One of the things I did this weekend was run a special TheatreSports class. It’s with an entirely new group of players, and hopefully a handful of them will come through the ranks and be able to play and improvise in front of a live, paying audience in the not too distant future. So, what’s so special about this group? Well, it’s a totally black, predominantly Xhosa speaking group. I am embarking on a long term relationship with Ikwezi Theatre, who operate from The Baxter, and I’ll be working with this group for a while.
In the 15 years of me running TheatreSports in Slaap Stad, it has been impossible to develop and sustain a diverse group of players. I know that language is always a barrier; it is so difficult to improvise in a second language. But that’s not all. The theatrical divides in this city are huge, with issues around accessibility, affordability, transport, exposure, audience divisions and ignorance.
What is obvious for me is that the language of improvisation is universal, and the joy, discovery and freedom it encourages and pushes players towards is infectious. So let’s hope this is the beginning of a whole new community of improvisers.