Artistic Teaching

Who is Ben as a teacher?

Ben Verhoeven is a professional improviser and teacher from Antwerp, Belgium. He’s co-founder of Swaajp Improtheater, co-director of Werewolves the improv show, performer with Prism and Commotie musical improv, and he has his own company ERLNMYR combining improvisation and science communication. Since starting improvisation in 2011, Ben has performed over 220 shows in ten different countries and in three different languages.

Ben was an improvisation teacher at Conservatorium Mechelen for four years, and before that he founded the Swaajp School of Improv and ran it for several years. Every so often he offers workshops to different theater groups in Belgium and abroad (India, Germany, New Zealand, France, Slovenia, The Netherlands). He’s a founding member of The SIN, an international network for ambitious improvisers in Europe. Ben believes that playing through emotions and a character’s point of view, leads improvisers to finding more beautiful stories to put on stage.


My workshops

Assisting someone sculpt their own talent, that’s what teaching is all about for Ben. He loves sharing his passion for improvisational theater with other theater groups and festivals, in order to broaden everyone’s horizon. A workshop in improv theater is only successful if it helps both pupils and teacher become stronger, smarter and more enthusiastic! 

Below you find the description of the different workshops ERLNMYR provides. All these workshops are available in English, Dutch and French. 

We can always adapt or create a workshop to your wishes. For inquiries, please send us a message

Participant Testimonials

A laboratory of impro rules

Which impro rules do you strive to play by? Which improv tips do you believe in? Well, prepare to have your beliefs challenged. In this laboratory we will experiment and play with the rules. This investigation will help us gain understanding in the how, why and when of such rules. Nothing is true until proven! Homework: think of the improv rule that you personally swear by and bring it to class. 

Pathos and passion

The most rewarding moment doing improv, is the absolute silence that engulfs a theatre during an emotional scene. When you reach this absolute silence, you realize that you’ve managed to captivate your audience. That you’ve moved them and that they hold their breath in suspense as the scene unfolds.

One important aspect for creating such moments is showing honest emotions. This workshop is about exploiting real and nuanced emotions to make your audience care. We will use acting exercises to experience how our face, voice and body changes when feeling specific emotions. We will analyze those changes and employ them to inject tension into a scene. If you invest in your scene, the audience will invest in you.

Keeping up appearances

Sometimes when improvising a scene, we don’t know where we’re headed, other times we are surprised by our partner’s offer.  In both cases, we don’t want our audience to notice this. Showing confidence by hiding our doubt as an actor is the key to make this work.

In this workshop we will work on confidently making bold offers, but also follow our partners’ strong offers with just as much confidence. While the actor sometimes doesn’t know what the hell they’re doing, the character always knows. Confidence will become our second nature.

Werewolves, the improv show

Werewolves is an improvised theatre show based on the popular game Werewolves of Miller’s Hollow. The actors play out the story of a village which is struck by a werewolf curse. Every night, an innocent villager is murdered. In this show it’s not the players, but the audience who has to unmask and execute the werewolves. Together with Sytse Wilman, Ben co-directs a Dutch-Belgian ensemble that performs this show at international festivals.

In this workshop, you will learn to perform this show full of blood-thirsty wolves and innocent villagers. Step by step we go through its different phases and learn the essential techniques that help to convincingly perform it. We pay special attention to building atmosphere, creating suspense and envisioning the stage picture.

Songs with structure

In this workshop, we learn different structures for improvised songs. We dive into some new and refurbished ideas that are guaranteed to impress your audience. Participants are expected to have previous experience with musical improvisation.

This workshop is taught together with the amazing pianist Ingmar Dasseville. The material for this workshop is developed during rehearsals with the musical improvisation ensemble Commotie.

Nature’s call

People are born with the ability to move, to see, to listen, to touch, to taste and … to make music. This workshop is about using the very first instrument that nature has provided us with: our voice. In this workshop we learn to make our own soundtrack on stage. We will build up songs with beats, harmonies and melodies and learn to use them for both supporting our scenes with music, as for singing fully improvised a capella songs.