The Maydays 15th Annual Improv Retreat – Meet your Teacher – Juwel Haque

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Our October Improv Retreat is going to be here before you know it and with the retreat almost Sold Out, we’d like to introduce you to your improv teachers who you’ll be playing with this year. Next up, our superstar, Juwel Haque!

Hey Juwel, what’s the feeling like in the Maydays camp the night before the retreat kicks off?

The retreat has come to be the highlight of my year so I’m looking forward to all of it: seeing returning retreaters who I’ve connected with, as well as people new to improv that I really want to help to have a good time. Though to be honest, the night before, I’m mostly worried about oversleeping and missing the train, or forgetting to pack something important!


Is there a particular part of the retreat that you’re most looking forward to?

Friday morning before 9 am, as people finish breakfast and go looking for their first class of the weekend, that liminal moment brimming with anticipation and expectation. I’m excited to help people find their classes and overhear conversations as learners share how they’re spending their day, as I pass through the concourse with a mocha in hand.
For someone who has never been before & is tempted to join us in October, but is feeling a little nervous to push that Book Now button, what advice would you give?
Every year we have people for whom the retreat is their first experience of improv at all! They’ve invariably loved it, getting the improv bug, or using the experience to benefit their own creative practice or career, or gushing about it in their podcast. And we have enough experience in providing this retreat by now that we believe we know how to take care of people as they navigate this potentially overwhelming experience; we care very deeply about everyone’s welfare and I think it shows throughout our delivery.
We offer the Jason Chin Scholarship each year, why’s it important? 
I remember a lunchtime conversation with a previous scholar who was telling me how much all the lessons would make a difference to the small improv community he’s a major figure of in the country he’s based in. Other winners have told us what a life-changing experience it’s been for them. 
For those returning to the retreat for another 3-days of joy, what can they expect from our 15th residential?

I’d like to know that myself! I’m really looking forward to finding out what classes my fellow Maydays and our guests are pitching this year, especially what’s been fascinating them recently. There’s also the prospect of new faces we get to induct into improv in the most immersive way. And we’re back at the very comfortable and well-appointed Ashorne Hill with those plush beds and dangerous pastries.


What’s one of the funniest moments from previous years for you?

I just thoroughly enjoyed the stories that the learners performed at the end of my high fantasy class last year, featuring a happy prancing horse who became the getaway vehicle, and the scene between the corrupt noble and the crooked wretch (“jiggy jiggy jiggy!”).


What’s one of the most magical moments from previous years?

The Sunday showcase is always special. People who only met that weekend, come together and conspire to do scenes based on a class they did. Like Viki and Gerry’s silent clowning scene last year. Sometimes I get jealous that I wasn’t in the session where they learned that thing!


Sum up The Maydays Improv Retreat in a little one-liner

You’ll laugh, you’ll play, you’ll make new friends; you’ll grow and change, this mad weekend.


To join us at this year’s Improv Retreat, grab one of the last spots here  – we can’t wait to meet you, see you again and most of all play!