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Rekindling an old love; forming an improv troupe

I've mentioned some of my various performance activities here in the past, and the past eight months have seen me return to the theatre stage with four productions. I used to do improv comedy a lot, but the groups I was in, and passion, dissolved a couple years back; 2009 may have been the last show I performed in. While chatting after the most recent play I was in (a production of Zadie's Shoes in mid-April), the thought popped into my head to form a new troupe and put on performances in the new theatre we were standing in. I brought up the idea with the art director of the theatre, and he was quite receptive.

I started by starting a group chat via Facebook, inviting all the people still living in the area that I knew and thought might be interested, making a mission statement and invite. Some of them suggested other people to ask, some people dropped out, and we managed to get a couple people together for a coffee meeting to discuss vision. At that meeting we decided the first thing to do would be to just get together and do some practice (many of us haven't done improv in 5+ years). With some performance we'll get a feel for where we are as performers, and get a sense of inter-player chemistry.

Last Thursday a few of us got together on the theatre stage. I gave a little talk and led some basic warm up exercises, then we spent two hours testing different concepts and discussing techniques. It was a lot of fun to see and participate in live improv again. There were only six of us that could make it to the practice; one had never performed improv before, three had had some experience while in school for other performance arts, one had been part of a troupe in another city, but hadn't performed improv in about a decade, and me. With that mix of experience, we started in on rolling up our sleeves and jumping in... the start was a little shaky, but we got into the swing of things and had a blast.

I can't wait for the troupe to properly gel, and start performing for an audience. I expect good things.

4 blog comments below

Way to go pal. Improv is hard - I'm a watcher not a doer, and I've watched a fair bit of theatre over the years. Improv is always edgy - you can rock-up to the theatre and witness a complete turkey when it doesn't work, but you can also witness something magical when it clicks.
Good luck.
Bikerman on Sun May 24, 2015 6:12 pm
Have to echo Bikerman. Am in total awe of you being a doer Ankhanu and the energy you must have with pursuing all of your hobbies. You don't just play the guitar for relaxation, but are part of a band and making records. And ditto your participation in theatre, never at a superficial level, and now as an initiator. Well done! Cool
deanhills on Mon May 25, 2015 4:07 am
Go get them, Ankhanu!! Add your guitar into the mix for a silly sing along. Best of luck.
standready on Mon May 25, 2015 5:07 pm
What deanhills said! You're an example of the kind of people I feel have so much energy and it makes me look in on myself to see if I can find that same kind of drive and energy to get out and do the things I really love and want to do!

It sounds fantastic! I've never seen an improv group/performance before and I've only been to see a handful of plays. I bet it would be very entertaining and something I'd like! stand has a funny idea. I'm not sure how you'd do it (lack of knowledge and experience with improv) so I'm not sure how it work but maybe it could be funny?

I'm so excited for you!
TheGremlyn on Sun May 31, 2015 3:23 pm

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