Improvised Play: Students will learn improv basics and storytelling skills through age-appropriate, imaginative games and lessons. They will engage with improv essentials such as character, voice, use of body, agreement and listening. Throughout the course, students will devise stories of their own creation. On their final class demonstration day, they will share with their families some of their favorite games and will improvise some of their original stories.
Dates: 3/23, 3/30, 4/6, 4/13, 4/20, 4/27, 5/4, 5/11
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Class Demonstration: May 11, 2019
Melissa Widhson & Derrick Houck
Melissa is a Philadelphia native who is thrilled to be back home after spending eleven years in New York City. Melissa worked as a teaching artist for nine years in Manhattan and Spanish Harlem, and later on founded her own non-profit organization, Honeybee House, on the Lower East Side. In New York, she studied at the Upright Citizens Brigade and performed with many improv and sketch comedy troupes in NYC and LA. Melissa can be seen performing at PHIT in the Family Friendly show, Finders Keepers, and throughout the comedy community on the indie team, Bill Parks. Melissa is a proud graduate of PHIT Comedy’s improv training program. She is very excited to be teaching again after giving birth to her baby girl, River. When not teaching or being a mom, Melissa enjoys sleeping, taking naps and spending time with her family and cats.
WHAT STUDENTS SAY ABOUT MELISSA
“She was so nice and funny and a good actress.”
“She was always enthusiastic.”
WHAT PARENTS SAY ABOUT MELISSA
“Melissa was both fun and informative. My son had a great time and there is nothing that we can think of to make classes any better.”
“She was friendly and engaging with the kids.”
WHAT PARENTS SAY ABOUT THE CLASS
“She loves the games and challenges, the chance to be silly and learn new ways of interacting.”
Derrick joined the PHIT’s Kids & Teens teaching staff in the fall of 2016. He is currently a member of PHIT house team Metropolis and sketch house team Fezziwig. Additionally he can be seen performing with his indie team, Toothbrush Money. Derrick has worked as a high school math teacher in Philadelphia for the past seven years and previously worked as a summer camp counselor and after-school program facilitator for elementary-aged children for three years. When not teaching or performing improv, Derrick enjoys playing piano, intramural sports with coworkers, and board games.
WHAT STUDENTS SAY ABOUT DERRICK
“He was very nice and kind. And he is a good actor.”
“He was always happy.”
WHAT PARENTS SAY ABOUT DERRICK
“Very approachable, polite and consistent. My child learned how to get out of her comfort zone.”
“Derrick was friendly and engaging with the kids. He and his teaching assistant seemed to really enjoy teaching the class, and my son had a lot of fun. They had good feedback about my son as well.”