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This course is part of the University of Cambridge’s MicroMasters program in Writing for Performance and Entertainment Industries.
Ever wanted to jump up on stage and make people laugh…and then make them cry? In this course we will be looking at how to write and perform your own five-minute stand-up routine or your own performative poetry with good timing, energy, and personal charisma! We will be looking in depth at how to structure short-form performance material, as well as how to prepare physically and vocally so that you can perform live with calm and clarity.
We will be engaging with the work of performance poets across the world, and looking at what attributes and writing skills are embedded in a successful stand-up script. Why do we need to stand up and speak in person, and how do we conceptualise the authority and power of the live performance?
This is a comprehensive introduction to performing stand-up and performance poetry that will give beginners a strong understanding of essential concepts, as well as reinvigorate anyone who has been working in this area for a while, and who wants to find fresh energy and perspective.
Learning to how to communicate most effectively with any audience gives us a good toolbox for expert communication in any professional sphere.
Skill transferability, flexible thinking, and expert language abilities are now essential in a diversifying global job market - come and learn essential new skills, and have fun doing it!
You will be set writing exercises over the course of the module, and you will asked to keep a brief comedy/poetry journal to note how your ideas progress and how your intuition leads you into productivity. By the end of this module, you will have completed five minutes of performable material that you are ready to try out in a venue of your choice!
What you'll learn
- Specialised knowledge of histories, forms, and traditions of writing for stand-up comedy/performance poetry as well as the cultural contexts of innovative practitioners and practices within stand-up comedy/performance poetry; of contemporary critical, analytical, and narrative theories of stand-up comedy/performance poetry;
- detailed understanding of key performance components within the discipline, to include: ideational sources, body, space, image, sound, text, movement, environment.
- dramaturgical and script-editing skills within stand-up comedy/performance poetry
- developed advanced self-management skills to include working in planned and improvisatory ways, as well as the ability to anticipate and accommodate change, ambiguity, creative risk-taking, uncertainty and unfamiliarity;