Defiant Monkey Improv

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, professional development specialists, and teaching artists who love to have as much fun as possible. They are the authors of the book The 5 Elements of Improv: How to Take Your Improv to the Next Level.

Karen began performing improvisation with ComedySportz in 1997, graduated from The Second City Toronto and has performed on stages across the country.  She has also performed with a script in shows such as Annie the Musical, and as Madame Thenardier in Les Miserables and has been a children’s show performer and storyteller since 2000.  Karen has a Master’s Degree in Education and has been a university professor since 1997, most recently teaching Public Speaking and College Writing.

Andrew began improvising in 2005 with ComedySportz, and has been acting and directing since 1982.  He has been seen in various productions over the years including as Daddy Warbucks in Annie, and Monsieur Thenardier in Les Miserables.  An accomplished actor, director, children’s show performer and corporate trainer, Andrew is also a graphic designer and worked as a middle school science and math teacher.  Currently, Andrew is a Mission Commander at the Challenger Learning Center in Lockport, NY.

Art Forms: Ensemble, Theater

PROGRAMS

Adventures in Reading

Literacy skills are not just reading skills, but also reasoning and questioning skills.  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.

Grade Level: Kindergarten – 12

Audience Limit: 300

Performance cost (45 minutes): $400.00
Performance cost (back to back): $550.00

All Together Now - Teamwork Show or Workshop

Defiant Monkey Improv’s actors use teamwork all the time. Students will see their suggestions come to life in improvised scenes illustrating the use of teamwork between improvisers. Student volunteers will even be invited on stage to assist in improv scenes.  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 2-12.

Available as a Professional Development program for non-profit and corporate audiences. Call office for rates.

Grade Level: Kindergarten – 12, Adult
Audience Limit: Workshop: 18, Performance: 300

Workshop cost (45 minutes): $380.00

Workshop cost (back to back): $530.00

Performance Cost (single): $400.00

Performance cost (back to back): $550.00

Brainy-Active: A Theatre Game Exercise Workshop

Good for LARGER groups!  Brainy-Active is an exercise workshop designed to produce more than physical benefits by using theatre games.  Theatre and improvisational techniques use physical activity to prepare the brain for learning and produce beneficial endorphins.  The Brainy-Active Workshop also helps reinforce character education goals such as cooperation, inclusiveness, improved attitude, and seeing learning as a challenge rather than an obstacle.  Help your students achieve their minimum of 60 minutes of physical activity and gain a new perspective on body and mind.

Available as a Professional Development program for non-profit and corporate audiences. Call office for rates.


Grade Level:
 4 – 12, Adult

Audience Limit: Minimum 10, up to 30

Workshop cost (90 minutes or less): $380.00

Character Education Workshop

We know that students as young as 2ndgrade can learn about character education through improvisational theatre because we’ve taught them! Self-improvement, however, is a lifelong journey, and this workshop works for all ages.  Teachers said they wanted their students to learn acceptance, build confidence, do the right thing without being asked, and find the intrinsic motivation to be a good person, so we designed our workshop to achieve those goals.  Students will learn about empathy and acceptance, listening for understanding, and that you can only control your own actions.  At the end of Defiant Monkey Improv’s Character Education Workshop, students will be able to notice good character and try to become the best versions of themselves.

Available as a Professional Development program for non-profit and corporate audiences. Call office for rates.

Grade Level: 2 – 12, Adult
Audience Limit: 18

Workshop cost (45 minutes): $380.00

Workshop cost (back to back): $530.00

Intro to Improv Workshop

One of our most popular workshops, participants learn some of the basics of improvisational theatre and how the lessons learned can have a positive impact every day.  A single workshop gives a taste, and a series may culminate in a Defiant Monkey Improv-supported student show.

Available as a Professional Development program for non-profit and corporate audiences. Call office for rates.

Grade Level: 4 – 12, Adult
Audience Limit: 18

Workshop cost (45 minutes): $380.00

Workshop cost (back to back): $530.00

Science on the Brain Show

Science is more than just memorizing facts; it is active exploration.  When you wonder about something and search for answers, 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 – 12
Audience Limit: 300
Performance cost (single): $400.00
Performance cost (back to back): $550.00

Speak Up! Enhancing Communication Skills Workshop

Excellent communication abilities, both personal and for public speaking, 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 – 12, Adult
Audience Limit: 18

Workshop cost (45 minutes): $380.00

Workshop cost (back to back): $530.00

Trust Yourself! - Improvisation Show or Workshop

Have you ever been given an opportunity, but didn’t take it because you were unsure of yourself?  Through improvisational theater, students will begin to see how trusting in yourself and in your partner is vital 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 strengthen their ability to think on the spot. They will learn that “mistakes” are okay because trying (and trying again) counts the most.

Assembly performances can be tailored to suit all ages, but workshops of this program are most appropriate for grades 2-12.

Available as a Professional Development program for non-profit and corporate audiences. Call office for rates.

Grade Level: Kindergarten – 12, Adult
Audience Limit: Workshop: 18, Performance: 300

Workshop cost (45 minutes): $380.00

Workshop cost (back to back): $530.00

Performance cost (single): $400.00

Performance cost (back to back): $550.00

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