According to the legend, theatre improvisation is the first Art of human history…
When Adam went back from his first hunt, Eve asked him how it went… Surprised by the new situation, Adam had to improvise a ‘convincing’ answer for Eve, both in case of success (=something to eat) and failure (=starving, again…). We do not know if Adam was a good hunter or they were mainly relying on Eve (probably…), but for sure Eve liked his stories, she fell in love with him, and thanks to improvisation we are here now. Accordingly, many experts have argued that probably T-Rex was not a very good improvisactors… but that’s another story.
My dear fellows who joined this group have often asked me “why to play impro?”. They have explicitly asked me to write this page to convince new people to join us, to play theatre improvisation, to have fun together, and so on.
It took me many weeks thinking about this page. It should be the most important one. I should write something ‘smart’ because now everything has to be smart. I could say that I have started playing improvisation because I have always enjoyed theatre since I was a shy teenager (and maybe I’m still…), but I was terrible in memorizing scripts… and then improvisation was the only solution.
Yet, in reality, I do not have an answer, although I know it is unfair to say “come and try”. Improvisation is about life because we live without a script, we love without a script, we make friends without a script. Improvisation is about creativity because every human being is creative, but too often this creativity is repressed because “this is not serious”, “you are too emotional”, “you need to be prepared”… I would like to convince everybody that s/he can be creative, can express her/himself through a collective game. Everybody is able to tell an amazing story. Yes, I am absolutely convinced that together is better, more interesting, more exciting… more everything!
I could tell you that theatre improvisation develops your skills for public speaking, for listening, for interacting, for active listening (because, yes, listen is an active action!), for body language… I know that theatre improvisation has started also because, after the War, there were not enough psychologists to take care of veterans, and this was a kind of therapy, but I am going too far (the real story is longer and by far more complex, you can read more here).
Why play in another language? This is an interesting point. There is a strong difference playing in your mother tongue or in English. In my view, this helps us a lot, really a lot, although we do not always understand it, we often misunderstand each other, and we mix terrible accents with excellent speakers. We often improvise across languages, we invent words, we are lost even in the alphabetical order. It doesn’t matter. It simply doesn’t matter. It matters only that we want to play, together.
I am not a professional of theatre improvisation, this is not my job, but I do like it, I like to share this. And I am happy not to be alone. I know there are other good things to do. I know I could speak about this per hours. I can say I am convinced that theatre improvisation should be mandatory in all the schools, all HRs should do it in any working environment, and it should be suggested also in retirement homes. I know also that, once you will have tried, you will agree with me.