-This past Saturday, we were invited to a special improv workshop put on by “Wizards of Waverly Place” actor David Henrie at Murrieta’s bang Theatre in Los Angeles. The 20-year-old actor, along with “WOWP” executive producer Peter Murrieta, held a workshop for around 20 kids from the nonprofit LA’s BEST, a nationally recognized afterschool education, enrichment and recreation program, will have the opportunity to get firsthand experience from seasoned actors and take part in improvisational skits, games and routines at one of LA’s top Improv theatres.
David enlisted the help of some other young actors to help give the kids a first hand look at improv comedy. Debby Ryan, Brandon Mychal Smith, Chase Ryan, Nicholas Braun, Allen Evangelista, Francia Raisa & Josh Sussman joined David, as well as acting veterans like Illeana Douglas, Gwen Lahti, Ezra Weisz & Jeff Garlin. The day consisted of a 90 minute workshop. The kids and the actors all sat in a big circle in the middle of the theater and then ran through 4 skill building exercises after a quick warm up:
-Pass the clap around the circle (make eye contact)
-Move to a New Place in the Circle (relax and think quick with movement)
-Follow the Leader (Mirror your partner)
-Giving of a Gift (accepting an imaginary gift and seeing what it is and talking about it)
Then after the activities, the kids had the chance to talk about what they learned and get photos with the actors. David hopes this first workshop becomes an ongoing partnership that will pair actors and students in improve workshops to build self-confidence and life skills in the children served by LA’s BEST. David tweeted after the workshop: The event today with LA’s best was special. Very humbling. Feels good to make kids laugh.
Check out some pics from the event below, including some exclusive pictures and a short video of the actors mingling with the kids after the photo op. You’ll even see Debby Ryan playing with her new camera. We’ll have interviews with Debby & Chase Ryan, Nicholas Braun & Allen Evangelista up soon. To learn more about the bang Comedy Theater and the organization, visit bangstudio.com.
Photo Credit: Getty & Nelly A. for SO-M