Improvisation is a tool for many things: performance training, rehearsal practice, playwriting, therapeutic interaction and somatic discovery. This book opens up the significance of improvisation across cultures, histories and ways of performing our life, offering key insights into the what, the how and the why of performance.
It traces the origins of improvisation and its influences, both as a social and political phenomenon and its position in performance training. Including history, theory and practice, this new edition encompasses Theatre and Performance Studies as well as Drama, acknowledging the rapid reconfiguration of these fields in recent years. Its coverage also now extends to improvisation in the USA, cinema, LARPing, street events and the improvising audience, while also looking at improv's relationship to stand-up comedy, jazz, poetry and free movement practices. With an index of exercises and an extensive bibliography, this book is indispensable to students of improvisation.
Anthony Frost is Director of the University of East Anglia Studio and Course Director for Scriptwriting and Performance at the University of East Anglia, UK. He has devised and co-written a number of full-length plays, and taught in Germany and America. His previous publications include the edited volume Theatre Theories (2000). Ralph Yarrow is Professor Emeritus of Drama and Comparative Literature at the University of East Anglia, UK. He has directed over 60 productions, acted in many others and conducted workshops in the UK, Germany, India and South Africa. His publications include Indian Theatre and Lecoq in Britain (edited with Franc Chamberlain).
Acknowledgements.- Introduction and Preface to the Third Edition.- PART I: WHO? MAJOR PRACTITIONERS OF IMPROVISATION.- Improvisation in training, rehearsal practice and writing (Europe and the UK).- The improv scene (USA).- Improvisation in the creation of new modes of performance.- Improvisations for change: 'Paratheatre', participation and performance work beyond the stage.- PART II: WHAT? THE PRACTICE OF IMPROVISATION: IMPROVISATION EXERCISES.- Preparation.- Working together.- Moving towards performance.- Improvisation for Scene-Building.- PART III: WHY? THE MEANINGS OF IMPROVISATION: TOWARDS A POETICS.- Enriching the communication of meaning.- Meaning and performance.- Notes.- Bibliography.- Index.