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The Second City Almanac of ImprovisationThe Second City Almanac of Improvisation
Anne Libera
In The Second City Almanac of Improvisation, Anne Libera collects the diverse ideas, viewpoints, and memories of a vast array of teachers, actors, and directors who all got their start at the legendary comedy theatre. Libera puts each essay in context to give readers an understanding of how The Second City method of improv-based comedy has become the industry standard. Softcover, 196 pp. $37.50.

Whose Improv is it Anyway?Whose Improv is it Anyway? Beyond Second City
Amy E. Seham
This inside look at the evolution of improv-comedy in Chicago reveals the struggles, the laughter, and the ideals of mutual support, freedom, and openness that have inspired many performers. Drawing on the experiences of working improvisers, Whose Improv is it Anyway? provides a never-before-published account of developments beyond Second City's mainstream approach to the genre. Softcover, 258 pp. $33.95.

Drama Games and ImprovsDrama Games and Improvs: Games for the Classroom and Beyond

Justine Jones & Mary Ann Kelley
This handy book provides a semester-long curriculum of drama games and improvs, classroom-tested and proven to be intellectually stimulating and creatively successful. You'll find it useful for a variety of creative situations--the drama classroom, rehearsals, or as creative prompts for original student plays. Softcover, 223 pp. $24.95.

Improvisation in DramaImprovisation in Drama

2nd Edition
Anthony Frost & Ralph Yarrow
Improvisation in Drama was the first book to offer a unified view of dramatic improvisation and to assess fully the significance of the teaching work of Jacques Lecoq. Now thoroughly revised, expanded and updated, this new edition provides a wide-ranging examination of a field whose importance has become increasingly recognized in contemporary performance practice. Softcover, 269 pp. $29.95.

The Improvisation GameThe Improvisation Game

Chris Johnston
Illustrated throughout with excercises and techniques, The Improvisation Game conducts a fascinating and provocative investigation into the wellsprings of improvisation in theatre, dance and music. Chris Johnston talks to more than forty key practitioners in the field - such figures as Keith Johnstone, Max Stafford-Clark, Tim Etchells, and many other influential people. Softcover, 363 pp. $32.00.

At Play: Teaching Teenagers TheaterAt Play: Teaching Teenagers Theater

Elizabeth Swados
Drawing on her own experiences teaching inner-city children in the groundbreaking musical Runaways and teaching the techniques of improv theater in schools around the country, as well as on her own background in experimental theater, Swados provides a step-by-step guide to bringing out the natural creativity and enthusiasm key for young people to create -- and enjoy -- improvisational theater. Softcover, 269 pp. $17.50.

Improvisation for Actors and WritersImprovisation for Actors and Writers
Bill Lynn
Beginning writers and actors need not look any further than this guidebook for improv comedy lessons. Softcover, 191 pp. $17.95.

Exploring CharacterExploring Character

R.E. Myers
Exploring Character gives you real-life scenarios that will get students talking about integrity, kindness, trustworthiness, courage, goodwill, openness, industriousness, cooperation, and friendship. The activities and discussion points will help to develop values, choices and behavior; spark open-ended discussion and individual reflection; and involve your students in thinking seriously about the elements that make up the character of a responsible person. Softcover, 156 pp. $19.95.

Art by CommitteeA Guide to Advanced Improvisation Art by Committee: A Guide to Advanced Improvisation
Charna Halpern
Charna Halpern, the co-creator of long-form improvisation with her partner, the late Del Close, has changed the face of improvisational comedy forever. In this new book, she offers advanced instruction in the art of comedic improvisation. No performer will want to be without this authoritative book, which includes a DVD. Softcover with DVD, 136 pp. $22.95.

Improv WisdomImprov Wisdom
Patricia Ryan Madson
Whether it's dealing with a demanding boss, a tired child, or one of life's never-ending surprises, Improv Wisdom shows how to apply the maxims of improvisational theatre to real-life challenges. Patricia Madson distills thirty years of experience into thirteen simple strategies to help readers loosen up, think on their feet, and take on everything life has to offer with skill, chutzpah, and a sense of humour. Hardcover, 159 pp. $20.00.

101 Improv Games for Children & Adults101 Improv Games for Children & Adults
Bob Bedore
For ages 5 and up, this book explains how to use improv to encourage imagination, spontaneity, and creative expression. The 101 Improv Games range from easy warm-ups to basic scenes, character games, games involving teamwork and more. Softcover, 176 pp. $19.50.

Improv for ActorsImprov for Actors
Dan Diggles
This insightful guide shows actors, teachers, and students how to develop specific improvisation skills that guarantee improv performances and scripted theatre that are alive, exciting, and a unique expression of those involved. Herein you'll learn how to release your own spontaneity, fully engage with your partner's choices, create a rehearsal space that is safe, fun and inviting, develop effective tools for storytelling, explore characters through status work, and much more. Softcover, 247 pp. $21.95.

Group ImprovisationGroup Improvisation: The Manual of Ensemble Improv Games
Peter Gwinn
This is the essential manual for ensemble improv games. Included are more than forty games and exercises to help assist bonding, focus, awareness, creation, energy, and dynamics. Softcover, 91 pp. $16.95.


Improv! A Handbook for ActorsImprov! A Handbook for the Actor
by Greg Atkins
The book is designed for use by both actors, directors and teachers. The introductory chapters explore the basics of improvisation and drama work, while the bulk of the book is devoted to exercises which may be used for almost any age group. The exercises are grouped under such headings as "Trust Exercises," "Working Together as an Ensemble" and "Warm-ups." A large part of the book is devoted to the idea of "Playwrighting on Your Feet," and exploring character development, plotlines, and motivation. Softcover, $18.95.

Improvisation Improvisation: Learning Through Drama
by David Booth & Charles Lundy
The book, designed as a student textbook, is divided into five sections, each of which contains an introductory essay, a Workshop, and a page for journal writing. Section one is about getting yourself prepared for the drama work, while Section two prepares the whole group for the drama process. These two sections are filled with games and activities that can be played and worked with for their own sake. Section three is about the difference between playing yourself and playing a role, and in Section four the student will cross over into the drama itself. The last part of the book, "Drama Projects," offers a few suggestions for exploring the performance aspects of theatre. Coil-bound, large-format softcover, $74.95.

Also by David Booth:

  • Interpretation Coil-bound, large-format softcover -- $72.95

Improv ComedyImprov Comedy
by Andy Goldberg
Offers a lively presentation of the building blocks of improv comedy characterization, plot, and environment as well as an extensive collection of progressive scene setups and exercises. The author includes an introductory section on some of the pitfalls to watch for, as well as some general rules for successful improvising. The second section of the book discusses ways to construct an improv show and/or a capable comedy troupe. The third section of the book is comprised of exercises and scene setups, with hints on how to use them.
Softcover, $21.50 I/S (1991).

Improvisation with Favourite TalesImprovisation with Favourite Tales
by Ruth Beall Heinig
Gives teachers practical methods of dramatising literature. Using nineteen traditional tales as a springboard for exploration, the author explains some basic drama exercises and methods of teaching, and then presents hundreds of drama activities based on the tales. The activities frequently extend beyond the basic storyline to create opportunities for exploring characters, plots and themes. The activities for each tale are grouped into categories of pantomime and verbal modes, and then are further grouped according to solo or paired and group playing. Softcover, $23.95.

Impro: Improvisation and the Theatre
by Keith Johnstone
Divided into four sections, "Status," "Spontaneity," "Narrative Skills," and "Masks and Trance" arranged more or less in the order a group might approach them, the book lays out the specific techniques and exercises which Johnstone himself has found most useful and most stimulating. The book is a combination of examples from his work with the Royal Court Theatre and suggestions for classroom use thus, the theoretical is mingled with the practical in this unique resource for acting teachers and/or theatre directors. Softcover, $34.99.

Improv for StorytellersImpro for Storytellers
by Keith Johnstone
This book builds on the seminal work of Johnstone's Impro. His techniques specialize in releasing an individual's potential within the context of group work. The book includes detailed sections on Theatresports, as well as various aspects of Impro from Audience Suggestions to the exploration of Spontaneity. The bulk of the book deals with the subject of storytelling, which takes the techniques of Impro beyond the endless repetition of games; this section is filled with helpful theoretical hints as well as games and activities. Softcover. $22.00.

Improve with Improv!Improve with Improv! A Guide to Improvisation and Character Development
by Brie Jones
A complete improv curriculum program divided into 20 workshops. The activities presented have been used by the author to stimulate acting students in a community college class, but may be adapted for any and all age groups. Each workshop includes introductory lecture notes, a few demonstrations, and a series of improv exercises. Workshop titles include Orientation, Ensemble, Vocal Techniques, Props, Gibberish, Animals, and Commedia dell'Arte, among others. Softcover, $16.95.

Improvisations in Creative Drama
by Betty Keller
The first section of the book is composed of an ordered sequence of workshops in creative drama, each explained in detail as it has been used by the author with her students. The workshops, which are meant as departure points, will provide enough material for a years work in the classroom. They are recommended as an introduction to the fundamentals of sound and music, poetry and imagination, and play-acting on stage. The second part of the book is a collection of fourteen short plays for practice and performance. Softcover, $15.95.

Let's ImproviseLet's Improvise: Becoming Creative, Expressive
& Spontaneous Through Drama
, Third Edition
by Milton E. Polsky
The first four chapters explore non-verbal techniques and exercises designed to make students move, think and create. The next two chapters deal with contrasting varieties of pantomime, while the final sections of the book look at verbal improvisations. Each chapter is filled with expressive games and activities which may be used to develop a year-long course in improv. To foster personal awareness, the book features "Add Your Own" spaces in which players can contribute their original ideas and images. A "Player's Diary" at the end of each chapter is designed to further enhance self-discovery. Softcover, $24.95.

Improvisation for the TheatreImprovisation for the Theatre, Third Edition
by Viola Spolin
Spolin's improvisational techniques, designed to enable the player or actor to enter into ongoing stage reality in a process that allows artistic and intuitive freedom to grow, have changed the very nature and practice of modern theatre. The third edition of this book updates the more than two-hundred exercises and adds 30 new ones. It also adds 30 traditional theatre games that are frequently used as warm-ups, and includes Spolin's explanations of key concepts crucial to her program. Further, there is a section on "The Lone Actor," which offers games for individuals to play when they are alone.
Large-format softcover, $28.95.

Also by Viola Spolin:

  • Theatre Game File - $88.00
  • Theatre Games For Rehearsal - $25.00
  • Theatre Games For The Classroom - $31.50
  • Theatre Games For The Lone Actor - $20.50

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Last modified July 18, 2012.
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