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The Improvised Shakespeare Company at Writers Week 2018

Emily Higgins

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Students and staff welcomed the entertaining improv acting performance on day three of Writers Week.

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With the theme of performance storytellers for today’s writers week, Improvised Shakespeare Company visited Antioch and performed an on-spot show in front of the 5th hour english students. The group showed students how the acting is done with a two act scene using the crowds ideas and emotion as a suggestion for what directions the production should take.

The Shakespeareans are well known for their improvisation method of a audience member selecting the title of the play which ensures a different experience for all to enjoy; each time that could be a tragedy, comedy, or history. After the performance, they provided a chance for the audience themselves to learn the spontaneous pace of improv while using the language of Shakespeare.

The iO Theatre’s Improvised Shakespeare Company has been performing for audiences in Chicago since 2005. With over four theatres for shows and performances, they host shows for all ages throughout the week. Workshops for young readers and improvisers are also available, and is taught by an official member and actor from the staff.

Sophomore Zea Falmerski was one of the students who were selected to be on stage with the actors and translate a “normal English” sentence to something that would be said in the time of William Shakespeare.

“When you have all those people in front of you, you want to make sure not to screw [up],” Falmerski said. “Other than that, it was awesome. Being up there with those guys was the best.”

In English classes, Shakespeare is one of the harder books to understand due to the style of writing, Improvised Shakespeare made it easier to understand the context and language he uses, and provided fun exercises to practice the style. Overall, students enjoy the performance theme, and the closing music performance days of writers week.  

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The Improvised Shakespeare Company at Writers Week 2018