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A Sweeping Saga of Generations Made Up by an Audience

A Sweeping Saga of Generations Made Up by an Audience

Celebrating 25 years of their company, The Improvisors remount a favourite improv format for the New Zealand Improvisation Festival 2015 at BATS Theatre. Family saga Tree of Lives hits the stage on Thursday 8 October at 9pm. Working closely with the audience, The improvisors provide the family tree; audience tell them which branches, eras and relationships they want to see.

The improvisers prepare a family tree, the family members, their place on the tree and where they sit in time. The audience then gets to decide which parts of that tree they want to see, who will be the stars of the story, and what happens next. Like a pick-a-path novel, the characters and setting are the same, but the story created by the audience is unique every time.

"We are best known for making people laugh," said Deana Elvins from The Improvisors. "With this show we are excited about the opportunity to stretch that definition. This format is about honoring the direction that the audience wants the story to take; whether that is comedy, pathos, tragedy or something else. The possibilities are exhilarating if a little scary - it will certainly test our improvising skills."

In their 25 Anniversary year The Improvisors have unlocked the vault and released those show formats from the past. The Tree of Lives is a reworking of a format that was developed in the early 1990s by Tim Gordon.

For the NZIF 2015 it is a one off show created with visiting performers. The audience present on the night will be the authors of this family's past, present and future through the choices they make. No redos, no second chances.

Tree of Lives is part of the New Zealand Improvisation Festival 2015 at BATS Theatre. For booking enquiries, visit the BATS Theatre website


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