Two forms Improv: Interview with Dan Ryan
Your online improv course Two Forms – Four Track and Pretty Flower kicks off on 6th January, what gave you the idea for this course?
I have an obsession with matching scenes, so that drove the desire to do some Four Track, and then I realised another thing I really loved was the forced change of pace and focus. You get that with the Pretty Flower too, so it just seemed natural to pair them.
What excites you when it comes to improv and specific forms?
More than anything, it can be a helping hand into those scenes we don’t see enough of but have the ambition to do more of.
Can you describe a particularly magical moment from a workshop or show involving either of these forms?
There’s always something magical about seeing people do matching scenes for the first time: You mean we don’t have to argue? We can feel the same? We can push each other further?
What other artists or companies, improv or otherwise have inspired you to use specific forms in your work?
Why write sonnets when you could just write free verse? Because, because, because.
How do you feel online improv interacts with improvised long forms?
Ultimately we lose a little theatre, but we gain a little cinema. And we’re all still learning. I like to think The Nursery/The Maydays as institutions have done a lot of work on what is feasible and on what is better online, and we’ve all revised our approaches to teaching and playing.
What is your advice for someone wanting to get started using forms in their improv?
The form is your servant, not your master. It is merely there to help you explore what is possible in rehearsal and (occasionally) in performance and to add a measure of discipline. But remember, no satisfied audience member ever came up to one of the cast after a great show and complained about a missing second group scene.
A being from another planet who only understands tweet-length sentences is interested in taking your course – how will you describe it to them?
First, welcome. This is a safe space. Second, I hope you will have raucous fun, and leave with burning ambition. The two forms might help. (I’m a twirgin; does it show?)
Dan Ryan teaches our Online Two Forms Improv (Four Track and Pretty Flower) Course which starts on January 6th at 7.30 pm GMT.
You can have a taster of this course as part of our 2020 ’10 pound sample classes’. You will meet the teacher, hear what the course is all about and try out some of the material, all in a quick ninety-minute class.
At only £10 each, they are a bargain. Plus we’ll take the price of this class off the course if you book in the 24hours after. That’s basically free improv!
(NB: £10 class only refunded on 2021 pricing.)
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