Weekend Notes: How The West Was Improvised

"This is impro like you've never seen it before! It's a whole new format and I must say, I really enjoyed it."

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Weekend Notes: impro LightboX

"Impro Melbourne challenges and diversifies improvisational theatre. Images heighten the actor's imagination and the actors create relationships between the characters. You will be sure it's rehearsed because the performances are seamless. The skits are poetic, tragic, comedic, abstract, thoughtful, raunchy, provoking and original."

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Weekend Notes: Gorilla Theatre™

"The fabulous, talented team from Impro Melbourne ­ Melbourne's longest running improvised theatre company ­is bringing a new concept to improvised theatre ­ Gorilla Theatre™. "

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Why I love teaching Spontaneity

5 good reasons from Brenna Dixon

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"It's like fruit and veg" - 6 things I learned about impro

Jane Curtis, an Impro Melbourne student, talks about her first classes.

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Come into The Lab ....

Experiments in impro and dabbling in the unknown. Company member Rhys Auteri writes about his involvement with our Rookie show THE LAB

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Let there be Light

Reflection on the light in our lives and how we respond to it by Tim Redmond.

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International Guests arrive and you can be part of the fun!

Don't miss this chance to work with Franck Buzz from France and Kaisa Koko from Finland as they bring their special brand of impro to Melbourne with two workshops and performances.

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The Empress beneath: Episode II When In Rome

Tim Remond recaps what happen in last weeks epsiode ...

When In Rome - Episode II

Asparagus the slave has been chained in the bowels of Rome for crashing his chariot and killing the Empress's  daughter. His pleas for clemency go unheard and in her grief, she concocts a plan with her loyal slave (Appius) to walk amongst her subjects in disguise.
Returning from battle to the walls of Rome, sibling Gladiators Gladius and Didius discover their deserter brother Russlilius the Crowe now works as a barkeep at the local tavern. There, he charms the owner, Junia, with an attentive ear to her endless Pompeii holiday brags and pops an occasional muscle flex.
Drusilla reveals her ambitions to rule all of Rome to her Senator husband, who, desperate to please her, abides by her plotting. She gains a reluctant ally in Augustus, number one Senator, when she catches him lounging on the Empress's throne and both blackmails and squirrel grips him to her will.
Meanwhile, an artist, Spirius, wanders Rome, recarving all the statues into happier poses. A smile there, a thumbs-up here, his quest to shine a light on Rome's goodness leads him into the dungeons where, through sheer positivity, he converts Asparagus into his protege.
Flores the poet philosopher seduces all with his velvet tongue, but meets his match in Drusilla, and he is soon too corrupted to her devilish plans.
The Empress wanders in disguise to the tavern where she is mistaken as one of the tavern's prostitutes. Her loyal slave draws a sword to protect her honour and the tavern falls quiet.  Senator Lattus challenges Gladius to teach the slave a lesson, but amazingly, the slave prevails in mortal hand to hand combat and the Empress is forced to reveal herself to prevent the rest of the tavern from wreaking revenge upon him.
All are halted however, as a flustered Augustus rushes into the tavern to announce a Christian army has gathered at Rome's walls, led by no other than the Empress's husband, Felix the Fine.
Will Empress Volumnia be able to rally the people of Rome against attack?
Will Drusilla's dark will find a path to the throne?
 Will this be the deserter Russilius the Crowe's finest hour and deep in the dungeon, has Asparagus found his true calling with modern sculpture?
You'll find out, as we do, in WHEN IN ROME , Episode III , "Christians at the Gate!" The final episode !

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Players 4 and 12 please !


Directing Maestro™ Impro by Timothy Redmond

“Players four and twelve please…”

And a pair of number-bibbed players stand before the director awaiting instructions for their scene - and thus, Maestro begins. Players are called up randomly. The audience scores the scenes. The lowest scored players are eliminated – Maestro.

But a director? I mean, how do you direct an improvised show? It seems counter-intuitive. If a show is truly spontaneous, how can a director call actions and scene beats? Isn’t that planning?

Well… no.
You see, the director is improvising too, they're just using different tools. While the actor is focused on their scene partner as a source of their ideas, the director has the good fortune of witnessing the whole scene as it develops. In that way, they’re the audience advocate and even the two players rising from their cast seats when called has the potential to become a scene if a director is really watching. It’s about using what’s already there.

“Brevity is the soul of wit.” Shakespeare was right. While an actor may employ gesture, sound and movement to explore and advance narrative, the director’s primary tool is their voice. (and an occasional waving hand) Their task then is to sculpt the drama in front of them in as few words as possible. A pithy direction can spark a player’s imagination and create action and consequence. A laboured direction can confuse and burden a player and they may feel there is nothing for them left to discover. The joy of discovery keeps us in the moment.

Let's say the two above players felt bold and began a romantic scene beneath an oak tree. That's all we know. Perhaps the scene has motored along nicely enough, but then an offer is missed, something goes astray, and they begin to look a little lost.
A director could call, "see each other" to respark the connection they’d already created..
Or, perhaps player twelve just happens to be gazing up at that moment, up in their head trying to figure out the scene. The director can use the expression and gesture and say,

"Remember her..." to perhaps spark an emotional change.
Or "It begins to rain..."  to spark physical connection
Or, "tell her..." to spark revelation and change.

The key is that the direction, like any offer, is born from the moment. That the direction excavates what is already happening to heighten the drama that is already there. With a snappy direction, the players are reminded of what they’ve already created, and so the next step, the next action, the next beat, can feel obvious and playful.

BOOK NOW for our 2017 Maestro™ Impro season.

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