That’s a Wrap!

 

After a full week of experimental improv, musicals, workshops, and events, it’s time to say a sad goodbye to the 2017 Törn Improtheater Festival, which would not have been possible if it weren’t for the exciting celebration of Steife Brise’s 25th anniversary!

 

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Image by Klaus Freise

 

Last night’s finale consisted of four different performances (plus an after party!) in four different theaters – including a “quickies” presentation of newly developed work, an improvised chamber piece, a charming show in a bio supermarket, and a showcase of improvisers from Bremen, Hamburg, and Berlin.

 

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Image by Klaus Freise

 

With night after night of packed theaters, the festival week was beyond a huge success. And although it is sad to say goodbye, we are lucky enough to have the awesome opportunity to be able to go to any one of the upcoming improv shows from Steife Brise whenever we are feeling a bit of improv-withdrawal!

 

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Image by Klaus Freise

 

I think I can speak for everyone when I say that we owe a huge thank you to Steife Brise, our ensemble of international improvisers, our Patron, Yared Dibaba, the musicians, and all of the other helpers (and masterminds) who made this festival a reality!

So thank you again, to everyone involved with the Törn Improtheater Festival! It was a week that we will surely all remember for a long time to come!

 

TV Recycled – A Blast from the Past

 

Yesterday’s special late night performance in the Monsun Theater had the audience laughing with tears from the Törn ensemble’s hilariously recycled version of the 1970s hit TV series, Dallas.

TV Recycled gives new life to old television episodes by assigning each actor to a character from the TV show. The ensemble knew nothing about the TV show, storyline, or their character beforehand, and everything was a surprise to both them and the audience. After having a few seconds to review a short summary of their respective characters, the ensemble took their seats and began to take over the voices (and sound effects) of the show. All dubbing was then done spontaneously throughout the course of the episode.

 

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Image by Klaus Friese

Although the original intended story of this episode remains a mystery, this lucky audience got to experience a brand-new ‘recycled’ plotline involving right wing/left wing politics, illiteracy, gambling for ponies, and an unhealthy addiction to coffee. I think it’s safe to say that the Törn ensemble’s version of the story was probably a bit more exciting than the original!

 

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Image by Klaus Friese

The talent that was presented during TV Recycled was surprising and admirable. The teamwork, quick wits, and extremely focused attention span of the actors were all key elements in the coming together of this recycled TV show. By the end of the night, the audience was left with happy memories, sore smiles, and a whole new perspective of old school television.

 

Take It to the Bridge – Hamburg’s First Epic Space Musical

 

Last night, the Törn ensemble returned to the stage at the Fabrik in Ottensen, but nobody was truly prepared for the epic and sexy space musical that was about to unfold before their eyes.

Before the musical began, the actors asked the audience where they would like the musical to take place, and the top three suggestions came down to “an epic bridge”, “an airport”, or “a space station”. Naturally, based on a round of applause, the musical was set to take place in space (which ended up having an ongoing theme of epic bridges anyway!).

With the help of amazing improvised music from the band, the first half of the musical was filled with song and dance, taking the audience on a journey through what life could be like on a spaceship. From the upbeat canteen song about powdered food to the boredom of everyday life in space, every plot point unfolded as a fully improvised musical number.

 

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Image by Klaus Friese

 

With the help of suggestions from the audience, each part of the musical was built in a collaborative fashion – from the details of the set, to the personalities of each character. The audience’s favorite seemed to be P117 – the paranoid and sexy robot from Russia. He may not have been able to feel emotions, but he sure was able to feel a whole lot of “ding ding”. Another audience favorite was the epic pink alien who snores a lot, smells bad, and licks everyone he sees.

 

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Image by Klaus Friese

 

The second half of the musical was filled with many unexpected surprises, such as a family reunion (in space of course), a tiny castle, homesickness, and big emotional themes revolving around love, belonging, and building bridges. Let’s just say that at the end of the musical, not everyone decided to return to earth.

The cast of Take it to the Bridge left the audience with an overload of laughs, smiles, and unforgettable moments in this one-time musical that will never be able to be seen again.

 

A Perfect Start to the Festival Week!

 

Last night’s Improslam Spezial acted as the kick off for the Törn Festival, and it could not have been more exciting! Upon entering the lobby of the Imperial, there was an undeniable buzz of positive energy in the air. The theater slowly became completely packed, and the audience was leaning forward in their seats with excitement.

The setup of the Improslam Spezial reflected that of a reality competition show. The improv ensemble was there to compete for the prize of a playing a scene with Thorsten Brand, Törn’s resident Grandmaster of Improv.

Throughout the night, each contestant was at the top of their game – dazzling the audience with musical scenes, awkward sauna situations, pregnancies, imperial beheadings, and tear-jerking songs of fatherhood.

 

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Image by Klaus Friese

But after many laughs (and a few tears), the eliminations started to take place. With the help of the audience, the “applauseometer”, and a classy score girl, the ensemble became smaller and smaller throughout the course of the night… until Pippa (contestant #2) was the last one remaining.

Her final challenge was to take on an improv scene with the Grandmaster Thorsten Brand. And after giving a Munich local a tour of Hamburg in her best German accent, Pippa took home the championship, winning it all!

 

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Image by Klaus Friese

Nevertheless, the contestants’ scores were always close and the eliminations weren’t easy. Moaning and sadness often drifted through the audience when favorite players left the stage. But this just goes to show that the Törn Festival’s ensemble of improvisers is the best of the best …. and they are just getting started.

 

It’s Finally Here!

 

The first day of Törn Improtheater Festival has finally arrived! Over the next week, many of Hamburg’s stages will be transformed into experiential improv experiences.

“And what is improv?” – you may ask.

Well, if you would like a literal definition, improv is the act of creating, speaking, acting, or reacting without any previous preparation. However, it might be a bit more fun to turn to the people of Törn, and ask them to come up with their own ideas.

So what does improv mean to them? Here were a few of the most thought-provoking definitions:

 

“Improv is a philosophy more than a show. It’s hard to be an improvisor without letting it feed into your everyday life.”

– Pippa

“Improv is an attitude.”

– Thorsten

“Communication… I do musical improv, so I like to relate improv to the music of jazz musicians. It’s a way of communicating – talking to one another through the use of the art form.”

– Chris

“It’s being in the moment.”

– Lars

“Improv has taught me that everything is possible. All options can be explored. There’s always an option – always a way out.”

– Olivier

“For me, improv gives a relieving confirmation that love and true interaction is much more rewarding than anger, negativity, and cynicism. Even if it’s harder, it’s always more rewarding.”

– Mikael

 

Based on these findings, it seems the definition of “improv” is different for everyone. But there is one thing that seemed to be universal – the passion that filled the air when talking about the art form.

This week, you’ll have the opportunity to play your own part in the Törn Improtheater Festival. Whether you are on stage or in the audience, the beauty is in the shared experience between actor and observer. Improv encourages you to enjoy the moment, because each moment is fleeting, and impossible to experience a second time.

And at the end of the week, when your friends ask you more about what improv is, you will be able to come up with your own definition of what improv means to you.

See you at the festival!

 

If you want to stay informed about the progress on our workshop-program and maybe be the ffirst person to book a workshop, we recommend you register for our workshop-newsletter, which will also keep you informed about the workshops in Hamburg with international teachers throughout the year: Click here. (This newsletter will be in English.)

If you are interested in shows mostly, please regsiter here for our show-newsletter, which will also keep you informed about the regular shows that the Steife Brise sets up in Hamburg: Click here. (This newsletter will be in German!)

Newsletters

If you want to stay informed about the progress on our workshop-program and maybe be the ffirst person to book a workshop, we recommend you register for our workshop-newsletter, which will also keep you informed about the workshops in Hamburg with international teachers throughout the year: Click here. (This newsletter will be in English.)

If you are interested in shows mostly, please regsiter here for our show-newsletter, which will also keep you informed about the regular shows that the Steife Brise sets up in Hamburg: Click here. (This newsletter will be in German!)