 25 per cent early-bird discount is offered until Friday, April 17.

In March, the family-owned theatre company issued a call for assistance as the spread of the coronavirus caused training institutions across the country to temporarily cease operations. The business, which makes its profit from monthly bookings, had shared its fears on social media that the temporary closure could lead to a permanent one.

“This is going to be an extremely trying time for us as a small independent business, so we have decided to do everything we can to survive and keep revenue coming in, so that we can reopen our doors eventually,” the representative said.

For more information, email contact@courtyardplayhouse.com or call 050 986 1761

Updated: April 14, 2020 06:59 PM

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