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Roy Janik

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Knot Improv [Dec. 18th, 2006|02:35 pm]
Roy Janik
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This weekend improv went well. Whirled News Tonight actually happened thanks to a small audience appearing at the last minute. It turned out to be an above average show. In particular, Valerie was really on. I forgot to tell her that. Valerie, you were AWESOME in Whirled News Tonight. Also, Wes and I had some really funny really short scenes throughout the show. And I quacked like a duck a lot.

The personal highlight for me, though, was the Blank Show. I was in charge of it, and did a format called Knot Improv that I made up. It consists of attaching 7 improvisers together with a rope and then exploring the possibilities therein. We had no idea going into it would would work and what wouldn't. But that's what the Blank Show is for- experimental improv.

The show went very well. Again we had a small audience, but they thoroughly enjoyed it. Well, the ones who stayed, anyhow. I ran them through several games, including:


  • push/pull monologue: the players gave one monologue... but whoever was speaking could be pulled out by their nearest partner on the rope. We quickly learned that pushing also helped.
  • all in: the scene started with 1 person, and when they needed someone else in, they pulled on the rope.
  • leaving: a simple scene setup where one person wants to leave and the other wants them to stay. The rope would obviously keep them from leaving, but they'd have to justify everything. This scene starred Mike K and Kaci. Kaci wanted to leave. The suggestion of a location was "sports locker room".It was awesome because Kaci was flailing against the rope, basically leaping into the air, and Mike was just standing there. Kristin got pulled in as a goal post, too.
  • taut: The 2 players in the scene had to keep the rope between them taut at all times, and justify their movements.
  • mountain climbing: all the players were climbing up the side of a mountain. the floor was the mountain face, so they climbed upwards by crawling left along the stage. Ratliff won the prize for most convincing, as he was just clinging to the floor for dear life.
  • stringing the pearls: played just like normally, except that the rope meant that the players had to struggle to get into certain positions.
  • musical: Ratliff played  keyboards while still attached to the rope. The players did a brief musical about puppets. I encouraged them to do a lot of elaborate dance numbers.
  • emotional zones: the stage was split into 3 sections where players took on a different emotion in each zone. the rope meant that the players could pull each other into certain emotions.
  • moving bodies: Two players acted out a scene, but could only move when pulled in a certain direction by the rope, wielded by 2 other players.
  • scene intensity: 3 players acted out a scene, and changed the intensity of their emotions based on how high the rope was in the air. Height was controlled by 2 offstage players.
  • freeze: Just a normal game of freeze. but due to the rope, everyone quickly became a tangled mess. It was a pretty awesome way to end the show.

Here's a picture of the cast:



from left to right: Ratliff, Gene, Mike K, Kaci, Kristin, Marc, Jessica, and finally me in the middle

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Comments:
[User Picture]From: ripresa
2006-12-18 09:40 pm (UTC)
johnstone did an exercise with us where we had ropes tied to us. and people backstage that can pull us off. however, the other improvisor you played with get the option of snapping his fingers if he didn't like your offers, and you get pulled off stage.. while screaming "but i'm a good improvisor! i'm a good improvisor!"
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[User Picture]From: firth
2006-12-19 12:13 am (UTC)
happy rope people!

I love the pic.

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