Ocean State Black and Funny Improv Festival 

Sept 2-5, 2021

Festival Details

The Ocean State is excited to join the Black and Funny Improv Festival family!

Our goal is to create an improv world where all are welcome to celebrate ourselves, learn from our differences, and build each other up while sharing in a space that is respectful and generous to all.

COVID-19 PROTOCOLS: All performances and workshops will be outside. Our performers, staff, teachers, and volunteers are all fully vaccinated. If a show or workshop is forced to move inside due to weather, everyone except for performers must wear masks, regardless of vaccination status. Help us have a safe and fun weekend!

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The Unpronounceables

The Unpronounceables are a dope duo of can-do friends with names people can not pronounce. We have a commitment to improving the world through improv and connecting communities through laughter. Case in point -- our first meeting led to the creation of a festival. We love to enjoy each other and do the best with what we have.

The Unpronounceables: breaking the rules of pronunciation and audience engagement since 1865.

The Unpronounceables are John Gebretatose & Alsa Bruno.

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Shannon Stott

Shannon Stott co-creates a story with the audience in the Improvised show, ‘All Together Now’. Help build a familiar world you’ve never seen with people you’ve never met but come to trust.

Shannon Stott is the Creator and Director At Improv| On and Off the Stage, A virtual Improv Studio offering virtual classes and workshops for performers and non-performers. Based in Austin, TX she has been performing and teaching Improv since 2000. Shannon utilizes Improv as a tool to help people connect to themselves and others both on and off the stage. She encourages her students to carry Improv out of their theaters and into their workplaces, homes and lives.

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Hold Up

Created by Krystal Ramseur and Derek Hayes, Hold Up showcases Black performers dissecting literature in a way that wasn’t always comfortable in grade school. Full of laughter and energy, this panel show also delves into poignant academic assessments of the text while weaving in modern context and individual perspectives.

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Wakanda vs. Everybody Presents All Black Everything

Representing a variety of perspectives from across the African diaspora, Wakanda vs. Everybody (WvE) is the Black Improv Alliance’s founding house team. In All Black Everything, WvE combines hilarious short-form games with their original musical longform, The Tyrone. Audiences will laugh while they learn and peek behind the curtain into worlds they never imagined. This show is fast-paced, high-energy, and unapologetically Black.

 

Workshops

New Perspectives with Tiffany Fenton

Fri, Sept 3, 10 am - 1 pm

Are you ready to explore the joy of improv from a new perspective? How about yours! In this workshop, we'll discover how to engage your partner, create scenes that you'll enjoy, and how to turn a scene around when you don't.

Felt Tips with John Gebretatose

Fri, Sept 3, 2 pm - 5 pm

This improv workshop focuses on emotions as a focal tool to help free your brain from stressing out over what to do or say. We will use emotions as a compass to start scenes and also as a way to create momentum and energy to move your scenes along with direction. Emotions are a universal language, use them to add truthfulness, clarity, power, and depth.

Improv Basics by Shannon Stott

Sat, Sept 4, 10 am - 1 pm

Whatever our medium, we all seek to engage our audience in a story. Why not make it a story that's never been created? We'll touch on the basic fundamentals of improv comedy and storytelling: communication, character, relationship, and environment. Practice thinking on your feet, listening with purpose, and collaborating to create something together that couldn't be made on your own. 

Improv for Life with John Gebretatose

Sat, Sept 4, 2 pm - 5 pm

This workshop will speak to the usefulness of improv as a tool in daily life. Improv is a means of utilizing everything you've got to get everything you need. It will help you get out of your own way and communicate with confidence. It allows you to "roll with the punches" and be your best self in every moment by acknowledging every gift you're given and supporting those around you. This is a root-level workshop that is useful to anyone and everyone.

Say It With Your Chest: Improvised Songs for Huge Emotions with Stephanie Rae

Sun, Sept 5, 10 am - 1 pm

Your character has feelings - huge feelings. But sometimes, words just aren’t enough. Enter...music! We'll explore point of view, emotion, and desire to figure out what your character wants and why. And then, when we hit that pivotal moment of climactic emotion, you’re gonna break into song! Attendees will learn structures for improvised songs - including verse/chorus, tagline, and freeform - and transition from scenes into musical solos. We’ll also work on silent support and backline choreography. See you on the stage! 

Connect to Self and Others by Shannon Stott 

Sun, Sept 5, 2 pm - 5 pm

This workshop focuses on highlighting the multitude of backgrounds, stories, and perspectives present in a scene and show. Here, Shannon Stott asks performers to be brave sharing experiences, be empathetic with partners, and be dynamic in vulnerability. This workshop connects us to ourselves and others for a richer Improv experience.

 

Travel

We are located in Wakefield, Rhode Island in beautiful South County near beaches, 

Driving: We are 20 minutes off of I95. Detailed directions.

 

Train: Kingston Station on the Northeast Corridor of Amtrak is 15 minutes from the theater. Wickford Station on the commuter rail from Boston is 15 minutes from the theater. We will have transportation from the stations available if you let us know your arrival time.

 

Air: Providence T.F. Green Airport is half an hour from the theater, and Boston Logan Airport is an hour and a half from the theater. We will have transportation from the airports available if you let us know your arrival time.