This week on Yes But Why, we talk to Nick Byrne, one of Australia’s most prominent improvisational trainers and producers.
Nick Byrne is Artistic Director of the Impro ACT theatre in Canberra, Australia. Starting in 2005, Impro ACT has been providing improv classes at all levels, performances of comedic, dramatic, musical, physical, and experimental unscripted theatre, as well as the Canberra International Festival of Improvisation (aka “Improvention”).
Nick is also the Artistic Director of “Improvention,” Australia’s international festival of Improvisation. Since 2009, “Improvention” has hosted hundreds of improvisers from every continent to participate in half-day workshops and perform every night in shows, over the course of eight days.
In Nick’s career in entertainment, he has played the role of trainer, director, producer, actor, musician, and comic. He has worked in political satire, musical theatre, corporate comedy, theatre in education, theatre restaurant, street theatre, film, advertising, and radio comedy.
Focusing for the last fifteen years on improvisation, Nick has taught hundreds of hours of workshops on spontaneous thinking, problem-solving, improvised theatre, team-building, and adaptability to change.
In the most recent before times, Nick had been found touring the globe. He has worked in 35 international cities as a director/performer/teacher of improv at festivals and with theatre companies; including Vienna’s ‘Moment’ Festival, St Petersburg’s Russian International Improvisation Festival, Singapore Improv Festival, and Mt Olymprov Festival in Athens.
In our conversation, Nick and I chatted about the global improv community and how our current connectedness is helping to shape innovation in improv across the world.
We talk about the improv festival circuit. Nick gives us a glimpse of the world of a traveling improviser! We talk about mixer shows, marketing, and audience connection.
Nick tells me about how his improv festival came to be. Nick’s focus on education and providing a good experience for his attendees is the cornerstone of “Improvention.” It was really fascinating to hear his perspective on this because building an improv festival seems like such a herculean task. And it was great to connect to another corner of the improv universe.
Support Nick Byrne! He is continuing to operate Impro ACT, in Canberra, produce “Improvention,” and participate in various other theatrical arts activities around the city. Canberra, he says, is almost back to normal so Aussie listeners, swing on by! And other international listeners, check out impro.com.au to look for online workshops you can try!!
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