Improv books

Here you will find the most complete list of theatrical improv books, whether they are improv games, long-form improv or essays on the state of improv.

Impro 1: Los principios de la Improvisación (Pilar Villanueva)
/ 6 de May de 2024

This text explores the principles that govern the operation of the theatrical improvisation technique, beginning by framing it within the specialties of acting. The purpose of this book is to make accessible to anyone who wants to become familiar with the technique, some of the bases to start improvising. Masterfully written by Pilar Villanueva (ENAT / INBA and Faculty of Philosophy and Letters, UNAM), who has dedicated her life, among other things, to the in-depth study of theatrical improvisation, dramatic theory and research on styles in acting and improvisation. PILAR VILLANUEVAActress. She doesn’t know how to do much else. However, she has taught for twenty years because she is absolutely passionate about studying and it is well known that students are great teachers. She does improvisation theater for a long time. She has even directed some shows. Thus she has been able to get to know other countries, doing Impro in very diverse formats and giving workshops. In “Sola” her one-woman show, she improvises in the manner of classic theater and film authors. She is also a developing homemaker. Her and her faithful admirer of her son.

The Improv Comedy Musician (Laura Hall, Bob Baker)
/ 7 de March de 2024

The Improv Comedy Musician: The Ultimate Guide to Playing Music with an Improv Group Learn musical improv from Laura Hall of “Whose Line Is It Anyway?”Are you a musician who performs with an improv comedy group? If so, this book is for you! You’ll also greatly benefit if you are a music director, improv team leader, improv teacher or coach, improv actor or singer, or just a hardcore Whose Line fan. This book is an opportunity for me to share knowledge gained from my years of improv experience. You’ll learn how I do what I do on Whose Line is it Anyway (plus get some insider stories about the show!) And you’ll get tips and pointers on how to play for live improv shows, play in different styles, accompany improvised songs, know how to approach long and short form, improvise musicals, be a valuable team player, and lots more.

Improv Nonsense (Will Hines)
/ 29 de February de 2024

Improv Nonsense: All The Posts This is a book about long-form improv, the art of making up comedy scenes as you go (meaning no script) on a stage. Improv Nonsense was a critically acclaimed blog about long-form improv, written by Will Hines, a teacher and performer from the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. The blog ranged from Will’s off-the-cuff musings like “New students sure do like to use the name ‘Janice’” to long, detailed essays like “Why are there fewer women then men on improv teams?.” It was sharp, opinionated, made no effort to include the newcomer, interesting, friendly, helpful and often completely wrong. Six years of posts, almost 600 pages of stuff. This book can be obtained in digital format for less than €10

Improvisation in Rehearsal (John Abbott)
/ 2 de February de 2024

John Abbott, author of The Improvisation Book, explains how theatre directors at every level can use improvisation in the rehearsal room. Foreword by Mark Rylance. ‘Improvisation can be used as part of the creative process of rehearsing a play. It can be a fabulous tool for exploration and discovery. It can strengthen the actor’s commitment to their character. And it can create an environment of confidence and spontaneity.’ Packed with useful exercises and improvisation scenarios, and examples from a wide variety of plays, Improvisation in Rehearsal reveals how improvisation enriches and enlivens the creation of characters, back-stories, relationships, shared histories and emotional lives. The book also demonstrates how improvisation can be used as a powerful tool in the foundation of a strong company, and when searching for the hidden depths and dynamics in a scene. Building on his own experience as an actor, director and teacher, Abbott writes with clarity and an infectious enthusiasm which will motivate directors to try the techniques for themselves. As Mark Rylance says in his Foreword, this book ‘will inspire and delight its readers’.

Improvisación. Proceso metodológico (Benito Cañada Rangel)
/ 2 de February de 2024

The content of this book is the product of a research process: the object of study is the actor and his creative process for the construction of the character. It is determined that it is during the rehearsal period when the actor lives his creative process, and it is the improvisation the tool that is used to achieve the objective, in particular of the actor when creating his character, and in general of all the other actors and specialists in stage languages, together with the director, to achieve stage dramaturgy as a whole. In these pages the reader will find a methodological proposal that will favor the creation of the character through improvisation, in which he will search, find and define the actions of his character, allowing him the internal and external characterization of the role. We know that this book will be useful to all those who dedicate themselves to the performing arts, professionally or as amateurs, to students and acting teachers; but also, we invite readers in general to learn about the creative mechanisms that an actor faces to build his character.

Process (Mary Scruggs, Michael J. Gellman)
/ 17 de January de 2024

Process: An Improviser’s Journey Process: An Improviser’s Journey is an invaluable resource for mastering improv. Author, teacher, and improviser Michael Gellman was given a mission by famed improv coach Del Close: “[T]o create improvised one-act plays of literary quality from scratch.” Already steeped in the world of improvisation, he took it upon himself to do this, in the form of a class for other improvisers in which they would build the skills necessary to execute such a seemingly tall order. Scruggs and Gellman’s book, modeled after Stanislavski’s timeless An Actor Prepares, follows a fictional young actor taking Gellman’s real-life class. Scruggs and Gellman introduce readers to Geoff, who has just moved to Chicago to pursue acting. He undergoes the standard trials of audition and rejection before he takes the advice of a fellow actor and turns to improv classes at Second City. At first, Geoff thinks improvisation is about laughs and loosening up, but he soon learns that it is a powerful tool as well as an end in itself. Through Geoff’s eyes, the book introduces readers to key tenets of improvisation: concentration, visualization, focus, object work, being in the moment, and the crucial “yes, and.” His experiences with the…

The Improvisation Game (Chris Johnston)
/ 17 de January de 2024

The Improvisation Game: Discovering the Secrets of Spontaneous Performance Packed with exercises and practical techniques, The Improvisation Game explores how improvisation can be used both to create performance and as an end in itself. It reveals the techniques, structures, and methods used by key practitioners in the field of improvised drama, music, and dance—among them are Keith Johnstone, Max Stafford-Clark, Phelim McDermott, Tim Etchells, John Wright, and Robert Lepage.

Luz, Impro, ¡Acción! (Pablo Boraquevich)
/ 7 de September de 2023

This book is a practical theoretical guide for improvisers, storytellers and artists in general to learn to tell better stories. It combines knowledge of cinema and theater to, through examples of well-known classes and films, provide valuable information about narrative structures, types of conflict, characters and their function and much more. It is a self-publishing, you can obtain it contacting the author directly: Pablo Boraquevich (@boraimpro) This book can be obtained in digital format for less than €10

Answers From Improv Teachers : Book 3 (David Escobedo)
/ 3 de July de 2023

We’re at it again with a THIRD BOOK! We asked popular improv teachers and performers from around the world their advice. We felt like it was especially poingant to discuss improv in the times of Covid and Lockdown. We published all their beuaitulf answers on the improv community here! David Escobedo gathered and published this book. He has been coaching and performing improv since 1994, and who runs the Improv Boost.

The SIN: Essays on Improv
/ 3 de July de 2023

The SIN is a network of international improvisers in Europe that meets twice per year. The network aims to create an environment of support and collaboration across borders. It is our ambition to explore the art of improvisational theatre together as well as sharing advice and good practices on all organisation and production around improv. The ultimate goal is to boost improvisational theatre in local communities throughout Europe by working together and learning from each other within the international community. This book is a snapshot of different insights, pedagogies, and good practice from some of the members of our group. We’re offering them to the wider community as a window into the thought and function of our group, and to further our aims of boosting improv in theatres around Europe. As teachers and theatre directors, we can all feel a bit isolated at times. The SIN as a group, and this book as an offering, are efforts to bring a feeling of community and the free exchange of ideas that help make this art form the beautiful thing that it is. We hope that everyone reading it feels supported, inspired, and perhaps even provoked. Contents: Improvisation and the Scientific Method…