The Birth Of AWI (Astoria Women’s Improv)
After the birth of my daughter in 2015, I found that I needed the comfort of women, and yet, I also wanted a community that shined a light on the rest of my human-ness too, after all, having a kid didn’t erase me…did it? I started imagining a community of women who hungered for a place to diverge from the everyday tedious conversation. As women, we are connected through lifetimes of wisdom. We know to nurture one another, our children and our men. We are leaders, we are sisters, therapists (certified and un-certified), business owners, maids (to ourselves and others), we are artists, we are sophisticated, somehow, we remain apologetic and leery of being bold. So, what if we could harness the universal language of laughter as step one. What if we use our intellect and our wisdom to illuminate daily hilarities, laugh at ourselves, and who knows, maybe even fall in love with our own words and ideas again. Enter Improv.
Hi, I’m Jen Jurek. I bring with me a long career of performance, directing, and a wealth of knowledge in all things theatrical. I have been meditating the mission of AWI for 2 years. It’s for those of us that don’t know what the heck to do next. It’s for community. It’s for making connections and new friends. Above all else, it’s for FUN dang it all to heck!
The classes offered are 2 hours in length (usually in the evening starting around 8pm ending at 10) and 8 weeks in duration and because you are asking, YES there is wine involved. We have a show at the end of the 8 weeks in honor of the phrase: “WHO CARES: LET’S DO A SHOW!” We do short form improv warm ups, exercises and games, and we really stick our friggin faces in it. Before you know it, you will be "Yes...And-ing" all over the dang place and the funny part is...you don't even need to be funny to do any of it. It’s about being willing to be honest. For more details about the classes keep scrolling downward.
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Although improv can unlock your creativity, it’s not a replacement for therapy or counseling. Please understand that this is a spontaneous environment, open minds are required. Classes are non-refundable due to the affordable pricing and the limited class sizes.
With a bachelor in Musical Theater and a lifetime of performing, directing and being strange, join this lady of laughter to discover your storytelling abilities! Jen was Frenchy in the National tour of “Grease!”, performed with heavy hitters like Maltby and Shire and Nancy Opel to name a few. You being you is all you need to be. Financial analysts, lawyers, doulas, engineers, social workers all…welcome, come and get in touch with your creative spirit.
Alexis started doing improv in 2005 in college (Seton Hall University) and “formally trained” at the The PIT, studying improv under Bradford Jordan, Joe Schiappa, Kevin Cragg (currently on teams The Baldwins, Junior Varsity), Nate Starkey, and Ali Farahnakian (founder of The PIT). Alexis has played on a few indie teams, and have been a part of the team Lazy Fair for about five years. They appeared at local improv venues, hot bar basements, and NYC and Albany Improv festivals. indie teams tend to dissolve frequently. In addition to performing, Alexis previously taught improv for teens for five years in NJ (her beloved home state).
Spring Classes Now Available!
Both improv classes are Level - E for EVERYONE. Each class is a unique experience based on the humans attending and therefore, we build the class experience around YOU, “What? That’s not a thing!” you say. “Yes” I say calmly, sitting on your couch holding a glass of Bordeaux “Yes, it really is a thing, and it works best if you embrace the unknown and (with her permission) the lady next to you, because this roller coaster is going to rock your beans.” (Jen takes slow, knowing sip of wine, and flies through the window.)
And just to clarify further, no improv or theater experience is necessary to join either class, but if you are experienced, great! Just don’t be a dick about it. The class operates by using the framework of short form improv games and exercises to focus, goof off, and speak as you are. We don’t just sit around and make jokes here, in fact, funny thing…jokes act as an energy sucker in improv. “So what the hell is Improv Jen?!” you scream in my face. Well, we use the holy improv rule of , “Yes…And”. We create stories with our actual bodies, our real voices an our best brains to talk to one another and let the comedy (if it wants to) come out of the game and the connections that we make. It’s about playing without an agenda. It’s about letting go, trusting yourself, trusting the women around you, and trusting that we will all hold you in the moment, good, bad, ugly and perfectly. We show up, we have wine, we do improv and we have some laughs. That’s it. (Oh yeah, then we do a dumb show that doesn’t matter at the end just for the hell of it).
Mondays: May 6th- June 24th 8pm-10pm Show:Monday July 1st- 7pm at the QED
Thursdays: May 9th-June 27 8pm-10pm Show: Sunday June 30th- 8:30pm at the QED
(Shows are subject to change if collectively we need another day or time)
SHOWS! SHOWS! SHOWS! SHOWS! SHOWS!
SHOW MARCH 25TH, 2019
It was an awesome show!
PERFORMERS: JENNY HANA MEREDITH HAYLEY MADDIE C. CAT BRITNEY SYBIL CLARE
And so it was said….
“Where are all the good corn dogs at?”- AWI March 25, 2019
SHOW: APRIL 18TH, 2019
STACEY SABA ALLIE AMY B. KAYLA JESSYE SAM YELINA
SHOW: APRIL 30TH 2019
TICKETS AVAILABLE HERE
PERFORMERS: JESSICA MADDIE C. AMY K. COLLEEN VIOLA BLERTA PARMISS
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