July 12 saw Moose Mountain Provincial Park host Park-Prov, a two-hour improv extravaganza. Ran by Andrew Christoffel, an American Collee Improv Tournament Nationals Finalist, and Ben Dewalt it focused on storytelling and character development.
Storytelling has always been around. It is a tradition among all cultures, in some form, around the world. This has since evolved into stories shown on television, film, or in music. Improv is a method of storytelling.
It’s a fun and spontaneous escape allowing oneself to be taken over by a new character. It is a creative outlet allowing people to become anyone for a moment.
When teaching improv, Christoffel, says that there are lessons taught using the acronym CROW, which are important to any skit.
Characters: It can be human, animal, or anything you can imagine.
Relationship: There should be some sort of relationship between the characters to make the audience identify and care about them.
Objective: Having an idea of why you’re entering a scene provides a forward direction for the interaction. It helps move the performance along, whether positive or negative.
Where: The setting is important to establish. Improv often doesn’t have an intricate setting that the audience can see, so it needs to be created by the performers.
During improv you are to accept the scene and continue it in some way. Always agreeing with what is happening in the sense that you move the performance forward. There is no room for the performance to grow if someone refuses to accept and respond accordingly.
“The values and skills I’ve developed have helped immensely in school, with work, and interacting with people in general. It gives you a better sense of who you are and become more accepting of others. It helps you interact and create relationships in real life.” Christoffel stated.
He also said, “It is a way to learn how to fail gracefully. Failure is constant on the stage, but support on stage by those you’re performing with helps you. This helps in the real world.”
Letting go of fears and doubts is the main idea of improv. To not feel shy and just do something on stage allows for one to be more successful offstage.
The day did not draw a huge crowd, but those who did attend had a lot of fun. If interested in performing arts this is a great way to have fun for an afternoon. Ideal for anyone 12 and up it is a great way to learn about improv and let go. Another Park-Prov will be held in August. For more information you are encouraged to call the visitor centre at 577-2615.