Narrative

improv

Developing narrative and characters in improv is surely a harder aspect of improv. Sometimes, I found myself getting caught up in wrapping a story rather than improvising, and switching between those modes can be tough. But with practice, that divide dissolves and it all becomes play, as I found out later in the quarter. Persevering during that initial stretch can be a limitation of improv because you either have to trust that it will work out or have a community that is working on the same things (i.e. my class!). But in any case, narrative is a very important part of improv and I clearly saw that during the SIMPS shows. It ties improvised theatre together and allows the audience to connect with characters. Returning to motifs, familiar symbols, or recognizable locations in long-form can be helpful.

If done well, narrative can definitely be a strength of improv, teaching us how to tell stories. Story-telling is at the heart of writing, theater, and one could argue much of life.

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