Dear friends of improv theatre,
the focal point of IMPRO 2015 is the story of a family. So far, we only know their name, Hoffmann, and the place where they lived and still live, Berlin. Our international cast, consisting of 27 improv players from 13 countries, and your hosts The Gorillas will bring this family to life. "The Hoffmanns - A Berlin Family Story" will evolve over six nights at the English Theatre Berlin | IPAC. Starting with the year 1925, and with the help of the audience, we will make up the first characters of this family and then follow them over the generations, find out about their fate, witness tragedies, turbulence and romance, that is, everything the power and magic of improvisation will give us, until on the last night of 21 March we arrive in the here and now. It's a thrilling challenge for all of us and it's an experiment in the spirit of our festival: let's try and see where this genre takes us, and let's be surprised by the magic of the moment.
Opening show times three
We have also come up with a new idea for our opening night. After we had been the guests of Heimathafen and the Theater am Kudamm in the previous years, we will launch the festival on 13 March in three different locations, all at the same time. Our regular haunt the Ratibor, the BiNuu and Taborkirche, all situated in the area around Wrangelstrasse, are the locations of our three opening shows. What's special about this? The audience will get to visit all three locations and meet one third of our international cast each for half an hour.
In addition to some select shows of previous years which are again part of the programme (Women's Show, ImproVision, That's it), the focus of IMPRO of 2015 will be on new improv formats such as Our Lives, where the idiosyncrasies of the participating countries will be at the centre of the action; Improv Was My First Love, a brand-new musical format of our wonderful regular guest Gilly Alfeo; plus the first men's night in over ten years. Dear improv lovers, we would also like to draw your attention to a new trend in international "improv business": solo shows. Beto Urrea (Columbia) with his physical one-man show is a first at our festival, just like Omar Galvan, who will be bringing us his solo show „Blank“ all the way from Argentina - which is, by the by, the 30th country to have been represented at IMPRO since 2001.
And there is one more novelty. There are two non-improvised plays in our repertoire. Rama Nicholas from Australia will present her play After Ever After - which is a fairy tale in the true sense of the word -, and Marko Mayerl, whom Berlin audiences have long known as a fantastic improviser from Strasbourg, processes his family history with Mon Nom Est Némo.
This and much, much more is what's on offer in the 27 shows of Europe's largest meeting of improvisational theatre. We hope we will all have 10 stimulating, thrilling, amazing days of improv in March.