Friday, July 10, 2015

Manila Improv Festival 2015: Amazing Improv Troupes from Katipunan to Poland


Wazzup Pilipinas!

We recently witnessed the performances of  just some of the 19 Improv troupes that are scheduled to perform at the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) theater for the Manila Improv Festival 2015.

The Manila Improv Festival is now on its 3rd year and is considered the country's biggest gathering of Improv performers from all over the world.

As publicist Toots Tolentino said, "from Katipunan (representing Philippines) to Poland (from where one of the improv groups came from)" improv artists will be showing how good they are in the art of improvisational theater - a form of theater where most or all of what is performed is created at the moment it is performed (at the spur of the moment as what most of them will say).

Improv requires greater talent from the artists as there will be no script as a guide. You need quick thinking and an elaborate stock knowledge matched with a great sense of humor in order to be able to please your audience.

You'll be laughing out "really" loud at every scene, so be warned that you'll step out of that theater almost out of breath due to non-stop improv fun. 

Led by "OK ka ba tyan?" Gabe Mercado, the Silly People's Improv Theater or SPIT is the undisputed premiere Improv group in the Philippines. We all know Gabe from his previous appearances in television shows, commercials and movies, and we are happy to see him as well in the theater arts.

No script, no rehearsals, just plenty of fun with improv, makes the performances always fresh, surprising and unpredictable. Since audience input, and sometimes actual on-stage participation, plays a vital part in how the scene situations will proceed, the performers need to be able to keep the story interesting while warming up for the ultimate punch line.

Even the improv performers would never really know what will happen, and how the story will end. But what we are totally sure about is: It won't fail to make you laugh!

Taichung Improv (Taichung City, Taiwan) does improvisational comedy ala "Whose line is it anyway."

They may be in hiatus in Taiwan but they're continuing the fun in the Philippines as they perform alongside 18 other improv groups from around the world at the Manila Improv Festival 2015, the biggest one of its kind in Asia.

Catch them and the rest of the "always focused and collaborative" improv groups at the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA)

From July 8 to 12, the Manila Improv Festival 2015 will be showcasing talented young and seasoned improv groups from around the world just like the Beijing Collective.

Be ready to be tickled with their fast thinking antics as they come up with humorous story scenes that gets weirder and weirder as it progress, but filled with amazingly substantial lines matched by excellent facial and voice expressions.

You'll always be anticipating their next wacky and witty lines!

ImproMafia has been known to work really hard to create hilarity with off-the-cuff "heavyweight" comedy on stage.

What I loved about the performance of the duo is that they requested direct participation from the audience. When the other groups only asked for inputs like shouting out words or situations that they will use in their acts, the ImproMafia group asked a few of the audience to go up on stage and be part of the show.

Though there were a bit of insults thrown just like how gays do it in comedy bar shows, they made it up to the concerned individuals at a certain moment of the act by making them feel good in the end.

They'll be doing it once more infront of a Philippine audience at the Manila Improv Festival 2015 being held at Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) from July 8 to 12.

The improv performers may have come from many different walks of life, but are all united by a love of improvisation as a theatrical form.

I also had the opportunity to mingle with the Dulaang Atenista Improv group of Cagayan De Oro for a brief interview which was mostly just to ask the same impromptu question from each member - "What is Improv?" It may have been unexpected but it was interesting to find out their individual replies to the very basic question related to the field of art they are currently involved in. Check out the video that I will upload the Wazzup Pilipinas YouTube channel.

Thank you to Gabe Mercado of Silly People's Improv Theater (SPIT) for organizing this annual event that is sure to make you forget about the gloomy weather outside.

Take advantage of the class suspensions to bring your children so they can appreciate very interactive performances. You might be surprised to suddenly become a part of the show itself as they encourage the audience to take part at certain moments and even go up on stage with them.

BTW, kudos to the opening video introduction performed by a member of the SPIT group, symbolizing the start of the festival, of which ended with a treat of candies and chocolates, and likewise to the very creative "hanging-from-the-ceiling decors" made out of plastic products during the media cocktails. They can actually be worn as a head-gear for an out-of-this-world effect that's perfectly "Instagrammable." Above is Dingdong Rosales of the SPIT improve group wearing one which the hole was a little small, but most can be worn to cover the entire head.

More photos to be uploaded at the official Facebook fan page of :

Congratulations to the organizers and performers of the Manila Improv Festival 2015 for a remarkable opening night!!!

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