Would you take a class from this
Dennis Kern is the
Co-founder and Director of the Ark Improvisational Theatre and has
been working in Improv for the past 30 years. He introduced the late
Chris Farley and Joan Cusack to improvision.
The workshops will be held
at the Neighborhood House Community Center at 29 South Mills St. on Monday
nights from 6:00- 7:30 p.m..
The first Session is
Sept 1, but you are welcomed to drop into any session on any Monday night.
Your first session is on a "trial" basis and you may decide to pay for the
session and continue on if the work meets your expectations.
The workshops will run
for 1 hr and 30 minutes. In the first hour we will work on basic improv
skills. At 7:00 p.m. company members of Ark Improvisational Theatre
will join the workshop to demonstrate various tools, forms, and games.
Below is the info
contained in the Brochure for the Workshop Series
Dennis Kern is now accepting students for a on-going
workshop for those interested in improvisation as means for developing
performance skills for acting, public performance, or plain
old personal development.
LOCATION AND TIME
The Workshop will be at The Neighborhood House Community Center,
29 South Mills Street at 6:00 P.M. on Monday nights..
HOW MUCH $ ?
The fee for each session si $15 due at the end of the each session.
You may attend the first session to decide if the work being done is worth
the 15 bucks or not.
WHO IS THIS DENNIS KERN TEACHER PERSON ANYWAY?
Dennis has been working in the theatre as actor/producer/teacher
for over 30 years. He was even in New York for six years where he
graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, formed his own theatre
company, and did the starving artist thing. He co-founded the ARK REPERTORY
THEATRE in Madison in 1981. The Ark originally performed Improv Theatre at
the Dragonwood Pub for one year before moving to the Club De Wash in the
Washington Hotel (Now burned down) where the ARK performed every Tuesday
night for four years.The ARK moved into its own space at 220 North Basset
Street (Now a Laundromat) in 1984 where they did improv, original, and scripted
material for five years. After this he taught at The Second City Training
Center and, later, at his home - a school house on Milwaukee Street (Now
a craft-gift shop). .As you notice from the replacement operations listed
in the parenthesis above, doing theatre in a location for any length of time
is less financially rewarding than just about anything including Laundromat
and gift shops.
A FEW NOTEWORTHY ALUMNI
He taught JOAN CUSACK while she was at THE ARK and at least she seems
to be doing pretty well. CRIS FARLEY - he began at The ARK and we all miss
him. What about BONNIE HUNT? She performed at the ARK in a spin off Company
that was formed after the original ARK troupe moved to Chicago. At least
four or five of the ARK Alumni have worked or still work at Second City but
you probably don't know them. BRIAN STACK - EVAN GORE - JEFF KAHN - HOLLY
WORTEL - AND WHAT ABOUT REGGIE JACKSON (just kidding about Reg). Check
the back panel for ACTUAL QUOTES FROM ARK ALUMNI.
SO WHAT AM I GONNA LEARN?
The work we will be doing is best described in the words of Viola
Spolin - The Mother Of Improv.
"Everyone can act. Everyone can improvise. Anyone who wishes
to can play in the theatre and learn to become ‘stage worthy'".
"...we must reconsider what is meant by "talent".it is highly
possible that what is called talented behavior is feeling personal freedom.
Before we can play (experience) we must be free to do so. It is necessary
to become part of the world around us and make it real by touching it, seeing
it, feeling it, tasting it, and smelling it - direct contact to the environment
is what we seek."
ACTUAL QUOTES FROM ARK ALUMNI
SOME OF THESE QUOTES ARE TRUE AND SOME
ARE NOT BUT THEY'RE ALL PRETTY DARN GOOD!
"The class was the greatest thing that ever happened to me"-Liz
"Dennis was a great teacher!" - Betty
"ARK's great freedom of expression, and the habit of
it, helped me a lot to do Saturday Night Live. Dennis is such a great,
uncompromising person. I felt such freedom there." -Joan Cusack, The
Captial Times, Friday, September 18,1987.
"ARK is doing a better, more sincere form of improvisation"-
Jeff Kahn, in reference to Second City The Capital Times,Friday, September
"I wouldn't be in Second City if not for ARK and now, Second
City is learning from ARK as well. They know it's producing some good
It's one of the groups that they watch for. If someone's
from ARK, they know they have good training. I hope Madison appreciates
what its got" -Holly Wortel of Second City, The Capital Times,Friday,September
"ARK is great for Madison. Everyone who's in that group is
so creative together. Dennis is,by far, as smart or smarter than directors
I've met in Hollywood" Joan Cusack, The Capital Times, Friday September 18,
"I was learning a great deal at ARK. Dennis Kern is a brilliant
teacher."- Evan Gore, founder of Chicago's Improv Institute, Capital Times,
"I was only 5'6" when I took Dennis' class - now I'm quite
tall"- Micheal Jordon
Phone (608) 249-4448
You are invited to come
to our shows at the Liquid Lyric any Friday night at 8:00 p.m. to see
the company's work.
If you have any concerns
, questions, or comments please e-mail us at: arkimprov.com
What follows are portions of an article which was written by Phil Davis
in the January 1999 edition of "The Isthmus".
January 1, 1999
ON ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
The method man
Dennis Kern returns to improv...with a therory.
"Succcess in Hollywood is often a matter of luck. But, as golfer
Ben Hogan liked to say, the more he practiced
, the luckier he got. Which begins to explain how two of Hollywood's
brightest young comedic talents of the past decade - Joan
Cusack and the late Chris Farley
- got their start here, far from the curbs of Sunset
Boulevard. Along with natural physical gifts and good performing instincts,
what both actors had in common was an uncommonly thorough training in the
art of improvisational Theatre. The Ark provided them with a venue -a comedy
laboratory really- where they could experiment, but it also offered
something, perhaps, even more significant: the tutelage of
Dennis Kern ."
"...And it's no overstatement to say that, at least in local
terms, Kern's return is news. He's our equivalent of a Lee
Strasber or Stella Adller - a
respected teacher with a "method" to help performers develop their deeper
talents by looking inward to reveal themselves."