Anna Lotta Hattig, 4th year LLB and BIR student, founded the Improv. Club (at the time called the Drama Club) in 2017. In an interview via zoom, she explained how the Improv. Club began and what they are up to today. She explained that she came to IE hoping to join a theatre club, however, at the time, the Madrid campus didn’t have one. After approaching administration and being met with enthusiasm and support, the Drama Club was born.
In the early days of the Drama Club, they had the funding to hire a teacher and run the club at an external location. This all changed in 2018, after IE rearranged their budget, and all the funding for the club was cut. Anna joked that at this time she had to “improvise”, and began running the club herself, along with her then co-director, Alan Mekibel, who has since graduated but remains in Madrid.
After realising that the club members saw the club as more of a fun activity rather than a serious commitment, they decided that they were not going to be producing anything, and rebranded from the Drama Club to what is now known as the Improv. Club. The Improv. Club meets once a week for two hours, and members of any and all skill levels are welcome.
The club consists of undergraduate and masters students alike, and its members include people who are passionate about improv., as well as people who have joined the club to improve their confidence or public speaking skills. Anna noted that although improv is supposed to be fun and silly, it’s also an excellent way to improve your professional skills as it centers around playing with speech and non-verbal communication.
When asked if the COVID-19 situation has had an impact on the club as it has all other aspects of student life, Anna commented that the pandemic has “[…] changed the dynamic but didn’t make it worse”. She explained that wearing a mask has been a challenge, given that a large part of acting and improv. relies on facial expressions, which are covered with masks. However, she noted that it has created a fun challenge for the club and has inspired its members to explore other ways of expressing themselves through gestures, body-language, and non-verbal communication.
The one thing Anna thinks people should know is that she has been able to see her club members change and grow confidence, as well as strengthen their public speaking skills. At the end of the day, it really is an outlet for creativity, which is essential for a healthy body and a healthy mind. The club is always welcoming of new members!
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