Improvisation for the Theater

Improvisation for the Theater : A Handbook of Teaching and Directing Techniques

Introduction by Paul Sills , By (author) Viola Spolin , Other Paul Sills


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This work has inspired the work of countless actors, directors, and writers in theatre, television and film. Spolin's improvisational techniques have changed the very nature and practice of modern theatre. This third edition updates the more than 200 now-classic exercises and adds 30 new ones. It adds 30 traditional theatre games that are frequently used as warm-ups. It includes Spolin's explanations of key concepts crucial to her programme, and collects ""The Sayings of Viola Spolin"" and adds a glossary of phrases for teachers and directors, with Spolin's definitions of their meaning and value. Most significantly, though, this edition makes available ""The Lone Actor"". In this section, Spolin offers games for individuals to play when they are alone. It is an important piece that should expand Spolin's teachings and influence to an entirely new audience.

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  • Paperback | 416 pages
  • 152.4 x 226.06 x 30.48mm | 612.35g
  • 28 Jul 1999
  • Northwestern University Press
  • Evanston
  • English
  • Revised
  • 3rd Revised edition
  • 081014008X
  • 9780810140080
  • 48,399

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Author Information

Viola Spolin, the originator of theater games, was introduced to the use of games, storytelling, folk dance, and dramatics as tools for stimulating creative expression in the 1920s while a student of Neva Boyd at Chicago's Hull House. During her years as a teacher and supervisor of creative dramatics there, she began to develop her nonverbal, nonpsychological approach. Her books have been translated into Swedish, German, and Portuguese. She died in 1994. Paul Sills is Viola Spolin's son and the founding director of Chicago's Second City and of Story Theater. He is the coeditor of the third edition of "Improvisation for the Theater."

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Review quote

"She has genius and shares it." --Valerie Harper

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