Improvisation for the Theater: A Handbook of Teaching and Directing Techniques, Including a New Appendix / Edition 3

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Overview

Here is the thoroughly revised third edition of the bible of improvisational theater.

Viola Spolin's improvisational techniques changed the very nature and practice of modern theater. The first two editions of Improvisation for the Theater sold more than 100,000 copies and inspired actors, directors, teachers, and writers in theater, television, film. These techniques have also influenced the fields of education, mental health, social work, and psychology.

Also available: Spolin's Theater Game File

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"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

Library Journal
This new edition of a highly acclaimed handbook, last published in 1983 and widely used by theater teachers and directors, is sure to be welcomed by members of the theater profession. Spolin, who died in 1994, developed her improvisational techniques of using "game" exercises while teaching with the WPA Recreational Project in Chicago. Editor Sills, her son and founder of the Second City Theater, here updates over 200 classic exercises and adds 30 new ones. The creative group work and games, which can be used with all levels and ages of performers, and workshop techniques that enhance performers' natural abilities and intuition are all clearly explained. Also included are useful definitions of theater terms and a glossary of side-coaching phrases. Libraries with older editions will want this excellent update. Highly recommended for all theater arts collections.--Howard E. Miller, Rosary H.S. Lib., St. Louis Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810140080
  • Publisher: Northwestern University Press
  • Publication date: 7/28/1999
  • Edition description: 3
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 412
  • Sales rank: 132,806
  • Lexile: 1030L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Viola Spolin, the originator of theater games, 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. During her years as a teacher and supervisor of creative dramatics there, she began to develop her nonverbal, nonpsychological approach. Her books have been translated into Swedish, German, and Portuguese. She died in 1994.

Paul Sills is Viola Spolin's son and the founding director of Chicago's Second City and of Story Theater. He is the coeditor of the third edition of Improvisation for the Theater.

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Table of Contents

Editor's Note
Paul Sills' Introduction
Paul Sills' Sayings of Viola Spolin
Alphabetical List of Exercises
Acknowledgments
Viola Spolin's Preface to the First Edition
Viola Spolin's Preface to the Second Edition

THEORY AND FOUNDATION
I. Creative Experience
II. Workshop Procedures

EXERCISES
III. Orientation
IV. Where
V. Acting with the Whole Body
VI. Non-Directional Blocking
VII. Refining Awareness
VIII. Broadcasting, and Technical Effects
IX. Developing Material for Situations
X. Speech and Rounding-Out Exercises
XI. Emotion
XII. Character

CHILDREN AND THE THEATER
XIII. Understanding the Child
XIV. Fundamentals for the Child Actor
XV. Workshop for Six-to-Eight-Year-Olds

FORMAL THEATER AND IMPROVISATIONAL THEATER
XVI. Preparation
XVII. Rehearsal and Performance
XVIII. Post-Mortem and Special Problems

DEFINITIONS
Definition of Terms
Glossary of Side-Coaching Phrases

APPENDIXES
Appendix I. New Exercises
Appendix II. Traditional Games

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2003

    A Great Tool for Improvisational Theater

    This phenomenal book by the late Viola Spolin allows any actor or actress to really grasp the emotion, movement, and interation that take place on stage. She uses a series of games and excercises that tackle all the major areas of Improvisational theater. It starts from the beginning, and works players up to scenes involving Who, What, and Where. This book will help even the most experienced of actors, and those who are just beginning. Ideal for: College Courses High School Courses Theater Workshops

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted October 15, 2008

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