BAY AREA IMPROV TRAINING CENTERS – Focus on Endgames

As part of our effort to promote community & build appreciation for the quality and diversity of the various improv training centers in the Bay Area, we want to highlight some of the goings on.

Our second installment focuses on Endgames Improv with Director and a founding member, Max McCal. Read on to learn where their 5 years of training center classes is taking them. With a tag line like, “Everybody Get In Here”, you just know it’s gonna give you the improv warm fuzzies.”

When can we see Endgames at SFIF 2015?

Cat Dance and The Recchia are Endgames teams, and both Vagina Jones and The Letters have had regular shows at Endgames. We’ll also be part of the Local Flavor Workshop. Get your tickets to all of these events HERE

After 5 years of classes, what is most exciting about your training center right now?

Endgames recently began branching out into more kinds of classes. Our curriculum is strong, but we’ve been finding ways to experiment more. Recently we’ve taught advanced classes on musical improv, hip hop improv, and deep dives on Harold and Premise. We want to be a destination for continued development as well as basic learning.

What is especially unique about your program?

Endgames puts on more shows than any other [improv] theater [in the Bay Area], with as many as fifteen teams on stage every week, Monday through Saturday. We believe performing is a part of learning, and strive to make as much opportunity for as much stage time as possible.

Endgames offers five levels of curriculum, plus sketch writing and elective or advanced courses, and brings workshops from out of town every single month. We have at least eleven shows every week, and seven house teams assembled from those who’ve taken our courses.

How would you describe Endgames’ style of improv?

Endgames focuses on finding ways to make scenes fun and connected. We believe comedy comes from connection with the audience. Our strongest influences come from the iO in Chicago, though we’ve been inspired by teachers from the Annoyance, UCB, and Groundlings as well.

What is something coming up at Endgames that we should keep our eye on?

Our current experiment is in “Connected Improv” or Scenic improv. Max McCal, Endgames Director, is teaching a class trying to get deeper into connection between the improvisers and the audience. Bringing reality into scenes and being affected by each other. This group will be performing — after a seven week course — all through September.

How can people read or learn more about Endgames Improv?

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