One of the most useful lessons I was ever given in improv was about how to get the most out of the stage. When you first start performing improv and you haven’t been professionally trained as an actor or actress, you don’t really focus or really think about how to use the stage to it’s best ability.
One of the first things you learn when you start to train in improv is the most important rule is to never have your back to the audience – even if the thing you are doing on stage requires you to – find a way to make it easier for the audience to see what you are doing (like writing on a whiteboard for instance – make the board towards the audience so that you are writing at them and not away again.)
When you start doing short form games you start to notice the use of the stage – such as placing chairs in certain ways, or making sure you stand at the front of the stage then at the back. However there was one thing that I got taught near the beginning of Improv and that was the Union Jack theory.
Now firstly, apologies for those who call the flag something different but I googled the name and that is the name I got told to use so I am going to use it. One of the best ways to start using the stage to its best abilities is to imagine the stage has a Union Jack on it – this Means that when you approach the stage if you start at the back of one corner you only approach the front by heading diagonally. If you want to go left to right you can – you basically only move around the stage using the lines of the flag and it really helps – it means that you get more out of the stage and you are not always standing in the same place.