Date:  October 13-14, 2018
Levels:  Advanced, Master
Workshop Fee:  $295
Class Size: 14

Can the ability to play comedy be taught?  Yes . . . and no. While no one can teach comedic instinct or innate comic timing, for good dramatic actors there’s another way in. By playing for truth, stakes, objectives, obstacles, and characters’ points of view, comedy can be approached with many of the same tools used in drama, with hilarious results.

In this fun and easy-going 12 hour (one-and-a-half day) workshop for experienced actors, we begin with an exploration of some frequently used comedic elements to look for in scenes. We’ll talk a bit about what makes things funny. Through scene work, we’ll improve our detective skills, hunting for clues that will help us navigate our way to smart comedic choices, and explore alternative techniques for mining the comedic core of a scene. We’ll also view TV and film scenes and analyze what’s going on comedically.

Learn about devices that appear again and again in comedy— such as disproportionate reaction, clash of cultures, skewed self-image, and so forth. Work in-depth, analyzing and playing comedic scenes in various styles. Discuss theories, and even learn a few “tricks.”

Led by the accomplished actor and teacher Michael Kostroff, this acclaimed workshop will leave you with a new set of tools for finding the funny.


  • Popular comedic devices
  • The seriousness of comedy
  • High stakes, applied to silly circumstances
  • Making a case for your character’s point of view
  • “Cross-provocation” between characters
  • Figuring out the character’s job in the comedic equation
  • Good laughs vs. bad laughs
  • The “internal activity” technique

“If you’re serious about comedy, you must take Michael Kostroff’s Comedy for the Unfunny. Through scene work, theory, and analysis, Michael provides a simple, lucid experience of comedy.  This workshop will certainly make you a better performer. And it’s a hell of a lot of fun too.” —Jeffrey Delano Davis, New York

The workshop runs 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. on Saturday and 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. on Sunday.  Lunch is included on Saturday.  COMBINE WITH MICHAEL KOSTROFF’S AUDITION PSYCH 101 WORKSHOP  FOR $345 (AND SAVE $25)!]

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Instructor: Michael Kostroff

Best known for his five seasons playing defense attorney Maurice Levy on HBO's The Wire, Michael’s other credits include Molly’s Game, The Wizard of Lies, Elementary, Blue Bloods, Gotham, Madam Secretary, Bosch, Louie, and recurring roles on The Blacklist, Law & Order SVU, Luke Cage, The Deuce, Damages, and The Good Wife.