A very special experience from the Lehigh University Department of Theatre, “Something from Nothing,” opens this Friday April 4th and runs through April 12th.Through a unique collaborative approach, Lehigh students have devised a theatre piece using improvisation, creating an assortment of characters together from lost objects. Directed by Wolfston Visiting Professor Greg Scot Mihalik ’99.
What is improvisation? According to the website improvcomedy.org:
Improvisational theatre is as old as time. It pre-dates the invention of writing, since long before we started writing scripts we were telling stories by acting them out.
Improv performers must develop a wide range of skills, including listening and awareness of other actors on stage. Instinct, quick thinking and action, and social comprehension are required for working without a script. Practicing improv has attracted many people across all walks of life for improvement in personal and interpersonal development. (cited source)
Special note: even though one might associate comedy with improv, improvisational theater is not always funny.
What are the benefits to learning improvisation theater? The Theater Language Studio in Frankfurt Germany asks, “Wouldn’t [learning to think] on your feet help you in any facet of your life?”
There are two main reasons why improvisation is beneficial to study:
- Improved Speaking Fluency
- Improved Problem Solving ability
Improvisation breaks down the barrier between mind and voice. It increases the mind’s ability to form ideas, and present them in a coherent, salient manner. This skill translates to virtually every profession.
This production used improvisational theater techniques to discover the play; the story they wish to express. It’s a bold move for the Department of Theatre to try something so innovative. But given the previously mentioned benefits, one can see how this experience will be unforgettable to the students and audiences alike. Tickets for the general public are $12. Tickets for LU students with ID, $5.