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First Issue of Operation: Newsletter!

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Hi Operation: Show! students, and welcome back to school in whatever form you are courageously pursuing it! Hope you are being safe, washing your hands, and wearing your masks. We miss you all and can’t wait to see you back on stage the MOMENT it is allowed.

In the meantime, there are so many ways you can add to your improv toolbox by watching shows online, reading great books, and listening to podcasts. And we’ve got resources up the wazoo to point you in the right direction! Below you will find our first ever newsletter that will be sent out every other week this Fall, written by YOUR coaches, board members, or other friends of O:S!. Your first mini lesson comes from Operation: Show! Board President and Kansas City professional improviser Anne Cuddy. Enjoy! (And please share this with your friends!)

Banner image of Operation: Show! logo with text that reads, "Operation: Newsletter! teaching improv to Kansas City area high school students"

Operation: Newsletter! #1

In my favorite improv scenes, you can tell that there is an emotional connection between the performers and the situation they’ve been placed in. Someone might be getting asked to prom, or forced into babysitting when they already made plans with friends, or magically wake up in a palace.... Whatever the plot is, it should matter to your character. If your character isn’t invested in the world, your audience won’t be, either. In my opinion the most authentic, memorable scenes happen when characters LET THINGS MATTER.

Here’s the math: <Professor Cuddy adjusts her glasses and reveals a chalkboard>

you care = the audience cares
you shrug = the audience shrugs

How do we make sure something matters? Improv Royalty Jill Bernard once said, “It’s not the gift, it’s the arms giving it.”

In other words, would you rather watch a scene where...

  1. Sophie buys groceries from cashier David and mentions she is running errands for her boss,
  2. Sophie looks high and low throughout the store, frantic for a can of Diet Dr. Pepper that she needs for her boss, but cashier David is drinking the last one….

Suddenly it's not about the errand or the soda. It’s about Sophie and David and what they will do next to get what they want.

Silhouette image of a person with text of a quote by Tom Booker that reads "Get out of your head and into your heart."

Image courtesy of Improv Artvice Illustrated by David Kantrowitz,

The following video clip is a lovely example of taking a quirky and silly suggestion and immediately making it matter to the character. In this musical improv scene by OFF BOOK stars Jessica McKenna and Zach Reino, you see how much they LET THINGS MATTER.

Let’s Discuss…

What’s a memorable scene that you watched or performed where the characters let things matter? Visit this post on Facebook ( or Instagram (, and let us know! And please don't forget to sign-up for this year of Operation: Show! at so you can stay informed about future newsletters, information, and events! 

Have fun and stay safe!

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