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Improvisation workshop, Birmingham, 2010

Improvisation workshop, Birmingham, 2010

Improvisation workshop, Kendal 2010

Improvisation workshop, Birmingham, 2010

Improvisation workshop, Kendal 2010

 
Playing improvisation games

At the art of each game lies a simple problem to take players' minds away from the fear of failing and the need to shine and re-focus them on the here and now. Shared rules give players a shared language and a fixed point in a moving landscape. How they resolve the problem is completely up to them.

Failing is acknowledged as a sign of genuine risk-taking. Free from the need to appear bright and original, participants can test new ways to support and project themselves and interact with others in a playful and forgiving atmosphere.

Games become gradually more sophisticated to finally produce fully fleshed scenes and stories.

First we play to win.
Then we play to lose.
Then we play to play.

 
Advice to facilitators
Give clear and simple instructions and make sure they are understood.
Only use rules if they improve focus.
Let players be in charge of their own experience.
Discuss the outcomes with participants rather than lecturing them.
Encourage participants to monitor their inner state.
Avoid all form of direct negative comments. Ask for critics to be respectful and constructive.
Do not force your tastes upon others.
Violent stunts are never improvised.
Recognise failure as a chance to progress.
Show your respect and appreciation.
Take risks. Try new games and new ways of doing old things.
Advice to players
There are no bad improvisers. Just teachers making wrong choices. If you think you're terrible just relax, it's their fault.
There is no catch, no trap, no intention to catch you off-guard.
It can be very tempting to erase difficulties by breaking a game's rules but without rules there is no game. Rules are the only fix point in the landscape. How you follow them is completely up to you.
Ask again and again if you need to clarify a rule.
Involve yourself and agree to fail. Try new things. Success won't teach you as much as failure.
Make your fellow player look good if you want to look good.
Avoid anticipating. It's a lot more rewarding to try a game out and see what happens.
Discard any prepared idea before entering a scene.
Show your respect and appreciation.
© Remy Bertrand - Imprology 2006/2015
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