Elizabeth's Info

ELIZABETH BYLAND
Better known as E.B., is the Professor of Improv and Director of the Improv Performance Program at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA. She is also a research assistant in medical improv with VCU Health and Co-Director of Applied Improv Therapy with Sheltering Arms at VCU Health. E.B. spent several years in Charlotte, NC as the co- founder of Queen City Comedy, and Producer of the Queen City Comedy Experience, and founder and director of the Acting Out Studio Improv Program.

She cultivated and honed her craft at the world renowned iO! Chicago and dabbled at Second City. "iO was my improv home though. There's nothing that makes my heart pitter patter and perhaps skip a beat or two, like long form improv, and iO provides the best platform for that kind of training."

E.B. hails from the original Queen City: Cincinnati, which is where she began her journey in performance as a competitive gymnast. After hanging up her leotard, she flipped right into theatre and received a BFA in Acting and an MFA in Performing Arts- Acting at the Savannah College of Art and Design (S.C.A.D.) where she was the founding director of Moxie Improv Team and performed as a veteran member of The Mobb Line.

E.B. has directed over 150 improv productions, participated in festivals such as the New South Comedy Fest, Cape Fear, Tampa Improv Fest, North Carolina Comedy Fest, the College Improv Tournament and co-founded and produced the Queen City Comedy Festival in Charlotte. She is the coach for Land Mermaids (Durham, NC), Social Insecurity (Senior Improv Team in Charlotte, NC), Folie a Deux (VCU), Running AMok (VCU), and performs with Mom's Adhesive and Now are the Foxes (Charlotte, NC).

When she's not directing and coaching improv, she can be seen on television and in commercials!

The main objectives when training improvisers are:
1. Lead with a practicality and enthusiasm for the art of “doing.”
2. Offer useful methodologies that unlock their physical, emotional, and vocal instruments.
3. Instill ethical values of professionalism, preparation, collaboration, and innovation
4. Ignite and nurture the players creative ambition
5. Provide a positive, safe, and inclusive learning environment that inspires and motivates the players to makeartistic choices fearlessly.

When training improvisers, I utilize the techniques of play through various physical movement exercises that are characterized by the techniques of Laban and Meisner, along with several improvisational exercises.

I often hear teachers and directors give the note, “Get out of your head and be more in the moment,” but what does that really mean- to be in the moment? How does one truly get out of their head? There are hundreds of answers to both of those questions, and what might work for some performers, will not work for others. However, it is in my experience that both of those questions can be answered by activating the body with movement, which then integrates the physical with the intellectual and emotional being.

For more info: http://www.elizabethbyland.com

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