Loading…
GII Symposium 2019 has ended

Log in to bookmark your favorites and sync them to your phone or calendar.

Wednesday, May 15
 

10:30am

Welcome
A welcome from the organisers of GII 2019

Speakers
NS

Nicola Stammers

Middlesex University
avatar for Theresa Robbins Dudeck

Theresa Robbins Dudeck

Co-Founder/Creative Team, Global Improvisation Initiative (GII)
Theresa Robbins Dudeck, PhD, has taught improvisation all over the world in both academic and professional settings. She is considered one of the foremost teachers of Keith Johnstone’s Impro System of training. She wrote the critically acclaimed "Keith Johnstone: A Critical Biography... Read More →
avatar for Joel Veenstra

Joel Veenstra

Faculty, University of California, Irvine
Joel Veenstra teaches improvisation, stage management, and collaborative production at the University of California, Irvine. He is active in the improvisation and applied improvisation world and serves on the Board of AIN and as the co-director of Global Improvisation Initiative... Read More →
PM

Phelim McDermott

Improbable
Improbable (UK) is led by Phelim McDermott and Lee Simpson, and uses improvisation to create spectacular shows, support and nurture artists and the arts sector, and facilitate social change. Improbable believes that art is for everyone and that our society needs a cultural shift... Read More →
LS

Lee Simpson

Improbable
Improbable (UK) is led by Phelim McDermott and Lee Simpson, and uses improvisation to create spectacular shows, support and nurture artists and the arts sector, and facilitate social change. Improbable believes that art is for everyone and that our society needs a cultural shift... Read More →


Wednesday May 15, 2019 10:30am - 11:00am
The Atrium Grove Building, Middlesex University, The Burroughs, Hendon, London, NW4 4BT

11:00am

Panel 1: Gender and Identity
Moderators
JM

Josephine Machon

Middlesex University

Speakers
avatar for Cathy Salit

Cathy Salit

CEO, Performance of a Lifetime
Cathy Salit (USA) is the CEO of Performance of a Lifetime, an award winning consulting firm based in NYC. Using the art and science of theater, impro, and performative psychology, Cathy and her global team of coaches, actors, improvisers, and facilitators create and deliver leadership and team effectiveness programs for American Express... Read More →
AS

Amy Seham

Amy Seham (USA) is a director, author, professor, and improviser whose book, Whose Improv Is It, Anyway? is a ground-breaking study of race, gender and power in Chicago improv-comedy. Her writing on improv has been published in The Oxford Handbook of Critical Improvisation Studies... Read More →
MG

Monica Gaga

Monica Gaga is queer black British improviser based in London, who found her love for improvisation at a young age. You can find her hosting at Hoopla Impro at weekends, running some of their courses through the week, being the woman who puts the Mo in Derek's MoJo: a fun, fast and... Read More →
avatar for Blessin Varkey

Blessin Varkey

Founder, The Impro Company
Blessin Varkey (IND) is an accessibility researcher and the founder & artistic director at The Impro Company, New Delhi, India. He is currently exploring applied improvisational theatre in mental health, education and leadership in India and also teaches & performs improvisation... Read More →
avatar for Barbara Tint

Barbara Tint

Professor, Trainer, Consultant, Portland State University/Barbara Tint Inc.
Barbara Tint (USA) PhD, has over 30 years of experience as a psychologist, university professor, consultant and global trainer. She has been improvising and applying improvisation for over ten years and is currently the President of the Applied Improvisation Network. Her areas of... Read More →
avatar for Holly Mandel

Holly Mandel

Good Girls Arent Funny
Holly Mandel (USA) GOOD GIRLS AREN'T FUNNY creator; founder of Improvolution Improv School in New York City; The Groundlings Theater Company alumna and Senior Instructor and Director; Pace University professor; founder and Executive Director of iMergence.Holly has worked extensively... Read More →
VH

Victoria Hogg

Victoria Hogg (UK) is an improv coach and consultant through her company The Offer Bank. Having studied Applied Theatre at Goldsmiths College, Vic loves to facilitate all kinds of groups, from teams within business to socially engaged groups such as elders, visually impaired adults... Read More →
avatar for Angela Clerkin

Angela Clerkin

Improbable Associate Artist, ClerkinWorks AD
Angela Clerkin is an actor, improvisor, writer and theatre-maker. She trained at Middlesex University, BA Performing Arts (Hons). She is an Associate Artist with Improbable and has performed with them worldwide in Panic (Barbican, Sydney Opera House), Lifegame (UK tour, New York... Read More →


Wednesday May 15, 2019 11:00am - 12:00pm
The Atrium Grove Building, Middlesex University, The Burroughs, Hendon, London, NW4 4BT

12:00pm

The Absurdity of a Magical Existence

In this performance, I will be using word prompts from the audience and freestyling a story based on the words given to me. This piece is about the uncomfortable reality many of those without recognised power have to engage with in a marginalised structure. The lack of active awareness of the precarity queer, black, people of color, disabled, neuro-diverse, target faith people face on a daily basis and the Western school of thoughts foundational basis on erasing the histories of the aforementioned by not including or acknowledging that these schools are just as valuable. In this time, adapting has become ever more important through the combustable state of digital sharing and physical preservation in archives, stepping out of comfort zones to listen, be challenged and create true intersectionality falls under improvisation. The above communities react each day, organising and developing new tools, form new languages to translate their understanding of the world today.
The Absurdity of a Magical Existence performance takes a closer look at what it takes to build as a community, when we step out of archaic norms of interaction and focus on inclusive and not isolation structures of communicating.

Speakers
X

Xana

Xana (UK) is a live loop musician, sound designer, installation artist, poet and creative techie. Xana has worked on a number of plays including Hive City Legacy (Roundhouse, 2018), Obama and Me (Camden Peoples Theatre, 2018), Black Holes (Cambridge Junction, 2018), Half-breed (Soho... Read More →


Wednesday May 15, 2019 12:00pm - 12:30pm
Ravensfield Theatre Ravensfield Building, Middlesex University, The Burroughs, Hendon, London, NW4 4BT

12:00pm

When you are privileged, equality can feel like oppression

Who gets through the door to do the great impro gig? Who doesn’t? Why is that? What happens when the door is opened? How does privilege play out in the improvisation world? Who has privilege? Who doesn’t? What is the impact of this? How can we be better allies? What does that even mean?
Facilitated by Angela Clerkin (Actor, Improvisor, Theatre Maker, AD ClerkinWorks, Improbable Associate Artist). Last year Angela set up Through The Door improvisation workshops for women and non-binary people. TTD is supported by Improbable and Shakespeare’s Globe and is part of the III. She will be joined by TTD facilitators Pauline Mayers (Associate Artist Chris Goode & Co, Leeds Playhouse, Improbable Board Member), Stella Duffy (novelist, improvisor, theatre maker, co-director Fun Palaces, Improbable Associate Artist), Sarah Grange (TTD producer, open space & research associate at Improbable), and workshops participants Serin Ibrahim (Actor, AD Culture Clash) and Cassandra Hercules (Actor, Co-Founder Culture Clash). Please join us in what promises to be a lively, informative and timely discussion about the importance of diversifying improvisation.

Speakers
avatar for Stella Duffy

Stella Duffy

co-director, Fun Palaces
improviser, Assoc Artist Improbable, Fun Palaces, writing for improvisers/improvising for writers (I write novels & short stories)
avatar for Pauline Mayers

Pauline Mayers

As a Rambert trained choreographer and theatre-maker, Pauline has performed and taught for contemporary dance companies across the UK with a career span of over 25 years. Now integrating theatre and dance, Pauline's recent work, What If I Told You, toured nationally to critical acclaim... Read More →
avatar for Angela Clerkin

Angela Clerkin

Improbable Associate Artist, ClerkinWorks AD
Angela Clerkin is an actor, improvisor, writer and theatre-maker. She trained at Middlesex University, BA Performing Arts (Hons). She is an Associate Artist with Improbable and has performed with them worldwide in Panic (Barbican, Sydney Opera House), Lifegame (UK tour, New York... Read More →


Wednesday May 15, 2019 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Studio 1 (G271) Grove, Middlesex University, The Burroughs, Hendon, London, NW4 4BT

12:00pm

Improvisation, Ethics and White Feminism (2 Presentations)


The Problem with White Feminism in Improv: Is Open Space really Open?

Chloe Kennedy
I don’t think that many people would challenge me when I say that Improv is predominantly a white, middle-class, male-orientated space in the UK. Given that most improv is free, or relatively cheap, that it’s easy to put on, and that it’s process-orientated over a product- orientated form of art work, I can’t help but question why this is the case.
On talking to a friend of mine who discussed some approaches to improv as being ‘not quite improv, but more really fast thinking’ - I started to look at how we cognitively process information in improv in relation to our intersectional identities. The difference, I believe, and the inability for improvisation work to be open, is responsive to a need for improvisers with greater intersectional identities to use analytical over intuitive cognitive processes in their work.


Improvisation: an ethical way of going about things

Vida L Midgelow
Improvisation is a way of going about things that reaches beyond arts practices into all areas of life – be that in everyday happenings, or in pedagogy, disaster relief and law. These are places where our interactions with each other and the world need special care and attentiveness. In proposing an ethics of improvisation I draw from somatic movement practices, posthumanisms and health care discourses. I suggest we might usefully reconsider arts practice and raise awareness as to how improvisatory actions can be ethically undertaken in an expanded view of improvisation that encompasses matters of care, agency, awareness and trust.

Speakers
CK

Chloe Kennedy

Chloe Kennedy (UK) is an improviser and theatre maker from Aberdeen. She trained at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, where she received a Distinction MFA in Actor Training and Coaching. She has taught, mentored and assistant directed at The Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts... Read More →
VL

Vida L Midgelow

Vida L. Midgelow (UK) Professor in Choreographic Practices at Middlesex University (UK), Vida is an artist scholar who works on PaR methodologies, improvisation and articulation processes. Her practice includes somatically informed improvisation (as pedagogy and in performance), performative... Read More →


Wednesday May 15, 2019 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Seminar 2 (RV103) Ravensfield, Middlesex University, The Burroughs, Hendon, London, NW4 4BT

12:00pm

Comedic Improvisation as a Pedagogy for Civic Engagement

Improv students often undergo an incredible transformation during their time working together – from the very first class or practice, to the manifestation of “improv zen” onstage. As improv becomes increasingly appreciated as a tool for social transformation, what are the best ways to illuminate the civic engagement opportunities that are latent in teaching comedic improvisation? How can we bring the principles of comedic improvisation into social justice and “extra-theatrical” spaces? Through games and demos, participants will discuss methods and intervention points where coaches and educators can apply a civic engagement lens in the improv classroom and beyond.

Speakers
avatar for Olivia Hartle

Olivia Hartle

PhD student, Point Park University
Olivia Hartle is a theatre director, improviser, facilitator, and coach, and she is currently working on her PhD in Community Engagement at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA. Prior to relocating to Pittsburgh, Olivia was active in the New York theatre scene, where she ran BIG... Read More →


Wednesday May 15, 2019 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Studio 2 (G272) Grove, Middlesex University, The Burroughs, Hendon, London, NW4 4BT

12:00pm

Dreams and a Heart - Awareness Research
'Dreams and a Heart’ awareness research run by Regina Mendes will investigate the impact of making dolls and meditation on our natural abilities of ‘attention’ and ‘awareness’. We will observe the coexistence of these two kinds of consciousness and we will focus on experiencing both of them simultaneously in an optimal way. 

Drop in session.  

Speakers
avatar for Regina Mendes

Regina Mendes

Artist, Dreams and a Heart
Regina Mendes (UK) ‘I am a body filled with dreams and a heart just like all of us. I am also a mother and an artist. I close my eyes, sleep and dream. I see the world.’ Regina Mendes created the community art work for peace Dreams and a Heart and have been running it since... Read More →



Wednesday May 15, 2019 12:00pm - 1:00pm
The Atrium Grove Building, Middlesex University, The Burroughs, Hendon, London, NW4 4BT

12:00pm

Three Elastic Chairs

Three Elastic Chairs is an improvised installation allowing all kind of participants and spectators to experience the elasticity of time. It has been devised by Remy Bertrand over the past few years through key stages:
- Working with refugees on openness and relaxation with Stanislavski’s game inviting participants to fall asleep on a chair;
- Exploring the relationship between neutrality, awareness and presence, by having participants sitting in chairs, doing nothing;
- Investigating Mary Overlie's Six Viewpoints (Space, Shape, Time, Emotion, Movement, Storytelling);
- Producing spoken words through streams of consciousness.  
Initially, the installation was a training tool for improvisers. Noticing the audience fascination, Remy became interested in performing Three Elastic Chairs as a stand-alone improvised piece of art.

You can watch a short film capturing the first-ever public performance here: https://youtu.be/VCHsLGyst5o

Speakers
avatar for Remy Bertrand

Remy Bertrand

founder, imprology
Remy is interested in physical, immersive improvisation and other alternatives to impro comedy such as improvised cinema and performance art.He has been teaching improvisation at imprology since 2006, and other institutions. He has directed several large scale performances with Zootrophic... Read More →


Wednesday May 15, 2019 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Studio 3 (G171) Grove, Middlesex University, The Burroughs, Hendon, London, NW4 4BT

12:00pm

Three ways of surfacing: How improvised material emerges and what you have to consider as a facilitator

How improvised material emerges and what you have to consider as a facilitator
Improvisation teaches us to face unpredictable, new material without fear. But when we look at this in more detail, there seems to be more than one way of letting this material emerge: (1) The unconscious, (2) social emergence and (3) chance operations. Each of these has their own history in art and theatre, their own dynamics, and their own philosophy of making. I will shortly describe these contexts and conduct some selected exercises to create awareness for the three different approaches. I will end with some suggestions for facilitators in both theatrical improvisation and applied improvisation.

Speakers
GL

Gunter Lösel

Gunter Lösel (SWT) has been publishing on the theme of improvisation since 2004. He is an accomplished impro-player, a member of the German National Team of Theatresports (2006), founder of the “Improtheater Bremen” and member of the price-winning duo “Stupid Lovers”. He... Read More →


Wednesday May 15, 2019 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Seminar 3 (RV122) Ravensfield, Middlesex University, The Burroughs, Hendon, London, NW4 4BT

12:00pm

Using Improvisation in Table-work Rehearsals

This workshop showcases a new kind of table-work, inspired by Katie Mitchell and Fiasco Theater Company and distilled into a modality that encourages an improvisational, experiential process. This effervescent, improvisational staging of a scene still new to actors requires actors to activate their work by using items in the room, moving in unpredictable ways, and incorporating their own personal experiences into the characters’ decisions. This process is rooted in a deep investigation of the given circumstances of the text. Within this simultaneous physical and mental exploration, actors make organic and lasting connections to their characters and to the play.

Speakers
avatar for John Michael DiResta

John Michael DiResta

John Michael DiResta (USA) is a theater director and educator. His work focuses on new work development, site-responsive theater, queer theater, community engagement, and theater for social justice. John has developed work with The Public Theater, Labyrinth Theater, York Theater... Read More →


Wednesday May 15, 2019 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Studio 4 (GG93) Grove, Middlesex University, The Burroughs, Hendon, London, NW4 4BT

2:00pm

Being Present: Awareness & Attention

Being Present focuses on slowing down and being aware the current moment. What is a happening right now and what does it say about our world? What is revealed in the snapshot of the world moment by moment. Making us more present and aware of where we are right now.

Speakers
avatar for Randy Dixon

Randy Dixon

Artistic Director, Unexpected Productions
Randy Dixon (USA) is regarded as one of the most experienced improvisational artists in the Pacific Northwest and around the world. He was a founding member of Unexpected Productions and has served as the Artistic Director since 1988. Randy founded The Orcas Island Project, an international... Read More →


Wednesday May 15, 2019 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Seminar 2 (RV103) Ravensfield, Middlesex University, The Burroughs, Hendon, London, NW4 4BT

2:00pm

Improbable and Associates 1

Being Enough
(Money in the Bank)

This workshop presentation explores the notion that you are interesting before you've uttered a sound or made a movement.

Can you be comfortable with doing nothing and just being present before you get into the active element of whatever improvisation you're doing?

In this session there may be some observation of each other in space, including perhaps some prolonged
eye contact. Movement will be limited to walking or standing, with work around concepts of containment, enhancement, projection and radiation. We (probably) won’t be working with words.


Speakers
avatar for Guy Dartnell

Guy Dartnell

Various Guyses
Guy is an associate of Improbable and was on the creative teams of most of Improbable's early ventures, including major improvisational projects like Animo and Keith Johnstone's Lifegame. In the late 80's he co-founded Impro Cafe and the voice-movement duo Voxall Bridge and over the... Read More →


Wednesday May 15, 2019 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Studio 5 (RVG11) Ravensfield, Middlesex University, The Burroughs, Hendon, London, NW4 4BT

2:00pm

The Snake Eating Its Tail

Creation or replication? Process or product? In an art form with the ability to create anything why do we keep reproducing the same work in the same way? We teach freedom of creativity and risking failure yet we don’t apply it to our own productions. Why? Lets look at how can we develop more innovators and less replicators.

Speakers
PS

Patti Stiles

Patti Stiles (AUS) Patti Stiles (Australia): Patti is an actor, improviser, director, instructor, and playwright who has been working professionally in theatre since 1983. She served her theatre apprenticeship at the world renowned Loose Moose Theatre and was trained by Keith Johnstone... Read More →


Wednesday May 15, 2019 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Studio 2 (G272) Grove, Middlesex University, The Burroughs, Hendon, London, NW4 4BT

2:00pm

Yes-and versus No Means No: Raising Awareness of Gendered Implications of “Agreement”

In recent years, a growing number of women in impro/improv have publically protested the sexual harassment and sexism they have long encountered in classes, casting, rehearsal, and performance. Many describe the way the central improv rule of agreement or Yes-and has been (mis)used to manipulate them into scenes that ranged from ridicule to rape. While the notion that one must always “agree” is intended to create a positive environment for cooperation and creativity, the principle of agreement is also susceptible to deliberate exploitation, enabling some players to take advantage of those trained to say “yes” to any demand. Yes-and can be a weapon used to control, and even punish another player on stage, and expectations of agreement may continue off-stage, even resulting in sexual assault.

Many theatres are scrambling to create new policies, rules, and classes designed to protect vulnerable players. What is needed, however, is a revolution in improv pedagogy and culture around the globe. Dr. Amy Seham, author of Whose Improv Is It, Anyway? and Dr. Theresa R. Dudeck, author of Keith Johnstone: A Critical Biography and Applied Improvisation: Leading, Collaborating & Creating Beyond the Theatre, invite improv practitioners, teachers, and coaches to a workshop where exercises by Spolin, Johnstone, and others have been reframed to increase awareness of the ways in which improv can reinscribe the power imbalance and implicit bias of social interaction. Participants will also be invited to brainstorm new approaches to improv training, and additional techniques for remodeling our understanding of “Yes.”

Speakers
AS

Amy Seham

Amy Seham (USA) is a director, author, professor, and improviser whose book, Whose Improv Is It, Anyway? is a ground-breaking study of race, gender and power in Chicago improv-comedy. Her writing on improv has been published in The Oxford Handbook of Critical Improvisation Studies... Read More →
avatar for Theresa Robbins Dudeck

Theresa Robbins Dudeck

Co-Founder/Creative Team, Global Improvisation Initiative (GII)
Theresa Robbins Dudeck, PhD, has taught improvisation all over the world in both academic and professional settings. She is considered one of the foremost teachers of Keith Johnstone’s Impro System of training. She wrote the critically acclaimed "Keith Johnstone: A Critical Biography... Read More →


Wednesday May 15, 2019 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Studio 4 (GG93) Grove, Middlesex University, The Burroughs, Hendon, London, NW4 4BT

2:00pm

Artificial intelligence as source of inspiration: humans and robots improvising hand-in-claw

Would you improvise with a robot? How could a robot make your improv more human-like? We co-founded HumanMachine and Improbotics, two artificial intelligence-based improvised theatre companies, for interdisciplinary experimentation in human-machine interaction and co-creation. We programmed neural network software to generate lines in response to context, and trained our AI on dialogue subtitles from films. To enable live interaction with human actors, we added speech recognition and text synthesis to our chatbot, acting as a virtual stage partner. The first embodiment of the chatbot was a small humanoid robot, and we improvised scenes involving the robot responding to several humans engaged in a justification game. Its second embodiment was human performers who receive, via headphones, lines generated by the AI; this enabled new improv art-forms where performers can focus on emotional and physical responses to justify the (sometimes) nonsensical suggestions generated by the machine. The premises of our shows include Alan Turing’s imitation game and the uncanny valley. In our previous study (Mathewson and Mirowski, “Improbotics: Exploring the Imitation Game using Machine Intelligence in Improvised Theatre”, AIIDE 2018), we showed that Improbotics performers experienced the AI chatbot as a novice improv partner who challenged them to become better improvisers. Our proposed workshop would enable participants to experience being controlled by contextual AI. We will use AI (trained on human dialogue) to train human performers to better express their humanity. Not having to plan what they say, improvisers will be able to focus on emotions, timing and stage awareness.

Speakers
GL

Gunter Lösel

Gunter Lösel (SWT) has been publishing on the theme of improvisation since 2004. He is an accomplished impro-player, a member of the German National Team of Theatresports (2006), founder of the “Improtheater Bremen” and member of the price-winning duo “Stupid Lovers”. He... Read More →
avatar for Piotr Mirowski

Piotr Mirowski

Piotr Mirowski (UK) is the co-founder of HumanMachine (https://humanmachine.live) and Improbotics (https://improbotics.org), world’s first AI-enabled improv and theatre companies. He trained as an improviser in Toulouse (C cédille, LUDI), New York (QUICKTHINKING! Improv, Cherub Improv) and London (Nursery Theatre, Hoopla Improv, Showstoppers, City Academy, Imprology), and as actor at London School of Dramatic Art. Stage credit... Read More →
KM

Kory Mathewson

Kory Mathewson (CA) is a PhD candidate in Reinforcement Learning at the University of Alberta with the Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute. His research interests include interactive machine learning, human-in-the-loop deep reinforcement learning, human-robot interfaces (prosthetic robotics), and conversational dialog systems. Before his PhD, he completed his Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and his Master’s... Read More →
avatar for Sarah Davies

Sarah Davies

Sarah Davies (UK) is a Drama Lecturer (UAL Acting) and a Producer for arts organisation Ideas Test. She has a BA (Hons) in Drama with English, a Masters in Drama by Research and a PGCE in Post Compulsory Education. Improv experience includes Co-Artistic Direction of Improv Gym, at... Read More →


Wednesday May 15, 2019 2:00pm - 3:15pm
Studio 1 (G271) Grove, Middlesex University, The Burroughs, Hendon, London, NW4 4BT

2:00pm

Defy Your Default: Gender, Power and Intersecting Spheres of Influence

Based on an original framework, The Spheres of Influence, this interactive workshop aims to elevate our awareness of intersecting elements of power and influence. Examining these elements through the lens of gender is a critical step in recognizing the default strategies we all bring to our interactions on and off the stage. Assumptions, unconscious bias and the ways in which we have internalized the cultural messaging about gender are at play all the time. We will work with ways we can unpack, challenge and defy our default perspectives and strategies.

Speakers
SR

Simo Routarinne

Simo Routarinne (FI) is an Interaction Designer and Creative Director at IMPROVment.fi. He works as a professional improviser, facilitator, trainer, author and keynote speaker. He is one of the world's leaders in status training. In the last 20 years he has trained people to apply improv skills and constructive interaction to their professional contexts. He has given... Read More →
avatar for Barbara Tint

Barbara Tint

Professor, Trainer, Consultant, Portland State University/Barbara Tint Inc.
Barbara Tint (USA) PhD, has over 30 years of experience as a psychologist, university professor, consultant and global trainer. She has been improvising and applying improvisation for over ten years and is currently the President of the Applied Improvisation Network. Her areas of... Read More →


Wednesday May 15, 2019 2:00pm - 3:15pm
Studio 3 (G171) Grove, Middlesex University, The Burroughs, Hendon, London, NW4 4BT

2:00pm

Dreams and a Heart - Awareness Research
'Dreams and a Heart’ awareness research run by Regina Mendes will investigate the impact of making dolls and meditation on our natural abilities of ‘attention’ and ‘awareness’. We will observe the coexistence of these two kinds of consciousness and we will focus on experiencing both of them simultaneously in an optimal way.

Drop in session. 

Speakers
avatar for Regina Mendes

Regina Mendes

Artist, Dreams and a Heart
Regina Mendes (UK) ‘I am a body filled with dreams and a heart just like all of us. I am also a mother and an artist. I close my eyes, sleep and dream. I see the world.’ Regina Mendes created the community art work for peace Dreams and a Heart and have been running it since... Read More →



Wednesday May 15, 2019 2:00pm - 4:30pm
The Atrium Grove Building, Middlesex University, The Burroughs, Hendon, London, NW4 4BT

3:15pm

The Smell of Capitalist Time

This presentation, snuggled between the post prandial snooze and teatime, will snap embodied improvisation to seed ease, joy and social change.  The "paper" is participatory - creating bodies that hear.  Through movement and listening we will engender fat moments where our definitive presence and minute attention make a noticeable difference. That's the idea.  The author comes to “The Smell of Capitalist Time” through a study of plasticity, flexibility and elasticity. She crosses the languaging of Karen Barad with Catherine Malabou’s anniliative neoliberalism and molded minds; she finishes with a practical application of Erin Manning’s Minor Gestures to reveal improvised movements that break open inertic habitual wanderings.

Speakers
avatar for Catharine Cary

Catharine Cary

la tagueuse élégante
Catharine Cary (US/FR/UK) Trained as a diplomat, Catharine Cary tossed aside a career in New York City’s urban politics to paint and to dance in Paris. She is as present, as ever, improvising to open a schizz in our habitual meanderings and instill a new rhythm in our social interactions... Read More →


Wednesday May 15, 2019 3:15pm - 3:45pm
Seminar 3 (RV122) Ravensfield, Middlesex University, The Burroughs, Hendon, London, NW4 4BT

3:15pm

Challenges faced by BAME improvisers in today’s UK improv culture

Despite being an art form that so often claims to be welcoming, open and inclusive, Improv appears to have a serious problem when it comes to racial diversity.
We’ll be discussing why scholarships aren’t as useful as everyone seems to think, why the problems extend beyond getting BAME improvisers through the doors and what active BAME improvisers need now when it comes to improv communities, classes and performances. Expect humour and honesty!
The panel will also share examples from around the UK and answer questions - this is your chance to ask anything you haven't been able to ask before! 

Speakers
MG

Monica Gaga

Monica Gaga is queer black British improviser based in London, who found her love for improvisation at a young age. You can find her hosting at Hoopla Impro at weekends, running some of their courses through the week, being the woman who puts the Mo in Derek's MoJo: a fun, fast and... Read More →
avatar for Tai Campbell

Tai Campbell

Tai Campbell is a writer, director, comedian and improviser with credits on BBC One and BBC Three. He is a founding member of London’s first all black improv group Nu Z Land, he co-runs London’s first (and only) BAME improv night in association with Hoopla Impro and also co-runs... Read More →
avatar for stephen davidson

stephen davidson

Stephen Davidson (UK) is the Artistic Director of Improvable, Love and Misinformation, QI: Queer Improv, Carmen: A gender-swapped Film Noir Fantasy, and of Zeal: The Pride Improv Festival. He currently also plays in duo The Happiest People in the World with Erick Castellan. Stephen... Read More →
avatar for Minder Kaur Athwal

Minder Kaur Athwal

Minder Kaur Athwal is a British Indian improviser and workshop facilitator based in Nottingham. She performs with the Midlands’ first all female improv team and is one half of Honey Badger.She is an Old Vic Theatre trained facilitator with a particular interest in applied improv... Read More →


Wednesday May 15, 2019 3:15pm - 4:15pm
Studio 2 (G272) Grove, Middlesex University, The Burroughs, Hendon, London, NW4 4BT

3:15pm

Gender Expectations and Improvising Philosophy (2 presentations)

TITLE: Good Girls Aren't Funny: How Gender Expectation Effects Creativity, Authenticity & Awareness
PRESENTER: Holly Mandel

Change is in the air. It is a pivotal moment for a cultural reorganization that shakes the foundations of the very structures of our world that have been in place for generations, even centuries. For women, it holds the potential for a complete tide shift and burgeoning new world. While there are many factors and causes that we can all point to externally, perhaps the most insidious is also the most overlooked. Meet the “Good Girl”, a socio-historic remnant that lives within women and culture itself, whose motives and value system are based around being safe, secure, hesitant, and pleasing others. It is not the bold, fearless, confident part of women that is required to lead, innovate...or to improvise. Improvisation – and performance and creativity in general - are about taking risks, being vulnerable, questioning what is true, and on the edge. Being real, willing to make mistakes, look ugly or silly or lost. Not merely bearing the unknown but embracing it, inviting it. It requires honesty, courage, and freedom. And...it means not caring one iota about getting it ‘right’ or ‘perfect’. Through her work at The Groundlings Theater in Los Angeles as a teacher, director and performer; her experiences at her own school in NYC, Improvolution; teaching at PACE University & UCLA; her original workshop series, BUSTING THE GOOD GIRL; her time as a consultant for companies as diverse as Comedy Central, Walt Disney Studios, American Express and Google, Holly has been tracking the tendencies and the impact of ‘the Good Girl – the rules and roles she exhibits, the strategies and motives that drive her. Using improvisation, she has also discovered the recipe to move beyond her influence; to free women and unleash their authentic, creative selves, liberated from the rigid ‘shoulds’ of the ‘Good Girl’.


TITLE: Improvising Philosophy
PRESENTER:Johan Siebers

Although philosophy has produced ideas with which to articulate creativity, novelty, not-yet being, movement and difference, it has always done so from a position that is as far away from improvisation as possible, namely the space of theory and contemplation, of the careful systematisation and testing of thought. But when we are dealing with creativity and spontaneity, in other words with improvisation, it is easy to see that no general or formal, abstract theory of it could ever be developed because in that case we would no longer be dealing with creativity, spontaneity, improvisation. If we want to philosophize about improvisation in the sense of get close to what happens in improvisation, to the truth potential of improvisation, we have to do so – in an improvised way. If improvisation becomes a practice of life and a moment of truth, philosophy as the examined life has to find ways to become improvisational itself, if it is to be one of the ways in which we might become aware of existence as what is happening, becoming and unfolding. Is it possible to improvise philosophy and in this way to un-learn, un-do, un-know, to find a way to the process of spontaneous becoming that carries us along, to step into the stream and find out in a new way what it might mean to learn, to act, to know, to communicate?

Speakers
avatar for Holly Mandel

Holly Mandel

Good Girls Arent Funny
Holly Mandel (USA) GOOD GIRLS AREN'T FUNNY creator; founder of Improvolution Improv School in New York City; The Groundlings Theater Company alumna and Senior Instructor and Director; Pace University professor; founder and Executive Director of iMergence.Holly has worked extensively... Read More →
avatar for Johan Siebers

Johan Siebers

Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religion, Middlesex University London
Johan Siebers (UK) Johan Siebers is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religion at Middlesex University. His main research interests are in process philosophy, philosophy of communication and rhetoric, critical theory and utopian thought. He has published widely about creativity... Read More →


Wednesday May 15, 2019 3:15pm - 4:15pm
Seminar 2 (RV103) Ravensfield, Middlesex University, The Burroughs, Hendon, London, NW4 4BT

3:15pm

Improvising and Devising: The Wardrobe Ensemble Process

We’ve devised and co-written 13 original shows over the past 7 and half years. Over these processes we’ve developed and distilled the ways in which we use improvisation.

In our early processes we often ran large scale and open group improvisations. But, often they weren’t an efficient way to generate new material. However, increasingly we have picked up certain exercises that give more time and space for what Improbable would refer to as the principles of Noticing, Believing and Supporting/giving expression to, to emerge.

For us, improvisation forms a very useful part of early process particularly. Where an audience might not enjoy the slower forms of improvisation exercises that we run in rehearsals, as devisors they’re particularly useful in generating new, unexpected and nuanced ideas from which tighter and more dramatic scenes might be developed within smaller groups.

In the workshop we will run three exercises and leave plenty of time to discuss their practical implications within our work. In doing so, we will be investigating -
1. The permission to improvise slowly.
2. The importance of the aware actor, audience and author.
3. The balance between performance exercise, discussion and creation.
4. Control, questions and answers.
5. Noticing character, narrative, theme and vibe.
6. The shifting emotional temperature of the room.

Speakers
TB

Tom Brennan

The Wardrobe Ensemble (UK) are a group of theatre artists working together to make new plays that dissect the twenty-first century experience. We consist of nine core members, one producer and a constantly growing community of associate artists. We are based in Bristol. Our work... Read More →


Wednesday May 15, 2019 3:15pm - 4:15pm
Ravensfield Theatre Ravensfield Building, Middlesex University, The Burroughs, Hendon, London, NW4 4BT

3:30pm

Improvisational mindfulness in leadership: A strategic and action-oriented mindfulness practice

The improvisational mindfulness session incorporates a methodology from the fields of applied drama and applied improvisation, strategic narrative embodiment (SNE). It demonstrates its value by focussing on two characteristics of leadership that cannot be addressed by conventional mindfulness practise alone: the inter-relational character of leadership and its inherent strategic, action oriented nature. The study highlights the necessity of a mindfulness practise that draws attention to these aspects of mindful leadership while retaining the value of traditional contemplative practise and presents applied improvisation, specifically in the form of the SNE model, as potential ally for addressing these needs.

Speakers
avatar for Petro Janse Van Vuuren

Petro Janse Van Vuuren

Lecturer, PhD year head and research project manager, Drama for Life Wits University and Playing Mantis.
Dr Petro Janse van Vuuren (ZA) has worked in the intersection between applied theatre and community/organisation development for the past 16 years. She has a PhD in Drama and Performance studies and uses her art to craft organisation training and development processes geared towards... Read More →


Wednesday May 15, 2019 3:30pm - 4:30pm
Studio 3 (G171) Grove, Middlesex University, The Burroughs, Hendon, London, NW4 4BT

3:30pm

Performing Who You Are and Who you are Not. Yet.

Inner city teenagers of color. Affluent and middle class white people. Business executives. Police officers. Nurses and doctors. Engineers. Scientists. Bankers. Homemakers. Students. Academics.
Performance of a Lifetime (POAL), an award winning training and consulting firm works with thousands of people from many different walks of life in both business, healthcare and grass roots settings; helping them to perform and improvise as a way to choose to grow, co- create with others, and build life, work and community ensembles. Through performance and improvisation – people who “don’t belong” together discover new choices, create new kinds of conversations, relationships, understanding, and possibilities. Through performance and improvisation – people are able to be both who they are and who they are not. Yet. Together, they’re able to perform who they are becoming. And that changes everything.
Utilizing what Performance of a Lifetime calls The Becoming Principle, Cathy Salit, CEO of POAL will lead exercises, share stories, the politics/philosophy of their work; and how it is humanizing some of the most conservative, polarized environments and relationships, and reimagining the activity and creating of change and hope.

Speakers
avatar for Cathy Salit

Cathy Salit

CEO, Performance of a Lifetime
Cathy Salit (USA) is the CEO of Performance of a Lifetime, an award winning consulting firm based in NYC. Using the art and science of theater, impro, and performative psychology, Cathy and her global team of coaches, actors, improvisers, and facilitators create and deliver leadership and team effectiveness programs for American Express... Read More →


Wednesday May 15, 2019 3:30pm - 4:45pm
Studio 1 (G271) Grove, Middlesex University, The Burroughs, Hendon, London, NW4 4BT

4:30pm

Panel 2: Pedagogy and Education
NB: Some speakers still to be confirmed

Moderators
VL

Vida L Midgelow

Vida L. Midgelow (UK) Professor in Choreographic Practices at Middlesex University (UK), Vida is an artist scholar who works on PaR methodologies, improvisation and articulation processes. Her practice includes somatically informed improvisation (as pedagogy and in performance), performative... Read More →

Speakers
NW

Nick Wood

Nick Wood (UK) After Oxford University, Nick first worked as Playground Leader with Ed Berman in North Kensington, and as Assistant Director with Lindsay Anderson at the Royal Court. Writing credits include Hampstead Theatre, Orange Tree, Kings Head, BAC and radio and television... Read More →
CK

Chloe Kennedy

Chloe Kennedy (UK) is an improviser and theatre maker from Aberdeen. She trained at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, where she received a Distinction MFA in Actor Training and Coaching. She has taught, mentored and assistant directed at The Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts... Read More →
avatar for Olivia Hartle

Olivia Hartle

PhD student, Point Park University
Olivia Hartle is a theatre director, improviser, facilitator, and coach, and she is currently working on her PhD in Community Engagement at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA. Prior to relocating to Pittsburgh, Olivia was active in the New York theatre scene, where she ran BIG... Read More →
DR

Duška Radosavljević

Duška Radosavljevic (UK) is a writer, dramaturg and academic based at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. She is the author of Theatre-Making: Interplay Between Text and Performance in the 21st Century (2013) and editor of The Contemporary Ensemble (2013) and Theatre Criticism... Read More →

Artists
ZZ

Zhao Zhibo

Zhao Zhibo (CN) is a PhD student at Middlesex University and an Associate Professor at Beijing Dance Academy. She introduced dance improvisation sessions at the Beijing Dance Academy and translated The Moment of Movement; Dance Improvisation by Lynne Anne Blom and L Tarin Chaplin... Read More →


Wednesday May 15, 2019 4:30pm - 5:30pm
The Atrium Grove Building, Middlesex University, The Burroughs, Hendon, London, NW4 4BT

5:30pm

GII Reception, including the launch of recent publications in improvisation

Wednesday May 15, 2019 5:30pm - 6:00pm
Ravensfield Theatre Ravensfield Building, Middlesex University, The Burroughs, Hendon, London, NW4 4BT

7:30pm

Experimental Evening with Catharine Cary and Anat Ben-David

I will stand straight, looking forward, in front of the audience, with 30 percent more weight on my left foot than on my right. After 10 seconds, I will shift all my weight to my right foot, lift my left arm, let my pinky fall down, and curl my toes. I will feel my tailbone and imagine that I am moving it in a spiral. Then ...

I will be accompanied in these gestures by composer and vocalist Dr. Anat Ben-David, 30 eggs, a jar, a hair dryer, and a hoover.




Wednesday May 15, 2019 7:30pm - 8:15pm
Studio 1 (G271) Grove, Middlesex University, The Burroughs, Hendon, London, NW4 4BT

7:30pm

Evening Performance - Maestro

Come and watch Keith Johnstone's Maestro format, directed by Theresa Robbins Dudeck and Dan O'Connor.

Fifteen comedy improvisers will play out a series of sketches and games – all completely made-up on the spot. At the end of each one, the audience awards points, which will determine who stays in the competition and who is eliminated. At the end of the night, there will be one glorious winner!

Speakers
avatar for Theresa Robbins Dudeck

Theresa Robbins Dudeck

Co-Founder/Creative Team, Global Improvisation Initiative (GII)
Theresa Robbins Dudeck, PhD, has taught improvisation all over the world in both academic and professional settings. She is considered one of the foremost teachers of Keith Johnstone’s Impro System of training. She wrote the critically acclaimed "Keith Johnstone: A Critical Biography... Read More →
avatar for Dan O’Connor

Dan O’Connor

Producing Artistic Director, Impro Theatre
Dan O’Connor (USA) is co-founder and Producing Artistic Director of Impro Theatre as well as a co-founder of Los Angeles Theatresports and BATS Improv in San Francisco. He is an actor, writer, director, producer and improviser. For Impro Theatre he is the co-director for Jane Austen... Read More →


Wednesday May 15, 2019 7:30pm - 9:30pm
Ravensfield Theatre Ravensfield Building, Middlesex University, The Burroughs, Hendon, London, NW4 4BT

8:45pm

Experimental Evening: City Life

“A great city is, to be sure, the school for studying life." Samuel Johnson

City Life explores the connections that people make to each other and to the world by living in the city. Today. Through the use of personal story and scene work, the cast will deconstruct today in London and what the city has to offer to our lives. The improvised exploration of our hopes, dreams and failures will open the themes underlying each of us as we live our City Life.


Speakers
avatar for Randy Dixon

Randy Dixon

Artistic Director, Unexpected Productions
Randy Dixon (USA) is regarded as one of the most experienced improvisational artists in the Pacific Northwest and around the world. He was a founding member of Unexpected Productions and has served as the Artistic Director since 1988. Randy founded The Orcas Island Project, an international... Read More →


Wednesday May 15, 2019 8:45pm - 9:30pm
Studio 2 (G272) Grove, Middlesex University, The Burroughs, Hendon, London, NW4 4BT
 
Thursday, May 16
 

9:30am

Welcome
A welcome from the organisers of GII 2019, and a group photo

Speakers
avatar for Joel Veenstra

Joel Veenstra

Faculty, University of California, Irvine
Joel Veenstra teaches improvisation, stage management, and collaborative production at the University of California, Irvine. He is active in the improvisation and applied improvisation world and serves on the Board of AIN and as the co-director of Global Improvisation Initiative... Read More →
PM

Phelim McDermott

Improbable
Improbable (UK) is led by Phelim McDermott and Lee Simpson, and uses improvisation to create spectacular shows, support and nurture artists and the arts sector, and facilitate social change. Improbable believes that art is for everyone and that our society needs a cultural shift... Read More →
avatar for Theresa Robbins Dudeck

Theresa Robbins Dudeck

Co-Founder/Creative Team, Global Improvisation Initiative (GII)
Theresa Robbins Dudeck, PhD, has taught improvisation all over the world in both academic and professional settings. She is considered one of the foremost teachers of Keith Johnstone’s Impro System of training. She wrote the critically acclaimed "Keith Johnstone: A Critical Biography... Read More →
JM

Josephine Machon

Middlesex University
LS

Lee Simpson

Improbable
Improbable (UK) is led by Phelim McDermott and Lee Simpson, and uses improvisation to create spectacular shows, support and nurture artists and the arts sector, and facilitate social change. Improbable believes that art is for everyone and that our society needs a cultural shift... Read More →


Thursday May 16, 2019 9:30am - 10:00am
The Atrium Grove Building, Middlesex University, The Burroughs, Hendon, London, NW4 4BT

10:00am

Panel 3: Policy and Social Practice
Moderators
Speakers
avatar for Victoria Worsley

Victoria Worsley

Feldenkrais Practitioner
Victoria Worsley (UK) MA, studied movement and performance with Monika Pagneux and Philippe Gaulier in Paris and gained a degree from Oxford University. She worked widely as an actor, theatre maker and movement director for twenty years. Having discovered the Feldenkrais Method via... Read More →
avatar for Ayrin Ersöz

Ayrin Ersöz

Associate Professor Dr., Yildiz Technical University
Ayrin Ersöz (TR), PhD, is a dancer, choreographer, and scholar whose research focuses on the connections of dance to political ideologies and systems within historical and contemporary societies. She has been awarded a Fulbright Research Fellowship to conduct research at Rutgers... Read More →
avatar for Johan Siebers

Johan Siebers

Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religion, Middlesex University London
Johan Siebers (UK) Johan Siebers is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religion at Middlesex University. His main research interests are in process philosophy, philosophy of communication and rhetoric, critical theory and utopian thought. He has published widely about creativity... Read More →
avatar for Oluwadamilola  Abdulai-Apotieri

Oluwadamilola Abdulai-Apotieri

Playback Nigeria, CEO
Oluwadamilola Apotieri-Abdulai (NG) is the CEO of Playback Nigeria and a member of the board of Centre for Playback Theatre (USA). He is a confidence coach and communication skills trainer dedicated to bringing effective change to individuals and organizations through theatre and... Read More →
avatar for Susanna Howard

Susanna Howard

Founder & artistic director, Living Words
Susanna Howard (UK): Hi. I'm a writer, actor and theatre maker who founded pioneering arts & literature charity Living Words in 2007. Living Words run residencies in care homes, using our Listen Out Loud methodology to work one-to-one with people experiencing a dementia, plus care... Read More →
OA

Oluwatosin Akinwande

Oluwatosin Akinwande (NG) is a medical doctor with keen interest in Medical Improv. As a 21 century generation medical Practitioner in Nigeria, Oluwatosin is challenging the status quo in Nigeria medical field by using improv to break status among medical professionals and support... Read More →


Thursday May 16, 2019 10:00am - 11:00am
The Atrium Grove Building, Middlesex University, The Burroughs, Hendon, London, NW4 4BT

11:00am

Dreams and a Heart - Awareness Research
'Dreams and a Heart’ awareness research run by Regina Mendes will investigate the impact of making dolls and meditation on our natural abilities of ‘attention’ and ‘awareness’. We will observe the coexistence of these two kinds of consciousness and we will focus on experiencing both of them simultaneously in an optimal way.

Drop in session.  

Speakers
avatar for Regina Mendes

Regina Mendes

Artist, Dreams and a Heart
Regina Mendes (UK) ‘I am a body filled with dreams and a heart just like all of us. I am also a mother and an artist. I close my eyes, sleep and dream. I see the world.’ Regina Mendes created the community art work for peace Dreams and a Heart and have been running it since... Read More →



Thursday May 16, 2019 11:00am - 1:30pm
The Atrium Grove Building, Middlesex University, The Burroughs, Hendon, London, NW4 4BT

11:15am

Say Yes at the Tate Modern

Presentation by Maria-Eleni Sitaropoulou and Nick Wood
Drawing on early experience of working with Keith Johnstone’s company Theatre Machine, Nick has devised an improvisation project for new students on the MA Advanced Theatre Practice at Central, designed to heighten awareness and provide a useful stimulus for making new work in companies. Called ‘Say Yes at the Tate Modern,’ this year’s iteration was also observed and documented by MFA Advanced Theatre Practice student Maria-Eleni Sitaropoulou. Where possible, this Presentation will itself be assembled and presented in the same improvisatory spirit as the students’ own short performance works, the creation of which was the project’s first objective.

Speakers
avatar for Maria-Eleni Sitaropoulou

Maria-Eleni Sitaropoulou

Maria-Eleni Sitaropoulou (GR) is a performer-director-choreographer from Greece and her work identifies as devised physical theatre. Her background is in contemporary andclassical ballet dance. In 2017 she completed her BA in the Theatre Arts Department of The American College of... Read More →
NW

Nick Wood

Nick Wood (UK) After Oxford University, Nick first worked as Playground Leader with Ed Berman in North Kensington, and as Assistant Director with Lindsay Anderson at the Royal Court. Writing credits include Hampstead Theatre, Orange Tree, Kings Head, BAC and radio and television... Read More →


Thursday May 16, 2019 11:15am - 11:35am
Upper Dance Forum (MH114) Middlesex University, The Burroughs, Hendon, London, NW4 4BT

11:15am

Living Words

This will be part workshop / part presentation.

Living Words have been working with people living with advanced dementias since 2007.  Using our ‘Listen Out Loud’ methodology, working one-to-one, to create books of sounds and words with each participant, our work validates language choice for participants and promotes new ways to communicate, for carers and relatives. We are only now realising that this is a form of improvisation in action. In 2017 we experimented further, beginning to co-create live song making sessions with participants with advanced dementias.  In response to the work that comes from residencies Living Words create anthologies, songs, events and performances to challenge assumptions and tackle stigma around dementia, language and communication. Recently we've been trialling using our methodology and programme in new settings with the NHS - eg, our Living Warriors project with people who survived suicide. This week is Mental Health Awareness week and we have released a single from the project, which features the words of project participants. It's called 'Look Up' and can be downloaded from the usual spots : ) For Creativity & Wellbeing Week in June we have 3 choral pieces from our dementia projects.

Living Words’ work has been profiled at dementia and theatre conferences, presentations and performance environments for over a decade, often as a choice example of best practice. We take the ethics of what we do very seriously but tread lightly as we work. Participants’ words were set to music and appeared on Radio 3/Wellcome takeover in Oct 2017. In Jan 2019 we shared our practice at National Theatre of Taiwan’s first Ageing & Creativity Performing Arts Forum.

The arts and literature charity was set up by Susanna Howard, who still leads the organisation. We are writers and actors and are not in the business of bending someone’s personal experience to ‘make sense’. We only work in the moment & we communicate with and validate the verbal & non-verbal expression of participants. 

Come along to find out more, have a delve into the practice, discuss what it's all about plus hear some songs and see some theatre bits.


Speakers
OS

Oliver Senton

Oliver Senton (UK): Oliver started learning improvisation in 2005 with Ken Campbell and members of Showstopper!The Improvised Musical, of which he is a founding member.  He has taught improvisation at Drama Studio London for the past ten years and run many other courses in London... Read More →
avatar for Susanna Howard

Susanna Howard

Founder & artistic director, Living Words
Susanna Howard (UK): Hi. I'm a writer, actor and theatre maker who founded pioneering arts & literature charity Living Words in 2007. Living Words run residencies in care homes, using our Listen Out Loud methodology to work one-to-one with people experiencing a dementia, plus care... Read More →


Thursday May 16, 2019 11:15am - 12:15pm
Studio 4 (GG93) Grove, Middlesex University, The Burroughs, Hendon, London, NW4 4BT

11:15am

Clowning for leadership development: Exploring the encounter between two seeming opposites

Today’s ever-changing world requires leadership that provides a spontaneous, responsive, and resilient connection between people enabling them to thrive under uncertainty and jump into the unknown together (Laloux 2014, Rigby et al., 2016). Current leadership development initiatives however still largely maintain a traditional view on leadership (i.e., the individual leader as the organizer, planner, and controller), thereby running the risk of developing leaders that are ill- equipped to help their employees and organizations navigate continuous change and to stay in tune with larger societal realities. This workshop explores the encounter between two seeming opposites—clown theatre and leadership—with the aim of moving toward more contemporaneous, connected and aware leadership by paying attention to four core features of clown theatre. First, the clown’s innocence, transparency, and truthfulness (Berky & Barbre, 2000), can help leaders be more truthful with their own and others’ emotions and nurture deeper connection. Second, given that the clown only exists in the present (Johnstone, 2003), he/she enables leaders to flexibly engage with key challenges, unconditioned by past or future paths (Ashford & DeRue, 2012). Third, without his/her connection to the audience any performance of the clown is meaningless, flawed and/or fake, thereby making leaders aware of the importance of their inextricable interdependence with people and communities around them (DeRue & Ashford, 2010). Finally, much of the charisma of the clown is in his/her unavoidable confrontation with failure. This can teach leaders the value of more humble forms of leadership. Taken together, this workshop contributes to both clown theatre and leadership by a thought- provoking, productive confrontation of both figures.

Speakers
TD

Tina Davidson

Assistant Professor, Rotterdam School of Management
Tina Davidson (NL) Tina Davidson is an Assistant Professor at the Rotterdam School of Management. Her research interests center on the role of culture and diversity in key phenomena in organizational behavior such as voice behavior, leadership development, and followership. In studying... Read More →
avatar for Ralf Wetzel

Ralf Wetzel

Prof of Applied Arts, Vlerick Business School
Ralf Wetzel (NL) began his career as an electrician. He joined Vlerick Business School as a Professor of Organization and Management after extensive experience in management and organization research and after being a head of a joint research and consulting group in Switzerland. He... Read More →


Thursday May 16, 2019 11:15am - 12:15pm
Studio 3 (G171) Grove, Middlesex University, The Burroughs, Hendon, London, NW4 4BT

11:15am

Improbable and Associates 2

Doctoral researchers and regular collaborators Sarah Grange and E.M. Parry will jointly lead a workshop exploring improvisation in relation to costume, self-fashioning and status play. We will be engaging with costume as a fellow collaborator and investigating how improvisatory design processes can create character, story and creative tools for designers, performers and writers alike.

Sarah Grange (Research Associate at Improbable and doctoral researcher at University of Brighton) & E.M. Parry (theatre designer and doctoral researcher at University of Brighton)

Speakers
EP

E.M. Parry

Theatre designer and doctoral researcher at University of Brighton
SG

Sarah Grange

Improbable


Thursday May 16, 2019 11:15am - 12:15pm
Studio 1 (G271) Grove, Middlesex University, The Burroughs, Hendon, London, NW4 4BT

11:15am

Improvisation and Access: how can improvisational practice be inclusive to all?

Improvisational theatre exercises are used in various settings including: corporates, theatre, therapy today to improve medical outcomes, anxiety and mental health challenges.

In the Improvisation and Access session, we will explore challenges and solutions adopted for providing a creative space where individuals with disabilities, mental health challenges, the elderly and others (including the full range of human diversity with respect to language, ethnicity, gender, age and of other forms of human differences) are empowered while learning the art of improvisation. The session will also focus on empathy and improvisational theatre.

The session will investigate:
- Teaching improvisation to the individuals on the autism spectrum & other developmental disabilities (potential case studies)
- Explore the potential of merging Non Violent Communication (and other approaches) with improvisation.
- Impro as a tool to help seniors, caregivers people with dementia (risk of dementia)
- Can Improvisation can be used as a tool for teaching/ instigating empathy.
- Issues faced by Women in Improvisation

Speakers
avatar for Blessin Varkey

Blessin Varkey

Founder, The Impro Company
Blessin Varkey (IND) is an accessibility researcher and the founder & artistic director at The Impro Company, New Delhi, India. He is currently exploring applied improvisational theatre in mental health, education and leadership in India and also teaches & performs improvisation... Read More →


Thursday May 16, 2019 11:15am - 12:15pm
Studio 2 (G272) Grove, Middlesex University, The Burroughs, Hendon, London, NW4 4BT

11:15am

Improvisation Now: In Awareness Begins Responsibility

This workshop will explore through improvisational play some reasons why the qualities that make us better improvisers also make us better global citizens. We’ll sample classic games created by key figures in the evolution of improvisation - Viola Spolin, Paul Sills, and Del Close - and new games created by the workshop leader, inspired by his work with these pioneers, as well as by recent scientific discoveries in the fields of behavioral science, neuroscience, physics and mindfulness.

Speakers
avatar for Ed Greenberg

Ed Greenberg

Executive Director, Laughter for a Change
Ed Greenberg (USA) began improvising as an actor with San Francisco’s legendary improvisational review “The Committee.” In addition to working extensively with Viola Spolin and Paul Sills, with his mentor Del Close, Ed worked on the early experiments in long form improv (he... Read More →


Thursday May 16, 2019 11:15am - 12:15pm
Seminar 2 (RV103) Ravensfield, Middlesex University, The Burroughs, Hendon, London, NW4 4BT

11:15am

Gender and sexuality on the improv stage in Sweden

Improvisationsstudion in Stockholm and Improverket in Gothenburg present examples from our productions and courses, and panel a discussion on how to create scenes and characters beyond stereotypes. Our seminar will show examples from the creation and development of »Hetero«, a show exploring and shedding light on heterosexual norms and how they affect on relationships and society. Improv is an artform where used skills often resembles traditional female traits. Make your partner happy, keeping the group together and advanced listening e.g. - skills women in general are assigned to train in life. In Improverkets beginner classes women are in vast majority, and has been for all our history. In expert level, and in semi professional groups spurned from improv classes, however, they were not. Some how, for some reason, professional groups all over the world too often contain of a majority of men. What have we done and what can we do to change this?

Speakers
avatar for Sara Beer

Sara Beer

Artistic producer, Improvisationsstudion
Sara Beer (SE) is one of the artistic producers at Improvisationsstudion. She also runs Improvisationsstudion Förlag which published Swedish translations of Keith Johnstone´s classic Impro and Keith Johnstone: A Critical Biography by Teresa Robbins Dudeck in 2015. In »Hetero... Read More →
avatar for Martin Geijer

Martin Geijer

Artistic Director, Improvisationsstudion
Martin Geijer (SE) is the founder and Artistic Director of Improvisationsstudion. He is in many ways responsible for the introduction and expansion of improvisation in Sweden. From the beginning of his career when he worked at the Loose Moose Theatre with Keith Johnstone, to his... Read More →
avatar for Lotta Malmhester

Lotta Malmhester

Improviser/Head of Education, Improvisationsstudion Stockholm AB
Lotta Malmhester (SE) has worked with improvisational processes and theatre for over 20 years in different contexts and with various improvisational formats. Today she is head of education and training and a cast member in several of the shows at Improvisationsstudion. In the show... Read More →
avatar for John Pekkari

John Pekkari

Head of education, Improverket
John Pekkari (SE) is one of Sweden´s most appreciated improvisers and is head of education of Improverket, Gothenburg. He revised and changed the company´s teaching of improvised theatre from having a technical point of view to a more philosophical perspective and found that it... Read More →
avatar for Frida Elisabeth Sundström

Frida Elisabeth Sundström

Frida Sundstrom (SE) has a role in Swedish improvised theatre that is unquestioned. She came from a masculine improv world, which left her feeling (and literally being) pushed off the stage. Her talent was too provocative - but talent being a fierce weapon in itself and she was able... Read More →


Thursday May 16, 2019 11:15am - 12:30pm
Seminar 3 (RV122) Ravensfield, Middlesex University, The Burroughs, Hendon, London, NW4 4BT

12:30pm

In Time

For this live art improvisation between three different artforms - sound, drawing, and movement – we’ll be looking closely at the uncertainty of actions arising from the body/mover and how the artists follow and respond to them led by their own impulses.
Each contributor will be bringing their own ongoing practice to the work, responding briefly to each other’s practice within a given time-frame.
Movement – Maria-Eleni Sitaropoulou
Sound – Calum Lynn 
Drawing – Nick Wood

Speakers
avatar for Maria-Eleni Sitaropoulou

Maria-Eleni Sitaropoulou

Maria-Eleni Sitaropoulou (GR) is a performer-director-choreographer from Greece and her work identifies as devised physical theatre. Her background is in contemporary andclassical ballet dance. In 2017 she completed her BA in the Theatre Arts Department of The American College of... Read More →
NW

Nick Wood

Nick Wood (UK) After Oxford University, Nick first worked as Playground Leader with Ed Berman in North Kensington, and as Assistant Director with Lindsay Anderson at the Royal Court. Writing credits include Hampstead Theatre, Orange Tree, Kings Head, BAC and radio and television... Read More →


Thursday May 16, 2019 12:30pm - 12:50pm
Upper Dance Forum (MH114) Middlesex University, The Burroughs, Hendon, London, NW4 4BT

12:30pm

Dancing in the shaking world: A mixed mode presentation

A mixed-mode presentation involving a speaker, Prof Chris Bannerman, standing at a lectern placed in a dance studio, accompanied by projected video footage and by two performers, ZHAO Zhibo and MA Jiaolong, who are senior artists with the Dance Company of the Beijing Dance Academy.
The spoken text will focus on the history of improvisation in dance, both relating and distinguishing it to/from some key theatre practices that have been influential in Britain, and linking both to the scientific realms of emergence, string and chaos theories. A central focus, however, will be on the emerging future of a mobile world and the glimpses of the unknown that may be discernible today if we are looking in the right direction.
Principally this will concern concepts of ‘the global’, what this means in 2018 and though what means it is envisioned. Issues of language, context and shifting geopolitical tectonic plates will be examined by the speaker and by the movers who will animate, illustrate, contradict and subvert the text, while paradoxically maintaining a sense of harmony.
References to harmony will be located within Chinese traditions of awareness including Huineng’s poetic assertion of ‘no mind’, notions of ‘subtle practice without dwelling’, and the wú wèi or actionless action of Daoism. The ramifications of these for Chinese thought, aesthetics and culture will be considered, as will the ramifications for a global dialogue that can take account of the Chinese presence in the world.

Speakers
avatar for Chris Bannerman

Chris Bannerman

ResCen Research Centre, Middlesex University
Christopher Bannerman (UK) had an extensive career as a dancer, choreographer and arts educator before becoming Professor of Dance at Middlesex University. He has served as Chair of Dance UK, Arts Council England’s Dance Panel and Creative Partnerships London North; and as a member... Read More →

Artists
MJ

Ma Jiaolong

Ma Jiaolong (CN) trained at the Beijing Dance Academy in Chinese Classical Dance, and then became a leading dancer with the Dance Company of Beijing Dance Academy. Currently he is Head of the Chinese Dance programme at the Confucius, Goldsmiths, University of London.
ZZ

Zhao Zhibo

Zhao Zhibo (CN) is a PhD student at Middlesex University and an Associate Professor at Beijing Dance Academy. She introduced dance improvisation sessions at the Beijing Dance Academy and translated The Moment of Movement; Dance Improvisation by Lynne Anne Blom and L Tarin Chaplin... Read More →


Thursday May 16, 2019 12:30pm - 1:30pm
Ritterman Dance Studio (RG01) Ritterman, Middlesex University, The Burroughs, Hendon, London, NW4 4BT

12:30pm

Improbable: Taking Impro Into non Improvisational spaces and cultures

Phelim McDermott and Lee Simpson of Improbable have taken improvisation into rehearsal rooms and into the kind of spaces where it doesn’t usually belong.

Improbable are a theatre company, but they bring Improvisation to all their work - full scale opera, Shakespeare, adaptations, devising, Open Space, even the running of the company itself.

This session will cover how they do that, What are the techniques they have used. What’s the gain and what’s the pain of that, and where the company might be headed with this research.

Speakers
PM

Phelim McDermott

Improbable
Improbable (UK) is led by Phelim McDermott and Lee Simpson, and uses improvisation to create spectacular shows, support and nurture artists and the arts sector, and facilitate social change. Improbable believes that art is for everyone and that our society needs a cultural shift... Read More →
LS

Lee Simpson

Improbable
Improbable (UK) is led by Phelim McDermott and Lee Simpson, and uses improvisation to create spectacular shows, support and nurture artists and the arts sector, and facilitate social change. Improbable believes that art is for everyone and that our society needs a cultural shift... Read More →


Thursday May 16, 2019 12:30pm - 1:30pm
Studio 2 (G272) Grove, Middlesex University, The Burroughs, Hendon, London, NW4 4BT

12:30pm

RADICAL_CONNECTOR: Active presence and/in motion: Nonlinear dance training for all bodies

RADICAL_CONNECTOR is a nonlinear approach to movement in that it offers an infinite number of temporary solutions to given movement proposals. Grounded on the notion of the indivisibility of the human organism and its submersion in the environment it is part of, this movement practice is based on the simple act of noticing networks of connections within self, and between self, other and surrounding, whilst moving/dancing. It stems from my dance practice spanning over 35 years and extensive teaching experience, coupled with a theoretical underpinning that draws on phenomenology, embodied thinking, somatic principles – specifically Alexander Technique premises – and nearly three decades of meditation practice. In the training, we learn through dealing with movements as they arise, and through discovering what it is that is important, efficient, dangerous, pleasant or relevant at a given moment, attending to the multidimensional web of internal and external cues, which we refer to in order to navigate the world. The interconnections, and consequent communication processes within the body, and of the body with its environment takes place by means of uninterrupted exchange through biological as well as sensorimotor perceptions. Within this framework, modes of being, moving and navigating are explored. Various aspects of movement training such as motor control, proprioception and stamina are practiced on an improvisational basis.

Speakers
avatar for Marisa Godoy

Marisa Godoy

dancer/choreographer, OONA project/ZHdK/Coventry University
Marisa Godoy (CH) is a dance practitioner-researcher and teacher with a background in contemporary dance, improvisation and somatics. Her creative practice involves stage productions, video installations and performances in alternative spaces. Under the label OONA project, she collaborates... Read More →


Thursday May 16, 2019 12:30pm - 1:30pm
Studio 3 (G171) Grove, Middlesex University, The Burroughs, Hendon, London, NW4 4BT

12:30pm

The Absurdity of a Magical Existence

Within the workshop we will exploring ways freestyling contributes to a deeper understanding of ones perspective of the world today. Participants will be given a series of activities that require them to use words thrown at them as the springboard to talk in rhythm and rhyme. Activities such as this encourage people to go beyond the think before you speak and just say what comes to mind, which can often lead to startling realisations of what one truly thinks about a subject i.e. race, sexuality.
Using my own recording equipment and instruments, I will encourage participants to build the soundscape of silencing your internal voice and how this inability to speak out, or speak up can contribute to greater violences in our society e.g. victim blaming.

Speakers
X

Xana

Xana (UK) is a live loop musician, sound designer, installation artist, poet and creative techie. Xana has worked on a number of plays including Hive City Legacy (Roundhouse, 2018), Obama and Me (Camden Peoples Theatre, 2018), Black Holes (Cambridge Junction, 2018), Half-breed (Soho... Read More →


Thursday May 16, 2019 12:30pm - 1:30pm
Studio 1 (G271) Grove, Middlesex University, The Burroughs, Hendon, London, NW4 4BT

12:30pm

Going Feral, Forbidden Language, Scrutinizing and Awareness (4 presentations)

TITLE: Going Feral: Improvising into Multi-Species Relations
PRESENTER: Mel McCree

Improvisation is not exclusive to humans. When, as humans, we practice it in relation to our living environments, improvisation is a fantastic approach to exploring and deepening multi species relations. It increases our eco-social awareness. Classic improvisation performance training is in fact a really useful entry into developing inter-species communication. Within this talk, I will explore how we can apply cross-arts improvisation towards realising a stronger sense of place and relationships within the world. I discus why this contributes towards critical practices of care and survival, and how we can value the process of ‘going feral’ as a transitional and transgressive state.
Based upon a feralosophy, feralism is an embodied creative practice of being in place and making place. In my work this has included collaborative performance, cross-arts and site-specific improvisation, reflective outdoor exploration, outdoor playwork and adventure. Through examples of feral practice, I discuss what these practices have in common, or not and their relevance to increasing multi species agency and relational equity. From these understandings, how does a feralosophical approach to life help locate us within wider multi-species relationships and act on our common 21C struggles? This paper challenges prevalent perceptions of where and what improvisation is and what constitutes social space when we consider multi-species relationships.


TITLE: Improvisation in a Forbidden Language
PRESENTER: Koray Bülent Tarhan

Language is one of the most important tools in our lives. We learn, play, love, share, suffer, struggle and resist by using it. What if our mother language was forbidden? How our lives would be effected? What happens when we improvise in a forbidden language of our mothers? Kurdish actors have many things to say on "awareness" about language, politics, organization, art and teamwork through improvisation. Life can not be scripted with prohibitions. What happens if we jump into the unscripted, free zone of improvisation?


TITLE: Scrutinizing – or how to unfold more from what’s happening
PRESENTER: Hervé Charton

In 2017, I had the privilege to introduce the most unknown improv pioneer Alain Knapp to the GII Symposium, both practically and historically. I’ll focus here on the cornerstone of his philosophy and practice of artistic creation: scrutinizing. Scrutinizing is looking at things very carefully; training the mind to see in every location, specific time, object, even gesture that appear in the creative process, more than just what it is: what does it mean? What does it reveal about the characters? How does it deepen the political and social meaning of what we create?


TITLE: The awareness of improvisation
PRESENTER: Yuri Kinugawa

To investigate the different awareness in creative cognition between improvised performance and scripted performance we employed protocol analysis of post performance interviews. This revealed improvised performance showed more dynamic cognition than scripted performance, because actors in improvised theater operate with five viewpoints (actor, character, audience, director and writer) while scripted performance required only three (actor, character, audience). Furthermore, we discovered that the improvised actors used eye-action effectively to get and convey information for prospective control (Hofsten,1993) of their five viewpoints.

Speakers
MM

Mel McCree

Mel McCree (UK) is a senior lecturer in Early Childhood Studies at Bath Spa University, England, and Director of Free Range Creativity. Her background is in environmental education, outdoor arts, play and learning. Mel researches eco-social justice, such as multi species relations... Read More →
avatar for Koray Bülent Tarhan

Koray Bülent Tarhan

istanbulimpro
Koray Bülent Tarhan (TR) graduated from Ankara University Theater Department. In 2000, he co-founded one of the first improv groups in Turkey. He works as an actor, instructor, musician and project coordinator at Istanbulimpro.  He also works with children, teenagers, and adults in different foundations and organizations. He wrote the first handbook on Improv in Turkish, Dogaclama Icin Elkitabi (2013) and designed the first Impro App in Turkish in 2018. He is the coordinator of Istanbul International Improv Festival. Tarhan participated as a workshop l... Read More →
avatar for Hervé Charton

Hervé Charton

LACSE
Hervé Charton (FR) is a French theater artist. Mostly working as an actor, he has been involved into directing, writing and teaching. In Lyon, he co-founded the LACSE (acronym for Creative, friendly and committed actors laboratory), where improv is used to deal with political and... Read More →
avatar for Yuri Kinugawa

Yuri Kinugawa

Art director, Impro Works Ldt.,
Yuri Kinugawa (JP) Actor, Improvisor, Director, Author and Researcher. Winner Best Actress (Stockholm) and Best Foreign Performer (New Zealand) in 1998.She’s performed and taught impro for 20 years in 12 countries. The founder of Impro Works Ltd (1994) the longest running impro... Read More →


Thursday May 16, 2019 12:30pm - 1:45pm
Seminar 2 (RV103) Ravensfield, Middlesex University, The Burroughs, Hendon, London, NW4 4BT

12:45pm

Impro and Realism

Consciousness is not our friend when it comes to performing roles that necessitate exhibiting and experiencing behaviour that is not part of who we have decided that we are, in real life. To be self-conscious is to be considering our position relative to the world outside the performance. It is fear of judgement or failure.

“Reality liberates us from the biases and misconceptions that have arisen because our intellects evolved through our animal ancestors, whose survival was based on whether predators might lurk behind trees or in caves and not on understanding the wave function of electrons in atoms.”
Lawerence M. Krauss, A Universe from Nothing: why there is something rather than nothing. Atria paperbacks, New York, 2012

Speakers
avatar for Frank Totino

Frank Totino

Frank Totino (CA): Talk to me about Impro as a window into reality. How the physics of existence is reflected in spontaneous experiences. Canadian director, actor, improviser, teacher, producer, designer and musician. Engaged by theatre companies, universities and drama schools worldwide... Read More →


Thursday May 16, 2019 12:45pm - 1:45pm
Seminar 3 (RV122) Ravensfield, Middlesex University, The Burroughs, Hendon, London, NW4 4BT

2:30pm

Improbotics

Improvisation is the highest form of human intelligence. Improvisers can listen, weave stories from childhood memories, express raw emotions, physically act, and make you laugh or cry. Improv is a feat no robot could ever reproduce.
Do you think so? We want you to participate in our experiment.

Speakers
avatar for Sarah Davies

Sarah Davies

Sarah Davies (UK) is a Drama Lecturer (UAL Acting) and a Producer for arts organisation Ideas Test. She has a BA (Hons) in Drama with English, a Masters in Drama by Research and a PGCE in Post Compulsory Education. Improv experience includes Co-Artistic Direction of Improv Gym, at... Read More →
GL

Gunter Lösel

Gunter Lösel (SWT) has been publishing on the theme of improvisation since 2004. He is an accomplished impro-player, a member of the German National Team of Theatresports (2006), founder of the “Improtheater Bremen” and member of the price-winning duo “Stupid Lovers”. He... Read More →
KM

Kory Mathewson

Kory Mathewson (CA) is a PhD candidate in Reinforcement Learning at the University of Alberta with the Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute. His research interests include interactive machine learning, human-in-the-loop deep reinforcement learning, human-robot interfaces (prosthetic robotics), and conversational dialog systems. Before his PhD, he completed his Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and his Master’s... Read More →
avatar for Piotr Mirowski

Piotr Mirowski

Piotr Mirowski (UK) is the co-founder of HumanMachine (https://humanmachine.live) and Improbotics (https://improbotics.org), world’s first AI-enabled improv and theatre companies. He trained as an improviser in Toulouse (C cédille, LUDI), New York (QUICKTHINKING! Improv, Cherub Improv) and London (Nursery Theatre, Hoopla Improv, Showstoppers, City Academy, Imprology), and as actor at London School of Dramatic Art. Stage credit... Read More →


Thursday May 16, 2019 2:30pm - 3:15pm
Ravensfield Theatre Ravensfield Building, Middlesex University, The Burroughs, Hendon, London, NW4 4BT

2:30pm

Accept and Engage: Engaging the Whole Person (Cura Personalis)

Dan is co-founder and Producing Artistic Director of the critically acclaimed Impro Theatre in Los Angeles. He is also co-founder of Los Angeles Theatresports and BATS Improv in San Francisco. A multi-faceted actor, writer and director he has appeared on television in everything from Seinfeld to NCIS. He has taught for the playwriting and screenwriting programs at UCSB and DUKE. He was an adjunct professor for USC‘s BFA program and has also taught in the MBA Program for the University of Texas McCoombs School of Business. He has coached Cirque du Soleil, Dreamworks and Disney Animation. His training includes the American Conservatory Theater and the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Arts. He co-wrote Life UnScripted with Jeff Katzman published by North Atlantic Books which applies narrative improvisation skills to life.

Speakers
avatar for Dan O’Connor

Dan O’Connor

Producing Artistic Director, Impro Theatre
Dan O’Connor (USA) is co-founder and Producing Artistic Director of Impro Theatre as well as a co-founder of Los Angeles Theatresports and BATS Improv in San Francisco. He is an actor, writer, director, producer and improviser. For Impro Theatre he is the co-director for Jane Austen... Read More →


Thursday May 16, 2019 2:30pm - 3:30pm
Studio 4 (GG93) Grove, Middlesex University, The Burroughs, Hendon, London, NW4 4BT

2:30pm

Applied Storytelling: Using Improvisational Story Activities for Individual and Group Development

Story is both the most ancient of communication and learning methods and one of the hottest
new tools in today’s organizations. But many modern-day humans think of storytelling as some unique talent that only special chosen people have.
We will explore the ways we can use improvisational story techniques with individuals and groups to:

• Expand self-awareness
• Build empathy and deepen relationships
• Solve problems
• Articulate and achieve vision
• Create inclusive environments

The main feature of the session will be a Story Circle in which participants uncover a topic of common interest and then, through a gently facilitated process, discover and share real-life stories, harvest themes and insights, leading potentially to new thoughts on solutions or actions they would like to take.

Speakers
avatar for Kat Koppett

Kat Koppett

Koppett.
Kat Koppett (USA) is the Co-director of the Mopco Improv Theatre and the Eponymous Founder of Koppett a consultancy specializing in the use of improv to enhance individual and organizational performance. She is the author of Training to Imagine: Practical Improvisational Theatre... Read More →


Thursday May 16, 2019 2:30pm - 3:30pm
Studio 3 (G171) Grove, Middlesex University, The Burroughs, Hendon, London, NW4 4BT

2:30pm

Improv for suicide prevention: Being here and available

This workshop will explore how Applied Improvisation can help strengthen suicide prevention by becoming aware (noticing what is happening and unfolding). It will help participants practice what it means to ‘listen for value’, listen for the essence and listen to what is unsaid. Supporting young people with suicide ideation requires being present here and now, listening, creativity, problem-solving and teamwork. All these principles of improvisation will be put to play.

Speakers
avatar for Oluwadamilola  Abdulai-Apotieri

Oluwadamilola Abdulai-Apotieri

Playback Nigeria, CEO
Oluwadamilola Apotieri-Abdulai (NG) is the CEO of Playback Nigeria and a member of the board of Centre for Playback Theatre (USA). He is a confidence coach and communication skills trainer dedicated to bringing effective change to individuals and organizations through theatre and... Read More →


Thursday May 16, 2019 2:30pm - 3:30pm
Studio 1 (G271) Grove, Middlesex University, The Burroughs, Hendon, London, NW4 4BT

2:30pm

Improvising Gender

Improvising Gender
A workshop about playing characters of different genders at the top of your intelligence. We'll look at the behavioural and expressive gesture of gender, and talk about what gender is, and how it affects both players and their characters. We'll also learn about playing trans and non-binary and have a go at some characters who are off-the-beaten-path. Gender is often discussed in today's society, with transgender rights being a particularly hot button issue. As improvisers we are well-equipped to challenge the construct of gender, and to break and re-make it with every character we create.
Instructor Stephen Davidson is transgender and has improvised as both a male and female performer. This workshop is a unique opportunity to explore the range of genders under the guidance of somebody with a broad range of experience. We'll also talk about inclusivity, and making sure women, men, transgender, and non-binary players feel welcome in class, in the audience, and on stage.
This workshop has an accompanying book, available at the Nursery Theatre and from impromiscuous.com



Speakers
avatar for stephen davidson

stephen davidson

Stephen Davidson (UK) is the Artistic Director of Improvable, Love and Misinformation, QI: Queer Improv, Carmen: A gender-swapped Film Noir Fantasy, and of Zeal: The Pride Improv Festival. He currently also plays in duo The Happiest People in the World with Erick Castellan. Stephen... Read More →


Thursday May 16, 2019 2:30pm - 3:30pm
Studio 2 (G272) Grove, Middlesex University, The Burroughs, Hendon, London, NW4 4BT

2:30pm

Creating Communities of Hope as an Improvisation

Four improv-inspired community organizers from New York and London will share how they are
building an after-school youth development program, a free university-like school for working
class adults, and an international training program in social therapeutics and performance
activism through the methodology of improvisation. A must for those interested in how
performance and improvisation can be used organize and build alternatives to our world’s over-
scripted institutions.

Speakers
CB

Chantelle Burley

Chantelle Burley (UK) co-organizer and trustee of the All Stars Project London, is a freelance drama educator and storyteller who works with groups of children and young people throughout the UK. She earned a BA in Drama, Applied Theatre and Education at the Royal Central School... Read More →
DF

Daniel Friedman

Dan Friedman (USA), a life-long political and performance activist and grassroots educator, is the artistic director of the 37-year-old Castillo Theatre in New York City. For the past eight years, Friedman has also been the associate dean of UX, the All Stars Project’s free university-like... Read More →
LH

Lois Holzman

Lois Holzman (USA) is the co-founder and director of the East Side Institute for Group and Short Term Psychotherapy and the founder and chair of the bi-annual Performing the World conferences. Her teaching, research and writing have developed in tandem with and in service to her... Read More →
avatar for Brian Mullin

Brian Mullin

Co_Founder & Trustee, All Stars London
Brian Mullin (UK) co-organizer and trustee of the All Stars Project London is a playwright and dramaturg, who also has a long history of work in grassroots and community-based contexts. Born in the United States, he worked from 2004-2009 with the All Stars Project Inc. in New York... Read More →


Thursday May 16, 2019 2:30pm - 3:45pm
Seminar 3 (RV122) Ravensfield, Middlesex University, The Burroughs, Hendon, London, NW4 4BT

2:30pm

Dreams and a Heart - Awareness Research
'Dreams and a Heart’ awareness research run by Regina Mendes will investigate the impact of making dolls and meditation on our natural abilities of ‘attention’ and ‘awareness’. We will observe the coexistence of these two kinds of consciousness and we will focus on experiencing both of them simultaneously in an optimal way.

Drop in session. 

Speakers
avatar for Regina Mendes

Regina Mendes

Artist, Dreams and a Heart
Regina Mendes (UK) ‘I am a body filled with dreams and a heart just like all of us. I am also a mother and an artist. I close my eyes, sleep and dream. I see the world.’ Regina Mendes created the community art work for peace Dreams and a Heart and have been running it since... Read More →



Thursday May 16, 2019 2:30pm - 5:00pm
The Atrium Grove Building, Middlesex University, The Burroughs, Hendon, London, NW4 4BT

3:45pm

Panel 4: Legacy from Intergenerational Voices

Moderators
avatar for Theresa Robbins Dudeck

Theresa Robbins Dudeck

Co-Founder/Creative Team, Global Improvisation Initiative (GII)
Theresa Robbins Dudeck, PhD, has taught improvisation all over the world in both academic and professional settings. She is considered one of the foremost teachers of Keith Johnstone’s Impro System of training. She wrote the critically acclaimed "Keith Johnstone: A Critical Biography... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Randy Dixon

Randy Dixon

Artistic Director, Unexpected Productions
Randy Dixon (USA) is regarded as one of the most experienced improvisational artists in the Pacific Northwest and around the world. He was a founding member of Unexpected Productions and has served as the Artistic Director since 1988. Randy founded The Orcas Island Project, an international... Read More →
avatar for Jon Oram

Jon Oram

Jon Oram (UK) is an internationally known leader in the field of community plays, producing them across Britain, USA Canada and EuropeHe taught for a number of years whilst training in Mime and Theatre. He was Drama Advisor for Norfolk, Director of Community Arts for Norwich Arts... Read More →
avatar for Ed Greenberg

Ed Greenberg

Executive Director, Laughter for a Change
Ed Greenberg (USA) began improvising as an actor with San Francisco’s legendary improvisational review “The Committee.” In addition to working extensively with Viola Spolin and Paul Sills, with his mentor Del Close, Ed worked on the early experiments in long form improv (he... Read More →
avatar for Frank Totino

Frank Totino

Frank Totino (CA): Talk to me about Impro as a window into reality. How the physics of existence is reflected in spontaneous experiences. Canadian director, actor, improviser, teacher, producer, designer and musician. Engaged by theatre companies, universities and drama schools worldwide... Read More →
avatar for Steen Haakon Hansen

Steen Haakon Hansen

Steen Haakon Hansen (DK) was born in Copenhagen 1947. After finishing his studies at the National Theater School in Copenhagen 1977, Steen has worked as a director, teacher and actor in Denmark and abroad. In the last three decades, Steen has mainly been hosting workshops in Improvisation... Read More →
avatar for Dan O’Connor

Dan O’Connor

Producing Artistic Director, Impro Theatre
Dan O’Connor (USA) is co-founder and Producing Artistic Director of Impro Theatre as well as a co-founder of Los Angeles Theatresports and BATS Improv in San Francisco. He is an actor, writer, director, producer and improviser. For Impro Theatre he is the co-director for Jane Austen... Read More →


Thursday May 16, 2019 3:45pm - 4:45pm
Ravensfield Theatre Ravensfield Building, Middlesex University, The Burroughs, Hendon, London, NW4 4BT

3:45pm

Entrances: Drawing Publics into Improvisation & Building Communities

This panel features three practitioners from international backgrounds who are examining the ways in which improvisational dance strategies are utilized in diverse settings to build communities of varying kinds. Collectively and independently these artists question how dance improvisation can be inclusive, how it can open access to new realms of knowledge and experience, including deepening collective awareness of self and of others.

Ayrin Ersöz, dance artist and scholar, attends to the refugee crisis in Europe and Turkey by using dance improvisation and code-switching - a concept from linguistics now expansively applied across societies to indicate how humans adapt language and behavior to assimilate—as analytical lenses to exploring migration and cultural inclusion.

Marcus Young 楊墨, a behavioral and social practice artist, discusses the work of his ongoing participatory street dance practice of social healing and inner-life liberation called Don’t You Feel it Too (www.dyfit.org), which has been developing since 2008 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. DYFIT is a form of movement meditation that transforms the self while taking action in the world, a hybrid practice of healing, art, and activism.

Julia M. Ritter, dance artist and scholar, examines improvisational movement scores as strategies for inviting the public into immersive environments, a practice which in turn supports the formation of communities and fandoms that generate convergences across cultures and societies.

The aim of the panel is to generate vibrant discussion around how improvisatory behaviors in public can lead to aesthetic belonging and a more engaged personal-public life.

Speakers
avatar for Ayrin Ersöz

Ayrin Ersöz

Associate Professor Dr., Yildiz Technical University
Ayrin Ersöz (TR), PhD, is a dancer, choreographer, and scholar whose research focuses on the connections of dance to political ideologies and systems within historical and contemporary societies. She has been awarded a Fulbright Research Fellowship to conduct research at Rutgers... Read More →
avatar for Julia M. Ritter

Julia M. Ritter

Chair & Artistic Director, Rutgers University
Dr Julia Ritter (USA) MFA, PhD, is a dance artist and scholar whose work is informed by 30 years of training in dance, voice, and theater techniques. She is the recipient of two awards for her research on dance and immersive performance: the 2016 Selma Jeanne Cohen Lecture Award and... Read More →
avatar for Marcus Young

Marcus Young

behavioral artist
Marcus Young (USA) 楊墨 makes participatory work at the intersection of art, spirit, and social movement, challenging current paradigms of who is an artist, how to live mindfully, and what is social action. He is founder of Don’t You Feel It Too?—an ongoing street dance... Read More →


Thursday May 16, 2019 3:45pm - 4:45pm
Upper Dance Forum (MH114) Middlesex University, The Burroughs, Hendon, London, NW4 4BT

3:45pm

Parenting, Authorship and Autistic Adults Doing Improv (3 presentations)

TITLE: Led by awareness: Improvisation and everyday parenting
PRESENTER: Catherine Ryan

Eight years ago a moment of awareness allowed me to recognise that the relationship my child and I share is an improvisation. This makes me wonder how other improvisers see their practice in relation to children, how other people might experience their everyday family life, and what, if any connections between the two might be found.

I take Max Van Manen’s framing of parenting, like education, as pedagogy (Van Manen, 1990, 2016). It is a relationship involving the complex phenomena of care, learning and play. Through a recent literature review I have found the vibrant mesh of interrelationships existing between theatrical improvisation, play and learning to be an ecology. And I now embark on research to discover what it might be like to improvise the likewise unpredictable living ensemble that is family.




TITLE: The Heterarchical Director: A model of authorship for the twenty-first century
PRESENTER: Duška Radosavljević

Directors' Theatre (Brook, Grotowski, Littlewood) have often acted as leaders of ensembles. In the aftermath of 1968, this position has been problematised, and director figureheads became increasingly unfashionable. At the turn of the 21st century ensemble directors have sought to emphasise the element of co-authorship in their work or a relativisation of their own authority (see Mermikides and Smart 2010, Radosavljevic 2013). 
Using notions of heterarchy and eco-leadership, this paper takes the investigation forward in defining a 21st century model of ensemble director. More specifically, the paper looks at the case study of Improbable Theatre's directorial tandem Phelim McDermott and Lee Simpson and their use of improvisation as a type of self-sustaining systemic leadership.


TITLE:The implications for autistic adults doing improv comedy
PRESENTER: Nathan Keates

The scoping review provides an overview on research that has been conducted with autistic participants on improvisation-based theatre or play, as the term ‘improv comedy’ is rarely used. After searching four databases, performing an author and a bibliography search, twenty-four texts were included. One study was a close-proximal practice to improv (4.17%). Fifteen papers sought to ameliorate socialisation (62.5%). Additionally, autistic people can make-believe. Improv could develop acceptance, coping, and socio-communicative skills. The studies had limitations. There is no conclusive evidence for using improv comedy. Future research needs to adopt a mixed methods approach and reduce the potential for bias.

Speakers
avatar for Catherine Ryan

Catherine Ryan

PhD student, The University of Melbourne
Catherine Ryan (AUS) I am a theatremaker and an early stage PhD student at the University of Melbourne, exploring how improvisational theatre might be useful in everyday parenting. Questions around the dynamics of relationships, interconnectedness and empathy have been at the heart... Read More →
DR

Duška Radosavljević

Duška Radosavljevic (UK) is a writer, dramaturg and academic based at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. She is the author of Theatre-Making: Interplay Between Text and Performance in the 21st Century (2013) and editor of The Contemporary Ensemble (2013) and Theatre Criticism... Read More →
NK

Nathan Keates

Nathan Keates (UK) Nathan is a qualified teacher and has taught all ages and abilities over the years. He began in special educational needs schools in 2009. After his experience of delivering improvisation and comedy to young autistic people in 2007, he knew he would continue developing... Read More →


Thursday May 16, 2019 3:45pm - 4:45pm
Seminar 2 (RV103) Ravensfield, Middlesex University, The Burroughs, Hendon, London, NW4 4BT

3:45pm

Be the Street: Collective Storytelling and Community-Engaged Performance

Be the Street (BTS) employs applied improvisation techniques to create performances by, with, and for community members to engage and expand perceptions of themselves and others across their differences, as well as strengthen social networks essential to marginalized communities. In partnership with Nationally renowned Albany Park Theatre Project, graduate student facilitators conduct semester-long workshops with our community partners that culminate in a public performance.  In this workshop, Artistic Director Moriah Flagler will share theory surrounding the project and will lead participants through Be the Street’s model for using applied improvisation to create community-engaged performance.

Speakers
avatar for Moriah Flagler

Moriah Flagler

Artistic Director, The Ohio State University; Be the Street
Moriah Flagler (USA) is a teacher, theatre maker, and scholar. Her research focuses on community-based devising, applied improvisation, and digital storytelling. Her recent scholarship examines how devising digital stories with middle school aged Spanish speakers foregrounded their... Read More →


Thursday May 16, 2019 3:45pm - 4:45pm
Studio 4 (GG93) Grove, Middlesex University, The Burroughs, Hendon, London, NW4 4BT

3:45pm

Impro Robots

Improvisation teaching is drifting away from inspiring creativity and free thinkers and becoming more about creating behaviour patterns and conditioning. What is happening in our workshops and when did freedom become routine? Lets examine the practice, language, goals and approaches in our improvisational teaching.This is not about actual Robots!

Speakers
PS

Patti Stiles

Patti Stiles (AUS) Patti Stiles (Australia): Patti is an actor, improviser, director, instructor, and playwright who has been working professionally in theatre since 1983. She served her theatre apprenticeship at the world renowned Loose Moose Theatre and was trained by Keith Johnstone... Read More →


Thursday May 16, 2019 3:45pm - 4:45pm
Studio 2 (G272) Grove, Middlesex University, The Burroughs, Hendon, London, NW4 4BT

3:45pm

Rethinking Democracy: Yes, and… as a tool to strengthen civic discourse

As the world becomes increasingly polarized and reactionary, we need to develop caring and decent ways to engage disagreements, debate contentious and difficult issues (poverty, climate, war, gender), and strengthen democracy. Improvisation and play are essential tools in the creation of performance activism, a new movement for radical democracy. In this 60-minute workshop we will explore how applied improvisation training methods and improv-based teaching can bridge differences and promote the types of civic engagement and civil discourse our world urgently needs. We will lead games, exercises and the performance of a philosophical and political discussion about new possibilities through play.

Speakers
avatar for Marian Rich

Marian Rich

Owner, Career Play Inc.
Marian Rich (USA) is a comic educator and improvisational performer. Trained as an actress, improviser and theatrical director, Marian has spent over 30 years building innovative educational environments where people from all walks of life come together to grow and develop. A performance... Read More →
avatar for Don Waisanen

Don Waisanen

Associate Professor, Baruch College, CUNY
Don Waisanen (USA) is an Associate Professor in the Baruch College, CUNY Marxe School of Public and International Affairs, where he teaches courses and workshops in public communication—including executive speech training, communication strategy, and seminars on leadership, storytelling... Read More →


Thursday May 16, 2019 3:45pm - 4:45pm
Studio 3 (G171) Grove, Middlesex University, The Burroughs, Hendon, London, NW4 4BT

3:45pm

Awareness, Social Engagement and the Availability of Choice - “The Feldenkrais Method”

Improvisation requires the ability to engage with people and situations, and to respond spontaneously rather than in compulsive or pre-planned ways. But how do we become aware of the habits that compromise those skills?
The Feldenkrais Method enables us to catch our compulsive choices through invitations to try out fundamental patterns and explore new variations in the simpler, safer, less pressured environment of gentle movement. The lessons encourage easier, less effortful solutions to emerge so we can get out of our own way, engage more clearly and play more simply. Skills for improvisation – and for life.
This is a practical and experiential session.

Speakers
avatar for Victoria Worsley

Victoria Worsley

Feldenkrais Practitioner
Victoria Worsley (UK) MA, studied movement and performance with Monika Pagneux and Philippe Gaulier in Paris and gained a degree from Oxford University. She worked widely as an actor, theatre maker and movement director for twenty years. Having discovered the Feldenkrais Method via... Read More →


Thursday May 16, 2019 3:45pm - 5:00pm
Studio 1 (G271) Grove, Middlesex University, The Burroughs, Hendon, London, NW4 4BT

5:00pm

Panel 5: Future/Unknown, Interdisciplinary
Speakers
avatar for Koray Bülent Tarhan

Koray Bülent Tarhan

istanbulimpro
Koray Bülent Tarhan (TR) graduated from Ankara University Theater Department. In 2000, he co-founded one of the first improv groups in Turkey. He works as an actor, instructor, musician and project coordinator at Istanbulimpro.  He also works with children, teenagers, and adults in different foundations and organizations. He wrote the first handbook on Improv in Turkish, Dogaclama Icin Elkitabi (2013) and designed the first Impro App in Turkish in 2018. He is the coordinator of Istanbul International Improv Festival. Tarhan participated as a workshop l... Read More →
MM

Mel McCree

Mel McCree (UK) is a senior lecturer in Early Childhood Studies at Bath Spa University, England, and Director of Free Range Creativity. Her background is in environmental education, outdoor arts, play and learning. Mel researches eco-social justice, such as multi species relations... Read More →
avatar for Ralf Wetzel

Ralf Wetzel

Prof of Applied Arts, Vlerick Business School
Ralf Wetzel (NL) began his career as an electrician. He joined Vlerick Business School as a Professor of Organization and Management after extensive experience in management and organization research and after being a head of a joint research and consulting group in Switzerland. He... Read More →
PS

Patti Stiles

Patti Stiles (AUS) Patti Stiles (Australia): Patti is an actor, improviser, director, instructor, and playwright who has been working professionally in theatre since 1983. She served her theatre apprenticeship at the world renowned Loose Moose Theatre and was trained by Keith Johnstone... Read More →
PM

Phelim McDermott

Improbable
Improbable (UK) is led by Phelim McDermott and Lee Simpson, and uses improvisation to create spectacular shows, support and nurture artists and the arts sector, and facilitate social change. Improbable believes that art is for everyone and that our society needs a cultural shift... Read More →
avatar for Kat Koppett

Kat Koppett

Koppett.
Kat Koppett (USA) is the Co-director of the Mopco Improv Theatre and the Eponymous Founder of Koppett a consultancy specializing in the use of improv to enhance individual and organizational performance. She is the author of Training to Imagine: Practical Improvisational Theatre... Read More →
TD

Tina Davidson

Assistant Professor, Rotterdam School of Management
Tina Davidson (NL) Tina Davidson is an Assistant Professor at the Rotterdam School of Management. Her research interests center on the role of culture and diversity in key phenomena in organizational behavior such as voice behavior, leadership development, and followership. In studying... Read More →


Thursday May 16, 2019 5:00pm - 6:00pm
The Atrium Grove Building, Middlesex University, The Burroughs, Hendon, London, NW4 4BT

7:30pm

Experimental Evening: 'Once Upon A Time'

Once Upon A Time format is a fun format to create long form improv for both beginners and experienced improvisers.  The writer of the story is the audience.  Are you ready to be a servant of the audience? 


Speakers
avatar for Koray Bülent Tarhan

Koray Bülent Tarhan

istanbulimpro
Koray Bülent Tarhan (TR) graduated from Ankara University Theater Department. In 2000, he co-founded one of the first improv groups in Turkey. He works as an actor, instructor, musician and project coordinator at Istanbulimpro.  He also works with children, teenagers, and adults in different foundations and organizations. He wrote the first handbook on Improv in Turkish, Dogaclama Icin Elkitabi (2013) and designed the first Impro App in Turkish in 2018. He is the coordinator of Istanbul International Improv Festival. Tarhan participated as a workshop l... Read More →


Thursday May 16, 2019 7:30pm - 8:15pm
Studio 1 (G271) Grove, Middlesex University, The Burroughs, Hendon, London, NW4 4BT

7:30pm

Evening Performance - Maestro

Come and watch Keith Johnstone's Maestro format, directed by Patti Stiles and Phelim McDermott.

Fifteen comedy improvisers will play out a series of sketches and games – all completely made-up on the spot. At the end of each one, the audience awards points, which will determine who stays in the competition and who is eliminated. At the end of the night, there will be one glorious winner!

Speakers
PS

Patti Stiles

Patti Stiles (AUS) Patti Stiles (Australia): Patti is an actor, improviser, director, instructor, and playwright who has been working professionally in theatre since 1983. She served her theatre apprenticeship at the world renowned Loose Moose Theatre and was trained by Keith Johnstone... Read More →
PM

Phelim McDermott

Improbable
Improbable (UK) is led by Phelim McDermott and Lee Simpson, and uses improvisation to create spectacular shows, support and nurture artists and the arts sector, and facilitate social change. Improbable believes that art is for everyone and that our society needs a cultural shift... Read More →


Thursday May 16, 2019 7:30pm - 9:30pm
Ravensfield Theatre Ravensfield Building, Middlesex University, The Burroughs, Hendon, London, NW4 4BT

8:45pm

Experimental Evening: 'Bassoonprov!'

Twinprov are currently developing a new highly ridiculous and delightful format called.....Bassoonprov!

Twinprov (@twinprovimprov on Facebook) have performed extensively throughout London, at Amsterdam Improv Marathon, Edinburgh Fringe, International Women’s Day events, and locally in Kent. We favour a darkly comic mono-scene format, in to which we have now introduced a classically trained bassoonist! The conceit is that he underscores our scene painting and the action, but also that we are always expecting a bassoonist to arrive; starting behind the audience, he gradually moves closer to the stage throughout, then becomes part of our world!


Speakers
avatar for Sarah Davies

Sarah Davies

Sarah Davies (UK) is a Drama Lecturer (UAL Acting) and a Producer for arts organisation Ideas Test. She has a BA (Hons) in Drama with English, a Masters in Drama by Research and a PGCE in Post Compulsory Education. Improv experience includes Co-Artistic Direction of Improv Gym, at... Read More →


Thursday May 16, 2019 8:45pm - 9:30pm
Studio 2 (G272) Grove, Middlesex University, The Burroughs, Hendon, London, NW4 4BT
 
Friday, May 17
 

10:30am

Devoted & Disgruntled: What are we going to do about Improvisation?
A 2-day D&D Open Space on all things improvisatory, as part of the GII conference 2019.

Invitation by Phelim McDermott, Co-Artistic Director of Improbable:Thirty five years ago I read a book called Impro. It had been given to me by John Wright, one of my lecturers at Middlesex Polytechnic. It was a book that I devoured, I read it in bed and stayed up late into the night finishing it.
Life was never the same again.
The paradigm and skills that I was introduced to all those years ago have stayed with me ever since and inform everything I do when I’m performing, when I’m making theatre with people and sometimes, when I’m courageous, how I live my life. Working on not knowing what happens next has been the most reliable thing in my career.
It is my belief that the sharing of the many aspects of improvisation and the ways it may help us navigate this chaotic world are still untapped. Improvisation demands that we develop a relationship with awareness. It engenders in those who practice and explore it a relationship to life which is more creative than mere rationality and is more exciting than certainty.
I am still learning how to do it, how to use it, and what its true gifts are for theatre, and beyond that into other areas of life. It’s an ongoing research project into how the world could be a more generous, creative place. In these testing times, when groundlessness seems to be the norm, improvisation may be the only way out of the woods, even if its big lesson might be that we have to go deeper in to find a way through.
The sharing and study of the many aspects of improvisation and the way it may help us navigate this fast-changing, chaotic world is essential for our future. So on May 17 & 18 we’re holding a Devoted & Disgruntled Open Space as part of our “International Institute of Improvisation” partnership with the Global Improvisation Initiative and Middlesex Uni. The Second Global Improvisation Initiative is an international gathering of all those interested in Improv and all its manifestations and applications. On May 15 & 16 there’s a conference with a pre-set agenda – but the D&D days are yours to do the work you want to do, in the way you want to do it; with all your passion, questions, experience and awareness of what needs doing.

For access information please go to our event page here.


Speakers
PM

Phelim McDermott

Improbable
Improbable (UK) is led by Phelim McDermott and Lee Simpson, and uses improvisation to create spectacular shows, support and nurture artists and the arts sector, and facilitate social change. Improbable believes that art is for everyone and that our society needs a cultural shift... Read More →


Friday May 17, 2019 10:30am - 4:30pm
The Atrium Grove Building, Middlesex University, The Burroughs, Hendon, London, NW4 4BT
  • about <strong>Improbable (UK)</strong><strong>&nbsp;</strong>is led by Phelim McDermott and Lee Simpson, and uses improvisation to create spectacular shows, support and nurture artists and the arts sector, and facilitate social change. Improbable believes that art is for everyone and that our society needs a cultural shift that puts creativity at the heart of everyday life. The company creates an astonishing breadth of work, from small-scale improvised shows (like <em>Animo&nbsp;</em>and <em>The Still</em>) to enormous outdoor spectacles (like <em>Sticky</em>), modern operas (like <em>Satyagraha</em> and <em>Akhnaten</em>) to devised studio pieces (like <em>Opening Skinner’s Box</em>), and takes this work around the UK and often the world. Alongside this, Improbable's Devoted &amp; Disgruntled programme brings the arts community together to identify and work on shared issues; and its Participation programme takes improvisation to people and communities who have had little contact with the arts before. Improbable is currently developing an International Institute of Improvisation—the iii!—that serves as a hub for improvisational practice across the world, and furthers the development of improvisation as a tool for artistic and social engagement. Improbable was founded in 1996 and is based in London.<br><br><strong>Phelim McDermott&nbsp;</strong>is a founder member of Improbable. He has won various awards such as an Olivier Award for Best Entertainment, TMA Awards for Best Touring Production and Best Director and a Critics Circle Best Designer Award. He was awarded a National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts fellowship and an Honorary Doctorate from the Middlesex University. He is also a father and a husband.

5:00pm

Don't You Feel It Too?

Welcome! This is a participatory workshop called Don’t You Feel It Too? You can control the amount of your participation, whether all in or obesrving from the side. Please consider giving this playful, thrilling, and slightly risky behavioral art practice a try.

Anyone can do itDon’t You Feel It Too? is the simple and beautiful act of dancing your inner life in public. It is a form of movement meditation that transforms the self while taking action in the world. Participants feel stress relief, resilience, compassion, connection, and belonging. Developed since 2008, the practice is healing, art, and activism together.

To participate, please:

1. Bring pocket music you really LOVE, even one song will do.
2. Bring earbuds or headphones if you can. Don't leave home without it, but I will also have extra for you if you forget.
3. Best to wear some comfortable shoes and clothes.

For more info, please visit: www.DYFIT.org.

--

Born in Hong Kong, Marcus Young 楊墨 is a behavioral and social practice artist living in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.

Speakers
avatar for Marcus Young

Marcus Young

behavioral artist
Marcus Young (USA) 楊墨 makes participatory work at the intersection of art, spirit, and social movement, challenging current paradigms of who is an artist, how to live mindfully, and what is social action. He is founder of Don’t You Feel It Too?—an ongoing street dance... Read More →


Friday May 17, 2019 5:00pm - 6:15pm
Studio 4 (GG93) Grove, Middlesex University, The Burroughs, Hendon, London, NW4 4BT
 
Saturday, May 18
 

10:30am

Devoted & Disgruntled: What are we going to do about Improvisation?
A 2-day D&D Open Space on all things improvisatory, as part of the GII conference 2019. 

Invitation by Phelim McDermott, Co-Artistic Director of Improbable:Thirty five years ago I read a book called Impro. It had been given to me by John Wright, one of my lecturers at Middlesex Polytechnic. It was a book that I devoured, I read it in bed and stayed up late into the night finishing it.
Life was never the same again.
The paradigm and skills that I was introduced to all those years ago have stayed with me ever since and inform everything I do when I’m performing, when I’m making theatre with people and sometimes, when I’m courageous, how I live my life. Working on not knowing what happens next has been the most reliable thing in my career. 
It is my belief that the sharing of the many aspects of improvisation and the ways it may help us navigate this chaotic world are still untapped. Improvisation demands that we develop a relationship with awareness. It engenders in those who practice and explore it a relationship to life which is more creative than mere rationality and is more exciting than certainty. 
I am still learning how to do it, how to use it, and what its true gifts are for theatre, and beyond that into other areas of life. It’s an ongoing research project into how the world could be a more generous, creative place. In these testing times, when groundlessness seems to be the norm, improvisation may be the only way out of the woods, even if its big lesson might be that we have to go deeper in to find a way through. 
The sharing and study of the many aspects of improvisation and the way it may help us navigate this fast-changing, chaotic world is essential for our future. So on May 17 & 18 we’re holding a Devoted & Disgruntled Open Space as part of our “International Institute of Improvisation” partnership with the Global Improvisation Initiative and Middlesex Uni. The Second Global Improvisation Initiative is an international gathering of all those interested in Improv and all its manifestations and applications. On May 15 & 16 there’s a conference with a pre-set agenda – but the D&D days are yours to do the work you want to do, in the way you want to do it; with all your passion, questions, experience and awareness of what needs doing.

For access information please go to our event page here.

Speakers
PM

Phelim McDermott

Improbable
Improbable (UK) is led by Phelim McDermott and Lee Simpson, and uses improvisation to create spectacular shows, support and nurture artists and the arts sector, and facilitate social change. Improbable believes that art is for everyone and that our society needs a cultural shift... Read More →


Saturday May 18, 2019 10:30am - 4:30pm
The Atrium Grove Building, Middlesex University, The Burroughs, Hendon, London, NW4 4BT