Terry Withers - Instructor / Founder
Hi, I'm Terry. People say my full name is Terry Withers, but if I was ever arrested they'd call me Terrence.
The Radical Agreement Project is my pet project. I started it in September of 2020 because I had too much time on my hands. It's almost like there was something going on worldwide, where all of a sudden I was home a lot more, had all this extra time, and suddenly knew a ton more about streaming video conferences. Anyone else experience something similar?
The Radical Agreement Project is a fluid endeavor, meaning it will evolve, grow and mutate over time. It will always center around improv comedy; expanding the art form's impact, reach, application and artistry, specifically doing that in our current socially distanced reality. As I write this in October of 2020, it is focused on bringing improv exercises to the new virtual workplace. But I hope it will mutate into much more.
Good news! I'm qualified to run this pet project, or at least as qualified as just about anybody else I know. I'm a long time improv comedy rat who got his start at the famed UCB Theatre in NYC. There I immersed myself into the art and business of improv comedy for almost a decade. I did this by trying out a multitude of roles, including that of student, performer, booking agent, teacher, senior manager, corporate instructor, touring show producer, and more.
More recently I created a bunch of fun shows which had wildly unprofitable runs in NYC. I didn't lose a lot of money, it's just that there was no chance I would ever make any money. I even kicked off the first serious attempt at improv over video conferencing in 2014, way before the pandemic made it fashionable, with a website called E-MPROV.
After that, I took some shows on the road to colleges and regional theaters and managed to make some money! I also traveled to teach workshops and classes, worked as a consultant to regional improv theaters, and worked at corporations leading improv-based professional development workshops and events.
I'm a passionate believer in the power and beauty of improv comedy. I deeply believe the world would be a better place if everyone had done a little improv. If that should ever actually happen, then I'd like to see everyone do improv a little bit more frequently than they already are. If that happened? No way it would. But if everyone (in the world) was doing improv semi-frequently? Then I guess I'd like to see everyone (in the world) join a comedy team of about 6-9 people each, that has a coach, practices weekly, performs for semi-large audiences at least twice a month, gets notes after those shows and goes by a name like Salmon Diane or Sqork.
I have ideas about what would happen after that, but I don't want to share them now because I think they might seem farfetched.
Fran Randall - Instructor
I first heard about improv several years ago when my Toastmasters group insisted I take classes at Improv Chattanooga. The first time I did Improv I totally fell in love with it and have been since. When the pandemic started I immediately searched for online improv and played weekly with Watch This Space in Barcelona and What’s The Game in England, and many others around the world. I absolutely adore the classes taught by Terry Withers and am very grateful.
I lead weekly online recorded jams for my Facebook groups: Woman Kind Improv; and PG-Prov. And I perform with an international female identifying improv troupe called The Chick Peas. I teach in person improv to teens at Lift-Ringgold.org Youth Center, aiming to lower teen suicide rates by honoring gender identities.
Writing is my soul. I love to stay in touch with the flowing fountain within. To keep on creating, especially poetry, where words sound like music. I love to inspire others to write, and I enjoy workshops combining writing and improv. While I was on the board of the Chattanooga Writers Guild, I co-led the children’s writing and journal making day at Chattanooga Readers and Writers Fair.
I majored in French and minored in Russian Secondary Education at LSU, where I received a full scholarship for extemporaneous speaking in French. I also received a full scholarship and a Masters in Business from Tulane University, New Orleans.
For two years, I co-led a weekly Nature Journaling Meetup, where we wrote, sketched, walked, photographed, and observed, exploring a different gorgeous trail each week. My favorite beings on the planet are my daughter and son-in-law, three granddaughters, five grand cats, and two grand dogs.