A less known, but incredible creative, fun and interesting form of art is improvisational theater. It is a form of theater in which actors do not follow a defined script, but create the whole show improvising and interacting with the audience, producing an unique and unpredictable performance which changes every time the actors steps on the stage.
Mix of “regular” and improvised theater: it is a representation, with a leading plot which was previously decided, which combines the art of acting with the challenging art of improvisation. In this way actors can create every kind of show (a detective story, a romance, even a musical!) adding to it the magic of improvisation, asking suggestions to the audience which will make an exciting and fun challenge out of a regular show, breaking the invisible wall between the stage and the comfortable armchair of the observer. This shows are really fun and they adapt to every type of audience, the kids really enjoy to be involved, feeling part of the performance itself and the adults are called to be kids again, playing with the plot and the unexpected events that will happen in the theater.
Improvisation Match: it combines improvisation techniques to the rules of a sport match. Born in Canada at the end of 70’s, for initiative of Robert Gravel and Yvon Leduc, it is inspired by hokey, national Canadian sport and is a kind of theater performance highly studied and represented in my city.The match consists in a competition between two teams composed of 3-5 players, sometimes with a team leader. An arbiter with two assistants proposes themes on which players/actors are called to improvise, sometimes invented by him, sometimes asking for suggestions from the public. The arbiter can whistle some “fouls” to the actors who don’t respect rules or themes. For every improvisation it’s given: a title, number of players, category and duration. The actors have 20 seconds before each improvisation to decide a strategy. Then…Whistle!… and the game starts. Besides, the improvisation can be mixed (every player, despite his team, can act) or compared (every team act in separate times on the same theme).
At the end of every improvisation the audience is called to vote for one of the two teams with a cardboard colored in a different color for each of the two sides, as the t-shirt of each team in the challenge. They also hilariously provided with a slipper to throw when they think something unfair just happened.
I think improvisation opens a whole world limited just by the limits of your own imagination, that’s why I love it, it is an art where you can create everything and be everyone you can think of, with no need of set design, scene objects or costumes. It’s just the actor, his ability, and the power of his imagination. As my teacher used to say, if you believe in what you’re creating, they will see everything you create.