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    Stage Directing Theory
    Directing Theory: pre-text, text and super-text = playscript + spectacle + public
    If you are on this page, you are not new to theatre. You want to know how to get better.

    Learning about improvisation can help.

    One word of warning -- there is no such a thing -- improvisation. Everything in theatre (life) is improvization.

    The moment improvisation is gone, there is no theatre on stage.

    You read about improvisation, you the task of non-scripted performance.

    Improvisation is a part of working on everything -- monologue, scene, play. Not is single monologue in my classes goes without a test on improvisation. After a read-through and homework I ask actors to put away their pages; I know that they don't remember the lines, I want to see what they do remember, what do they understand.

    You see, actors shouldn't memorize their texts before they can pass the improv test. Test on the essence of the scene -- improvisation make it obvious.

    Forget the words! Is there anyhting take place? What is the event? Who are they, the characters? How do they walk?

    This is about acting, not reading.

    Improvisation is merciless. Most of the time they are lost.

    They float away, they bring more and more words into it... time to go back to the test, there are better words there.

    We try again later. We have to, because the show is nothing not "improvision" from the public's point of view -- for the first time for them and for you on stage!

    Improv is not style, it's METHOD.


    Fall 2003: THR413 * Playscript Analysis Textbook:

    Keith Johnstone's IMPRO FOR STORYTELLERS
    Kenneth Pickering's DRAMA IMPROVISED
    Several essays in TEACHING SHAKESPEARE THROUGH PERFORMANCE
    Joe Winston's DRAMA, NARRATIVE, AND MORAL EDUCATION

    Nonfiction
    Amazon.com 100 Hot Videos
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    Amazon.com 100 Hot Books


    THR121 Fundamentals of Acting Textbook Spring 2003:
    Acting in Person and in Style
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    THR221 Intermediate Acting (BM) Textbook Spring 2003:
    Actors on Acting
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    Spring 2003: THR331 Fundamentals of Stage Directing Textbook:
    The Director's Eye
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    THR334 Film & Movies Textbook Spring 2003:
    How to Read a Film
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    Summary

    Impro: Improvisation and the Theatre by Keith Johnstone

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    Improvisation for the Theater: A Handbook of Teaching and Directing Techniques (Drama and Performance Studies) by Viola Spolin, Paul Sills (Paperback)

    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.
    Actor's Reading List

    Improvisation

    Impro for Storytellers (Theatre Arts (Routledge Paperback))

    Tim Sheppard (Bristol, England) - Not many practical manuals are also fun to just read, but this one is - funny, incisive, witty, philosophical and more. It is tremendously useful in many ways. I'm involved in applying impro, but not for Theatre Sports or comedy impro, yet this book is invaluable. My only annoyance is that it should be called Storytelling for Improvisors instead. If you are a storyteller hoping to learn how to improvise stories, this book will not address that directly for you, although if you absorb all the insight you'll get a lot of practical help. Johnstone's comments and analysis are very thought provoking, and reveal a great deal about human nature and the way our minds (and inhibitions) work. Any psychologist could learn a lot here too. If you are after a bumper book of games, go no further - this details a large number, but also with expert advice on how to teach and run the games, including warnings about all the variations that don't work.

    Auditions are improvisations by settings. You see, improv is always there as long as it is live. What do we need for any improvisation? First -- a situation. Second -- a character.

    Originally, I planned to have a list of books on auditions. There are many of them, very few I found useful. Auditions are your experience, go through many and you will learn. I rather stay with the books on the craft of acting, but not on "how to get a job."

    In fact, I am working on my own textbook and this website is a part of this work. I hope by doing the webbing, placing more of my texts from the hard drive, I can "naturally" arrive to the CD/Book.

    Photos on all book pages are from my most recent production of The Mikado.
    The book-pages are new and I am not sure how they work, who visits them and why. I put them on in order to avoid the usual questions about "what should I read" and "where can I find it" -- search, explore and read!

    Mikado
    1. Acting Games: Improvisations and Exercises: A Textbook of Theatre Games and Improvisations
    2. Action Theater: The Improvisation of Presence
    3. The Actor's Book of Improvisation
    4. The Actor's Scenebook: Scenes for Beginning Actors to Create
    5. Commedia Dell'Arte: An Actor's Handbook
    6. Drama Improvised: A Source Book for Teachers and Therapists
    7. Impro: Improvisation and the Theatre
    8. Improve With Improv!: A Guide to Improvisation and Character Development
    9. Improvisation
    10. Improvisation for the Theater: A Handbook of Teaching and Directing Techniques
    11. Improvisation in Drama (New Directions in Theatre)
    12. Improvisation Starters: A Collection of 900 Improvisation Situations for the Theater
    13. Improvisations in Creative Drama: A Program of Workshops and Dramatic Sketches for Students
    14. Mask Improvisation for Actor Training & Performance: The Compelling Image
    15. Acting Interactive Theatre: A Handbook

    Theater Games for the Classroom: A Teacher's Handbook

    by Viola Spolin


    The Young Actor's Book of Improvisation : Dramatic Situations from Shakespeare to Spielberg : Ages 7-11
    by Sandra Caruso, Susan Kosoff

    hardcover


    Impro : Improvisation and the Theatre

    by Keith Johnstone


    Mask Improvisation for Actor Training & Performance : The Compelling Image

    by Sears A Eldridge 
    Historical aspects, neutral mask, character mask and the manufacture, construction and design of masks.


    Acting Out : The Workbook : A Guide to the Development and Presentation of Issue-Oriented, Audience-Interactive, Improvisational Theatre

    by Mario Cossa, et al

    Active Acting : Exercises and Improvisations Leading to Performance
    by Leslie Abbott
    Classroom book.

    Improvisation Starters : A Collection of 900 Improvisation Situations for the Theater
    by Philip Bernardi

    Acting Games : Improvisations and Exercises : A Textbook of Theatre Games and Improvisations
    by Marsh Gary Cassady

    Improvisations in Creative Drama : A Program of Workshops and Dramatic Sketches for Students
    by Betty Keller
    Activities and workshops.

    Improvising Shakespeare : Reading for the Stage
    by Thomas S. Turgeon
    Eight Shakespearean scenes are analysed and translated to the stage.
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    Acting Games: Improvisations and Exercises : A Textbook of Theatre Games and Improvisations by Marsh Gary Cassady (Paperback )
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