This month the Amsterdam Improv Marathon is being held on the 19th May and will run for 12 hours showcasing a whopping 40 acts that will perform improv in either English or Dutch! The event is held across two stages the ‘YES Stage’ which runs between the times 12-midnight with Six different blocks of shows and the ‘AND Stage’ which is open 2-22 and has 4 different blocks of shows. Over the next few weeks we will be interviewing some of the acts from the marathon to show you just some of the improv acts that are on offer.
We sat down with Improv troupe Tag Out Theatre the producers of the Marathon, to find out more about the set that they are bringing to the Marathon.
STAGE: The ‘YES’ Stage
TIME SLOT: 12:00 – 14:00
Hello Tag Out Theatre! Tell us about your improv troupe!
The Tag Out Theatre cast is a diverse international group of improvisers that grew out of the creation of the TOT company itself. Players hail from all over the world, from the United States to France to Hungary and beyond!
How did you come up with the name of you troupe?
Nora came up with the name of the company, and the cast adopted it as the main house troupe of Tag Out Theatre.
Tells us a little bit about your style of improv?
TOT specializes in several forms – presently we are honing the Match format, which derives from the French improv tradition. We are also versed in free form, and frequently play Armandos.
What will your set be about?
Our set will be a totally free form improv experience, so we really have no idea what it will be about!
What other acts are you looking forward to?
We are definitely looking forward to the Coached Workshop groups. They are like mixers, but even better because they’ve just learned a format that day and are performing as a group for the first time. Also, we’re really looking forward to the improvised Neil Simon theatre piece being performed by a group from Frankfurt.
What is the improv scene like in Amsterdam?
Amsterdam has a rich and varied improv scene, with truly inspiring veteran teachers and a constant stream of new and hungry improv talent. In Amsterdam, you have TVA, a really talented improv collective that trains and performs in Dutch; they are responsible for the huge ImproAmsterdam festival.
In English, you have easylaughs, a super successful group that’s been performing over ten years who also do classes and have a broad student network, and of course Boom Chicago. With a lot of student demand, also fueled by Tag Out Theatre’s push to open new stages for aspiring ensembles, more and more teams and companies are focusing on training and connecting with the community.
Do you prefer doing improv in English or Dutch? What are the differences – is one harder than the other?
We only perform together in English, though we definitely enjoy performing in our other native languages, so often you’ll have a scene in Dutch, French, Italian, Spanish, and the language of the body.
A lot of people at the moment are trying to transition improv into video to post on social media channels – do you think this works for improv or do you think the art form is lost in the transition?
I think it’s definitely possible to film a great improv show with a stellar audience reaction, though short of that, most improv does not translate to video format. Improv is really about that conversation with the audience, that in the moment feeling, that can’t really be captured by a camera.
What have been some of the most unique and different improv sets you have seen this year and why?
In terms of different and unique, the set that comes to mind is that of Decibel, made up of three incredibly talented clowns/acrobats/musicians/overall improv geniuses. These three put on a ridiculously awesome show, where words are eschewed in favour of crazy stunts, in the moment emotional storytelling, and free jazz communication with whichever guest musician has the opportunity to play with them. Also, La Carpe Haute in France did a set recently in Amsterdam which was out of this world silly, free, and transcendently childlike.
If people want to find out more about you where can they follow you on social media?
The best way to find us is by googling Tag Out Theatre, finding us on Facebook, or by looking up our Instagram account, where our talented cast member and photographer Robin Straaijer posts a cornucopia of show photos.
And Finally in three words – Why should people come and see the show?
Free Form Fun
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