Seattle’s Randy Dixon is coming to Austin for a weekend of workshops. He’s the artistic director of Unexpected Productions and has been improvising and teaching since the late seventies.
We are excited to be moving back into our 220-seat venue. The last six months we have be in a 500 seat venue! The current show is Blank Slate, where the audience writes the show. They make all the key decisions. It’s a great form to train actors to trust story. In general, I am especially excited about Unexpected Productions bringing theatricality back to improv through metaphor, symbol, movement and ritual. Trying to get away from talking heads.
I grew up interested in myth. As I began traveling to teach and direct, I noticed a lot of the same material kept coming up again and again. I recognized this as mythic, and it was the same everywhere I went. I knew I wanted to go deeper into this material, so set about to study systems of myth and belief, which is really about how story lives in us.
Great question. Well, off the top of my head, I think they overlap as two paths to the same destination. I think they mingle well and are very. very useful to each other. The differences in very general terms is the Chicago style seems very broad and general, big strokes of structure. Johnstone’s work is very specific and geared towards giving the improviser focused skills.
The audience comes to TELL a story, not WATCH a story. Our job is to give them the means to do that.
For a more in depth interview with Randy Dixon, check out this excellent podcast.