SCWR 370 Creating From Abundance

Dionna Griffin

Fall 2022-2023
Class number: 18677
Section number: 701
M 5:45PM - 9:00PM
SCITY 00208

Download syllabus


This course lays the foundation for successful improvisation in the current Chicago style, starting with the formation of the ensemble and exploring various elements of the creative process.  Students experience what it means to be part of the larger whole, create freely without self-judgment, and develop fundamental tools of play that will make them better communicators and filmmakers. 


Course Overview:

·       Structured activities around individual and group experiential play, discovery, character development, with thoughtful discourse among students and the instructor on improv philosophy, curated archive scenes and its application to film and storytelling.

·       Each class implements a creative (communication) tool, assigned reading, journal reflection, interview, and/or archive scene for reflective response and deconstruction. 

·       Students are challenged to develop a variety of ideas into comedic premises and sketches that explore  their unique voice, development of characters, relationships,and topical ideas while exploring their humor and sensibility, that highlights their voice and truth

·       A final project culminates with a group presentation that includes a show running order, original written blackouts, sketches and choice of scenic games. 


Learning Objectives:

Upon completion, students will be able to:

·   Recognize the building blocks of a comedic premise 

·   Demonstrate the ability to collaboratively

·   Employ the tools of Active Listening

·   Generate an abundance of ideas for comedic content

·   Execute the first beat of an improvised scene



There is no required textbook although readings, scripts, and screenings will be a regular part of the class. Copies will be provided by the instructor on D2L.




Class Attendance 10%

Collaboration and Participation 15%

Show Performance/Presentation 20%

Weekly Pitches, Improvised Assignments 15%

Paper 1 - 20%

Paper 2 - 20%

School policies:

Changes to Syllabus

This syllabus is subject to change as necessary during the quarter. If a change occurs, it will be thoroughly addressed during class, posted under Announcements in D2L and sent via email.

Online Course Evaluations

Evaluations are a way for students to provide valuable feedback regarding their instructor and the course. Detailed feedback will enable the instructor to continuously tailor teaching methods and course content to meet the learning goals of the course and the academic needs of the students. They are a requirement of the course and are key to continue to provide you with the highest quality of teaching. The evaluations are anonymous; the instructor and administration do not track who entered what responses. A program is used to check if the student completed the evaluations, but the evaluation is completely separate from the student’s identity. Since 100% participation is our goal, students are sent periodic reminders over three weeks. Students do not receive reminders once they complete the evaluation. Students complete the evaluation online in CampusConnect.

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism

This course will be subject to the university's academic integrity policy. More information can be found at If you have any questions be sure to consult with your professor.

All students are expected to abide by the University's Academic Integrity Policy which prohibits cheating and other misconduct in student coursework. Publicly sharing or posting online any prior or current materials from this course (including exam questions or answers), is considered to be providing unauthorized assistance prohibited by the policy. Both students who share/post and students who access or use such materials are considered to be cheating under the Policy and will be subject to sanctions for violations of Academic Integrity.

Academic Policies

All students are required to manage their class schedules each term in accordance with the deadlines for enrolling and withdrawing as indicated in the University Academic Calendar. Information on enrollment, withdrawal, grading and incompletes can be found at

Students with Disabilities

Students who feel they may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact the instructor privately to discuss their specific needs. All discussions will remain confidential.
To ensure that you receive the most appropriate accommodation based on your needs, contact the instructor as early as possible in the quarter (preferably within the first week of class), and make sure that you have contacted the Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD) at:
Lewis Center 1420, 25 East Jackson Blvd.
Phone number: (312)362-8002
Fax: (312)362-6544
TTY: (773)325.7296