Theatrical Improv in Performance



Improvisation remains a difficult term to define in the theatre community, as it means different things to different theatre artists, all of whom might claim, and rightly so, to use improvisation in their work. To some improv means spontaneously creating bits, like stage business, within a performance of a previously written script. To others improv is a tool or an acting methodology used to help actors in the rehearsal process find a route into the characters they are playing. A large population of audience members would recognize a “night at the improv” as a review of stand-up comics where an occasional off the cuff comment to the audience mixes with a finely polished routine. Improvisation is seen by others to be “theatre games” that can be played in front of an audience with amusing results. Taking this step further, other groups see improv as the ultimate ensemble work, creating a spontaneous connection with the other players on stage during unplanned scene work. To still others improvisation is a hybrid of this ensemble work where the unplanned scene work is performed, transcribed, and then polished for performance.


Theatre Community Performance Game Improvisational Theatre Rehearsal Process River City 
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© Jeanne Leep 2008

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