Impro Fest Online: Spotlight on Online Improv
Before the current crisis, we had just started our ‘Spotlight on Brighton Improv’ series. We’ll still be running that, but in light of recent events we’ll also be doing a ‘Spotlight on Online Improv’ series. We want to give a shout out to friends around the globe doing cool improv projects in the online space. Like Impro Fest Online!
First up: Impro Fest Online
Improv Fest Online are the inspiration for this whole series. Created by a self described group of ‘wild professional improvisers from all over Germany’ they have created the first international and fully digitised improv festival. I have met Lena Breuer (one of the organisers of the project) several times at ‘real life’ festivals. As a result, I was lucky enough to be asked by her to run a workshop as part of the international edition on April 1st.
How does an online improv festival work?
Much like a normal festival, you enter a foyer where all participants meet prior to the workshops. You are introduced to your teachers and then break out into your separate rooms. After workshops you come together again as a large group followed by the virtual festival bar and hang out space. On my particular day, the teachers were invited to tell a one word story by another of the organiser’s Nick Maaß.
Who teaches the workshops?
Impro fest online have loads of events happening each week. There is a German edition and other Special events. The international edition that I was part of included Kaci Beeler (USA), Kasia Chmara (Poland), Andrea Gaetini (Italy) and Evan Shweitzer (USA). I knew the other teachers from working together before so it was heart warming to see everyone’s faces the day before at our tech rehearsal. The festival has new instructors every week so it’s a really good opportunity to work with great people from all over the world.
What were the workshops like?
I’ve been running the improv drop ins for a few weeks now. In those classes we work on general improv skills and games in response to the group. For the festival I was asked to submit a workshop in the normal way. I chose the theme of collisions, inspired by embracing accidents. I chose this theme particularly as we all stumble into this new online space. It was a wonderful chance to curate something especially for my group and this event.
What makes it so great?
I want to give a huge compliment to the professionalism of Impro Fest online. Everything is beautifully organised and their website looks fantastic. Having a tech rehearsal the day before was a great detail. It really feels like they have been doing this for a long time!
At a time like this community is so important. Having a weekly digital improv festival like this somehow fulfils the need to be in a safe and familiar place. At the same time pushing the boundaries of what is possible & connecting people who otherwise wouldn’t have.
You can find out more about Impro Fest Online and see what they have coming up at https://www.improfestonline.com/. If you know of any other cool online improv projects or want to suggest yours, you can contact us at [email protected]. In the meantime our online improv classes run 7 days a week with different start times and levels – check them out here. Please get in touch if you can’t afford it right now as we are giving free places to any one that needs them.