I love travelling to teach and perform improv. And in 2019-2020 I will be on a year long world tour with my spouse: the Honeymoon Tour with Gael Doorneweerd-Perry.
Here are some of the formats I teach:
Want an introduction? Click the video. Want to pick a workshop? Here is an overview:
Intimacy for Dummies - new!
Feminism for Dummies - new!
Lionesses: Women in Improv - new!
POSTURE, POSITIONS & OTHER PHYSICAL STUFF
This workshop is taught by Gael Perry & Laura Doorneweerd
Do you want to do more moving in your improv? Make better use of the space? And connect with your fellow players to create scenes that matter?
In this workshop Laura & Gael will work with you on body positions and postures. You will explore different ways to use the space on stage.
How can our body tell the story? We know! By moving, by positioning ourselves in relation to other players, and by bringing our body to different places on the stage.
What does it mean when I say I love you, facing away from you? Which questions arise when all the prisoners are in one corner of the cell? How can we show -not tell- and surprise ourselves in the process?
After this workshop you will have more tools to make beautiful stage pictures and play memorable scenes. Above all, you will have a great deal of fun experimenting, learning and playing with two international improv and theatre experts.
LOVE & THE BODY
Love scenes are great to see but can be difficult to play. With using your body, you can tell the entire story.
We will use principles from dance, contact improvisation and physical theatre to get into your body and out of your head. We will focus on trust, body awareness, taking your time and intimacy. And then we can start…
To touch, to move, to be touched and to be moved.
DANCING FOR DUMMIES
In this workshop I will use my background as an improv and dance teacher to teach you how to bluff your way in ballet. Or in hiphop, Bollywood, country, disco, tango and many more styles.
You will learn the most important tricks and steps to make it look like you are a dancer. The audience can shout out any style in music or dance: you will know what to do. And what games you can play using your moves.
I have taught this workshop since 2009 to many Dutch, German, Swiss and Finnish improv groups and it is the most fun you will have in using your body on stage. Stiff as a board? No sense for rhythm? Perfect, then book this workshop now!
MOVING FOR DUMMIES
All you need on a stage to create magic is your body and the space. They are your best friends and they can be anything. In this workshops we will use the basic principles of dance, viewpoints and physical theatre to improve your improv skills.
The workshop goes more in-depth on physical theatre: moving, trusting your body, ensemble work and building the environment. A wonderful way to get out of your head, into your body and connected with your fellow improvisers. But most importantly: play great scenes.
SENSING FOR DUMMIES
This workshop is about feeling. Nothing emotional or navel-gazing: this will just be about the sense of touch.
We are going to experiment with fun, physical exercises that will help develop your character work. What will happen to your movement if you tape 4 fingers together? And which character is a result from wearing a silky scarf?
This workshop is inspired by Somatic Costumes and will give you easy, clear techniques of getting connected to your body and be more present.
You will discover what sensing will do with your impro. Expect to do little thinking, lots of moving, listen to music and just leap, discover and feel.
LASTING LONGFORM SKILLS
To play a longform show, improvisers need a wide range of skills. In this workshop we will work on the most challenging ones.
Building a firm platform, inspiring your partner throughout the show, taking the story further and taking the story slower. And many more basic improv skills are put under pressure once you get into a longform.
In fun, interactive exercises we will work on taking longform serious by not taking it so serious. Your improv and your longform will benefit from it.
HEART SURGERY FOR DUMMIES
In this workshop you will learn how to bluff every profession. I will teach you the jargon of the mail sorter, the instruments of a surgeon or the technique of a sniper. All this will no longer be a secret for you.
In this workshop we focus on the language, the moves and the attitude of at least 10 different professions. Very useful for on stage!
An additional advantage: you will improve you firm conviction while improvising and how to smoothly combine moving and acting.
THE FEROCIOUS FOUR
The Ferocious Four is an improvised tale of action, power and heroines.
In this workshop we will cover some core elements of the Ferocious Four format: working as a team, playing villains and spectacular action-movie techniques like high speed chases and stage combat.
Get ready to jump, move, chase, defuse, fight and basically... Kick ass.
USING THE SPACE & MOVING
The space is the best friend an improviser has when on a stage. It is always there and can be anything. Even more: it can be as big and as amazing as your fantasy can take you.
In this workshop I will teach many ways to stretch your imagination. We will make the stage multi levelled, with moving angles and unlimited in its space. Think for example of action movies, sport contests, pursuits or scenes on a micro level.
FEMINISM FOR DUMMIES
(or: How to be better)
A workshop for experienced improvisers who want to take the next step in their choice for topics and characters.
We will work on how to speak to not just a subgroup but the entire audience. You will learn how to make truly interesting choices: to go beyond the cliches and play scenes that matter.
So if you are curious how a sexy lamp can create a better world, then definitely join in!
LIONESSES: WOMEN IN IMPROV
In the wild lionesses are hunters, care for their cubs and have been observed to grow manes. What better image for a workshop where we explore, share and practice the craft of improvised theatre through the lens of being a woman or non-male.
It will be filled with bad-ass character work, practicing boldness and vulnerability and using our body to express and take action.
This workshop always has a high level of support, playfulness and empowerment, which inspires the improv in new ways.
(A CONTROL FREAK’S GUIDE TO) PLAYFULNESS
Playfulness is at the core of improvisation. It makes a good scene wonderful and a bad scene comfortable.
But where does playfulness hide? How do you bring it out in yourself?
As a recovering control freak I can teach you something about how to find that spark. Finding your playfulness is (also) a skill, and I have the tools for you to train that muscle.
Through a series of fun games, probing exercises and reflection on yourselves we will find your ‘play’. As a result: next time you are taking the scene / the show / improv a little too seriously, you can fall back on the tips and tricks of this workshop.
It will take some practice. And some fun, light and die-hard playing.
IMPROV FOR KIDS
To improvise for an audience of kids it requires that you understand who you are playing for. Young kids are the most honest spectators. That is why you as an improviser can learn so much about your improv, your style and your 'tricks' when performing for them.
In this workshop I will encourage you to feel like a kid again, to truthfully PLAY: the kind of play with your tongue out of your mouth. And from there learn all there is to playing sparkling characters, clear stories and beautiful fairy tales.
From my experience as a performer and a teacher with and for kids, I can also teach many games and short forms that work with young audiences. Working on a longform and/or inviting children in the training are all possible. And a fun way of learning!
TICKLE YOUR SCENE PARTNER
Look at them: that beautiful human you share the stage with. It is your scene partner. But what are they thinking? Where are they going? What can you do with them?
In this workshop we will work on reading our scene partner (their face, their body, their tone of voice, their choice of words). All this will tell us how to inspire them in the best possible way. I will teach you some strong supporting skills, but also little quirky tricks to tickle their fancy.
Next to this we will also develop you! How can you become that person everybody wants to play with? Are you irresistible yet? Let's make it happen!
How can you make the audience feel something? How do you make every scene feel like a breath of fresh air? Is there an easy way of knowing what is needed without getting into your head?
Meet the dimensions. An approach to improv where every player gets one area to focus on. These are focus points like staging, volume and tempo.
Especially very experienced players can benefit from this new approach. It encourages them to make choices they have never made.
The dimensions can be used in existing formats (especially those who seem to have lost their 'edge') or in their own format 'Welcome Change'.
Can your group use a refreshing approach? Maybe you want to improve on your current format. Or you want to work on how you collaborate together. Or you think some Dutch tough love could be just the thing your group needs.
I often work with groups in the area of shortform, longform, or applied improv on specific themes. My style combines great ambition, lots of experience and a very positive approach.
I love taking the strengths of a group to a new level. In a short time we can make great leaps. I can't wait to meet you and your group.
Laura is an Amsterdam-based teacher, performer and director. She is a star of shows including all-woman action epic The Ferocious Four, several international two-handers, and co-founder of the multi-lingual Ohana project for European improvisers.
With a background in theatre and dance, she has been teaching for 16 years and, for 10 years, ran her own drama school in the Netherlands. In 2019-2020 she and her spouse Gael Doorneweerd-Perry are on ‘The Honeymoon Tour: a year-long world tour of teaching, performing and geeking over improv.
When Laura is not traveling the world, she can be found cycling the Amsterdam canals between her jobs as trainer, actress and artistic advisor of TVA Impro and festival IMPRO Amsterdam. She loves slow motion running, bloody fights and smoking. On stage, that is.
Read more about the work on my blog.