The power of the ants - WS08
... or what happens when we do what ants do!
If you give a pile of soil to an ant colony, they will turn it into an ant metropolis with an impressive skyline within a week. Millions of little ants together create a complex, fascinating, functioning society without orderly guidance or planning. Everything they do results from the direct interaction between each individual. They constantly react to external stimuli and unconditionally follow what their immediate work colleagues are doing. They just do what ants are able to do and let us be amazed observers from the outside, who can watch how a large, collectively created work of art is created and how the life of ants writes its stories.
The behavior, strengths and abilities of the ants are the inspiration for this workshop and will be role models for us improvisers on stage when we work together as a collective to create a piece of theater from nothing. We will concentrate on the essential, central and only important improv skills and bring them into our work focus. We will really listen to our fellow players and really look them in the eye, follow them unconditionally and exclusively. We will react honestly and genuinely to what is happening in the moment when we make eye contact with our teammates. We won't initiate anything, offer anything, invent anything, just work with what already exists at the moment when 2 or more people meet on stage. We will move from moment to moment until we reach the end, whenever and wherever that will be.
At this end we will leave the stage and look back at the many scenes and stories that have emerged because we have only gotten into the interaction with our partners: inside at the moment, followed them and just done what Impro players should do it when they are working on their improv (building) works. Follow one another - like ants….
Please note: this workshop requires very close body contact (e.g. speaking loudly with the faces very close, body-hugging exercises in the group, etc.). By registering for this workshop, the participants declare that they agree to this. Should the workshop not be able to take place due to corona-related circumstances, Beatrix Brunschko will teach the workshop "The freedom of an empty stage" instead. The participants will be informed by September 15, 2021 which workshop will be held.
The freedom of an empty stage:
The improv stage is an empty stage. When we enter it, we have the absolute
Freedom to decide which coat to wear, which shoe to wear
attract, which situation we expose ourselves to, which arena we enter, which
theatrical means we choose, what content we examine, what attitude we
ingest and depict. We alone decide how radically we are present, how
very much we involve our private selves, make ourselves vulnerable and permeable, ourselves
express political opinions and take a stand. We alone can decide which means and
Shapes and aesthetics of the theatrical world we use to make a piece improvised
To create theater.
This responsibility rests entirely with us. We all have freedom in this stage world
to define what our improvised theater should look like.
And now hand on heart:
How often do we use this freedom that this unique stage situation offers us? As
we often tell stories that are unique in terms of content, aesthetics and form,
because they are based on biographies, life experiences, attitudes, fantasies,
social and political contexts of the people who are fed by this
Suspend the process with relish? How often do we help ourselves frankly and freely from the diversity
theatrical means that we as actors / directors / dramaturges to
To be available?
And how often do we reproduce and vary them over and over again
standardized, universal, global structures, rules, characters, narrative forms and
Playing a form of theater that was defined more than 60 years ago and partly
is still copyrighted to this day?
What can improv want and be allowed to do? In times like these ... Let's find out!
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More about Beatrix
Beatrix Brunschko has been a member of the Theater im Bahnhof (TiB) ensemble in Graz since 1990, where she still works as a director and actress and has been the artistic director of the TiB's improvisation theater since 2000.
Since 2002 she has been a lecturer at the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz, drama department. She teaches basic acting lessons, improvisation, ensemble work as well as role and scene studies. In the academic year 2012/13 she was visiting professor for acting.
Since 2011 she has been working regularly as a lecturer at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna and at the Pedagogical University of Lower Austria in the theater education course
She leads numerous improv workshops in Austria, Germany, Switzerland as well as in Sweden, Lithuania, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Spain, the Netherlands, Canada, Australia and the USA. She is a regular guest at the many improv festivals around the world.
Since 2021 she has been teaching online courses for improvisation and figure development at the improvisation schools of the Gorillas in Berlin, Unexpected Productions in Seattle, the Vienna University of Education and for the online platform IFO.
Since 2004 she has been a member of the ensemble of the international improv collective "The Orcas Island Project" under the direction of Randy Dixon, Unexpected Productions / Seattle. Since 2009 member of the local sports team at the theater on Gumpendorferstrasse in Vienna. She works in the European ensemble "Our Lives" and since 2019 with "Mary Shelleys Mothers" and "Den Schwestern" - 2 international feminist improv collectives.
She can be seen regularly in film and television, co-directed the weekly TV talk show "Demokratie - die Show" and was one of the 5 directors of the EU-funded international profile project "Should I stay or should I go".
In 2020 she could be seen in “Kasimir and Karoline 2020- The End of Work” in the Theater im Bahnhof. In 2021 she developed the improvised online series "Die Serienjunkies - Unheimlich" together with her partner Jacob Banigan. She is currently working on another web format for the coming season, entitled “I want to land in the storm of love”.