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social_dynamics_of_improvisation [2013/06/02 14:44]
aleveille
social_dynamics_of_improvisation [2013/06/02 15:15] (current)
mprice
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 == Invisible Theater == == Invisible Theater ==
-While a sub-category of Theater Of The Oppressed, [[Invisible Theater]] is unique in that audience members don't know that they are witnessing/​involved with the performance. ​ They can choose to participate what they think is a real, unstaged event. We think that it's basically pranking people without trying to be funny. The difficulties of applying the theories of group mind to invisible theater are centered around the informal setting of this form. A goal between the improvisers and the audience is not shared. The group is attempting to improvise while the audience is convinced that the performance is a real event. Similar to theater of the Oppressed, aspects of Sawyer'​s theories can be applied to Invisible Theater, but the nature of the form is not contusive ​to achieving group flow.+While a sub-category of Theater Of The Oppressed, [[Invisible Theater]] is unique in that audience members don't know that they are witnessing/​involved with the performance. ​ They can choose to participate what they think is a real, unstaged event. We think that it's basically pranking people without trying to be funny. The difficulties of applying the theories of group mind to invisible theater are centered around the informal setting of this form. A goal between the improvisers and the audience is not shared. The group is attempting to improvise while the audience is convinced that the performance is a real event. Similar to theater of the Oppressed, ​some aspects of Sawyer'​s theories can be applied to Invisible Theater, ​such as full attention, equal participation,​ and constant communication,​ 
 +but the nature of the form is not condusive ​to achieving group flow in Sawyer'​s sense.
  
  
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 {{ :​improv-theatre.jpg?​300 |}} {{ :​improv-theatre.jpg?​300 |}}
  
 +====== Closing Discussion ======
 +
 +Although there are no expansive theories focused on audience interactions in improvisational theater, many group dynamic theories can be applied to this audience interaction,​ including Sawyer. ​ While most of these theories are built around short and long-form improv (usually comedic), aspects of them can be applied to a wide range of non-comedic improvisation. The field of social psychology is vast, but no specific, systematic study seems to have been applied to non-comedic improvisation. ​ Aspects of Sawyers theory of group flow generalize very well, however. ​ Invisible theater, for example, is completely dependent of a sense of equal participation and full attention from the "​audience,"​ while simultaneously having no sense of a shared goal between the performers and the unknowing audience. Regardless, the performers goals cannot be met without achieving some semblance of group flow with their "​audience"​. Due to added structural components in much Theater of the Oppressed, the rule of "yes.. and" not only isn't applicable but would work against the intended group flow dynamic between the spect"​actors"​ and the professional performers. ​ Image Theater, for example, seeks out most of the group flow components that Sawyer claims are integral to group flow, but the rule of "yes.. and" makes no sense in that context.
 +Although the academic literature is largely focused on short and long-form improvisation,​ many elements of the research is directly relevant in understanding other forms of theatrical improvisation. Many social educational presentations or shows like ABC's "What Would You Do" use effectively the same format as some non-comedic improvisation. The similarities display the global effectiveness of improvisation and the power of social dynamics within the art of improvisation.