Improv Diaries – Owning the Stage and Being Theatrical [Case Study: Katy Schutte]

This week was all about continuing where we left off last week – trying out new games to see what worked and what did not. Last week, we wrote a huge list on the white board of games that we wanted to try out and see if they would work for Punders and to see how we can spin it.

The first game that we played was one that I got taught by Katy Schutte and it is all about the world of theatre. You ask the audience for a name of a made up play and then a ‘Director’ shows you scenes from the said play and the improvisers act as though every scene and thing they do was pre planned and really amp up the acting.

The next game that we decided to try again was a fun little game that we used to play back in the original Punderstandably line-up. It is a game that relies on rhyming couplets and it is a really fun game to play. The scene works well with three people as it means that it always rotates as to who starts a rhyme in the game. The idea is that you can only talk in poetry and that leads where the game actually goes to. It worked again the second time round playing this game and I hope that we play it more in the future.

The next game we played was a spin on the game Union Jack that we played in our main show in May. Each corner is assigned an emotion and the aim is to move around the stage and mould into different emotions to really amp up the scene. It works really well with emotion but needs work as when we played it in the show we felt that it needed development.

Case Study – Katy Schutte 

katy schutte small

This week there was only one person I wanted to talk about and that is the improviser wizard, Katy Schutte. If you do not know who Katy is then she is an improviser that you must check out. Schutte is a very popular name on the London Improv scene and is also known all around the world for her teaching. She is Co-Artistic Director of The Maydays, part of the twoprov troupe Project 2, hosts on Destination Podcast and has even written a book called The Improvisers Way: A Longform Workbook.

The reason that I decided to write about Katy this week was because of the fact she taught me the theatre game I mentioned above and I remember that the main skill she taught me about this game was to really own the stage. The more you act like you are in a play with lines you have rehearsed and stage directions you have followed, the more the audience will react to the game that you are playing and that is why I enjoy it so much.

I am also glad that I initially learnt this game from Katy Schutte because she is such a talented improviser and really lays her passion and enthusiasm out for improv that it become infectious. If you ever get the chance to be taught by Katy, do it, do it, do it!

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