Defiant Monkey Improv is a two-person improvisational group that creates on-the-spot theatre, based on audience suggestions and participation. Performers Karen L. Eichler and Andrew M. Spragge are experienced improvisers, actors, corporate trainers, and teachers who love to have as much fun as possible.

Karen began performing improvisation with ComedySportz in 1997. She graduated from The Second City Toronto and has performed on stages across the country. In addition, she has been a children’s performer and storyteller since 2000. Karen is a university professor teaching Public Speaking and tutoring Writing. She has also performed with a script in Noises Off, Cosi, Annie the Musical, Stephen Sondheim’s Follies, and as Madame Thenardier in Les Miserables.

Andrew began improvising in 2005 with Improv Buffet and ComedySportz, and has been acting and directing since 1982. He has been seen in various productions over the years including A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, as Daddy Warbucks in Annie, Monsieur Thenardier in Les Miserables and most recently in Stephen Sondheim’s Company and Follies.  Andrew has been a children’s performer and storyteller since 2007, and in addition to acting Andrew has worked as a corporate trainer for over 14 years, and taught 6th, 7th and 8th grade Math and Science.

Art Forms:
Ensemble,Theater

Programs

Adventures in Reading

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Adventures in Reading uses improvisational theatre techniques to show students how far they have come as readers and to show them the possibilities of what is still ahead. Literacy skills are not just being able to read. Literacy is also about reasoning and questioning skills. Reading builds fluency, comprehension and vocabulary, and students' brains are constantly developing new connections. To become a passionate reader and a capable writer, students need to dig deeper and look at the processes behind story creation.

Students at Defiant Monkey Improv's Adventures in Reading show will delve into elements of story creation by watching and helping to create on-the-spot improvisational theatre, using audience suggestions and participation to reinforce comprehension strategies, exercise organization and prediction skills, cultivate a love of language, and use everyone's imaginations. Students will see their own lines of dialogue used in a scene, they will explore genre, think about words, follow and even design plot.

Following an Adventures in Reading show, students will be energized to read more deeply, and create stories of their own. To assess student progress, vocabulary words can be tested; stories analyzed for genre, character, dialogue, and plot; and students can be tasked with creating their own stories.
Grade Level:
Kindergarten-12
Performance cost (single):
$400.00
Performance cost (back to back):
$550.00

Science on the Brain

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Science is more than just memorizing facts; it is active exploration.  When you wonder about something and search for answer, you’re using science! You follow your curiosity, investigate, experiment, collect information and find answers.  While there are many kinds of science, you don’t have to be a scientist to use your “scientific mind”.   In the Science on the Brain Improv Show, scientific principles come to life through improvised theatre, engaging students with scientific ideas in a different way than they traditionally have in school, which helps reinforce the idea that science is everywhere!
Grade Level:
Kindergarten-8
Audience Limit:
300
Performance cost (single):
$400.00
Performance cost (back to back):
$550.00

Trust Yourself! - Improvisation Show

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Have you ever been given an opportunity, but didn't take it because you were unsure of yourself? Simply by experiencing and participating in the show, students will be introduced to improvisational theater. Students will begin to see how trusting in yourself and in your partner is so important to success. Volunteer students will join Defiant Monkey on stage in the safety of proven performance games. They will learn to trust themselves and others and be able to think on the spot. They will learn that "wrong" is okay, and trying is what is important.

Assembly performances can be tailored to suit all ages, but workshops of this program are most appropriate for grades 4-12.
Grade Level:
Kindergarten-8
Audience Limit:
Workshop: 15, Performance: 300
Performance cost (single):
$400.00
Workshop cost (back to back):
$340.00
Performance cost (back to back):
$550.00

Enhanced Communication Through Improvisation Workshop

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Excellent communication abilities are one of today's most highly valued skill sets. You can practice and improve your communication if you are 8 or 88! Students, teachers and administrators will be able to articulate the importance of thinking about your audience and how your audience may change the delivery and content of your message. Students will work through a variety of games and scenes where they will discover for themselves the most important parts of communication.

Available as a Professional Development program for non-profit and corporate audiences. Call office for rates.
Grade Level:
4-Adult
Audience Limit:
15
Workshop cost (back to back):
$340.00

All Together Now - Improvisation Show

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Defiant Monkey's actors use teamwork all the time. Students will see with suggestions come to life in improvised scenes illustrating the use of teamwork between improvisers. Student volunteers will be brought on stage to perform in improvisational games that use several performers. The aspects of working well as a team will follow students throughout their lives, wherever they may go.

Assembly performances can be tailored to suit all ages, but workshops of this program are most appropriate for grades 4-12.
Grade Level:
Kindergarten-8
Audience Limit:
Workshop: 15, Performance: 300
Performance cost (single):
$400.00
Workshop cost (back to back):
$340.00
Performance cost (back to back):
$550.00