Improv & Keith Johnstone

Improv Wizard is all about the World of Improv!

Improv and KEITH JOHNSTONE. Keith is one of the few internationally recognized authorities in the field of improv (improvisation). He is a founding father of modern improv (improvisation) including improvisation forms that include Theatresports™, Micetro Impro© (or Maestro Impro), Gorilla Theatre™, and The Life Game©.

Theatresports™ is known worldwide, and London’s Improbable Theatre Co. (directed by Phelim McDermott) recently toured Great Britain with the Life Game to excellent reviews.

His books Impro, and Impro For Storytellers, have been translated into many languages.

Keith leads master classes in improvisation for a variety of groups from Stage Performers, to Clinic Clowns, to Psychotherapists.

Since November 1998 Keith has held workshops in San Francisco, Brisbane, Sydney, Seattle, Vienna, Denmark, Germany, Sweden, London, Hong Kong, Austin (Texas), and Tokyo and more.

He founded the Theatre Machine improvisation group, the International Theatresports™ Institute, and was the Co-founder of Calgary’s Loose Moose Theatre.

Theatresports™ is an improvisation show created by Keith Johnstone in which two teams of improvisers compete against each other for points. To earn points, each team must challenge the other to a game, such as a ‘Hat Game’, ‘Alphabet Game’, ‘Word at a Time’, ‘Shakespearean Scene’, etc. The Judges or the audience then award points to each team to determine the winner of that challenge. During the Game, as in any sporting event, players must be careful not to get a penalty. At the end of the evening, points are tallied to determine the champion of the show.

Micetro Impro™ has a director who randomly selects improvisers to do a scene. The improvisers do the scene and the audience is asked whether the scene “deserved 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 points”. Each of the improvisers in the scene receive that many points. Throughout the night, the performers with the fewest points are knocked off until only the ‘Micetro’ is left.

Gorilla Theatre™ is an improv format where 5-6 improvisers take turns being the director of improvised scenes. The remaining improvisers follow the instructions of the director. The director chooses the content of each scene, how many people are in the scene, etc. and gives suggestions as the scene goes along. At the end of each scene, the audience is asked whether the director deserves a banana or a forfeit. If the audience shouts “Banana” then the director gets a miniature banana attached to his or her score sheet, which counts as one point. If the audience shouts “Forfeit”, the director has to pick a slip of paper out of the forfeit cup. On the slips are things that the director must do. For example, “Go back to the point where your scene went wrong, and fix it.”, “Listen to your answering machine”, or “work the concession stand during the break”, etc. At the end of the night, the director with the most Bananas is the winner.

The Life Game™ has a host who asks a guest (either an audience member or celebrity guest) questions about his/her real life. Occasionally, a director will tell the improvisers to recreate one of the events that has been described by the guest. The guest is provided with a bell and a horn. If the events in the scene are similar to what happened in real life, the guest will ring the bell. If the performance seems untrue to what actually happened, the guest will honk the horn and the improvisers will attempt to correct the flaw until they hear the bell.

TheatreSports,Micetro Impro™, Gorilla Theatre™, The Life Game™ are ©1998-2008 International Theatresports™ Institute and Keith Johnstone. All rights reserved.

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