Class Medium & Description

Creating Strong Characters is a short class on how to develop on stage personas utilizing voice, body, and movement. Sometimes when we give our characters a few more personality traits, even simply in how they talk or walk, we can add more depth and richness to the performance. I love speaking in accents, but an accent does not make the person. Think about how a person carries themselves, the rise and fall of their voice, their mannerisms, all of these things can help to make great characters! A great place to start is to think about someone in your life, like one of your parents, grandparents, siblings, or friends, and pay very close attention to them. Do they talk with their hands? Do they have a certain way of entering or exiting a room? Imitate that as a starting point and go from there! It’s always great when we can find inspiration from those around us and our environment. When you do, you can run wild with it and let your imagination take it from there!

Necessary Materials to Participate

Just yourself! (If you want, you can find a place that serves as a stage and mark it out with blue painters tape. You can also add a few chairs for audience members and invite people to sit and watch, however this can all be done with just you and your imagination!)

About the Artist

Courtney Rainwater has been performing long form improv on stage since 2012. She has performed as a part of many theaters in the Portland area in musical improvisation, long from comedic improv, sketch comedy, and stand up. She enjoys making strong characters with strong points of view and making her scene partners look great! Courtney has performed improv as a part of the Del Close Marathon in NYC, as a house team member of the Ape Theater, Curious Comedy, and a regular on the Kickstand Stage as a part of the show Girls with Heads. Courtney has written and produced sketch shows including Best Intentions, Grandma’s in Town, and performed on public access TV as a part of Open Signal’s live sketch show, Show Ridiculous. You can find her writing jokes or sketches, singing silly made-up songs to entertain people, and trying on new accents!

Did You Take the Class? 

Email the Arts Alliance at [email protected] and let us know if you created your own characters. We’d love to hear more about your experience!

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