“Re-Story Theater’s Beginning… and the Power of Telling The Stories That Matter, Part I”

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Two years ago, God began speaking to me of my past. In the late 80’s and early 90’s I was a H.S. Theater Arts teacher, at two wonderful schools.


I wrote many of my stories during those years of teaching Theater Arts and Speech. I was a “part-time” (what is that when it comes to theater?) H.S. teacher in the afternoon and the first half of my day was spent in writing and developing my growing storytelling work.  I loved it!


One of the first things I taught those “eager to be famous” acting students was the skill of Improv—the art of developing characters and story lines without a script…right-on-the-spot, in-the-moment. With every class’ beginning of this skill there was. “What Mrs. Brock? Why can’t we have scripts to work with?!”


My answer would be, “In time… but first I want to teach you something that will grow the actor in you and literally save you when your lines are forgotten or someone else on stage forgets theirs. It’s Improv—a skill that will grow your creativity and your ability to imagine characters!”  Not too much enthusiasm followed my mini introduction.  You see, we didn’t have shows on TV called Whose Line is it Anyway? or Improvaganza or places to go watch the fantastic skills at Comedy Sportz.


I took out my well-worn copy of Viola Spolin’s, Theater Games for Rehearsal, and played alongside of some the best student-actors I have ever met, to this day. I saw amazing skills blossom in young adolescents, from the shy to the gregarious. Two dear former students remain in my life to this day and are a part of my Re-Story Theater Players—an improvisationally trained group of actors that have created their own virtual coffee house called Molly’s Coffee House http://rightsideupstories.com/re-story-theater/. Our second Molly’s show goes up on October 26th and 27th Buy tickets here.


It’s been two years since I heard God nudge me (more like a push!)  “to turn around and go back to the former things” of my beginning days as a theater arts teacher and director.


I did.  I began inviting conversation with young and established actors that I knew well or that I had an inkling were willing to take a risk into telling the stories that matter.  And we began, of course, with Improv.


And although some are more skillful and some are beginning to develop those latent skills with great risk, the ground is so level in on our playing field.  We are learning the skills of listening, making the other actor’s success more important than our own, not getting ahead of the story, the art of give and take.


From my director and writer’s point of view, these are life skills! They can be taken into our everyday living, walking and taking, work-a-day world.


I’ll stop here and pick up the next part I’d like to share–Improv In Our Everyday Living.


If you’re in the L.A. area Friday and Saturday, October 26th and 27th, join Re-Story and me for a great evening of Improv! Let me know you’re coming…




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