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

Improvisation for the Theater: A Handbook of Teaching and Directing Techniques
Your Price: $33.95 CDN
Author: Viola Spolin
Edited by: Paul Sills
Publisher: Northwestern University Press
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 412
Pub. Date: 1999
Edition: 3rd
ISBN-10: 081014008X
ISBN-13: 9780810140080

About the Book:

Viola Spolin's unique "Theater Games" approach focuses on directorial and improvisational exercises for the actor and is considered to be a major contributor to the improvisational theater movement in the United States. Her Improvisation for the Theater is often called the "improv bible," and teaches actors to live in the moment and respond quickly and truthfully to their present circumstances.

The original "Theater Games" were developed by Viola Spolin as exercises while she was teaching with the WPA Recreational Project in Chicago. Her son Paul Sills was at the forefront of Chicago's Second City and taught his mother's techniques to generations of illustrious comedy stars including Alan Arkin, Fred Willard, Dan Aykroyd, and Gilda Radner. The first two editions of Improvisation for the Theater inspired actors, directors, teachers, and writers in theatre, television, and film, as well as every improvisational comedy troupe. These techniques have also influenced the fields of education, mental health, social work, and psychology.

In this third edition Editor Paul Sills, one of the founders of the Second City Theater, updates the more than 200 now-classic exercises and adds 30 new ones to the theatre games that are also frequently used as warm-ups.

What people say:

"Her book is the bible." — Rob Reiner

"It's like basic research ... she [has] changed the theater for generations." — Alan Alda

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

"Spolin's book is a visionary effort...it is hardly an overstatement to call it revolutionary...her practical and keen psychological insight will have a deep and wide impact on all directing and acting for the theater." — Variety

"Libraries with older editions will want this excellent update. Highly recommended for all theater arts collections." — Library Journal

About the Author:

Viola Spolin (1906-1994) was an American drama teacher and author. She 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. Considered by many to be the grandmother of Improvisational theatre, she won many awards in her lifetime for her contribution to professional, educational, community, and children's theatre.

Paul Sills (1927-2008) was an American director and improvisation teacher. He is best known as one of the founders of the improvisational comedy group The Second City, which has turned out some of America's best-known comedians. Sills was inspired by his late mother, Viola Spolin, who created hundreds of improvisational games used to train generations of actors. Paul Sills followed in her footsteps and was known as a guru of improvisation.

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