These workshops are taught on-line via Streamyard and meeting information will be sent out before the class.
Despite what you may have heard, “Burlesque” means “parody” and not “striptease”. In the first of this two-part class, we examine the history of burlesque in comedy (and comedy in burlesque). Some of the most famous American comics got their start on the burlesque stage. Burlesque has its roots in a long comic tradition — and a lot of modern comic traditions have their roots in burlesque. This class is a look at the evolution of burlesque from the commedia dell’arte of the 16th century to the modern day. Through video, readings of actual burlesque comic scripts, and a discussion of the rise and fall of the comedian in the world of burlesque, students will gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for what burlesque was and can be. This class is ideal for both performers and non-performers alike.
NOTE: Many traditional burlesque comic routines used language and stereotypes which are offensive to a modern audience and not appropriate for a modern stage. We may look at some of these facets in the course of the class in a historical context.
‘Burlesque’ means ‘Comedy’, pt. 2: Developing Comedy Acts
Thursday, January 28, 8-9pm
Instructor: Mr. Scratch
Cost: Pay-What-You-Can ($20 suggested, $5 minimum)
Maximum enrollment: 6 students
In the second session, we examine the serious business of what makes us laugh. We’ll analyze some of the best-known and best-executed comedic stripteases, and develop guidelines for creating our own comedic routines. We’ll also examine what sorts of humor may not work in the context of burlesque performance, and what works best for online performances. Students who are currently working on a comedic act or who have one they want feedback on are welcome to submit those acts for discussion.
NOTE: There’s a fine line between ‘funny’ and ‘offensive’. In order to find out where the line is, it is possible that we will cross it. Students should come armed with the knowledge that exploring material to find where it becomes transgressive is not the same as supporting or embracing the nature of that material.