American Course: Semester 1 Week 9

Improv.

This week our students started a two week course in Improv. It’s not necessarily what you would see at your favorite comedy club or on tv. It’s not always funny, but it sure can be sometimes. This isn’t your average improv class. Of course, there are many principles that appear here, but this class is about the process of creating a character, an environment and telling a story in great detail from beginning to end.

Anastasia Imamova┬áis taking our students on a two week journey that requires a free and alert mind and body to discover the world and to react to it. The work that is happening with Imamova is very different from any of our students’ previous training in the program. In other courses the focus has been much more analytical and focused on taking things slowly and with great control. Imamova asks that her students work quickly and impulsively. She asked that they do now and think about it later. And this doesn’t mean that the work should be sloppy, on the contrary, each action should be made in great detail.

Class this week has included impulsive reactions to words, changing a piece of paper into an object and telling a story and even becoming each other. Yes, that’s right, becoming each other. Our course is quite small with only six students. They spend all day every day together in class, at the theatre and at home. This week they had the chance to become one another on stage. Of course, everyone had a few laughs, but more importantly developed characters with great detail. These are people that observe each other every day in many situations. This is a great tool for becoming aware of the complexities of a character.

From here Imamova sent everyone out in the world to observe three people and tell their story (or what could be their story) in great detail. Next week we will begin to develop these characters on stage. Be sure to check back to find out where this exercise takes us!