Improv Handbook: The Ultimate Guide to Improvising in Theatre, Comedy, and Beyond / Edition 1

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A provocative examination of NCLB and how it can be improved. The pending reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) has generated a spirited debate among educators. In this volume, a team of noted education scholars assess NCLB's performance-based system and the challenges of improving NCLB in order to meet the goals of the law. This edited resource by Gail L. Sunderman provides a comprehensive evaluation of NCLB and discusses options for modifying the legislation. With contributions from Gary Orfield, Linda Darling-Hammond, Catherine Snow, Robert Linn, and Daniel Koretz, among others, Holding NCLB Accountable examines the themes of capacity, accountability, school reform, and the law's impact on educating all students, especially those from low-income and diverse backgrounds. This groundbreaking work assesses the efficacy of NCLB test-based accountability and responds to critical questions such as: How do we develop assessments and accountability systems that assist rather than interfere with educational progress? How do we promote change without being counterproductive? How do we create a viable educational agenda that is mindful of state and local capacity?

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826428585
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
  • Publication date: 5/1/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 448
  • Sales rank: 688,680
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Tom Salinsky is the co-founder (with his wife Deborah Frances-White) of The Spontaneity Shop. He and Deborah have performed improvisation for The Royal Court, The RSC Summer Season, The Gilded Balloon at the Edinburgh Festival, and at the Bloomsbury Theatre. They have toured the world and performed at many comedy festivals by invitation. They teach at RADA, The Actors Centre, The National Youth Theatre, and many other colleges and institutions, as well as their own successful workshop program.

Deborah Frances-White is the co-founder (with her husband Tom Salinsky) of The Spontaneity Shop. She and Tom have performed improvisation for The Royal Court, The RSC Summer Season, The Gilded Balloon at the Edinburgh Festival, and at the Bloomsbury Theatre. They have toured the world and performed at many comedy festivals by invitation. They teach at RADA, The Actors Centre, The National Youth Theatre, and many other colleges and institutions, as well as their own successful workshop program.

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Table of Contents

Part One: Improvisation


Antiquity: Forms of improvisation from before the 20th Century Johnstone / Calgary: Keith Johnstone, the Theatre Machine, and the Loose Moose

Close / Chicago: Del Close and the Chicago scene

Spolin: The Compass Players and Viola Spolin's continuing influence

The World Over: The spread of improvised theatre across Europe, America and the rest of the world

The Spontaneity Shop / UK: Improvisation in the UK - a personal history


TheatreSports: The grandaddy of them all

Micetro, Gorilla Theatre, LifeGame: Later inventions of Keith Johnstone

The Harold and Its Relations: Del Close's way of doing things

The Rest: Less interesting, influential, or popular forms: "Whose Line Is It Anyway"; "Improvised" films and television; TellTales; X-improvised.

Intermission: Great Teachers

Part Two: How to Improvise

Core Beliefs

Storytelling: Improvisation isn't about jokes, or about "anything goes". It's about telling a story.
Failure - on and off the stage: Why "we suck and we love to fail" is the most important thing anyone's ever said to us.

How To Use This Section

Day One

Spontaneity: Pointing at things; What are you doing?

Saying "Yes": Block/Offer/Accept; Yes and...

Day Two

Fundamentals of Storytelling: Platforms - go through an unusual door; Breaking routines; The right trouble for the right hero; Reincorporation

Day Three

Status: What status is and what it isn't; High status and low status "triggers"; Status and space; Status is relative

Day Four

Working Together: Tug of war; Word at a time; Speak in one voice; Dubbing

Day Five

Being Changed: Status switch; Gibberish; It's Tuesday

Day Six

Upping the Ante: Jump and justify; Boris; He said she said; Questions only

You can't learn mime from a book

Day Seven

Characters: Changing the body image; Characters from a hat

Day Eight: Blind Offers

Intermission: The rules and why there aren't any

Part Three: How To Improve

All Talk and No Action Silent scenes Gibberish Three word sentences

Can't Define, Won't Define

Solid as a Rock Shoe shops It's Tuesday

The Gagmeister General

Story Woes Continue or thank you Shoe shops

Character Twins

Intermission: Game Corruption

Part Four: How To Improvise In Public

Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway

Nuts and Bolts The group The venue Press and publicity Preparation On the day Next steps

Pick Your Format Licensed formats Unlicensed formats Innovating formats

Intermission: Truth in Comedy in Bits and Pieces

Part Five: How To Improvise All Over the World

Getting On the Television Getting On the Festival Circuit Hosting Your Own Festival

Intermission: "Please don't..."

Part Six: Making Improvisation Pay

The Corporate Market Corporate Training Corporate Entertainment

Intermission: Why Improvisation

Part Seven: Talk the Talk - Interviews with Improvisers

Tom and Deborah interview each other Keith Johnstone Dan O'Connor Patti Stiles Paul Sills Charna Halpern Plus several more alumni of shows like Saturday Night Live and The Daily Show, who we should be able to include

Part Eight: Final Thoughts

Glossary, bibliography, index, useful contacts

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