KJ1 - A few Notes from our Improv Workshop with Keith Johnstone


Day 1 of 4 days with Keith Johnstone...and here are a few highlights from my notebook:

The workshop was held in a small theater in downtown San Francisco.  There were 24 students ranging in experience from novice to +20 years of experience.  The workshop lasted from 10am until 4pm.  And seemed to meander from lecture to exercise...with lecture taking most of the weight.

Keith Johnstone wrote IMPRO in 1966 after just 3 years of experience.

The audience wants change - so freeze games are popular...but in freeze games the players are not moving things forward.

If you're not obvious - it's almost impossible to get narrative going.

If you know how to do it (improve or teach) it means that you've codified your bag of tricks!

Occasionally Keith would call for "anyone who hasn't been on the stage yet today...and people would step forward.

If you play a scene where you meet a talking mouse where he voice is provided by an actor off stage:

  • if you are scared it's looking for a cat.
  • If you're less scared it's looking for your cat.
  • If you're unafraid it's looking for you.

I mentioned this progression to Keith the next morning and he look at me with a sly smile and said...

"If you're really frightened, you're looking for a cat too!"

More to come...