Jun Imai ・今井純
Born in Tokyo, Japan, Jun Imai lived in California for 8 years and is the Asian Region Representative for the International Theatresports Institute’s Board of Directors. He has studied acting with various teachers, specifically Method Acting with Frank Casaro, Artistic Director of the Actor’s Studio, and improvisation with Keith Johnstone, creator of Theatresports.
He has had the pleasure of being the simultaneous interpreter for method acting and improv workshops led by Keith Johnstone, Roberta Wallach, Lyn Pierce, Dennis Cahill, Shawn Kinley, Steve Jarand, and Mark Lamb. He has taught in Canada, Germany, Italy, China and Hong Kong, and Dubai.
He has been coaching and directing improv since 1995 and in 2005 he began to direct and produce shows at the Tokyo Comedy Store, in Shibuya, Tokyo. With a cast of over thirty talented improvisors, TCS is one of Japan’s premiere improv groups. He is invited to teach improv, acting, and mask work in eight cities in Japan other than Tokyo each year.
A prolific writer, he published “It’s Hard to be Free- an Impro Manual” based on his experience with bringing improv to the Japanese in 2006. It’s been a long-term best-seller in the theater community since then. He followed up in 2009 and 2010 with the three-volume “Japanese Who’ve Begun to Improvise: Keith Johnstone’s Impro”, and “Keith Johnstone in Japan” in 2013. Imai’s books have earned him praise as a thoughtful and incisive teacher and director.
In addition to directing at TCS, he teaches impro, scripted acting, and mask workshops through his own company, in the moment, ltd., and for Tokyo talent agencies. He has worked with both new and well-know film and television actors in Japan. He feels strongly that Japanese actors and panese society as a whole can benefit from what impro has to offer and is currently working on a book Zen and improvisation to bridge the gap between this most Western of arts and traditional Eastern philosophy.