Spring Workshops in Los Angeles and Chicago

Posted on Feb 21, 2016

Explore the transformational theater games of Viola Spolin to enhance your training as an actor, improviser, educator, director, writer, or to experience more play in your daily life. This spring I’m offering a weekend intensive in Chicago, a workshop at the Chicago Improv Festival, and a workshop for returning players in Los Angeles that begins March 8th.



Viola Spolin’s Theater Games launched the modern American improvisational theater movement and changed the way acting is taught. Her work has influenced generations of actors and educators. In this two-day intensive workshop we’ll explore the groundbreaking exercises and theatrical concepts found in Spolin’s Improvisation for the Theater. Open to beginners and experienced players.

We will meet Saturday and Sunday, April 30 and May 1, 10am to 4pm, with an hour lunch break each day at 1pm.

Location: Theater Wit Lab, 1224 W Belmont, Chicago, Il 60657

Tuition: $200. for cash or check or $206. for PayPal payments. A non-refundable deposit of $100. is requested to hold your place, with the balance due the week before the first class.

To register: email or call (323) 559-1355

I’ll also be offering a workshop at the Chicago Improv Festival on Tuesday, May 3, from 4-7pm at Theater Wit Lab.
 When it’s available, more info about the 2016 festival and registration info will be found here.



Open to returning players. We’ll explore some of the many theater games we don’t always have time for in a workshop open to all levels. The 8-week workshop will meet Tuesday nights, March 8 – April 26th, 2016, 7:30 – 10 pm. Tuition: $280. Location: 5828 Wilshire Blvd. To register, email or call 323.559.1355


IMG_7704Aretha Sills is the granddaughter of Viola Spolin. She studied theater games for many years with her father, director Paul Sills, and has conducted workshops at Paul Sills’ Wisconsin Theater Game Center, Bard College Cabaret, Northwestern University, and around the country. She is the Associate Director of Sills/Spolin Theater Works. Aretha was recently nominated for an INNY Award for Best Improvisation Instructor and was the keynote speaker at the California Educational Theatre Association conference.

Quotes about the workshop:

“Aretha is dedicated to preserving the pureness of this technique, which from my point of view assists the actor to find the courage to find themself and then to fly. I believe she has, innately and amazingly, all the elements of the technique of both Viola Spolin and Viola’s son, the extraordinary director, Paul Sills. I have studied with Aretha, and believe me, the thrill lives on.” -Paul Sand, Tony-award winner for Paul Sills’ Story Theater; original Second City cast member

“Aretha Sills, carrying on the work of Spolin and Sills, is an amazing, insightful side-coach and teacher. We were fortunate enough to take a workshop in L.A. with her and it helped us reconnect with theater game work on a deeper level. She knows her stuff. Can’t wait to work with her again!” -Deb Lacusta & Dan Castellaneta, The Simpsons, writers/ actor

“Aretha makes it safe to go where you need to go. Her ability to side coach you into your best work is truly one of the best theatre experiences I have ever had. Go. Learn. Be inspired. This is the real deal.” -Devorah Cutler-Rubenstein, pres., Noble House Entertainment, and founder, The Open Space

“If you are an aspiring actor who is really really really funny and you like to stand in one place running your big mouth and interrupting your friend who is only really funny, then you should take this workshop to cure you of that.” -Brian Hamill, Mob Rule Inc. Senior Improvisation Workshop