JOZI’S HOTTEST IMPROV TROUPE: JITTERY CITIZENS
The renowned art of improvised comedy, as made famous by groups the world over, has finally hit our city with full force with a talented and fearless group of comedy & musical improvisers. Improvised comedy theatre, better known as Improv, is a form of theatre where all of what is performed is created on the spot, with little or no pre-planning.
Both long & short forms of the style exist. Short form Improv is a series of short scenes constructed from pre determined games. This form has been made famous by popular television shows “Saturday Night Live” & “Whose Line is it anyway?”. In longform, performers create a full show that may take the form of an existing type and genre of theatre. When Improv is performed by seasoned professionals, it results in a show with plenty surprises and loads of laughter, and while improv is popular in cultural hotspots the world over, its a style rarely seen in Johannesburg… and that’s where the Jittery Citizens come in.
A newly formed company by 2 seasoned improvisors, Alex Radnitz and Claudine Ullman, the Jittery Citizens are serious about bringing the funny with their unscripted, unprepared and often unbelievable shows. The group have put together an all star cast of comedy & musical improvisors gathering some of the country’s best talent who promise to have audiences in stitches with their on stage shenanigans. Toni Morkel, James Cairns, Daniel Buckland, Alex Radnitz, Mpho Osei-Tutu, Mongi Mtombeni, Bruce J Little & Claudine Ullman make up the cast, with the one and only Tony Bentel on the keyboard improvising a full soundtrack for each show.
Having only formed the company in late 2012, the Jittery Citizens have already performed at numerous venues throughout Johannesburg, including sold out shows at Sandton Theatre on the Square, Barnyard Theatre, Monte Casino and The Grahamstown National Arts Festival 2013 as well as performing in their monthly regular spot at the POPArt Theatre in downtown Johannesburg.
The Jittery Citizens also specialize in school workshops and performances.
Workshops and Services
Workshops For Schools
Do you also offer workshops for kids?
Yes we do! Our Improv for Kids intensive courses cover the basic principles of scene creation. We especially focus on establishing the CORE (character/object/relationship/environment) of the scene. In this way students are able to discover the foundation of solid scene creation through ‘play’, exploration and working spontaneously with ones inner impulses.
How will Improv benefit kids?
Improv is a exciting, fun way of building confidence. Kids are encouraged to think on their feet and offer suggestions in front of their peers. Because Improv is about accepting offers kids are encourage to work together and say ‘yes’ to each others offers and suggestions. Because no offer is ever considered ‘wrong’. Kids will get used to voicing their opinions (increasing public speaking skills) and sharing ideas therefore increasing self-esteem.
My Students need more work in other aspects of the curriculum, can you create a workshop based on our specific needs?
Of course we can. We can tailor make workshops based on the current curriculum whether it be on Poor Theatre, Commedia dell’ Arte or Absurd Theatre. We do it all! In fact we already offer other specific courses in the following areas: Mask Work, Theatre Creation, Clowning, Comedy, Script Work, Script Writing, Auditioning.
What do the Students think about your workshops?
The best stress relief for any person: actor or not – everybody had a ball
(Amy: Grade 12)
It really helped me make believable characters and built confidence for improv work
(John: Grade 12)
Very entertaining- it taught me about body language – productive and really enjoyed it – it made me feel real good and taught me acting skills.
(Tegan: Grade 9)
The improv workshop was a great deal of fun: learning important new aspects of improv acting added to my knowledge of drama/acting as a whole.
(Courtney Grade 10)
Was very fun and released a lot of tension – a confidence-boosting, learning experience.
(Tsephiso: Grade 11)
“Claudine worked with a group of 15-18 students; they ranged from Gr 8-12’s- both Drama and non-Drama students. Her energy and control of this energetic group never flagged- holding them entertained and spellbound with her demonstration of the tasks. Claudine covered multiple aspects within a very short space of time and thus made the participants experience a variety of skills which they have incorporated into their practical work. She set a cracking pace during this intensive 2 day workshop, ensuring that each and every student could express their creativity and be assisted with valuable advice. Claudine’s workshop has encouraged and unlocked the inhibitions of the less experienced students and furthered the skills of the seasoned performing students. I highly recommend her workshops as she brings a ‘breath of fresh air’ into the performing arts curriculum. ”
Ilse Hansen – Head of Drama, Dainfern College
“Many of my students have experienced problems freeing themselves enough to embrace improvisation fully. It was with this is mind that I approached Claudine to run a beginner’s workshop for my Grade Tens and Elevens. It was incredibly successful. She was prepared, fun and brought out the spontaneity in the students. They also were clearly able to relate the principles of Character, Object/Objective, Relationships and Environment, which are key concepts for all areas of Drama. She also threw in some Poor Theatre prop work, which was useful in terms of the syllabus. Claudine is a bundle of energy and talent; she is certainly returning to run more workshops with my students.”
Dario Doneda – Head of Drama, St Peter’s College
082 806 4493