Impro Melbourne’s Artistic Director of six years, Patti Stiles, will be handing over the directorial reigns following this Theatresports season.
Long time ensemble member Karl McConnell will be stepping into the role at the start of next year, bringing with him a passion to continue to produce exciting, high quality improvisation.
Serving her theatre apprenticeship at Loose Moose Theatre Company in Canada, Patti crafted her skills under the playful, eagle eye of Theatresports inventor Keith Johnstone. So started an enduring passion for improvisation, a passion which has shaped Impro Melbourne into an internationally recognised, dynamic and innovative theatre company.
Through her time as AD, Patti has promoted a strong creative focus within Impro Melbourne, which has encouraged the company to push boundaries and challenge the work of improvisation.
Patti describes her time as Artistic Director with the company as an “exciting, creative experience” and sees a “bright future ahead” for Impro Melbourne.
“I have been privileged to be a part of a company that has a strong collaborative and supportive spirit, on stage and off … I have witnessed great achievement in various aspects of the company. The most exciting has been the growth of the performance Ensemble. To witness the individual growth of skills, to listen to the maturity of their artistic viewpoints and to be a part of a team that consistently challenges the work has been a joy,” she said.
Patti’s involvement with Impro Melbourne will continue as a player, teacher, director and creator in the ensemble.
Karl McConnell’s first experience with Impro Melbourne came in 1998 when Lliam Amor and Jason Geary found themselves one player short for a Theatresports team. Karl filled in and was instantly hooked. The rest is history.
Part of that history is the winning of many Theatresports championships, and touring and performing nationally and internationally. Karl has been seen on stage with The Improfessionals and Calamity Wayne. He co-devised and performed the hugely popular Bingo Board of Doom.
Taking his inspiration from good improvisers and a good single malt scotch, Karl aims to take the company to new creative heights as Artistic Director.
He plans to continue the company’s tradition of developing and exploring new ways of bringing improvised theatre to audiences. Under his direction the company will find their own space, pioneer new show formats and continue to bring the best improvised theatre to audiences at home and abroad – so, watch this space!