Listen Up Training

About

Pete Bergen is a DC based stand up comic and improviser who has appeared at clubs and festivals all over. As an improviser, Pete has studied with some of the best while completing the curriculum at The Upright Citizens Brigade Theater (where he was accepted in to their advanced study program) and Washington Improv Theater (where he has been a faculty member for 6 years) and has been on teams that have appeared at the Del Close Marathon, the New York Improv Festival, the Baltimore Improv Festival, the Philadelphia Improv Festival, the Pittsburgh Improv Festival, The North Carolina Comedy Arts Festival and the District Comedy Festival. He has workshopped with some of the best in the country while attending these festivals. Please check out the testimonials and see what people all over the DC area are saying about Pete and Listen Up!

 

 

 

Education

From individual classroom workshops to all-school assemblies, Listen Up is ready to put more tools in your student's tool box. Whether you're looking for an addition to your theater department curriculum, or as an extra-curricular workshop for any class, our education programs emphasize skills such as listening, team work, and collaboration that will benefit every student. Our seasoned instructors will help students understand the power of agreement with their scene partners, and illustrate how important the skill can be to both scene work and other school projects. Students will leave the session feeling more confident and ready for their next class presentation or theater production. Click here to read testimonials about Listen Up education programs in schools throughout DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia, including:

  • Poe Middle School
  • Westfield High School
  • Kilmer Middle School
  • The Langley School
  • Key Middle School
  • Robinson Secondary School

Corporate Training

Listen Up can develop a program designed to achieve your business or team goals, or we can simply provide entertainment at your next corporate retreat. All training sessions are tailored to the needs of the clients. Let us share our years of experience on stage and as corporate trainers to demonstrate how the skills used in improv can be applied to your organization. It all starts with listening. It is an underused skill that is vital to a good performance on stage, as well as in the workplace, or on the court or field. People learn by watching, listening, and doing, and our sessions will get everyone participating and learning in all three ways. Listen Up will get you and your employees up and moving for a lively, fun, and educational workshop. Some of the skills covered in our corporate training sessions include (but are not limited to):

  • Team building
  • Conflict resolution
  • Creating a positive and supportive work environment
  • Icebreakers
  • Collaboration
  • Impromptu speaking and presentations

Contact us for more information about our corporate training programs, and learn how we can work with you to develop a session that's right for you and your team.

Esther Ezra, Professor Masters Program Georgetown University, SCS

Nobody outside of real estate thinks the key to success is creativity but ask any real estate professional and they will tell you it is. Unfortunately, creativity is often viewed as an inane talent and not a learned skill. Improvisation, however has been proven to cultivate creativity. Peter Bergen and his team made improvisation fun and accessible and opened my students to an approach to problem solving that encourages expanding ones thinking. 

Jarad Schofer, Saint Albans School

Pete Bergen came to Saint Albans School to talk about stand-up and improv comedy.  He arrived early, was dressed nicely, and treated the opportunity with the utmost amount of professionalism.  In a room of about 15 boys, Pete talked about what it is like to do stand-up and improv comedy and the differences between the two.  I didn’t ask him to prepare anything, but he came equipped with a presentation and it was clear he took the endeavor seriously and wanted to do a good job.  

He did a nice Q & A session with the students about anything comedy-related, and he also offered support and help for one boy who performed some stand-up comedy for the whole group.  The young man was uncomfortable and didn’t feel he was doing a good job, but Pete knew exactly what to say and it lifted the boy’s spirits and then the boy got a lot of laughs from the crowd. 

After Pete left my school, all I heard from the attendees was “Pete is awesome!” or “I really enjoyed that” or “When is he coming back?”  He is a great instructor who knows how to connect with people of all ages.  He is funny and entertaining while also showing students how improv and stand-up comedy skills translate to aspects of everyday life.  I highly recommend Pete as an instructor.

 

Sincerely,

Jarad Schofer

St. Albans School

Robyn Greksouk, Theater Arts Director, Carl Sandburg Middle

 

Last week Pete Bergen came to my school, Carl Sandburg Middle, to teach an Improv workshop to my students.  Upon first meeting Pete my students were immediately at ease.  My hope was to provide an enriching experience for my kids on the last few days of school (after grades were due and when most teachers were just showing movies).  Pete surpassed my highest expectations.  He consistently gave positive feedback and made each and every one of my students look good while performing on stage.  When one of my students would blank, he would step into the scene and make them the prized gift of the scene.  So instead of my student feeling stupid for not knowing what to say, they left the stage feeling confident and supported.  It is clear how seasoned Pete is in the art of improv acting and he succeeded in making an advanced art, stress-free for my students.   I plan on having him come back more than once to work with my students in the future! 

 

 

Amy Hard, Theater Arts Director, Robinson Secondary School

I hire Pete Bergen every year to do our introduction to improv.  Why?  A few reasons:

-          The kids enjoy and trust a professional.

-          Students love learning things from someone ELSE.

-          Students itch to show off for guests.

-          Pete is gregarious, warm, funny, tough, loving, inclusive, and FULL of positive, infectious energy.

-          They respond to his authoritative yet compassionate approach.

-          He is in control of the high energy chaos.

-          His passion for improv is boldly evident.   It is clear that he loves nothing more than to share it with students.

-          He is knowledgeable and RELEVANT.  He CURRENTLY takes classes, teaches, and perform improv.  He is a true expert and enthusiast.

-          Joy.  He is joy, he spreads joy, he cultivates joy.

 

After teaching improv in my classes for 10 years, I started to take classes at Washington Improv and basically married into the professional improv community in DC J  I met Pete through my husband when they performed for our school (they’ve returned every year since).  Pete is a beloved leader in the community- actively connected, putting up shows, bringing in guest artists, setting up workshops, doing stand-up comedy, teaching, and performing. 

 

I endorse him.  Your kids will love him.  You’ll learn something to teach kids in the future (but you’ll probably just hire him again, cause it’s so fun).

 

Ms. Amy Hard

Robinson Middle School Drama

Elizabeth Malone, Theater Arts Director, Thoreau Middle School

Peter Bergen is a class act.  He was an extremely professional theatre artist, and his enthusiasm and excitement working with my students was contagious.  From the minute he started teaching his workshops at Thoreau Middle School, I could tell that the students were going to instantly fall in love with his teaching style and learn improv skills in a fun, interactive way.  His approach was accessible and easy to understand and follow.  He was kind, tolerant, and understanding with my students who had varying backgrounds and experiences in short form improv.   With a mixture of humor and patience, he lead the students step by step, building upon lessons taught in previous activities, and offered constant positive redirection and constructive criticism.

 

Moreover, Peter was easy to contact.  He was accessible by both phone and email and responded to questions and concerns in a timely manner. He was flexible with scheduling times for the workshops and was open to working with a large group of students.  Peter's rates are also extremely affordable and competitive.

 

In the words of my students "When's Mr. Bergen coming back? He was awesome!" I would like to echo and agree with that statement. He truly was a great improv instructor, and after he left I could see the growth and improvement in my students.  If you are looking for an improv teaching artists for your students, what ever level, I highly recommend you contact Peter Bergen. He will make your students laugh and have fun.  He will teach them what they need to know, and they will remember it and use it.

 

Sincerely,

Elizabeth Malone

Susie Pike. Drama Teacher, Westfield High School

It was great!!!! We talked about improv and how it opened up some of the students. Pete was prompt, fun and they students had a blast. It was great to watch them grow over the course of his visits …good job!!

Joanna Edie. Drama Teacher. The Langley School

It was super. Pete was energetic, professional, informative and fun. He managed the kids really well (kept it lighthearted but called kids out when they were slacking off or being the "wrong kind of silly"). He made his lesson clear without beating a dead horse. The kids really understood what it means to make your partner look good and always say "yes and," and they understood why those things are important. He also took the opportunity to tie it in to non-improv situations such as public speaking. It was a home run from everyone's perspective: mine, my administrator's, the kids and (I hope) Pete.
The highlight of the day for me was seeing one of our students who is typically described as very shy, introverted and awkward raise her hand and participate. Even when she lost her steam a little bit, Pete encouraged her. I was floored that she even volunteered once, and then I saw her raise her hand multiple times.

Melissa Runyon Director Of Theater Arts. Poe Middle School

We had a very positive experience with Pete in our 3-day Improv workshop.  He came to our school and generously worked around our rather odd schedule to make sure all the kids got the time they needed to learn some basic improvisational techniques.  The rates were reasonable, he gave selflessly with energy and positive feedback to the students,  and engaged even the shy kids in the activities.  Pete spoke with me several times prior to the workshop, communicating by phone or email in a very prompt manner.  It was great to hear them reinforcing concepts I had previously introduced to the kids, then taking them a step further, and great for me to learn some new exercises and techniques as well!
 
I have no hesitation recommending Pete’s training for middle school drama students, and I expect they are equally adept with high schoolers.

Tara Taylor. Theater Director. Kilmer Middle School

Peter Bergen taught a 3 day Master Improv Workshop with my students at Kilmer Middle School located in Vienna, Virginia.  During this time with students, Peter worked with both Beginning and Advanced students in the seventh and eighth grade.  The students had a blast!  Peter made an instant connection with the students and created a learning atmosphere that was educational, structured and engaging.  Pete is a working Theatre/ Improv professional in the DC area and abroad which was apparent in the activities he implemented with students.    The students continued to talk about their time and lessons with Peter for the remainder of the year.  I highly recommend this theatre professional to work with your students.  Besides his conduct and productivity with the students, he was reliable and accountable in their professional work ethic.  Wonderful experience for my students and I would have them back in a heartbeat!

About

Pete Bergen is a DC based stand up comic and improviser who has appeared at clubs and festivals all over. As an improviser, Pete has studied with some of the best while completing the curriculum at The Upright Citizens Brigade Theater (where he was accepted in to their advanced study program) and Washington Improv Theater (where he has been a faculty member for 6 years) and has been on teams that have appeared at the Del Close Marathon, the New York Improv Festival, the Baltimore Improv Festival, the Philadelphia Improv Festival, the Pittsburgh Improv Festival, The North Carolina Comedy Arts Festival and the District Comedy Festival. He has workshopped with some of the best in the country while attending these festivals. Please check out the testimonials and see what people all over the DC area are saying about Pete and Listen Up!

 

 

 

Education

From individual classroom workshops to all-school assemblies, Listen Up is ready to put more tools in your student's tool box. Whether you're looking for an addition to your theater department curriculum, or as an extra-curricular workshop for any class, our education programs emphasize skills such as listening, team work, and collaboration that will benefit every student. Our seasoned instructors will help students understand the power of agreement with their scene partners, and illustrate how important the skill can be to both scene work and other school projects. Students will leave the session feeling more confident and ready for their next class presentation or theater production. Click here to read testimonials about Listen Up education programs in schools throughout DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia, including:

  • Poe Middle School
  • Saint Albans High Scool
  • Westfield High School
  • Kilmer Middle School
  • The Langley School
  • Howard High School
  • Key Middle School
  • Robinson Secondary School
  • Thoreau Middle School
  • Carl Sandburg Middle School
  • West Potomac High Scool
  • Fairfax High School
  • Lake Braddock Secondary School

Corporate Training

Listen Up can develop a program designed to achieve your business or team goals, or we can simply provide entertainment at your next corporate retreat. All training sessions are tailored to the needs of the clients. Let us share our years of experience on stage and as corporate trainers to demonstrate how the skills used in improv can be applied to your organization. It all starts with listening. It is an underused skill that is vital to a good performance on stage, as well as in the workplace, or on the court or field. People learn by watching, listening, and doing, and our sessions will get everyone participating and learning in all three ways. Listen Up will get you and your employees up and moving for a lively, fun, and educational workshop. Some of the skills covered in our corporate training sessions include (but are not limited to):

  • Team building
  • Conflict resolution
  • Creating a positive and supportive work environment
  • Icebreakers
  • Collaboration
  • Impromptu speaking and presentations

Contact us for more information about our corporate training programs, and learn how we can work with you to develop a session that's right for you and your team.

Esther Ezra, Professor Masters Program Georgetown University, SCS

Nobody outside of real estate thinks the key to success is creativity but ask any real estate professional and they will tell you it is. Unfortunately, creativity is often viewed as an inane talent and not a learned skill. Improvisation, however has been proven to cultivate creativity. Peter Bergen and his team made improvisation fun and accessible and opened my students to an approach to problem solving that encourages expanding ones thinking. 

Jarad Schofer, Saint Albans School

Pete Bergen came to Saint Albans School to talk about stand-up and improv comedy.  He arrived early, was dressed nicely, and treated the opportunity with the utmost amount of professionalism.  In a room of about 15 boys, Pete talked about what it is like to do stand-up and improv comedy and the differences between the two.  I didn’t ask him to prepare anything, but he came equipped with a presentation and it was clear he took the endeavor seriously and wanted to do a good job.  

He did a nice Q & A session with the students about anything comedy-related, and he also offered support and help for one boy who performed some stand-up comedy for the whole group.  The young man was uncomfortable and didn’t feel he was doing a good job, but Pete knew exactly what to say and it lifted the boy’s spirits and then the boy got a lot of laughs from the crowd. 

After Pete left my school, all I heard from the attendees was “Pete is awesome!” or “I really enjoyed that” or “When is he coming back?”  He is a great instructor who knows how to connect with people of all ages.  He is funny and entertaining while also showing students how improv and stand-up comedy skills translate to aspects of everyday life.  I highly recommend Pete as an instructor.

 

Sincerely,

Jarad Schofer

St. Albans School

Robyn Greksouk, Theater Arts Director, Carl Sandburg Middle

 

Last week Pete Bergen came to my school, Carl Sandburg Middle, to teach an Improv workshop to my students.  Upon first meeting Pete my students were immediately at ease.  My hope was to provide an enriching experience for my kids on the last few days of school (after grades were due and when most teachers were just showing movies).  Pete surpassed my highest expectations.  He consistently gave positive feedback and made each and every one of my students look good while performing on stage.  When one of my students would blank, he would step into the scene and make them the prized gift of the scene.  So instead of my student feeling stupid for not knowing what to say, they left the stage feeling confident and supported.  It is clear how seasoned Pete is in the art of improv acting and he succeeded in making an advanced art, stress-free for my students.   I plan on having him come back more than once to work with my students in the future! 

 

 

Amy Hard, Theater Arts Director, Robinson Secondary School

I hire Pete Bergen every year to do our introduction to improv.  Why?  A few reasons:

-          The kids enjoy and trust a professional.

-          Students love learning things from someone ELSE.

-          Students itch to show off for guests.

-          Pete is gregarious, warm, funny, tough, loving, inclusive, and FULL of positive, infectious energy.

-          They respond to his authoritative yet compassionate approach.

-          He is in control of the high energy chaos.

-          His passion for improv is boldly evident.   It is clear that he loves nothing more than to share it with students.

-          He is knowledgeable and RELEVANT.  He CURRENTLY takes classes, teaches, and perform improv.  He is a true expert and enthusiast.

-          Joy.  He is joy, he spreads joy, he cultivates joy.

 

After teaching improv in my classes for 10 years, I started to take classes at Washington Improv and basically married into the professional improv community in DC J  I met Pete through my husband when they performed for our school (they’ve returned every year since).  Pete is a beloved leader in the community- actively connected, putting up shows, bringing in guest artists, setting up workshops, doing stand-up comedy, teaching, and performing. 

 

I endorse him.  Your kids will love him.  You’ll learn something to teach kids in the future (but you’ll probably just hire him again, cause it’s so fun).

 

Ms. Amy Hard

Robinson Middle School Drama

Elizabeth Malone, Theater Arts Director, Thoreau Middle School

Peter Bergen is a class act.  He was an extremely professional theatre artist, and his enthusiasm and excitement working with my students was contagious.  From the minute he started teaching his workshops at Thoreau Middle School, I could tell that the students were going to instantly fall in love with his teaching style and learn improv skills in a fun, interactive way.  His approach was accessible and easy to understand and follow.  He was kind, tolerant, and understanding with my students who had varying backgrounds and experiences in short form improv.   With a mixture of humor and patience, he lead the students step by step, building upon lessons taught in previous activities, and offered constant positive redirection and constructive criticism.

 

Moreover, Peter was easy to contact.  He was accessible by both phone and email and responded to questions and concerns in a timely manner. He was flexible with scheduling times for the workshops and was open to working with a large group of students.  Peter's rates are also extremely affordable and competitive.

 

In the words of my students "When's Mr. Bergen coming back? He was awesome!" I would like to echo and agree with that statement. He truly was a great improv instructor, and after he left I could see the growth and improvement in my students.  If you are looking for an improv teaching artists for your students, what ever level, I highly recommend you contact Peter Bergen. He will make your students laugh and have fun.  He will teach them what they need to know, and they will remember it and use it.

 

Sincerely,

Elizabeth Malone

Susie Pike. Drama Teacher, Westfield High School

It was great!!!! We talked about improv and how it opened up some of the students. Pete was prompt, fun and they students had a blast. It was great to watch them grow over the course of his visits …good job!!

Joanna Edie. Drama Teacher. The Langley School

It was super. Pete was energetic, professional, informative and fun. He managed the kids really well (kept it lighthearted but called kids out when they were slacking off or being the "wrong kind of silly"). He made his lesson clear without beating a dead horse. The kids really understood what it means to make your partner look good and always say "yes and," and they understood why those things are important. He also took the opportunity to tie it in to non-improv situations such as public speaking. It was a home run from everyone's perspective: mine, my administrator's, the kids and (I hope) Pete.
The highlight of the day for me was seeing one of our students who is typically described as very shy, introverted and awkward raise her hand and participate. Even when she lost her steam a little bit, Pete encouraged her. I was floored that she even volunteered once, and then I saw her raise her hand multiple times.

Melissa Runyon Director Of Theater Arts. Poe Middle School

We had a very positive experience with Pete in our 3-day Improv workshop.  He came to our school and generously worked around our rather odd schedule to make sure all the kids got the time they needed to learn some basic improvisational techniques.  The rates were reasonable, he gave selflessly with energy and positive feedback to the students,  and engaged even the shy kids in the activities.  Pete spoke with me several times prior to the workshop, communicating by phone or email in a very prompt manner.  It was great to hear them reinforcing concepts I had previously introduced to the kids, then taking them a step further, and great for me to learn some new exercises and techniques as well!
 
I have no hesitation recommending Pete’s training for middle school drama students, and I expect they are equally adept with high schoolers.

Tara Taylor. Theater Director. Kilmer Middle School

Peter Bergen taught a 3 day Master Improv Workshop with my students at Kilmer Middle School located in Vienna, Virginia.  During this time with students, Peter worked with both Beginning and Advanced students in the seventh and eighth grade.  The students had a blast!  Peter made an instant connection with the students and created a learning atmosphere that was educational, structured and engaging.  Pete is a working Theatre/ Improv professional in the DC area and abroad which was apparent in the activities he implemented with students.    The students continued to talk about their time and lessons with Peter for the remainder of the year.  I highly recommend this theatre professional to work with your students.  Besides his conduct and productivity with the students, he was reliable and accountable in their professional work ethic.  Wonderful experience for my students and I would have them back in a heartbeat!

Listen Up

Listening and team work are two of the most important skills that make a good improviser. These skills also make a great colleague, student, athlete, friend, neighbor...the list goes on. The team at Listen Up will work with your group to impart these skills in a fun and easy-to-learn way. Whether in the work place, the classroom, or on the field, Listen Up will work with you to customize an educational or corporate training program to help your group achieve it's goals.

Listen Up Summer Camp

LINK TO REGISTRATION FORM AND CONTACT INFO AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE 

PLEASE SUBIT COMPLETED REGISTRATION TO LISTENUPTRAINING@GMAIL.COM

Who- Rising 9-12 grade students serious about learning and having fun

Dates- August 12-16

Times- 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM (lunch from 12-1)

Location- Clifton Community Center 12641 Chapel RD. Clifton VA 20124 

 Listening and team work are two of the most important skills that make a good improviser and actor. The young artists that leave this camp will be more equipped to be present on stage and give more honest performances. Seeing someone "act" is not as fun as watching some "be".  The campers will spend half the day with Mrs. Kozik, break for lunch, then spend the last half with Pete.
This will be an intense and fun week best suited for serious theater artists that are rising 9th-12th graders. These skills also make a great colleague, student, athlete, friend, neighbor...the list goes on. The team at Listen Up will work with your group to impart these skills in a fun and easy-to-learn way.

Teaching staff and activities

Nikisha Kozik is the Theatre Arts Teacher and Director at Kilmer Middle School in Fairfax County and has taught high school in Manassas, VA and Tucson, AZ previously. She holds a BFA in K-12 Theatre Arts Education from The University of Arizona as well as an MA in Directing from Roosevelt University. When she is not teaching or directing productions, Mrs. Kozik seeks to be involved in local theatre herself and loves spending time with her son, reading, and crafting.

Nikisha's focus of studies:

Campers will learn general tools of acting, apply their growing knowledge of story structure, and engage their imaginations to devise their own work of theatre.Time will be spent researching theatre through hands on theatre activities focused on listening skills, developing confidence, increasing cooperation, resolving conflict and encouraging citizen engagement. Work will lead to devising original theatrical pieces performed at the end of the week.

Pete Bergen is an actor and comedian and he is thrilled to work with students who care. Pete has 15 years of experience and has learned from and performed with some of the biggest names in improv. He completed the improv programs at the DC Improv, Washington Improv Theater and the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater (NYC) where he was accepted into their advanced study program. He has also taken classes with The Studio Theater. Pete has been a faculty member at Washington Improv Theater for 10 years and in his day to day life, makes his living as a guest artist all over the DMV area. What does that mean? It means Pete gets to go to middle schools, high schools and colleges all over and conduct improv workshops with theater students. He also serves as the coach for the Howard County All County Improv Team. He has been in local theater productions and periodically appears on television.

Pete's focus of studies:

Campers will work on long form improv like they play at theaters such as Second City and the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater. This is different from the short form “gamey” style improv usually taught to students.  It requires more patience, breath, and team work. By the end of the week, the artists will be able to take a one word suggestion and from that craft a 20 minute show with no breaks. They will be able apply what they have learned to create and call back characters and scenes.

 

TO SUBMIT  REGISTRATION INFORMATION OR IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS PLEASE CONTACT listentuptraining@gmail.com

OR CALL Pete Bergen at 202-431-0858

Make checks payable to Peter Bergen. 

Send checks and registration to: 

Pete Bergen

1840 Biltmore st apt 34 Washington DC 20009

 

For any questions please call Pete Bergen at 202-431-0858 or email listenuptraining@gmail.com

 

If you want to continue learning outside of or in addition to this camp we can help. Whether in the work place, the classroom, or on the field, Listen Up will work with you to customize an educational or corporate training program to help your group achieve it's goals.