Top improv trainer Shawn Kinley will be flying into Malta next week to lead two high-energy workshops, followed by a performance of Keith Johnstone’s Maestro™.
Organised by Curtain Call Productions, the workshops will take the form of easy, structured and fun activities guided by Kinley, who will help participants to push themselves gently to develop a number of important soft life skills, such as awareness, creative thinking, spontaneity, adaptability, risk-taking, and issues of control.
“These sorts of workshops are created both for those with a passion for drama and the arts, as well as other types of individuals. For instance, they are popular with business people who want to improve their work life, teachers to develop abilities for more effective communication and expression, friends and couples to have a good time, as well as actors, musicians, and performers to develop themselves artistically,” explains organiser Simone Ellul, who is herself very proficient in the world of improv. “Now these workshops have been designed to give attendees a fun leap into an experience they won’t forget.”
Two workshops will be taking place on consecutive days in Ibragg: On Friday 15 March the ‘Intro to Improv workshop’ is aimed at people who have never tried improv before but are curious about it and would like to learn more. The next day, on Saturday 16, there will be a full-day workshop for actors and improvisers who already have an idea of improvisation and the workshop will focus on ‘Easy Improvisation for Everyone’.
“We are born great improvisers; unscripted and spontaneous,” explains Mr Kinley. “We are taught to avoid change, failure and the unknown. And then, we spend much of our adult life trying to regain what we already knew. Improvisation is at the core of all that we do. This workshop aims at removing the things that get in our way to making improvisation easy.”
Mr Kinley, who is flying to Malta especially for the event, is a top improvisation teacher from Calgary, Canada. He has been performing and teaching for more than 30 years on every continent in 53 countries. A member of the Loose Moose Improvisation Company for over 30 years, he leads workshops in improvisation, contact improvisation, mask work, mime, and other forms of theatre. His students have included professional actors, athletes, university students, corporate managers, the military and children.
Following the workshops, those attending them will be given the option to perform Keith Johnstone’s Maestro™ at the Drama and Dance Centre in Hamrun – it is a show that played around the world in more than 50 countries. Directed by Mr Kinley and Ms Ellul, Maestro™ is a competitive improvisation piece where performers play against each other to be the last performer to survive.
“Our performers – including the workshop participants, if they so wish – will create spontaneous scenes under the suggestions of the directors and audience, and the audience will then score the scenes and lower-scoring players are eliminated one by one. It’s great fun – and we look forward to welcoming to general public to experience an improv performance. This format has never before been played in Malta and is a unique opportunity for Maltese audiences to experience a form of theatre that has been played all over the world.”
Both workshops are open to those over 16 and ideal for all experience levels. To sign up, or for more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. The Beginners’ Workshop is on Friday 15 March from 6 to 9pm and priced at €45, the Open Workshop is on Saturday 16 March from 10am to 5pm for €90. The workshops will take place at Ibrag Parish, Triq l-Ibrag, Ibrag, while Maestro™ will be shown at the Drama and Dance Centre, Kullegg San Gorg Preca, Mountbatten Street, Blata l-Bajda, Hamrun on Saturday 16th March at 8pm
Paula has a pedigree in TV and stage production (children's and family entertainment) and a passion for the arts. She's taken the reins on The Artists' Directory - Malta and the relevant content for the site.