Ten Years of Moments: NZIF 2018

Trubie-Dylan Smith in Improdome 2017 (Photo by Tyler Burke)

Trubie-Dylan Smith in Improdome 2017 (Photo by Tyler Burke)

In 2008 four (or maybe three?) NZ companies came together for a three day festival of improvisation, to connect and to share their experiences. In the ten years since then the festival has grown to an eight day internationally attended event with over 100 practitioners from New Zealand, Australia, and further afield, bringing work that spans the whole range of genre, style and innovation present in improvisation today.

In 2018 we will celebrate the work that has gone before, and look forward to the improvisation of the next ten years. This will be one festival that is not to be missed!

Workshop Programme

What we're planning

Workshops kick off Saturday 20 October and run til Saturday 27 October. All workshops will be 3 hours (including a short break) and will take place at BATS Theatre or nearby. Weekend workshops will run 10am - 1pm and 2pm - 5pm, weekdays will run 1pm - 4pm.

What we're looking for

You’re an experienced internationally travelling teacher, a NZ-based improvisor who’s a regular at NZIF, or a local hero who's never taught at a festival before. Either way, you've got ideas and skills, and you're passionate about sharing them with other improvisors. You can plan and teach a workshop with clear aims and outcomes. What skills will participants leave with? What will they be better at? What will they have learned? This applies to skills-based workshops as well as format driven ones - we want you to know what you are giving participants. You're prepared to discuss your plans with festival staff and take advantage of support offered; we want you to succeed and to develop as a teacher while also providing an awesome experience to our participants. 

You've got a workshop that offers something like:

  • targeted scene work / skill development
  • new approaches to improvisation
  • Associated skills: mime, dance, scenography, other
  • Company specific expertise in a shareable form
  • Workshops linked to performances (see Performance info below)
  • Something new we haven’t thought of!

You have a clear sense of who the workshop is targeted at, regardless of the content. Generally we're using the following classification of improvisors:

  • Rookie: <1 year, has learned the basics, limited performance experience
  • Intermediate: 2-4 years, strong foundation, general performance experience
  • Experienced: 4+ years, extensive performance experience, director/teacher

Your workshop can be aimed at a mix of these but you should have a clear idea of how you will present that. Be wary of trying to please everybody at the risk of pleasing nobody. You'll also receive feedback from participants after the festival.

What you get if you're programmed

Workshop teachers will receive accommodation, a festival pass*, and $200 per 3 hour workshop taught/directed. You will be provided with an appropriate room to teach in, workshop materials if needed (paper, pens, sound tech etc), and we will work with you to ensure you have what you need. You will also have access to workshop development materials to ensure high quality experiences for participants. 

Improdome 2017 (Photo by Ali Little)

Improdome 2017 (Photo by Ali Little)

Performance Programme

What we're thinking

10 years of NZIF means 10 years of amazing, risky, ambitious shows - some of which have gone on to well-deserved greatness and others which have sadly never again seen the light of day. This year we want a combination of the things that have made NZIF great - the mix of new and old improvisors from across the country, the opportunity to see new work by NZ and international artists, and the celebration of the great work that NZ improvisors have created since NZIF's inception.

What we're planning

We have 15x 50-75 minute performance slots from Tuesday 23 - Saturday 27 October at 6:30pm, 8pm, and 9:30pm (and possibly one or two late shows). These will feature:

  • ALL-IN: Improdome (or something similar) will run for the week (with some adjustments) and will be open to anyone with at least an intro-to-improv course under their belt. Directors and MCs will be sought closer to the time.
  • NEW WORK: A combination of last year’s Spontaneous Showcase and World Premieres - we are looking for performances that can either be taught or developed in a 3 hour workshop (or two - let’s talk), and then presented for the first time at NZIF. More details below...
  • GREATEST HITS: Calling all NZIF ensembles 2008-2017! We are looking to remount FIVE of the many NZ works that have debuted at NZIF over that time, with as close to the original cast as possible. Again, see below for more details.

What we're looking for

  • Directors and MCs for ALL IN
    • These will be selected by the festival and full guidance will be provided, no pitching is necessary. Team sign up will come during general registration.
  • Directors for NEW WORK
    • Your show concept may be your own personal show you've performed and directed before, or perhaps your company created it and is happy for you (up to two directors) to come and present it at NZIF (with full credit given). It should be a recently developed show that has not been presented at NZIF before. You'll be leading a workshop teaching participants the necessary skills and techniques to pull the show off, aimed at intermediate improvisors.
    • You're an experienced improvisor (or pair of improvisors) with a track record of directing great work. You've got a half-baked idea that explores something new in the world of improv, whether that's a new format, a new technique, a new theory of our art. You need experienced improvisors to workshop your ideas with, and an audience to test it on. Despite the idea being half baked (or maybe even still entirely uncooked) you understand what it means to present work to a paying audience and have the experience to give them and your performers a great time. You'll lead a workshop for experienced improvisors exploring and developing your format
  • Pitches for GREATEST HITS
    • You're a NZ-based company or ensemble who presented a kick-ass show at one of the nine previous festivals. Your show was well received by audience, participants, and/or reviewers - maybe you went on to tour it or to run a successful season in your hometown. You've been itching to remount the work, and have the original cast (or at least 3/4 of them plus capable replacements) available and keen, even if the company or ensemble that originally presented it has since been disbanded or rebranded. You've got the space to rehearse and rework it to a high standard so that it can be properly showcased at NZIF - this is a 10th anniversary celebration after all, and you want to help us put our best foot forward!

What you get if you're programmed

  • Participants in the ALL IN get high fives and extreme thanks. 
  • Directors of NEW WORK will receive accommodation, a festival pass*, and $200 per 3 hour workshop taught/directed. We have budget for set, costume and props (exact amount to be confirmed) and will work with you to ensure you have what you need.
  • Presenters/performers of GREATEST HITS will receive accommodation and festival pass* for up to 6 performers. We have budget for set, costume and props (exact amount to be confirmed) and will work with you to ensure you have what you need. We are waiting on funding applications to confirm whether we can offer a contribution towards your rehearsal costs, please watch this space.

Ready to pitch? 

Thanks to the brilliance of our magic web pixie Matt Powell, doing so is all online this year. Pitches will open soon and will close 30 June 2018

Further Info

The NZ Improv Festival is committed to accessibility, inclusivity, quality and respect for our audience, and we want our programming decisions and choices to reflect that commitment.

In making a submission, registering for the festival, or otherwise participating, you (directors, teachers, and participants) commit to honouring our Code of Conduct. We will be updating this as we learn more about best practice and will keep all participants informed of any changes.  

Payment for teachers is in recognition of their commitment to prepare and deliver a valuable experience for all participants. Any programmed teacher looking for support to prepare their workshop will be assisted to the best of the Festival’s abilities. All teachers receive the same fee.

Registration for workshops will open later in the year. The cost of workshops for participants primarily takes into account: payment for teachers, room hire, festival overheads, participant benefits (social events, tickets to shows etc). Concession prices will be available and we ask anyone who may need financial or other assistance to talk to us as soon as you can.

* Festival pass: A festival pass is simply a literal pass - it’s a lanyard you wear throughout the week to signal your involvement in the festival. As well as access to standby tickets, this sweet lanyard means you will be invited to any and all social and networking events during the week, and access any discounts we can wrangle for passholders. Please note: Workshops are not included, but you'll be able to book for these along with everyone else when registrations open.

Need More Info?

If you have any more questions please contact Jennifer O'Sullivan, and make sure you've joined our NZIF Green Room on Facebook.