Theatre I
Improvisation
Kandinsky, Wassily. Improvisation 31. 1913,
National Gallery of Art
Drama is the link...
between thought and expression.
Playwrights turn
actions into words.
Actors turn words
into actions.
When improvising, you must create
both words and actions
Spontaneity
the freshness and naturalness of
each performance
It is the goal of the
actors and
directors to create
the “illusion of the
first time.”
Each performance
should feel like the
first one.
Developing good improvisational skills
helps develop fresh performances.
What is Improvisation?
Improvisation is...
the impromptu portrayal of a
character or a scene without
rehearsal or preparation
You must convey:
personality
physical traits
conflicts
dress
desires
age
The Challenge of Good
Improv:
1. Physical and mental control
2. Adaptability
Even though
improvisation is
spontaneous, it
demands:
3. Acceptance of positive criticism
4. “directability”
5. Cooperation with others
Focus, Concentrate,
Respond
Focus your attention on natural
actions and natural reactions.
Concentrate on immediate
responses.
Play the scene as it develops.
The Motivated Sequence
• We experience a
stimulus.
• The “idea connects,” and our
brains registers the stimulus.
The Motivated Sequence
• The body responds:
• Chest moves in direction of the
stimulus
• Eyes look in the direction
• We may even make a reflex
action- jerk back or make a sound
• We react vocally and/or
physically with our main
response.
Improv: A Trial Run
For many plays, improvisation
serves as a trial run.
The playwright can see “how it
plays” and make necessary
changes in the script before
opening.
Two Types of Improvisation:
Character and Situation-Centered
Action
The
charactercentered
approach
places a
character
or group of
characters
in various
situations.
SIT
SIT
SIT
C
SIT
SIT
Examples: CSI, Law & Order, and ER
Character and Situation-Centered
Action
The
situationcentered
approach
takes a
single
situation or
series of
situations
and places a
number of
characters
into the
situation.
C1
C2
C3
SIT
C4
C5
Watching each character respond differently to
the situation provides interest.
The Challenge of Improv
It is very difficult for new actors
to build a character, work out a
situation, carry on action, and
create effective dialogue all at
the same time and on the spur of
the moment!
Therefore, you should establish a
character or stock of characters that you
can use for a variety of situations
beforehand , and the words and action
will come much easier.
Establishing A Character
You must consider:
Who am I?
What kind of person am I?
When does this action take place?
How should the audience react to me?
How am I different from the other
characters?
What are the fewest things I can do
to convey the most?
What does my character want?
What is
the
mood of
the
scene?
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Theatre I - Auburn City Schools