By David F. Rooney
There’s a brand new group in town — the Theatresports Club — and they’re looking for members who want to learn how to improvise instantly and make audiences laugh.
All right, they’ve only got five members so far and are still a long way from performing in public, but judging by the exercises they performed during their first meeting at the Community Centre on Monday night they could certainly tickle your funny bone when they eventually do go on stage publicly.
“I think we could be ready to perform by Christmas,” said Theatresports teacher Anita Hallewas.
A new immigrant to Canada, the enthusiastic young Australian is a trained actress and drama teacher who is currently working at Okanagan College. She also ran a Drama Summer Day Camp here last summer and is a strong proponent of Theatresports.
Theatresports is a type of theatre developed by Calgary director Keith Johnstone in 1977. It is an impromptu, developmental type drama process, where opposing teams can perform scenes based on audience suggestions. The audiences are often drawn into the drama by becoming involved in tasks such as giving ratings, or there can be a panel of judges who are usually trained improvisers themselves. You can find out more at http://theater-education.suite101.com/article.cfm/the_development_of_theatre_sports#ixzz0Rs4GWsQf.
“The best comedy isn’t planned,” Hallewas told her inaugural group of Theatresports Club members. “So don’t try to be funny.”
That first night members appeared to have a ball playing word games and trying out physical comedy.
“The object is purely entertainment,” Hallewas said.
But Theatre Sports can also be competitive. There are active Theatresports groups in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto and elsewhere and both national and international competitions.
The club is free, operates in conjunction with the Revelstoke Theatre Company and is open to anyone who’d like to join. It meets every Monday night in the Macpherson Room at the Community centre. Hallewas’ long-term plan is to train Theatresports teams that will compete against each other and other groups in BC.
“It is an awesome chance to gain confidence, meet new friends and have some fun,” she said.
For more information about the Theatresports Club call Anita Hallewas at 250-837-1475.
Here are two other views of club members acting out: