What are some of the thoughts and feelings that come to mind when you hear the word improvisation theatre? Answers that we often get in our workshops are – “scary”, “not for me”, “where is the door?” We also get answers such as “exciting”, “funny”, creative” and “quick thinking”. We always follow up this question with do you think there is anything that you can learn from improvisation theatre that would be useful in your own life. The fact is, life is improvisation and we have to play different roles in relationship to other people in order to have a meaningful life. No one wakes up in the morning with a script for the day on the bedside table. We have to adapt, be creative to solve problems and most of the time we need to do this in collaboration with other people – A lot like a group of improvising actors that need to come up with an entertaining performance in the moment. But improvisational theatre is not just a wonderful metaphor for life, the skills and principles that we can learn and practice through improvisation exercises are very useful to equip us for the world that we live in today, a world that is very uncertain and is changing at a dramatic speed. Without the right tools this world can seem scary and we often look for the door by escaping from life challenges in various ways. Or we protect ourselves by building walls around us that causes distrust and disconnection with those around us. In short the practices that we can learn from improvisational theatre can help us to be more creative, build better relationships with the people around us and deal better with the uncertainty of life. Now you may say, “Yes, that sounds all very nice, but I’m not really the acting type.” Yes that is what all the nurses, engineers, accountants, doctors, graphic designers, linguists, administrators, receptionists, marketers, managers ect. said before they participated in one of our workshops. The skills that we teach are not acting skills; it is skills for life, skills that our education system unfortunately never taught us. We would even go so far as saying that these skills were suppressed by our education.

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