Meet Ohana, a European improvisation theater project that brings together 50 experienced improvisers from different cultures, countries and backgrounds.
Our aim is to create an exchange platform by playing, studying, and experimenting with past, contemporary and future notions of improvisation.
We explore improv and other arts and how to apply it to our careers, personal lives, and more, and bringing those discoveries to improvisers around the world.
Our values are centered around community. We place our greatest faith in the power of friendship and understanding.
We believe that interested, inspired, and motivated people coming together in good spirit can benefit the larger improv community.
Ohana means family. It means providing a place where everyone is free to be who they are:
- Free to play
- Free to take part
- Free to take initiative
- Free to have a point of view
- Free of judgment
- Free to rest
Everyone can be who they are and be supported as such. We give each other help, offer guidance, answer questions, share responsibilities and tasks and respect each other’s space. In the organisation of the activities we keep an eye on creating a space where it is possible to listen to and act upon what the group needs. Ohana keeps evolving, through dialogue we accomodate what people want and need from the group.
The Ohana Vision
Our aim is to bring together people with diverse life experiences and points of view to discuss and play with improvisation theater ideas and principles. We want to share our ideas about improvisation as an art form and as a philosophy, both on stage and off stage. Our activities are organized in a way that supports a platform of trust, openness, safety, playfulness, respect and freedom. Never afraid of an experiment, we don’t hesitate to try out new ideas, all the while looking for dialogue and connection.
- Travel, housing, and food costs are shared equally by all attendees
- We are a non-profit organization and try to have costs as low as possible. Every member of Ohana participates voluntarily.
- The common language is English so that conversations are open to all
- We are active in the European improvisation scene and beyond, bringing a broad experience to the collective
- Any improviser can apply to become a member of Ohana as long as spaces are available. Applicants will be put on a waiting list if Ohana has 50 current members. (Click here to learn more)
Unity and Diversity
Members share, enjoy, and explore different ideas and styles of improv no matter age, background, culture, style, or whether you perform or teach improv. We look for connection and common grounds without losing diversity and individuality. We aim for a variety of gender, age, nationality, background, and style.
We like to focus on helping the environment by
- Reducing our carbon footprint in travel to meetings
- Minimizing food and paper waste
Membership is limited to 50 people and new members are added when spaces are available. Interested improvisers will be placed on the waiting list if there are no spaces available. Current Ohana members will share feedback about the new applicant. Applicants are prioritized for the diversity and contributions they can add to the group.
The next stages are a skype interview and trial meeting, followed by full membership. Members remain active as long as they can continue to attend at least 1 meeting per year (ideally 2-3).
Ohana meets for a weekend in March, a full week in August, and a weekend in November. Dates are set 1 year in advance so that members can organize their schedules.
In meetings we have open space workshops and discussions to explore topics of current interest to members. We have full group activities, communal meals, improv jams and plenty of time to socialize.
Code of Conduct (heavily borrowed from other theatres and festivals)
- Ohana is a space free of racism, sexism, and bigotry of any kind.
- Verbal and physical harassment will not be tolerated.
- Communicate and respect personal boundaries, keeping in mind that these boundaries are different for everyone;
- Speak up if something makes you uncomfortable, or if you notice another person may be uncomfortable;
- Listen with an open mind when somebody else speaks up;
- Assume good will – people in this community rarely ever aim to be offensive
- In improv, you can be anyone and anything you want to be. Make sure everyone else can too.
The Ohana Board
The board is in charge of the administration and logistics of Ohana, including:
- Organizing meetings
- New applications and membership
The board meets regularly throughout the year for these purposes as well as dealing with any problems that arise and reviewing other logistical and philosophical concerns of the group. Board members have limited terms to maintain a diversity of direction and so that board members do not get burned out.
The board does not set the agenda for the content of the meetings, that is done by members.