V4 Improv Connect: Bridging Cultures, Elevating the Art Form

A Journey of Collaboration and Growth

We are thrilled to announce that our project, “V4 Improv Connect: Empowering Cross-Border Collaboration and Growth,” has received the green light from the Visegrad Grants in the Culture and Common Identity category!

The V4 region, rich in cultural diversity and talent, has long been a hub of artistic innovation. As passionate proponents of improvisational theatre, we were compelled to rejuvenate the improv scene. Our ambition? To elevate the quality of improv and redefine how it’s perceived by both the general public and our peers in the performing arts world. Historically, many have mistakenly viewed improv as akin to stand-up comedy—lighthearted, unpolished, and secondary to the ‘refinement’ of traditional theatre. Yet, at its heart, improv is a deeply profound performing art that weaves narratives in real-time, highlighting human resilience, creativity, and adaptability. Our project seeks to raise the stature of improv theatre, underlining its worth not merely as casual comedy but as a genuine performing art.

Spanning 15 months starting from November 2023, “V4 Improv Connect” seeks to foster and fortify V4 improv communities. We aim to offer training, networking, and touring opportunities, providing a robust platform for performers, trainers, and theatre leaders to hone their skills, share knowledge, and form lasting collaborations.

Our Blueprint
What makes this journey exhilarating is the plethora of activities we’ve sketched out:

  • 6-week Retreat: From 9-14 April 2024, the retreat is a dedicated sanctuary for networking, skill development, collaboration, experimenting, and immersive learning.
  • 5-city Show Tours: Budapest, Skopje, Prague, Lublin, and Bratislava. Bringing the essence of improv theatre to diverse audiences.

The Core Values
A project is as strong as its foundational values. For us, it revolves around:

  • Recognition:  Taking improv theatre to new heights of acknowledgment to stand alongside traditional theatre, emphasizing its merit as a profound performing art, not just light-hearted comedy.
  • Accessibility: Democratizing training – ensuring improv communities in V4 cities the chance to learn, grow, and shine.
  • Collaboration: Breeding an environment of mutual growth, intercultural dialogues, and cross-border camaraderie.
  • Inclusivity & Diversity: An unwavering commitment to providing a platform for diverse voices, stories, and performers.

A Note of Gratitude
Our journey has been made possible through the invaluable support of the Visegrad Grants. Our proposal is a crystallized vision of fostering a vibrant and interwoven tapestry of improv communities in the V4 region. It perfectly resonates with the Visegrad Grants’ ethos, championing sustainable regional cooperation and celebrating cultural identity. Stay tuned for more updates, and here’s to making a significant imprint on the V4 region’s improv community and cultural canvas!

Tour Dates
While the specific cities and venues will be confirmed soon, here’s a sneak peek of when we’ll be bringing our magic to a city near you:

Tour #1: 10 – 12 May 2024
Tour #2: 7 – 9 June 2024
Tour #3: 27 – 29 September 2024
Tour #4: 25 – 27 October 2024
Tour #5: 29 November – 1 December 2024

Stay tuned for detailed announcements on the hosting cities and venues!

Looking Ahead

Our journey with “V4 Improv Connect” is a testament to our commitment to crafting vibrant improv communities in the V4 region. Together, let’s celebrate improv theatre and establish it as a distinguished art form, deserving of acknowledgment and appreciation. We invite you to be a part of this transformative movement. Let’s champion the cause of improv and ensure it receives the recognition it truly deserves.

For more details on the project, refer to our detailed project document and sources.

Project Partners: 

Itt és Most Társulat’s primary focus is improvisation, emphasizing its potential for personal and community growth. They provide training using techniques from applied improvisation, promoting conscious presence, curiosity, and open-mindedness in daily life. The group values their comprehensive programs tailored for both schools and adults, addressing sensitive topics with expert-led improvisational theater. Established in December 2018, the Itt és Most Theater and Community Square in the Ferencváros district serves as a vibrant cultural hub. Their team, comprising improv actors, trainers, drama teachers, writers, and more, spans multiple creative fields.

The Czech National Improvisation Theater’s permanent ensemble is dedicated to a unique author’s form of stage improvisation. Comprised of four actors, two actresses, and a musician, they craft spontaneous performances tailored to various settings – from bare stages and theaters with pre-existing sets to cultural center podiums, castle courtyards, or even rural roads. Besides their presence at the NoD Theatre, they are frequent participants in numerous festivals both in the Czech Republic and internationally, such as Povaleč, Boskovice, Jiráskův Hronov, and Banát. The ensemble actively champions the recognition of improvisation as a distinct, vibrant, yet delicate form of theater and explores its intersections with other theatrical styles.

Teatr Wschodni / The Eastern Theater is located in Lublin, Poland. It is envisioned as a space where local perspectives intersect with international activities. They aim for their venue to serve as a residence for artists and cultural animators from both Poland and abroad, whom they will be inviting. Although the Teatr Wschodni Foundation is relatively new, it has been established by individuals with extensive experience in the arts and animation.

The Macedonian Center of the International Theatre Institute (ITI)/PRODUKCIJA is dedicated to promoting local Macedonian contemporary performing arts on an international scale. This includes theatre, opera/musical theatre, dance, and performance. Their promotional efforts encompass communication, education, publishing, and collaborative productions, such as video theater, video drama readings, and video drama pitching. Their international collaborations feature notable figures like Jan Pappelbaum, Thomas Irmer, Ondrej Svoboda, Ulrike Syha, Katarina Saric, Sylvia Huszar, Dino Peshut, Yaroslava Pulinovich, and Masa Ogrizek.

Applicant partner / organizer:

The International Society for Arts and Culture (ISAC) is a non-profit organization fervently championing the performing arts and nurturing cultural exchange. As an umbrella organization, ISAC encompasses dynamic initiatives such as Funnylicious Improv Theater and Story Nights, and is actively charting new territories in film, performing arts, and community space development. Through its multifaceted endeavors, ISAC is steadfast in its mission to democratize access to the performing arts for all.

A highlight within ISAC’s portfolio is the Funnylicious Improv Theater. Renowned as a multicultural vanguard in Bratislava, Slovakia, Funnylicious is celebrated for its eclectic array of shows, each pushing the boundaries of diverse improv formats. Their acclaim recently reached international shores when they represented Slovakia at the Manila Improv Festival. Despite the playful moniker of “Funnylicious,” the theater is deeply committed to elevating improvisational theater. Their aim? To introduce a broad spectrum of improv styles and formats, captivating both Slovak and international audiences.

Press Contact:
Ivana Kratka

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