New School Course Description: Improvisation for the Actor
Instructor: Cooper Shaw

This workshop will focus on the exploration and full embodiment of emotions and character energies in the context of improvised scene work. Through the use of various scenic structures, students will have the opportunity to develop characters, explore the emotional life of their characters, their status, center of energy, and character tempo. There is a strong focus on the breath, being present in one’s own body, and rediscovering a sense of play, joy and freedom within the work. The course blends Second City Improvisation with Stanislavski’s Method approach. The workshop will start with a physical and vocal warm-up, followed by basic improvisation “games”, followed by improvised monologues and scene-work.

Teacher Bio

Cooper Shaw received her MFA in Acting from The New School for Drama ('04), trained in Improvisation with Chicago's Second City, and has performed in Regional Theatre, Off-Broadway, film, television, commercials and voice overs. Her style blends Second City Improvisation with Stanislavsky's Method Work. Having taught at Second City's NY Training Center, New Dance Group, and Arias Dance NYC, Cooper is best known for her fun-loving "Earth-Mother" approach to acting and improvisation--creating an environment in which individuals are free to play, explore, express, and grow. Cooper has written and performed sketch comedy with STuFF FiLMS in NYC, is a locally produced playwright, and has performed Improvisation with The Red Tie Mafia at The Gotham Comedy Club, The Living Theatre, and can be seen on stages nationwide with her Improv Duo "Martin & Shaw". In February, 2013, Cooper appeared in the world premiere stage production of CONNECTED, by Lia Romeo, at HotCity Theatre in St. Louis, MO.

Download a copy of Cooper Shaw's Coaching Flyer


Cooper Shaw can also be found as Teaching Artist at Stages St. Louis.