A comprehensive guide to playing, directing and understanding Gorilla Theatre and Micetro

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An exerpt from the preface:

Rich 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.

Rebecca Stockley
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.