WHAT IS IMPROV CONNECTION?
Improv Connection is a Pōneke (Wellington) based improv company which specialises in teaching grounded improvisational theatre techniques. It was founded by Ben Zolno in 2019, and has taught over a hundred students, both new and familiar to improv, since being established.
Improv Connection's values focus on being grounded, equitable and helping performers to build confidence on stage. Consent and safety are also paramount.
We teach improv backwards. We save the conventions, tricks and lingo for last. Instead, we teach gut-wrenchingly relatable, hilarious and breathtaking scene-work first.
That way, we feel even beginners can hold their own with seasoned improvisers.
Founder / Director
WHAT IS GROUNDED IMPROV?
Grounded improvisation techniques teach the improviser to use real emotions as their inspiration within a scene. It often means not thinking, but rather just believing in the moment in order to explore where the scene goes. Grounded improvisation tries to find the real meaning, and therefore the human stakes, behind each scene.
Learning grounded improvisation techniques are good for:
New people looking to try improv in an accessible and easy way
Seasoned veterans who want to enrich their current improvisation technique.
I've been able to access my emotions more—something I'm still working on. The teaching style provides immediate feedback which helps me to improve on an ongoing basis.
Grounded improv relies on the improviser to use and act on how they feel in the moment instead of quick and smart thinking. You're already amazing, and our grounded improvisation techniques will teach you how to be you—just on stage.
Improv is daunting enough, why make it harder by doing all the work yourself? The best scenes result from players stepping into the unknown, taking just one step at a time, back and forth, and discovering the magic of a scene together.
Improv can be scary when you first start out. We try our best to provide a space where you can feel safe to take chances and to grow as a performer.
CONSENT AND SAFETY
Consent and understanding our physical and psychological boundaries are key to this process. We must understand and convey our boundaries, accepting and respecting others' limits and comfort zones. This is not only to be safer, but also to create and perform better scenes. If you know where you can freely and fully go with your improv partner, you can more enthusiastically set out on the nearly infinite paths available for you to take within a scene.
For more information on groundbreaking intimacy choreography work in New Zealand, visit our friends at Intimacy Pōneke.