An ensemble of players gets on stage without previously rehearsed lines or blocking and acts out, making up the show as they go along. The audience understands that this show is constructed from nothing before their eyes. In these aspects, improvisational performance differentiates itself from any other performance medium.
Improvisation is at its best when it leverages its monopoly on spontaneous collaboration before a live audience. When a group of individuals creates something out of nothing together on stage, the audience sees magic. Magic. “How’d you all do that?” they ask, blown away by the ideas, characters, scenes and show built piecemeal from their simple suggestion.
We want to cultivate that “you had to be there” magic.
When we are Specific with our Details in-the-moment – surprise! Improv as improv does best. When we Emotionally React to imagined Active Endowments – crazy! Improv as improv does best. And when we Collaboratively Establish and Heighten Patterns that gel an ensemble and connect an audience – we get it! Improv as improv does best.
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For how to approach improv as improv does best, go to How To.
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For information aimed at helping improv coaches identify strengths and diagnose weaknesses, go to Coaching SWOT.
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