Workshop Explained

A five-day intensive!

The CBI Workshop has two strands: Actors create unique, three-dimensional characters, building them over several days through multiple improvisations – while directors have that all-important overview and access to all the CBI tools within the process. The impros become more layered and complex, demonstrating the potential for intense drama outcomes.

These tools can be put to use straight away, whether to build a drama from scratch or to enhance ongoing scripted work. The CBI Process offers a refreshing and innovative pathway for creating characters.

How CBI works

The director works one-on-one with each actor to create a character: improvisations are at the heart of the process.

Early discussions are based on reality and observation, investigating the character’s emotional and psychological condition in a series of evolving situations.

There’s no script, and – apparently - no emphasis on provoking drama. The focus is on constructing a whole character, examining the many things that make someone who they are. In fact all the elements of future dramatic development are being sewn into the character’s very being!

Discussions with the director, research by the actor and a great many improvisations enable both to construct not merely a detailed character, but a person who is clearly defined within a tangible and realistic ‘world’.

In addition, because of the way the improvisations are structured, the actor’s understanding of the character – and the character’s emotions – becomes really strong. All the while the process is drawing from ‘lived reality’ – life as it is observed to be.

Discovering how good you can be!

By the end of the workshop participants should have greater confidence in their own skills. They will also have a new perspective on character and character-building, and – through a complete understanding of the CBI Process – an alternative way of interpreting characters in any drama material.

For Directors

The benefits of CBI are found not only in the specific steps of the process but in a whole new foundation for director-actor communication.

The ongoing interaction between the two means the director has an unusual depth of knowledge of the actor and the character. The director has a means of incorporating the actor’s contribution to the drama.

It also has the added benefit, through the many improvisations, of trialling dramatic solutions to narrative problems.

For Actors

The workshop encourages actors to work towards drawn-from-life screen performances.

Many of the exercises within the workshop are based on ‘realistic transactions’, allowing actors to discover for themselves the scale and tone of their own acting.

They are able to experiment in a safe environment.

The scenarios they encounter through improvisations show how the unexpected is a creative tool, taking actors away from any predictability in their performance choices.

The great value of the process is that individual parts within it can be used in isolation by the actor – whether working on conventional scripted material, ensemble pieces or improvised dramas.

The tools actors acquire through the workshop will be of immediate practical use in their subsequent work.