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The Comedy Improv Handbook

Book Description

The Comedy Improv Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide to University Improvisational Comedy in Theatre and Performance is a one-stop resource for both improv teachers and students, covering improv history, theory, maxims, exercises, games, and structures. You will learn the necessary skills and techniques needed to become a successful improviser, developing a basic understanding of the history of improvisation and its major influences, structures, and theories. This book also addresses issues associated with being a college improviser – like auditions, rehearsals, performances, and the dynamics of improv groups.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover Page
  2. The Comedy Improv Handbook
  3. Title
  4. Copyright
  5. Dedication
  6. Contents
  7. Acknowledgments
  8. Introduction
    1. So What is This Handbook and Why Should I Read it?
    2. Wait a Second, Why Should I Listen to You Two?
    3. Anything Else I Should Know?
    4. What is Improv?
  9. SECTION I Improv History
    1. Commedia Dell’arte
    2. Vaudeville and Burlesque
    3. Viola Spolin (1906–94)
    4. The Compass Players
    5. The Second City
    6. The Committee
    7. The Groundlings
    8. Loose Moose Theatre Company
    9. Keith Johnstone (1933–)
    10. iO
    11. Del Close (1934–99)
    12. ComedySportz
    13. The Comedy Store Players
    14. Whose Line Is It Anyway?
    15. The Annoyance
    16. The Upright Citizens Brigade
    17. Improv Snapshots
    18. Augusto Boal (1931–2009) and the Theatre of the Oppressed
    19. Jacques Lecoq (1921–99)
    20. J.L. Moreno (1889–1974) and Psychodrama
  10. SECTION II Improv Rules, Major Theoretical Concepts, and Maxims
    1. Yes, And
    2. Agreement
    3. Support Your Partner
    4. Justification
    5. Status
    6. Group Mind
    7. Listening and Reincorporation
    8. Truth in Comedy
    9. The Game of the Scene
    10. Play to the Top of Your Intelligence
    11. Originality
    12. Some Simple Maxims
    13. Some Common Don’t Scenes
  11. SECTION III Skill Building Exercises
    1. Warm-Ups
    2. Exercises
    3. Warm-Ups
    4. Exercises
  12. SECTION IV Short Form Improv Games
    1. Guessing Games
    2. Scenic Games
    3. Group Games
    4. Energy Games
    5. Narrative Games
    6. Ask The Audience Games
    7. One-Liner Games
  13. SECTION V Long Form Improv Games
    1. Long Form Contents
    2. Long Form Structures
    3. Long Form Contents
    4. Long Form Structures
  14. SECTION VI The College Improv Team
    1. One or Many
    2. To Audition or Not to Audition: That is the Question
    3. Rehearsal
    4. Putting on a Show
    5. The Show Itself
    6. Dating and Fighting
  15. SECTION VII A Guide to Professional Training
    1. Chicago
    2. New York
    3. Los Angeles
    4. Other Improv Schools
    5. Conclusion
  16. Your Improv Library
  17. Index