comprehensive guide to playing, directing and understanding
Gorilla Theatre and Micetro
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exerpt from the preface:
Ross' work has been key to the acceptance of Micetro(TM) (and
therefore directed improv) in San Francisco. Since
he has taken acres of useful notes on directing,
I asked him to put together this handbook.
In 1996 in Utrecht,
The Netherlands, Keith Johnstone learned one morning
over breakfast that he was expected to direct Theatresports(TM) that
day, with a large group of students in front of an
audience. He didn't want to. So, he invented the
Micetro(TM) format on the spot to accommodate this large
group of improvisors.
A few months later,
Keith shared the format with the students of the
BATS Summer School, among them Rich Ross.
In the Fall season of
1996, BATS did a short run of Micetro(TM), calling it "The
New Game". It wasn't very good. Experienced
improvisors balked at being directed; inexperienced
improvisors had no idea how to make the show work.
The format was dropped.
When Rich Ross became co-producer
of the Workshop Players (the BATS students), he decided
to produce Micetro(TM) instead of Theatresports(TM). He
researched everything about the format--exploring
the Summer School information, going to Calgary to
see how they played it there, running workshops in
directing--and through trial, error, and dedication,
helped to make Micetro(TM) a BATS format.
Dean, BATS School of Improv
P.S. The name of the
game is Maestro. Keith's penchant for animal names
in the theatre led him to suggest casually that called
the game "Micetro" would provide an easy
logo association; and of course, as often happens
with Keith's musings, it was accepted as The Rule.