Improvisation for Actors and Writers: A Guidebook for Improv Lessons in Comedy

$15.98 price
(Save 10%)$17.95 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (8) from $7.70   
  • New (4) from $14.28   
  • Used (4) from $7.70   
Sending request ...

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781566080941
  • Publisher: Meriwether Publishing, Limited
  • Publication date: 4/28/2004
  • Pages: 250
  • Sales rank: 1,441,047
  • Product dimensions: 5.56 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.48 (d)

Table of Contents

Sect. 1 Improv comedy schools 5
Ch. 1 Why study improv comedy? 6
Ch. 2 Comedy schools 7
Ch. 3 Auditioning and placement 10
Ch. 4 What have I gotten myself into? 14
Sect. 2 Improv comedy basics 21
Ch. 5 The enlightenment 22
Ch. 6 The comedy commandments 23
Ch. 7 Four falling anvils of improv 27
Ch. 8 Falling anvil #1 : collaboration 28
Ch. 9 Falling anvil #2 : agreement 33
Ch. 10 Falling anvil #3 : foundation (who, what, and where) 43
Ch. 11 Falling anvil #4 : exploring, heightening, and finding a game 53
Ch. 12 Basics wrap-up 59
Sect. 3 Developing comic characters 61
Ch. 13 Overview 62
Ch. 14 Developing character essences 68
Ch. 15 The character toolbox 76
Ch. 16 Character workout 86
Ch. 17 Character wrap-up 97
Sect. 4 Long form improv 99
Ch. 18 Introduction to long form improv 100
Ch. 19 Long form skill #1 : building a logical absurdity inside one scene 104
Ch. 20 Long form skill #2 : "circling up" (replicating the problem inside one scene) 106
Ch. 21 Long form skill #3 : extending the game across multiple scenes 109
Ch. 22 Long form skill #4 : editing scenes 114
Ch. 23 Long form extras 116
Ch. 24 Long form wrap-up 121
Sect. 5 Writing sketch comedy 123
Ch. 25 Sketches : getting started 124
Ch. 26 Finding and shaping sketch material 127
Ch. 27 The sketch writing toolbox 135
Ch. 28 Getting your sketch on its feet 153
Ch. 29 Sketch writing wrap-up 159
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2004

    Detailed, Complete

    <p>This is the book that improvisers will secretly buy, not tell any of their friends, and then say 'Oh, yeah, I know all that basic stuff already.' <p>A list of sketch structures, character defense mechanisms, techniques for creating character 'essence', character 'game', 'hooks', montage long form techniques, and so forth. <p>Helpful to a point, then you gotta do it

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)