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The Backline - An Improv Podcast
47 minutes | May 13, 2022
222 - The Rules
"Improv rules, but then also there's improv rules." This week Rob and Adam, discuss the history of improv rules, what's necessary in an improv scene, and how to not get bogged by our artform's long history.
47 minutes | May 5, 2022
221 - Threesome
This week's episode delves into the world of three-person scenes, how they differ from duoprov, and the power of team dynamics.
63 minutes | Apr 28, 2022
220 - Marketable
This week Rob and Adam discuss what types of shows are marketable, how to sell them, and common pitfalls to avoid when advertising your production. Also, it's the debut of CREAM.
53 minutes | Apr 21, 2022
219 - Justification
In this episode, Adam and Rob discuss the justification, why we need it, why explaining too much causes problems, and the need for mystery in scenes. Also: Flash baths, re-reading books, and updates on a very important URL.
61 minutes | Apr 14, 2022
218 - Grounding the Surreal
This week, Adam and Rob discuss their criticism of "grounded scenes". In this episode: the reality of a scene, truth in improv, Norse creation myths, and how to make big, wild scenes work.
53 minutes | Apr 9, 2022
217- RIP Marijuna Man
An updated 2022 our list of all the characters we are ready to retire. Also: the 5th Anniversary of the Assembly, UCB's new investors, the politics of accents, and why the mystery is a foundational cornerstone of science fiction universe.
59 minutes | Mar 31, 2022
216 - Getting Good
This week Rob and Adam discuss cornerstones of what conditions are necessary for improv mastery. Also discussed: teaching Improv 2, Malcolm Gladwell, migraines, and how to confront your improv partner if they miss an appointment.
57 minutes | Mar 24, 2022
215 - I Hate My Scene Partner
There's a whole bunch of reasons why someone might feel frustrated: bad day at work, fight with a friend, doing your taxes ... but what do you do if the source of your frustration is the person you're improvising with? This week Rob (but mostly Adam) talk about what to do when things don't go your way onstage.
40 minutes | Mar 17, 2022
213 - Timing
This week Rob and Adam discuss the ever-elusive nature of comedic timing. As well as the show Last One Laughing, and what it means for fellow improvisers affected by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
48 minutes | Mar 17, 2022
214 -To Coach or Not To Coach
This week Rob and Adam open up The Backline mailbag to answer your questions about teaching, directing, coaching and the difference between all three.
56 minutes | Mar 3, 2022
212 - Write (and then Forget) the Script
This week Adam interviews Rob about the process of creating the CBC podcast Limited Capacity. They discuss directing, improv as a writing tool, and why Rob wrote 5 full episodes, only to improvise through these scary stories instead.
41 minutes | Feb 24, 2022
211 - Is Online Improv Here to Stay?
From the vault: Rob and Adam share a never-aired episode of the Backline where they share their thoughts on online improv, Irish paganism, and drinking orange cokes.
47 minutes | Feb 19, 2022
210 - Is the Harold Dead?
With the return of the iO (formerly improvOlympic), Adam wonders if the Harold will return with it, or if improv's most famous and psychedelic form should be retired from our classrooms and our stages. Kelly Clarkson - Since You've Been Gone https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7UrF... Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Maps https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oIIxl...
57 minutes | Feb 10, 2022
209 - Chorus/Verse (and How It Changes the Way We Play)
In this episode, Rob and Adam answer a question from Estonian improv teacher Martin about chorus/verse, scenic structure, taking breaks, and how to build the skill in the classroom.
54 minutes | Feb 3, 2022
208 - Is Support a Double-Edged Sword?
In this episode, Rob and Adam discuss foundational support, what support looks like onstage amongst professionals, and how to avoid the creeping threat of resentment.
51 minutes | Jan 27, 2022
207 - What is Improv?
It's a whole new season of The Backline. In this episode, Rob and Adam discuss their 1-year hiatus, the NFL, definitions of improv, and how art criticism shapes our artform.
28 minutes | Nov 18, 2020
206 - The Lightning Round
In this episode Rob scours improv Facebook group for a series of conversation starting prompts and ambushes Adam with THE LIGHTNING ROUND! Also discussed agendas vs deals, and savouring the small moments in a scene.
44 minutes | Oct 7, 2020
201 - A Brief History of Improv
This week we bring you an audio version of The Assembly Toronto's online lecture series entitled "A Brief History of Improv". Thanks to Martha Stortz, Spencer Thompson, and everyone who attended the live event in Spring 2020.
56 minutes | Sep 23, 2020
199 -Sustaining Scenes
This week Rob and Adam discuss sustaining scenes. How to keep the spark alive while improvising, layered complexity, and the need to get onstage only so you get off stage. It's all covered on this week's episode of "The Backline with Rob and Adam!"
46 minutes | Sep 10, 2020
197 - Deals
This week we discuss the art of the deal - initiating with a half-idea to inspire your scene. Rob and Adam also tackle the difference between preconceived notions and deals, existential ennui onstage, and how this philosophy can help perform in Zoom shows better.
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