Improv is for everyone, especially you! A new term of beginner improv comedy workshops starts this Saturday afternoon. No experience required.
  • Meet the senior managers: Broni Lisle (Education Director), Laura Buskes (Theatre Operations Manager), Adam Kangas (Artistic Director)

    I've learned a lot in my ten years of improvising, and the most important lesson for a control freak like me is that improv isn't an art form that allows for solo success: your only hope to succeed is by working with a team of people you trust and respect, honouring their contributions and generally trying to make them look like geniuses along the way. Trying to dominate a scene or a Harold by yourself is almost certainly a recipe for disaster. We've all seen (or even been) different shades of that guy on stage... and it's never good.

    As we've ramped up our efforts in corporate improv education, it's really sunk in that some of the basic tenets of improv have obvious implications in the business world too. I can see now that one of the biggest things preventing this company and community from reaching their full potential is my need to hold on tightly to every aspect of how things are run around here. Solo micromanagement in all areas helped get this beautiful experiment off the ground, but now it's time to graciously ask for help.

    Luckily, I'm surrounded by some seriously lovely and talented people who believe in this place, and have accepted permanent senior positions with The Improv Conspiracy Theatre. Let's meet them!

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  • THE IMPROV CONSPIRACY OPEN HOUSE
    ALL SHOWS ABSOLUTELY FREE DURING MELBOURNE FRINGE FESTIVAL 2017

    It's our fifth consecutive year of participation in the Melbourne Fringe Festival, and we're thrilled to celebrate by giving away three weeks of FREE TICKETS to our fans new and old. Between Thursday September 14th and Sunday October 1st you can pick any exciting show from our calendar and bring your mates and dates to see it for free.

    There are no prebookings. Each show's physical tickets will be handed out at our box office starting 60 minutes before showtime. Come down early, grab some tickets, and enjoy a drink with us or another one of the awesome businesses in Meyers Place.

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  • [Update 12 September: The role has been filled.]

    Theatre Operations Manager / Assistant Artistic Director (AAD)

    Part-Time Salaried Role (20-30 hours weekly, negotiable)

    (Want something approaching full-time income from TIC? The person in this role would be strongly considered to fill any teaching, coaching, and corporate training opportunities as they arise…)

    The Improv Conspiracy Theatre’s mission is to foster and showcase the best improv and comedy in Australia. We host over 12 hours of original comedy content every week, on Thursday-Sunday nights, split between in-house productions and shows produced by external stakeholders. We seek a new management-level hire to help with the day-to-day operations of the theatre, and the execution of the Artistic Director’s vision, both of which grow increasingly complex as our audience sizes and our community of performers expand.

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  • You just did a show! You did it. You did the thing. You were there, with your team, in that moment making something that didn’t exist before. You really did it!

    I'd like you to allow yourself to get off stage happy with just the simple fact that you did a thing.

    Was it great? Maybe, maybe not. Some people might think so, some might not. You might not. You might, but someone else in your team might not. You know what—who cares!? It’s ethereal and it’s gone now. "If it’s not easy, you're learning and that’s amazing” (Ward, J. 2017).  A so-called "bad" show, whether it’s just you or the whole damn theatre who thought it was bad, is no reason to be sad! There will be another one. And another... and another. You’ll get better, and better and better. 

    I've had shows ruined by getting off stage and hearing someone on my team spitting fire at themselves, or worse, me, for the show being bad. Life is too damn short for that! I want to be great, I really do, I work at it every day, I obsess over improv all the time. I really give a shit about this art form. I truly find beauty in the process of improvisation: two humans interlocking and finding the show together in a moment is up there with my favourite things, ever. However, if I perform some real potent garbage, which I feel like I did as recently as last Saturday, I need to learn from it and I laugh at it. I learn nothing from hating myself for it. 

    Scott Williams, a master Meisner teacher from the UK put it to me like this:

    - Your inner critic is the loudest voice in every room. 
    - Your inner critic lies to you.
    - You believe it. 
    - You can’t work while it’s talking to you. 
    (Williams, S 2016)

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  • So you finally did it; you faced your fears and booked an improv class. Good on you, honestly! Most people mull it over, then let their comfort zone win, so they never know what its like to have fun with their fear, and find joy in what scares them.

    You're going to have fun, I promise. Along the way you'll also learn some invaluable life lessons just by turning up and paying attention. However, if you really want to get the most out of your class, here are some suggestions:

    1. Take notes

    Improv class doesn't really have any designated writing time (you'll mostly be on your feet doing fun stuff), but there are quite a few nuggets of wisdom on offer. Bring a notebook and pen, and jot down any sayings, expected learning outcomes, performance dates and things that confuse you. It will help with memory, and it's great to come back to at the end of term to see how far you've come.

    2. Do the exercise in front of you

    Most of your class time will be spent running different activities. There will be a few exercises and activities that might feel counterintuitive or like they don't fit into your expectations of improv. That's completely normal. I like to tell my students that improv is like playing a sport; in training you might do sprints, bench presses or other activities that train a particular muscle group, but do not appear to have anything to do with the game. The reason for this is that once you've strengthened those muscles, you will be able to execute the movements in the game more easily, and without thinking. As improv is open-ended, we can't teach you how to know what's going to happen in a given scene, but we can work the skills (muscles) that will help you make great choices in the moment on stage.

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