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Second City Almanac of Improvisation
     

Second City Almanac of Improvisation

by Anne Libera, Second City Inc., Second City, Inc.
 

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ISBN-10: 0810118017

ISBN-13: 9780810118010

Pub. Date: 05/28/2004

Publisher: Northwestern University Press

It all began in a converted Chinese laundry on Chicago's north side on a cold December night in 1959. No one could have known that by the next century, The Second City would have established itself as the premier comedy institution in the world. Taking its act north, The Second City would build a second permanent home in Toronto where it would create the Emmy-Award

Overview

It all began in a converted Chinese laundry on Chicago's north side on a cold December night in 1959. No one could have known that by the next century, The Second City would have established itself as the premier comedy institution in the world. Taking its act north, The Second City would build a second permanent home in Toronto where it would create the Emmy-Award winning television series "SCTV." Pioneering the use of improvisation in developing talent and creating satiric revue comedy, The Second City has become - in the words of the New York Times - "A Comedy Empire."

The Second City Almanac of Improvisation - like the theatre itself - is a collection of diverse ideas, viewpoints, and memories, written by a vast array of teachers, actors, and directors who all got their start at the legendary comedy theatre. Fred Willard recalls his introduction to The Second City style in the mid-Sixties; Tim Kazurinsky gives a hilarious visual demonstration on the art of object work; "Saturday Night Live" star Tina Fey talks about re-improvising material as a mode of writing revue comedy; noted director Mick Napier takes on the thorny debate between long-form improvisation and short-form improvisation. Anne Libera guides the reader through each essay by providing a road map for understanding how The Second City method of improv-based comedy has become the industry standard.

Mike Nichols, Elaine May, Alan Arkin, Joan Rivers, Robert Klein, Peter Boyle, Harold Ramis, John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, John Candy, Martin Short, Gilda Radner, George Wendt, Jim Belushi, Bonnie Hunt, Mike Myers, Ryan Stiles, Rachel Dratch, Nia Vardalos - no other theatre can boast an alumni list of this magnitude. The Second City Almanac of Improvisation provides practical instruction, personal details, and inspiration to both improvisers and their fans.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780810118010
Publisher:
Northwestern University Press
Publication date:
05/28/2004
Edition description:
1
Pages:
200
Sales rank:
846,144
Product dimensions:
8.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.80(d)

Related Subjects

Table of Contents

Foreword
Preface

Chapter One: Beginning
Viola Spolin
First Class
The Rules
Object Work, or "A Mime Is Not a Terrible Thing to Waste"
Environment
"Yes, and . . ." and "Explore and Heighten"
Give and Take
Where We Came From: A Very Brief History of Revue
An Improvisational Almanac, Part One

Chapter Two: Playing the Scene
Martin
Perfect Partner
Relationship
Relationship Exercises
Transformation of Relationships
Perfect Partner Part II
Status
Living Large in the Moment
Play Is Physical
An Improvisational Almanac, Part Two

Chapter Three: The Performer inside the Scene
A Few Thoughts on Improvisation
Finding the Funny
How Do You Create Characters? or "I Do This Hilarious Guy Who Has a Funny Hat"
Three Kinds of Character
Playing at the Top of Your Intelligence
Character: Playing with Intelligence and Heart
In the Beginning . . . Making Initiations
Crossing the Line and Going Blue
Forming Opinions
Finding Scenic Point of View
Finding Your Voice
An Improvisational Almanac, Part Three

Chapter Four: Improvisation and Acting
Building a Character within an Ensemble through the Games
An Improvisational Almanac, Part Four

Chapter Five: Long Forms, Short Forms, Scenes, and Games
Improvisation: The Fine Line between Suck and Not Bad and How to Get Away from That Line and Go to Another Line Where the Options Are Better
Del Close
Del Close Games
What's Better? Long Form or Short Form?
What Is Long-Form Improvisation?
Scenic Structure 101
Don DePollo
Top Ten Performance Games of The Second City National Touring Company
Editing and Beats
An Improvisational Almanac, Part Five

Chapter Six: Creating Material
Doing It Again
Pre-Planning a Second City Scene
The Ensemble Creates a Revue
Putting Up a Traditional Second City Improv Set
Blackouts and Extended Blackouts
How to Bottle Lightning for Fun and Profit
An Improvisational Almanac, Part Six

Chapter Seven: Directing
Blessed Obstacles
Running Orders
Ideal Running Order
An Improvisational Almanac, Part Seven

Recommended Reading
Appendix
Attributions
Contributors
Acknowledgments
Contributors: Sandra Balcovske, Dexter Bullard, Andrew Currie, Chris Earle, Tina Fey, Shari Hollett, Bruce Hunter, Nick Johne, Tim Kazurinsky, Keegan-Michael Key, Kelly Leonard, Frank McAnulty, Adam McKay, Patrick McKenna, Susan Messing, Jonathan Pitts, David Razowsky, Jeff Richmond, Bernie Sahlins, Brian Stack, Ron West, Fred Willard.

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