Improv Theatre Is Exactly What You Make It

Drama and comedy on the spur of the moment.

What Do You Want to Improvise?

Something that looks like a play? Short comedy sketches? Games?

Your own unique blend of all three? Or something altogether different?

Improv theatre comes in many guises. Once you know the basics, part of the ongoing challenge is to find out what you want to do – learn how to do it – and find others who want to do more or less the same thing.

Improv tends to lend itself to comedy. At least that’s clearly the bulk of it.

American improv theatre is often reduced to improv comedy. And in Europe it’s all frequently called improv theatre – even though it’s still mostly comedy.

C’est la vie… 

Don’t take all these labels too seriously.

How Do You Find Out What You Want to Improvise?

Be pragmatic about it and apply the quintessential improv skill:

Decide quickly and stay with your decision.

Going back and forth, weighing pros and cons, and making sure it’s right for you will not only waste your energy, it’ll confuse you.

Experience how good it feels to make a choice and commit to it.

After the improvisation, you quickly evaluate it. And decide whether that’s something you’d want more of. If yes, continue. If not, try something else. If unsure, try the same again.

Trust your feeling about it.

What the audience sees and hears is just the surface of what is happening in an improv scene. Underneath bubbles the secret life of the improvisers. Here’s my dictionary of improv emotions to help you identify what’s going on!

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