1. I could never do improv like you guys, I’m not funny
Improv is not about being funny, improv is about listening and trust, and comedy is a result of that trust. Think about how easy it is to joke around with your best friend and come up with hilarious stuff. That’s what improv is like, we’re all just best friends on stage having a fun time being ourselves.
2. There must be a script!
There is absolutely no script, and if there was then I didn’t get the pre-show email. Everything is made up entirely on the spot. If it seems like there’s a script, that’s because we follow the same rules of conversation that most screenwriters use when they write dialogue. When one character suggests some part of the reality of the scene, another character must say yes and acknowledge the existence of that reality.
3. If everything is made up, then what do you even do during rehearsal?
Good question. I wrote an article about that. Rehearsals are all about getting to know each other and developing our level of trust with each other.
4. You guys should use more props
Props are not a traditional part of improv, since they bring elements of reality into scenes constructed entirely out of imagination. The presence of a real world object conflicts with the establishment of an imagined reality onstage.
5. When’s your next show?
Just kidding, we love hearing this. Our next show is December 9th at 7pm in Sussman theater!
Rehearsals are some of the best nights of the week for D+ troupe members. It’s a time for us to refine our skills and get to know each other better. Rehearsals are on Tuesday and Thursday nights in the Fine Arts Center.
What happens during improv rehearsal
A lot of people wonder how you rehearse something like improv, where everything is made up on the spot. Well, rehearsal is an opportunity for us to get to know each other better and refine our social interactions with each other. We will go through scenes, games, and other skits so we can give each performer critiques on their style. We tell each other things we’re doing well and things we’re doing not so well.
Improv is all about trust: trusting yourself to go with your first idea, and trusting your scene partner to have your back. Rehearsals grow trust by making us more accustomed to the social styles of everyone in the group. If each of us knows each other better, we can anticipate how each person will act in a scene and that will inform our individual performances as well. Above all, rehearsals are just plain fun.
Structure of a rehearsal
Every rehearsal we try to do something different, but there is a consistent theme between all of them. They usually start off with our president, Alyssa, giving some information about upcoming events, improv ideas, and a bit of brainstorming from the group. This lets us touch base on how we’re feeling and what we might want to do later in the night.
Then we will go into scenes and games. We’ll usually have three people volunteer for a scene and we’ll take a suggestion and let them run with it. Open scenes are one of our favorite things to do because they let us experiment freely without the constraints of games. Long form improv works for us in the same way, and it is especially formative to play during rehearsal. Long form is a type of improv that is very loose, and so it relies more heavily on team-camaraderie and trust than any other game.
Check out some of the rehearsal games we play at improv encyclopedia. Every now and then we’ll post photos and videos from rehearsal on our Facebook page or Twitter page! Follow along for more.
We’re so excited for our Dead Day show at the end of this semester. The show will be on December 9th on Pomerantz stage in the Olmsted Center. We’ll be playing brand new games with all of our members, and this will be the first performance from our newest members. These members have been learning all there is to learn about improv along with the whole troupe this semester.
Here’s a photo from last year’s Dead Day show:
The Dead Day show will be our first show in Pomerantz since the new renovations added a bookstore and significantly decreased the size of the stage area. This just means the show is going to be a lot more snug than previous years!
D+ Improv had their annual Halloween show a few weeks ago, and we loved introducing ourselves to the newest first year students at Drake.
In preparation for the show, we put together 5 horror film parodies. The first one was the Exorcist, in which Mari played a self-deprecatory improv troupe member possessed by self doubt.
The next video was a parody of Saw, in which Jasen played Jigsaw.
The next video was a parody of the Bring Drake to Drake video, except instead of Drake, the improv troupe wants to bring Frankenstein’s monster. If only they were still around when he showed up.
The next video was a parody of Silence of the Lambs, where Kevin is a bit too picky about his skin suit.
The next video we did was a parody of Psycho, wherein Alyssa just can’t keep the pitch.
All in all, the show was great and we had an awesome time preparing for it. The Halloween show is just as much about the show as it is about the marketing of it, and we loved making people laugh with our videos. Thanks to everyone who came!
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