Christmas Cracker 2013 Show Schedule

As posted to Facebook by Barry, October 22nd 2013

Hi all,

I am chuffed to release the show schedule for our Christmas season, Christmas Cracker 2013 – as part of our ten years of WIT Celebrations.

These are all at the Gryphon Theatre (yay!).

The shows and times are;

Tues 10th Dec 7:00 – 8:00pm: BoW 8:30 – 9:30pm: Thrills & Swoon
Wed 11th Dec 7:00 – 8:00pm: Gorilla 8:30 – 9:30pm: Duets
Thurs 12th Dec 7:00 – 8:00pm: Divas ReUnited 8:30 – 9:30pm: Love Possibly
Fri 13th Dec 7:00 – 8:30-ish: Micetro Xmas Special

(Hope this layout works for those reading this on mobiles…)

We have show leads who will be responsible for some training, casting and running each show on the night – these are Geoff for BoW; Christine for Thrills & Swoon; Ali for Gorilla; Jen for Duets; The Divas collectively for the Divas; Me for Love Possibly; and TBC for the last night Micetro.

I will send out training info in a separate post.

And to our lighting and musical improvisers, as always we want you to make us all look better on stage – so if you are available, please let me know.

I am really excited that we are putting these shows on, so I would love to hear from who is keen to be in them, even if you were one of the keen ones who replied to the first post! Either post here or my (very recently set up..) email is

At some point there will be a separate FB page set up for this season. Once you young ones show me how to set it up…

Thank you!


Format – Battle of WITs

2003_bowThree (sometimes more) teams of 2-4 people compete in a series of improv games and open scenes judged by the audience.  An MC keeps the show moving and acts as a director of last resort – but effectively the teams are in charge of themselves.

Ideally form teams well before the show and train together, so that when you are on stage you know how to make the most of each other’s strengths, and what will inspire each other.  Give yourselves a team name, pick a team leader, even create a cute little pose or chant to introduce yourselves.

Typically there are four rounds for Battle of WITs, with eliminations after the second round and (if more than three teams) before the last round –  the MC will manage to the time available and the number of teams.  At the end of a scene teams stay on stage, as the MC asks the audience to judge “was that a 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5″.  The MC may also arbitrarily add or deduct points for any reason at any time.

  • First round is the Blind Draw – the team leader will pick a game from a hat.  These will be open ended suggestions that draw on base skill games – for example, the suggestion might be “a poem” or “word at a time” or “speak in one voice”.  As a team decide quickly how you will respond, for example if you get “a poem” you could choose to do a Wanky Poem, an Epic Poem or a Sea Shanty. There is a time limit for this round, the MC will let you know when your time is nearly up.
  • The second round is Team Favourite - what you will tell the audience is your teams chosen Favourite Game – actually have a few favourites to select from, as you don’t want to do anything that’s too similar to another teams’ pick, or to a game that appeared in the first round.
  • Third round is the Team challenge – the team leader from another team sets a condition for the scene, which will be an open scene of some kind.  Don’t make these challenges too restricting or gaggy, for example “take your inspiration from the word purple” is better than “everyone must speak in rhyming couplets”
  • Fourth round MC Challenge – at the whim of the MC.   This is usually the final round, depending on time.    As an example, the MC might require each team to use a member from an opposing team to start their scene.

Teams who’ve been eliminated may still come on stage to be props or furniture or a transient marching army if called for, but just remember whose scene it is.




Training notes – The Shatner!

ShatnerBased on a suggestion from the Internets that there should be a game where, when someone yells “Shatner” everyone wildly overacts.  This elaboration on that brilliantly simple idea evolved during the WIT workshop of Tuesday October 15th 2013, almost certainly a day that will live in infamy.

Start with an audience suggestion of a location.  As many people as wish to participate line up on the edge of the stage.

  • Person A starts on.
  • Person B enters, interacts with person A.
  • Person A finds a reason to leave.
  • Person C enters and interacts with person B, until person B finds a reason to leave.
  • Person D enters and so on . . .

The goal is to quickly establish characters, relationships and motivations.  And leave.
However, if the director (or anyone else inspired) yells:

  • Shatner – wild overacting happens
  • Spock – switch to dead pan robotic acting
  • Red Shirt – someone dies very quickly
  • Shatner Sings – one character starts singing in the style of someone who doesn’t sing well, basically talk-singing

There are many fine illustrations on YouTube of the difference between talking to a sandwich as if it were Yorrick vs responding to an imploding universe with a mild eyebrow raise – for example



Stitch Tactics – training and shows in October!

Note from Maggie Cargill (from the WIT Members Facebook group)

So guys, Brenton Hodgson and I mind-melded on a brilliant idea to do some more Improv Lounge in October. We agreed that we want to get as many new WIT people performing as we can! And by new, I mean anyone who’s keen. Which means if you’re in this group you can play!

So here’s what we’re going to do: the next few Playful Tuesdays I’ll be running a Stitch Tactics* style workshop detailing some short-form games for the purpose of putting them into a show. Some of them you’ll know, some you won’t! We’ll also discuss the show format and practice some staging.

So, if you want to play come to Tuesday at Drama Christi and I’ll have a sign-up sheet so I can cast the shows. If you can’t make it to the trainings, shoot me a message.

I also seed some FOH help for those nights if anyone is keen!

If you’re debating whether or not you want to/can/are ready/ you’re nervous about performing then this is a perfect opportunity to “follow your fear” and take a chance. You’ll never get better if you don’t!

So be at Drama Christi (65 Taranaki St, building to the right of the church, entrance at the back), 6.30pm Tuesday 8th.  

*Stitch Tactics is my old troupe from KC. We’re indirectly influenced by Chicago-style improv but have developed our own style. It’s sure to be a spicy new take on what you know!