Short-form improv

Short-form* improvisation is awesome. It’s at the heart of what we do as a team, and I’d like to tell you about why it’s great.

  1. It’s fun. The fast and furious nature of a good short-form show means that players can really focus on having fun (and being funny) in the moment. The biggest and most successful improv shows to make it to a general audience often use short-form, because it’s straight-up funny. Whose Line is it Anyway has been a huge success because it’s hilarious (if you like it you’ll like our show too **!). Because scenes and games are short, it’s also perfectly acceptable to do huge stupid characters, one-liners, break improv rules and generally arse around without worrying about wrecking the show.
  2. It’s about taking care of people. The rules and structure mean it’s usually pretty clear to the audience what’s going on, so they relax and enjoy themselves. Short-form is funny and completely accessible, and the whole reason to put on a show is so the audience enjoys it. The performers are also really well taken care of, because:
  3. I’m the asshole. The person hosting the show or game often gets to ‘mess up’ the performers by making games harder, cutting in at just the wrong moment, adding extra rules, and generally being naughty. This is fun to do, but it’s also important, because the responsibility for the show and how awesome the performers look is on the host. The meaner I am to the performers the more the audience roots for them to do well- and we want them on our side of course! In Improvable we share the hosting duties so that hopefully the audience loves us all by the end. In a class show, I host all the way so the performers get to shine- and the audience gets to be on their side.

*short-form improvisation means the show is a series of games and scenes, each introduced by a host. The other common type of improv, where scenes are joined together to create a longer narrative or piece, is called long-form.

**more :p


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