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Jerry Stiller, Nancy Ponder & Alan Arkin spoof space fantasy at St Louis COMPASS.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Chet Cramer was picked by a large cast to play St. Valentine in 2004.

HISTORY OF GROUP CREATIVITY PROJECT

ImprovOlympix. Launched in 1972 by New Yorkers Howard Jerome and David Shepherd, GCP first found a home at the Space for Innovative Development on West 46 St. There they invented the ImprovOlympix, a performance sport of 10 games, each featuring a different dramatic skill.

The first league, trained in New York, featured a team of professional actors, a team of inmates from a Westchester prison, college students and a close knit family that called itself—"Running Bare." The goal of our Olympix was to galvanize so-called "affinity" groups—rabbis, cops, psychiatrists, seniors, and get them playing together in one gently competitive and spine tingling structure.

Meanwhile in Calgary, Keith Johnstone kicked off "Theatre Sports," a similar program, while Home Made Theater borrowed our format to produce an Olympix league in Toronto. The high school team, "Stage Fright" from Ottawa, which used to travel to NYC to compete, started its own league at home. Whereas only 11 teams played in Bronx high schools, the Canadians have spread the sport to 300 Canadian schools under the name Canadian Improv Games. Willie Wylie is the prime mover.

Responsive Scene. Group Creativity also existed on NY air waves: for six months we played an hour a week on WRVR. A half hour before show time listeners were instructed how to offer suggestions by phone to the studio. Some listeners would be invited to join the cast, or direct their piece to its conclusion. Our format has been written up as curriculum by Michael Golding.

We succeeded in securing one grant of $35,000 from CETA--to produce video movies in Westchester. Years later this format has developed into today's "MOVIExperience." A guide to improvising movies has been published by Gere Publications in Shutesbury, MA, and can be ordered through us (see below).

MOVIExperience is now being used by Nancy Fletcher of Act Now, Inc. in Belchertown, MA. Over 40 videos, ranging from 15 to 55 minutes, have been produced, all with the aim of increasing girls' self esteem.and introducing them to the communications media.

VIDEO HOLIDAY was designed to celebrate the original meaning of our holidays. We staged Halloween in Grand Central Station and Women's Liberation in the studio of Chicago musicians. Our last video Valentine, shot on the premises of Delta Organic Farm in Hadley, MA, brought players from NYC together with Pioneer Valley talent.


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