WORKSHOPS FOR IMPROVISERS

Małgorzata Różalska (Gosia/Róża) – improviser and teacher from the north of Poland. Doing improv since 2004, as one of the first in Poland (she loves the fact, that they had no idea what they were doing and they had to discover every step). Her first group was W Gorącej Wodzie Kompani, right now you can see her for example in projects like “Abordaż” duo/trio, “7 Women of Different Ages” which she directs, “Muzalians” – improv/dance/beatbox project, “Young Improv” and Improv Theatre at University of Gdańsk, where she teaches and directs. Besides living improv life, she graduated Film Directing in Gdynia Film School, Photography at Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk, and Cultural Studies at University of Gdańsk – and she loves mixing all her arts with improv. She has her own company, she’s Polish improv-Mama and she writes a blog about improv (www.rozalska.com). She’s a part of international Ohana group, and she’s conquering the world, starting with Seattle International Festival of Improv, IMPRO Amsterdam, Olymprov in Athens, Big IF in Barcelona, Sofia International Improv Fest, WIP Workimprogress (Italy), Improfestival Mainz, soon Improvention in Canberra, Autralia.  She’s been teaching in Italy, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Belgium, Germany, soon Spain and Australia.  She’s a big nerd, and she’s been working with teachers from all over the world (For example: Randy Dixon, Joe Bill, Susan Messing, Rachael Mason, Jason Geary, Glen Hall, Anders Fors, Jay Sukow, Tara deFrancisco and Rance Rizzutto, Jacob Banigan, Uncalled4, Gael Perry, Dan Seyfried, Liz Peters, Kaci Beeler, Neil Curran, Flavien Reppert, Victoria Bang, Jochem Meijer, Laura Doorenweerd, Timothee Ansieau, Sinimaria Tomperi, Enna-Matilda Kukkola and basically whole Ohana team of teachers) and she’ll never stop. In improv she seeks for freedom, adventure, and she always wants more. In workshops she believes, that improv can make people fight the feeling of Not Being Good Enough, and show them, that all the creativity and spontaneity and ability to listen with curiousity, we have in us, let us shine.

She loves to teach. She believes, also based on herself, that improv can make you better. She treats improv as art., but it can also be a tool of self-developent.

She’s teaching all the levels, from people who never stepped on stage, to professional actors, improv groups and business . On daily basis she’s teaching improv at University of Gdańsk.

When you want to hire her, the best for you would be to think, what exactly you’d like to work on, so she can offer you personalized workshop. You can also choose one of those workshops:

Series „From Movies to Improv”:

  1. SELFDIRECTING (improviser as a director)
  2. IMPROVWRITING (improviser as a screenwriter)
  3. THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY (heroes, villains, the good vs. Evil)

Other workshops:

  1. SIMPLE LOVESTORY (stick to real life, emotions and relations)
  2. MINDF*CKS (improv crossfit)
  3. WILD AT HEART (something from nothing, creating formats, freeform, and wildness on stage)
  4. IT’S ART. (connecting improv with other arts, music, painting, books, movies)
  5. ALL BY MYSELF (standing alone on stage without fear, monologues, starting scenes)
  6. I’M WITH YOU (listening with curiousity as a key to every format and ensenble)
  7. SHORT FORMS FOR BEGINNERS
  8. LONG FORMS FOR BEGINNERS

 

 

  1. FROM MOVIES TO IMPROV – SELFDIRECTING

As improvisers, we are actors, directors, and screenwriters at the same time. But we are not fully aware, what kind of tools could make us better directors and scenewriters. During my directing studies in Film School I spent many hours thinking, how to translate those film tools to improv.

In this workshop you will find, what connects good improv with good directing… and what connects bad improv to bad directing. The hardest job is to communicate your own ideas to actor, which make it easier when you are in both roles. Good directing is good communiction. Director is responsible for his art. He must know, what he wants, what he wants to tell, what is important to him. At the same time he must be aware, that it’s a process that may lead him in surprising directions, and must be ready to drop the images from his head. Are you ready to take the steer?

  1. FROM MOVIES TO IMPROV – IMPROWRITING

„The consciousness is the foundation of choice” – said Liz Peters in her workshop. I cannot agree more. Let this sentence be a motto of this workshop. As improvisers, we are actors, directors, and screenwriters at the same time. But we are not fully aware, what kind of tools could make us better directors and scenewriters. During my directing studies in Film School I spent many hours thinking, how to translate those film tools to improv.

In this workshop we will get to know some of the screenwriter’s rules that we can use for ourselves, walking on stage. We will see the canvas of all the stories from the beginning of humanity. We’ll be finding dozens of paths that our story can go. And when we are conscious of them, we can find the one – ours. How to create your character with few questions? How to point the protagonist? What’s the corelation between protagonist and antagonist? How to be sure, that the scene needs us? How to help the scene, and not harm? How to end the story? How to make it more dynamic? What the character needs to make the audience keep their fingers crossed for him?

We will play. And we will write.

  1. FROM MOVIES TO IMPROV – THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY.

As improvisers, we are actors, directors, and screenwriters at the same time. But we are not fully aware, what kind of tools could make us better directors and scenewriters. During my directing studies in Film School I spent many hours thinking, how to translate those film tools to improv.

“You are confusing the sky with the stars which are reflected in the pond at night.” /A. Sapkowski, „The Witcher”

Batman and Joker. Simba and Scar. Good character. Bad character. We are judging so easily, aren’t we? But can we be 100% sure? Geralt of Rivia. Tyler Durden. Robin Hood. What makes someone good? Bad? What is the worst thing you did in life? And best? Why did do you it? Nobody is just good or bad. Let’s not take the easy way, don’t make our characters shallow. This workshop is for you to take your roles for serious, and make tchem full of truth, istead of stereotypes. So the audience could feel the flaws of heroes and reasons of villains. So we could leave the audience with questions, that they have to answer to themselves, and so they have something to talk about on their way home.

4. SIMPLE LOVESTORY

Bill Hicks said in his stand up something that many screenwriters agree on – that all we do is driven by two forces – love and fear. Because of love and fear we can cross our boundries.  In this workshop we will focus on Normal People. Using the reality. Love, lack of love, bitterness, dreams, fears. On what hides inside of us and others, what drives us, and what can we do to get what we desire.  And how to express your feelings on stage, so they won’t end at „Hi Honey”, five meters from each other.

Why? Beacuse the audience want to engage, feel something, and not only laugh. And they feel, when we touch the Truth. Because simple love story has bigger power than the battle of wizards at the top of Mount Everest.

5. MINDF*CKS

Is improv theatre, or cabaret, i sit art, or entertainment, or everything combined, it’s improviser’s choice and everyone can answer differently. But what we can all agree on, is that improv is a muscle. And muscle needs to be trained, to be strong and flexible.  This workshop is a training. And I will make you sweat. Impossible warm-ups, disconnecting body and mind, burning the brain, and switching it off and on, combo-exercises. No discussion. No storytelling. Improv gym. Improv crossfit.

6. WILD AT HEART

What I love the most in improv, is the feeling of freedom and adventure. And there is no free format… than freeform. No form. Going on stage absolutely without any idea, to discover what may happen. Going with the flow. Exposing yourself – you have no script, role, format, rules to hide behind. It can be scary, before you let go the need of control. This workshop gole is for you to feel the adventure and wildness, with listening and reacting, falling down, when your partner is falling down (yes, not about picking him up, when he’s falling), opening the surprise-presents, when you don’t know what’s inside, untill you open them. Oh, and it’s also the therapy for those, who are addicted to the audience suggestions.

7. IT’S ART.

Improv can be art. It depands on the performers, if it is. But besides your goals, you can use art. Oh God, how often you can start the show with a single word, or location, or relation from the audience? The word brings a word. In the worst case scenario you will get “talking heads”, in the best, intelectual and brilliant scene. But what if you take as an inspiration the painting? Poetry? Architecture? Origami? What if we look at improv as an art – what if every style needs to be broken, to let the art evolve? How to compose a baroque scene? How to use renaissance perspective? Are you aware, how light can build the drama, how to appear from the darkness as in chiaroscuro, or use the light as Kate Moss? How to make revolutions in art, and be Marcel Duchamp of improv? How not to be an ignorant and break the rules with consciousness, like Picasso, instead of ignoring them, not being aware of them and being proud of that? This is the workshop with the absolwent of Academy of Fine Arts. But don’t bring crayons.

8. ALL BY MYSELF

To often I see improvisers going on stage, and after five seconds looking around nervously, waiting to be „saved” by others. Or going on stage and on the way pointing others, to enter the void, I mean the stage, so they can SAY to them their idea, standing there. I know being alone in the spotlight can be scary. But it may be a wonderful opportunity for our character to show, who we really are, when noone’s watching. It may be a gift of trust from other players, who are not jumping there to „save” you. It can ba a moment of honesty and intimacy between you and the audience. So why are we scared? In this workshop we will take our time. And take the stage. Share ouselves with monologues. Build the reality of the scene, that will be an invitation for improvisers to join. We’ll discover our character’s secrets. And we will bravely look into the audience eyes. Alone. And then we’ll doscover, that we are never all by ourselves on stage.

9. I’M WITH YOU

“Nature gave us one tongue and two ears so we could hear twice as much as we speak” – said Epictetus, and that became a motto of my first improv group and stayied in my head. Are you searching for a magical way to make every format and every ensembe work? Well, you got it. Under your nose. Or next to it. Listen. And react. How exactly use in practice the popular saying “Let your partner shine”? How not to be afraid of playing with a stranger-improviser? How to play a format, that you’ve never heard of? How to offer yoursef, but not to jump on your partner? How to not let others to cross your boundaries, when the situation gets out of control? In this workshop you will jump on the sledge of the scene with your partner and slide, without stopping on the way. And when you’re done, you’ll hi5, even if you’ve never seen each other before.

10. SHORT FORMS FOR BEGINNERS

If you’re just starting your improv adventure, this is the workshop for you. If you gathered a group of friends and you want to spend time not only in a pub, but creative and fun, this workshop is for you. Short forms are games, very joyful and dynamic. Maybe you know the “Whose Line is it Anyway” show, or you’ve seen some improv live. But it takes more than watch football, to know how to play football. In this workshop you will learn some games, you will laugh at yourself, you will work on your confidence, cooperation, storytelling, taking actions in your own hands, and you will drop the shame and fear of being judged. And that will let us play as kids, and discover, what’s over horizon.

11. LONG FORMS FOR BEGINNERS

If you’re just starting your improv adventure, but you’d like to try something different than short forms, this workshop is for you. Using improvisational theatre, and movie directing, we’ll work on building logical narration, and believable characters. We’ll touch the energy that is calmer and more demanding than games. We’ll discover our scenewriting skills, and or duties to the audience. We’ll try different longforms, concrete already existing formats, and way of thinking, that lets us create our own.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos: 1. Anna Gnadczyńska, Gdynia Film School 2. Wojtek Rojek, „Ladies of the Night and Cowboys” 3. Ohana, BIG IF Barcelona, 4. Wojtek Rojek, „Grand Final” Podaj Wiosło, 5. Robin Straaijer, Ohana, IMPRO Amsterdam 6. „Muzalians” 7. Angelika Pilch, Ohana, Festiwal JO, Toruń 8. „Power”, International Seattle Festival of Improv, 9. Przemek Obarski, Workshops with Victoria Bang, Bydgoszcz.

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