Patti Stiles in town for Queens Birthday Weekend! (2013)

Patti Stiles is an actor, improviser, director, instructor and playwright who has been working professionally in theatre since 1983. She served her theatre apprenticeship at the world renowned Loose Moose Theatre with Keith Johnstone. It is her knowledge, technique and application of her improvisational skills, which makes Patti a unique and dynamic instructor. Her interpretation and extension of Johnstone’s work and philosophy, combined with her wealth of experience on the world improv stage, has made her a “must have” teacher for performers and companies wishing to create spontaneous theatre with fine skill, strong narrative and elegant style.

As an improvisation performer and teacher, Patti Stiles has worked in Canada, the USA, England, Italy, Holland, Switzerland, Norway, Germany, Belgium, Sweden, France, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Thailand and Australia for numerous improvisation companies, theatre schools and in the corporate arena.

Wellington Improvisation Troupe is hosting a weekend of workshops with Patti and is opening registration to non-members. Space in workshops is limited so get in quick! Registrations close on Friday 24 May.

Workshop Program

Creative impulse and narrative intuition

Friday 31 May OR Saturday 1 June 10am-4:30pm (Register for ONE only)
Open to improvisors of all levels.

As improvisers we are storytellers. Our work is based on creating stories through spontaneous moments). Be it short form, long form, comedic, or dramatic the same narrative principals apply. Many improvisers learn a series of trained responses (say yes to everything) instead of developing their creative impulse and narrative intuition (what is the story, whose story is it, and craving the unknown). This master class focuses on developing creative impulse and narrative intuition while looking at some common narrative pitfalls such as why we seem to repeat the same stories and have a difficult time finding endings.

Improvised Soap Opera

Sunday 2 June 10am-4:30pm
Open to intermediate improvisors (e.g. past soap cast, people who have performed long form or similar).

Patti Stiles is one of the founding members of the award winning Die Nasty – the live improvised soap opera in Edmonton Canada, she is also the director of Die Nasty in Melbourne and the first woman to improvise all 53 hours in a soap a thon.

Improvised soap is more than comedic character long form. It is a blending of all of our skills. To create characters that are entertaining but have objectives, desires, wants. To create stories that are hilarious and also touching, dark, mysterious. To use the stage theatrically and understand the shape of a show and what the story lines call for now.

It is the most freeing, challenging and delighting form of impro – if embraced for all it can offer.

Half Mask / Trance Mask

Monday 3 June 10am-4:30pm
Mask Workshop
Open to improvisors of all levels.

Art forms which rely on instinct and impulse, such as improvisation, suffer from the attachment of the human ego to our work. We cling to a perception of ourselves, which we fight to portray, we look for guidelines and rules to be correct and succeed and judge ourselves be the response of the audience. We feel responsible for the work we create, delighting in our success and wallowing in our failure. This attachment will influence our work as we begin to feed the ego and make choices towards what we deem as successful. If we are making choices, we are using intellect and our pure impulse / instinctual side suffers.

Mask work helps to override the intellectual, connect to the instinctual and let us play in the pure spontaneous moment of impulse.

Patti uses the mask technique developed by Keith Johnstone at the Royal Court Theatre in London. It involves using mirrors and sounds, which help to spark spontaneous response and shut down the intellectual process. When a mask is alive it is a pure spontaneous being free of judgment, self-censoring or ego.



Fees: $60 per workshop

All workshops held at Toi Poneke, Abel Smith St

Payment is required prior to the workshop, either by bank deposit or by cash on the day. You will be contacted about your workshop placement ASAP.
(If you need to discuss a payment plan, we are very willing to help – contact

Please note that cancellation later than Wednesday 29 May will incur a 25% cancellation fee.

Max 20 participants per class.
We hope to accommodate everyone’s preferences.

Toi Poneke, Abel Smith St

Date: 31 May 2013 – 3 Jun 2013
Cost: $60 per workshop
Contact details:
For more information contact