Training Center Approach

The Torch Training Center exists to train actors in the techniques of longform improvisational theatre. The Torch is the only training center of its kind in Arizona that holds theater at its core. Our classes do not teach you to be funny, but will help actors to understand improv as a tool for the development of character and the creation of longform ensemble.

In addition to student shows, our goal is to help actors form performance ensembles in the growing Phoenix improv community.
The program is designed to help students learn and develop skills, relate those skills to their personal performances and critically evaluate themselves on those performances. Our core curriculum focuses on developing the following skill sets:

  • Characterization: Becoming a character through voice, body, emotion and want as well as driving that character to have honest emotions without affectation.
  • Scenework: Building honest relationships between characters and sustaining interactions between characters and the environment on stage.
  • Stagework and Environment: Understanding the mechanics of theatrical performance including stage directions, fourth wall, physical and vocal quality on stage and the relationship to the environment created in an improvised scene.
  • Support and Heightening: Agreeing to the reality of a scene, supporting the ideas of others, accepting and adding information to the scene and the willingness to discard your own ideas for the sake of the scene itself.
  • Ensemble Work: Contributing to the scene for the betterment of the group and buliding a strong ensemble able to support each other’s choices.
  • Emotional Honesty: Treating characters with empathy and integrity, acting and reacting with emotional honest and treating every performance with a sense of verisimilitude.
  • Longform Improvisation: Learning the structures and philosophies of longform improvisation, creating ensemble performances and thematically interpreting single suggestions to build a show.
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