This is Part 4 of a series documenting my process during creation and execution of improvised theater.
For the director and producer of a show, work doesn’t start at the beginning of rehearsal, but rather hours, days, or weeks before.
The tool you use is less important than making sure you use it. The free tool pictured above is called Trello, which is a digital version of index cards organized in columns on a pin board (in its simplest form). Whatever you use, these are the columns, or categories, I used for organizing my show:
- Photography and Videography
- Public Relations and Marketing
- Show Production
- Show Elements
This is Part 3 of a series documenting and analyzing the process of producing an original improvised theatre performance.
Rehearsals are ruined by indecision and inaction. Try it, decide, move on.
Rehearsal schedules vary depending on the cast, familiarity with the form or structure, and cast size. This article focuses on an 8, 2-hour rehearsal sessions of a brand new show with a fresh cast. To that end, the rehearsal schedule should be broken into three main phases:
- Discover and finalize the structural elements of the form from beginning to end.
- Practice the form with direct, immediate feedback on the improvisation itself.
- Polish the overall feel of the show as all elements come together.
This is Part 2 of a series documenting and analyzing the steps to producing an original improvised comedy show.
The more relaxed your actors are, the better their auditions will be.
I know it’s tempting to go down the tough director route, not showing emotion and being cold and calculating, but remember, these are people you will be working with in the future and you want to see their best in the few minutes you have to evaluate them. You’ll likely have to make some tough choices regarding who you will take and the differences are going to reveal themselves when the actors are at their best. Greet them warmly, be clear on your instructions (if there are rules to the games, make them available prior to the audition for actors to review), and ask them if they have any questions before starting a scene (clarity = quality).
This is Part 1 of a series documenting and analyzing the steps to producing an original improvised comedy show.
Start with the target audience, then build your show; otherwise, be prepared for an uphill battle.
Sometimes you’re inspired by a thought, a scene, or maybe it was a dream about a bunny with a stethoscope. Whatever the idea, you thought to yourself, “That would be a really fun show.” Now ask yourself one question first and foremost, “for whom?” If you had to think about it or you answered yourself, then you need to step back for a moment.