What is improvised theater?
Well, from what I know/understood, it’s a play that was not already prepared nor rehearsed, it is improvised on the spot as the name calls it. In fact, the topic of the play is a consensus from what the audience decides to watch. Yes, the audience comes to the theater, not knowing what the topic of the play is, sit together, start brainstorming words/topics/ideas, then come up with a title for their play.
During that play, the audience came up with a title “mish kil el Crystal belame3” (in English: not all crystals shine). This was the title we all agreed we want to watch. That’s was it “point a la ligne” as we say in French, we decided the title, then 1,2,3… Music starts, lighting changes, and the actors start their play.
The play turned out to be a social story dealing with marriage and disappointments. If someone had missed the small brainstorming where the actors and the audience decided on the topic; they would have actually believed that this was a well rehearsed and structured play that took time and effort from the actors for weeks.
While I was watching the play, I was stunned by the performance of the actors; there was a huge synergy between them. When I get to think of the story now, I really think of it as a movie I watched, or a book I read. Everything seemed well rehearsed, the dialogue, the scenes, the lighting, the music… The music and lighting were two different actors, silently making important implications on the progress of the scenes and the play at large.
At the end of the play, there were ten minutes for questions and answers. I was curious to learn more about the synergy between the actors and the way they decided every scene instantly. One of the actors answered my question, and instead, placed a huge question mark in my head.
He told me that the improvised theater is similar to our lives. We do not write down the things we want to do, nor do we tell the people around us what to do. “Now do this; do that, or say this or that”. Personally, his answer was like BANG to my ears. It really hit me. It was the first time I look at life like this- like a play.
Imagine that we wake up every day and decide that today’s scene (which is part of our life’s bigger play) will include the slow taxi driver on the way to work, the nagging client, and a nice glass of wine after a long day of stress. That would be interesting, wouldn’t it? Then the next day, we would decide on another scene, and then day after day we start evolving our skills, and learning new techniques. That’s a nice way to look at it!
Or wait a second, isn’t that the way we live our lives; but now we have a cover for it, a new title to call it?!
(Or wait a second, isn’t that the way I live my life; but now I have a cover for it, a new title to call it?! Improvisation)