All Things Michael: THE MIRROR

All Things Michael: THE MIRROR

  . THE MIRROR   an improvisation format for two professionals and up to 100 amateurs Designed by David Shepherd (Compass/Improv Olympic) 1974 The Mirror is advertised as a place where you create a show simply by sitting in front of a mirror.  To do this we use no written material, no satirical distortion, no symbolic…

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The Living Newspaper by David Shepherd

The Living Newspaper by David Shepherd

 A constant in David Shepherd’s improv career was periodically revisiting his groundbreaking format, COMPASS (a “people’s theatre,” co-created with Paul Sills in 1955) and attempting to update it with the collaboration of improvisers who were in his orbit at that time. David continued conducting COMPASS workshops in New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, Ottawa, Boston, St.…

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The First Improvisation Olympics Match by David Shepherd

The First Improvisation Olympics Match by David Shepherd

All Things Michael: The First Improvisation Olympics Match by David Shepherd The First Improvisation Olympics Match by David Shepherd The following is a description by David Shepherd (co-founder of Compass with Paul Sills) of the first Improvisation Olympics match at the Space for Innovative Development in New York City. David and Howard Jerome created the Improvisation Olympics…

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Evolution of an Online Course by Michael Golding

Evolution of an Online Course by Michael Golding

“Some of my students are wearing masks in class, because trying to remember names when you’re in your sixties isn’t challenging enough.”  March 6, 2020 journal entry. I am a faculty member at Compton College in Los Angeles where I teach Theatre Appreciation to college and high school students. Taught primarily through theatre games, the…

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MEET THE REAL VALENTINE BY DAVID SHEPHERD

MEET THE REAL VALENTINE BY DAVID SHEPHERD

David Shepherd, the visionary behind Compass (forerunner of Second City), Improv Olympics and Canadian Improv Games, celebrated Valentine’s Day in 2004 by improvising a scenario with an invited group in Hadley, MA,  based on the real story of St. Valentine; the struggle for individuality against the interests of the Empire. David explored other “holy days”…

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IMPROV OLYMPIX HISTORY BY DAVID SHEPHERD

IMPROV OLYMPIX HISTORY BY DAVID SHEPHERD

In 2007, David Shepherd’s cousin suggested he write up the three most important programs of his life. First one David tackled, was the Improv Olympix (originally called the Improv Olympics, before the Olympic Committee threatened a lawsuit), which David co-created with Howard Jerome. David never got around to writing up the other two programs, having…

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Teen Improv Fight Club by Michael Golding

Teen Improv Fight Club by Michael Golding

It is not unusual for the at-risk teens I work with in workshops to be reluctant to embrace the unknown and allow an improvised scene to flow organically within the structure of a game. They require advance information with dialogue and action before participating, so they don’t appear foolish. Directing focus on the rules of…

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David Shepherd’s Journals by Michael Golding

David Shepherd's Journals by Michael Golding

David Shepherd (October 10, 1924 – December 17, 2018) the co-founder of Playwrights Theatre Club, Compass (forerunner of Second City), the Improv Olympics and Canadian Improv Games, left behind a library of personal journals. David was diligent about making daily entries, a practice he started at thirteen, inspired by his father William Edgar Shepherd, an…

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David Shepherd and the ImprovBoston Festival by Michael Golding

David Shepherd and the ImprovBoston Festival by Michael Golding

My close friend and mentor for 46 years, David Shepherd, the father of improvisation, passed away on December 17, 2018. He was 94 years old. With Paul Sills, David created Compass (1955), the first professional improv cabaret in North America and forerunner of Second City (1959). With Howard Jerome, David created the Improv Olympics (1972)…

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