Patti Stiles

by Rhys Auteri on 1 September, 2021 in blog, Workshops


Today's guest blogger is long time Impro Melbourne performer, teacher and former Artistic Director Patti Stiles. 

“Improvisation is a vibrant art of spontaneity and impulse. Audiences the world over flock to shows where anything could happen! But lurking at the heart of many companies that perform it is a contradiction, a bait and switch. Students who sign up for classes are taught 'The Rules': the strictly right and wrong way to be creative. Exploration is replaced with emulation and curiosity with compliance. How the hell did that happen?"

Patti Stiles is a revered performer and teacher at Impro Melbourne, as well as being our former Artistic Director. She is an internationally acclaimed actor, improviser, director, teacher and playwright whose performance skills and deep understanding of the work shine out on stage and in the workshop room. In Improvise Freely, she shows how 'rules' meant to guarantee success actually confine us in a counterfeit appearance of spontaneity and hamper our creativity. She turns 'The Rules' on their head and shows that other approaches are possible. 

Is it okay to ask questions? Why must we Who What Where? And what if 'Yes, And' isn't all it's cracked up to be?

This book encourages us to explore the labyrinth ourselves, rather than follow a tour guide. Instead of handing us a map, Ms. Stiles offers us a light.

Patti sat down with Impro Melbourne alum (and her editor on the book) Jim Fishwick for an in-depth discussion of the book, its creation, and some of the main ideas contained within it...

Check out the video HERE!

Improvise Freely is on sale from August 14th, and available for pre-order now online and at your local bookstore. Find out more at 

Think improvisation could be great for you too? Check out Impro Melbourne's workshops! We have a range of exciting in-person and online classes available for everyone from beginners to advanced students. 
Stay tuned for more guest blog posts every month!