imprology, improvisation based training

Improviser of the month        June 2009

Kate Hilder
What is your name?
Kate Hilder
Where do you live and work?
I live in Seaford, East Sussex and I work in London, Brighton, Chichester, Devon and elsewhere
What is your day job?
Improvisation is my day job. I teach Action Theaterô, a form of improvised physical theatre and organise workshops for other improvisation teachers from around the world.
How did you discover improvisation?
I took my first improvisation classes at the City Lit in 1999 but I was looking for something more physical. I discovered Action Theatre by chance the following year in San Francisco when I met a man dressed in red in the street. He told me that he taught improvisation and itís all about saying Ďyesí Ė that was all I needed to hear, The man is Sten RudstrÝm, a senior Action Theater teacher; I started going to his classes and heís been my teacher for the last 10 years. Heís a good friend and we now perform together in a group called EAT.
How do you practice improvisation?
I go into a studio/local hall a couple of times a week with friends and we perform solos for each other. Sometimes I give myself a focus e.g. movement only or talking non-stop or using my eyes in different ways. Sometimes we talk about our own improvisations and give each other feedback.
How did you learn?
By following my interest and taking workshops with different teachers. I have always had as strong feeling for which teachers I want to learn from. Iíve studied extensively with Ruth Zaporah, the pioneer of Action Theater and Sten RudstrÝm. Iíve also with trained with Roy Hart Voice Teachers and dance improvisation teachers as well as movement-based theatre improvisors: Al Wunder and Andrew Morrish. My Vipassana meditation and Feldenkrais practice guides me in staying present to physical sensation which is a fundamental part of my work.
Any advice for beginners?
Go into the studio with friends for 2 or 3 hours a week and practise. Itís important to stay present to what you enjoy both when youíre improvising and when you talk about your work. Improvising is about being fascinated by what weíre feeling, imagining and doing so itís valuable to bring this quality to how we talk about our improvisations too.
What is your favourite improvisation quote?
"I have planned nothing and that has kept me very busy." Ruth Zaporah
What is the most satisfying story or scene you ever improvised in?
I enjoy more abstract scenes where Iím creating an atmosphere with my partners both with voice and movement Ė listening and creating music together. However, riding to New York on horseback through the desert was a good one.
Your favourite improvisation website
You can Ruth Zaporahís website:
Your main website
Iím very excited about my own website: which is being programmed this month and will be live by the end of June. As well as offering the usual info about me and my work, there will be free tips on how to be present in everyday life. If youíd like to get in touch before then you can contact me at

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