Keith Johnstone entered the Royal Court Theatre as a new playwright in 1956: a decade later he emerged as a groundbreaking director and teacher of improvisation. His decisive book Impro (1979), described Johnstone's unique system of training: weaving together theories and techniques to encourage spontaneous, collaborative creation using the intuition and imagination of the actors. Johnstone has since become world-renowned, inspiring theatre greats and beginners alike; and his work continues to influence practice within and beyond the traditional theatre.
Theresa Robbins Dudeck is the first author to rigorously examine Johnstone's life and career using a combination of archival documents - many from Johnstone's personal collection - participant observation, and interviews with Johnstone, his colleagues and former students.
Keith Johnstone: A Critical Biography is a fascinating journey through the physical spaces that have served as Johnstone's transformative classrooms, and into the conceptual spaces which inform his radical pedagogy and approach to artistic work.
Theresa Robbins Dudeck, Ph.D., is an experienced teacher/practitioner of Keith Johnstone's Impro System and of acting, voice, and applied theatre techniques. She directs, teaches, and performs in both professional and academic settings. As Johnstone's Literary Executor, she continues to organize, document, and preserve his archive for future scholarship. Theresa lives in Los Angeles.
1 Introducing Keith Johnstone and his Impro System 2 The formative years First forays in teaching Waiting for Godot The Royal Court Theatre - A 'School' for playwrights Samuel Beckett - An arranged meeting Sunday Night productions without decor The Writers' Group Eleven Men Dead at Hola Camp - An improvised dramatic protest Johnstone as a Royal Court Theatre director Court politics The Knack 3 All the world is a classroom The Royal Court Theatre Studio Clowning Johnstone's last season at the Royal Court The Performing Giant The Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts The Theatre Machine Johnstone teaches beyond Britain Theatre Machine back at the Court and Johnstone's courtship Johnstone and Eugenio Barba The Last Bird in Copenhagen Emigration 4 The master teacher in the university classroom O Canada! Johnstone's new hom Johnstone's first staging of Godot The University of Calgary Drama 200 and Drama 300 Vakhtangov and Zen Teacher-student interaction Production work at the University of Calgary Live Snakes and Ladders Johnstone's legacy at the University of Calgary 5 From classroom to world stage: The Loose Moose Theatre Company The Loose Moose Theatre Company Beginning of Theatresports Waiting for Godot and The Last Bird again Theatresports Tournaments and The Loose Moose Hamlet Loose Moose finds a home A Pinteresque season Bustling and broke Unsportsmanlike conduct Loose Moose moves forward Impro and Theatresports in Sweden Festival of Fools in New York and treated like fools in Quebec Back home Beginning of Life Game and other formats Out of debt but no recognition (Re)Teaching Theatresports Conflict and closure - Beyond and within; Transitions The Loose Moose today 6 What now? What comes next? What classrooms still remain? Johnstone - The reluctant guru Johnstone's international workshops - Ideal for who? What may (or may not) happen in a Johnstone workshop Improbable's Life Game and Rebecca Northan's Blind Date Impro hot on stages and in classrooms of Latin America Impro beyond the theatre classroom What comes next? What classrooms still remain? Bibliography Index