Wellington Improvisation Troupe
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The Wellington Improvisation Troupe (WIT) is Wellington’s not-for-profit, community-based improvisational theatre group. WIT performs and teaches the skills of improvisational theatre at community venues around the Wellington region.
Theatre is made up on the spot by some of Wellington’s leading improvisers and courageous newcomers alike, based on suggestions from the audience. WIT players share a love of storytelling and work together as a team to inspire the audience. WIT theatre is sometimes serious, often hilarious and always totally unpredictable.
WIT's establishing members performed in the ‘Micetro’ show that won the New Zealand International Fringe Festival Best Comedy Award in 2003, and decided it was about time they formed a group that had a name. The group brought together many of Wellington’s casual improvoholics, out-of-work actors and bored public servants. Now made up of forty to sixty active members, the group welcomes people from all walks of life. WIT is run by a committee elected by and from its members.
WIT launched properly in 2004, participated in the New Zealand Fringe and Comedy Festivals and become licensed as an International Theatresports Institute group. WIT performs both long and short-form improvisation.
Major WIT shows include:
- Micetro Improv, a licensed format where improvisers battle through rounds of elimination to become the "Micetro" for the night.
- Gorilla Theatre, a licensed format where four-five experienced improvisers compete as directors of scenes to take home a prize – the gorilla.
- The Improv Divas, which acts as a development group for female improvisors – ‘highly inventive’ (National Business Review).
- The All-New Old-Time Radio Show - the first improv theater show in New Zealand to use sound as the principal medium for improvisation.
- The Young and the Witless - an improvised soap opera, which usually runs over winter in Wellington.
- WIT-side Story - WIT's long-form musical and latest format.
- The Wishing Tree - Based on a Japanese myth of love, luck and fate (Created by Rama Nicholas and directed for WIT by Christine Brooks)
WIT was also the original organisation behind the New Zealand Improv Festival, a celebration of improvised theatre which brings shows, teachers and troupes from around New Zealand and Australia to Wellington. The festival will become an independent trust in 2015.
WIT’s specific objectives as listed in the incorporated society’s founding document are as follows:
- To promote, develop and foster the performance of improvised theatre and comedy in the Wellington region.
- To teach the skills of improvised theatre and comedy through workshops, classes and any other means to members and to the wider Wellington community.
- To encourage the having of fun and the not taking of oneself too seriously.
WIT Creative Background and Philosophy
The Creative Philosophy of WIT starts with the teachings of Keith Johnstone, and several of WIT's senior players have traveled to Calgary to undertake training at Loose Moose Theatre, which Johnstone co-established in 1977.
WIT has three creative drivers – telling stories, cooperation and having fun. WIT believe these drivers are interdependent and create the best kind of improv.
- WIT's Website and online show archive, accessed 23 September 2012