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Truth in Comedy: The Manual for Improvisation

Truth in Comedy: The Manual for Improvisation
Your Price: $23.95 CDN
Author: Charna Halpern, Del Close and Kim Howard Johnson
Foreword by: Mike Myers
Publisher: Pioneer Drama
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 160
Pub. Date: 1994
ISBN-10: 1566080037
ISBN-13: 9781566080033

About the Book:

Truth in Comedy is considered the bible for improvisation in the entertainment industry and is mandatory reading in theatre departments on most college campuses.

This improv manual introduced the concepts of the "Harold" — the innovative improvisational tool that helped Saturday Night Live's Mike Myers, Chris Farley, George Wendt, and many others on the road to TV and film stardom. The innovative concepts are described fully in this insightful theatre book that has become the bible for wannabe improvisers. The "Harold" is an improv form involving six or seven players. It consists of many things: scenes, songs, games, and monologues — the most important of which is the two-scene beginning. A strong opening develops the point of view for "The Group Mind" to follow, often with three different storylines. It tells how to create a non-linear entertainment that remembers everything and wastes nothing — the key to successful improvising.

About the Author:

Charna Halpern has been teaching performers how to work together for more than 25 years. Having founded the world famous i.O. (formerly ImprovOlympic) in Chicago and Hollywood, Halpern’s theaters are the meccas of training in the art of improvisation and act as a recruiting stop for television shows like Saturday Night Live, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, The Colbert Report and MADtv, supplying Hollywood with writers and performers. She is the author of the improv training manuals Truth in Comedy and Art By Committee.

Del Close (1934 – 1999) was an American actor, improviser, writer, and teacher. One of the pioneers of improvisation, he started his comedy career with Mike Nichols and Elaine May in the Compass Players in St. Louis during the 1950s. Moving on to Second City and eventually to San Francisco as creator and director of the legendary radical political satire comedy troupe The Committee, Del returned to Second City in 1973 and remained for twelve years its highly successful director. He was co-creator of SCTV with Andrew Alexander as well as "House Metaphysician" for three seasons of Saturday Night Live. He is credited for honing the talents of John Belushi, Bill Murray, Gilda Radner, Betty Thomas, John Candy and many others. Close was also co-director of the i.O. (formerly ImprovOlympic) with Charna Halpern.

Kim Howard Johnson is an accomplished writer, performer and improviser who has studied and collaborated with Del Close and Charna Halpern for many years.

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