Maestro to be staged in Malta for the first time for one night only

Top improviser Shawn Kinley is travelling to Malta to direct this improvisation show.

Photo credit: Rob Michelson

An audience in Malta will soon be able to enjoy a unique form of theatre that has never been produced locally before but is popular the world over.

In a new collaboration between Curtain Call Productions and MADC, actors will be pitched against each other and draw on all their acting and improvisation skills to survive in a fun-filled competitive improvisation show named Maestro™.

Actors are pitched against each other and have to improvise to survive

“Maestro™ is a crash-and-burn elimination format in which performers are given suggestions by the director and the audience to create scenes on the spot,” explains Simone Ellul from Curtain Call Productions, “The audience will then score the scenes and lower-scoring players are eliminated one by one until only one performer is left standing.”

As a performance art that does not rely upon a script, improvisation theatre is one of the earliest performance art forms and is still found within most types of theatre today. Through the years, it has developed from being solely a tool to help actors explore characters, to becoming an art form in itself, with improvisers spontaneously creating everything on the spot.

As well as long, narrative-style performances, improvisation has also become popular as short, fast-paced games, with Keith Johnstone in 1977 adding a competitive element to create Theatresports™ – combining the competitiveness of sports with the entertainment value of theatre.

Maestro™ is one of the most popular Theatresports™ formats, where a group of actors perform scenes based on suggestions given by the audience, which then votes on the scenes. In the game the director’s role is vital, and so top improviser Shawn Kinley – who is also one of Keith Johnstone’s former students – will be leading the way. As a member of the Loose Moose Improvisation Company, which was founded by Johnstone, for more than 30 years, Kinley has lead workshops on improvisation, mask work and mime in 53 countries. He has also worked in television, film, and circus arts, as well as in visual arts and writing.

In Malta, Mr Kinley will also be leading an exclusive improvisation workshop. This will offer excellent all-round improvisation training, drawing on the principles of Keith Johnstone, that will boost the knowledge of experienced improvisers and serve as an introduction for beginners. Participants will then have the opportunity to try out their skills in an improvised Maestro™ during the evening show. The workshop will be held on Saturday 19th October, from 10.00 am to 5.00 pm. Tickets may be booked via email to curtaincallimprov@gmail.com. Participants must be aged 18 or over.

Maestro™ will be performed on Saturday 19th October at the MADC Clubrooms, Sta Venera at 8.00 pm. The show is suitable for an audience aged 16 and above. Tickets are €12 and are available online.