The Upright Citizens Brigade Comedy Improvisation Manual is a comprehensive guide to the UCB style of long form comedy improvisation. Written by UCB founding members Matt Besser, Ian Roberts, and Matt Walsh, the manual covers everything from the basics of two person scene work (with a heavy emphasis on finding "the game" of the scene), to the complexities of working within an ensemble to perform long form structures, such as "The Harold" and "The Movie". A practical "how to" book, the guide provides exercises throughout to help the reader master each new concept and technique introduced. While the manual is written to be understood by beginners with no previous exposure to improvisational comedy, experienced improvisors will find it to be an excellent resource for honing their skills, clarifying concepts, and generally taking their work to a higher level.
A Comprehensive Guide to University Improvisational Comedy in Theatre and Performance
Author: Matt Fotis
Publisher: CRC Press
Category: Performing Arts
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.
The Ultimate Guide to Improvising in Comedy, Theatre, and Beyond
Author: Tom Salinsky
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Category: Performing Arts
The Improv Handbook is the most comprehensive, smart, helpful and inspiring guide to improv available today. Applicable to comedians, actors, public speakers and anyone who needs to think on their toes, it features a range of games, interviews, descriptions and exercises that illuminate and illustrate the exciting world of improvised performance. First published in 2008, this second edition features a new foreword by comedian Mike McShane, as well as new exercises on endings, managing blind offers and master-servant games, plus new and expanded interviews with Keith Johnstone, Neil Mullarkey, Jeffrey Sweet and Paul Rogan. The Improv Handbook is a one-stop guide to the exciting world of improvisation. Whether you're a beginner, an expert, or would just love to try it if you weren't too scared, The Improv Handbook will guide you every step of the way.
Analysing why we laugh and what we laugh at, and describing how performers can elicit this response from their audience, this book enables actors to create memorable – and hilarious – performances. Rooted in performance and performance criticism, Sidney Homan and Brian Rhinehart provide a detailed explanation of how comedy works, along with advice on how to communicate comedy from the point of view of both the performer and the audience. Combining theory and performance, the authors analyse a variety of plays, both modern and classic. Playwrights featured include Harold Pinter, Tom Stoppard, Christopher Durang, and Michael Frayn. Acting in Shakespeare's comedies is also covered in depth.
Got wit? We’ve all been in that situation where we need to say something clever, but innocuous; smart enough to show some intelligence, without showing off; something funny, but not a joke. What we need in that moment is wit—that sparkling combination of charm, humor, confidence, and most of all, the right words at the right time. Elements of Wit is an engaging book that brings together the greatest wits of our time, and previous ones from Oscar Wilde to Nora Ephron, Winston Churchill to Christopher Hitchens, Mae West to Louis CK, and many in between. With chapters covering the essential ingredients of wit, this primer sheds light on how anyone—introverts, extroverts, wallflowers, and bon vivants—can find the right zinger, quip, parry, or retort…or at least be a little bit more interesting.
On both sides of the stage improv-comedy's popularity has increased exponentially throughout the 1980s and '90s and into the new millennium. Presto! An original song is created out of thin air. With nothing but a suggestion from the audience, daring young improvisers working without a net or a script create hilarious characters, sketches, and songs. Thrilled by the danger, the immediacy, and the virtuosity of improv-comedy, spectators laugh and cheer. American improv-comedy burst onto the scene in the 1950s with Chicago's the Compass Players (best known for the brilliant comedy duo Mike Nichols and Elaine May) and the Second City, which launched the careers of many popular comedians, including Gilda Radner, John Belushi, and Mike Myers. Chicago continues to be a mecca for young performers who travel from faraway places to study improv. At the same time, the techniques of Chicago improv have infiltrated classrooms, workshops, rehearsals, and comedy clubs across North and South America, Europe, Australia, and Japan. Improv's influence is increasingly evident in contemporary films and in interactive entertainment on the internet. Drawing on the experiences of working improvisers, Whose Improv Is It Anyway?provides a never-before-published account of developments beyond Second City's mainstream approach to the genre. This fascinating history chronicles the origins of "the Harold," a sophisticated new "long-form" style of improv developed in the '80s at ImprovOlympic, and details the importance and pitfalls of ComedySports. Here also is a backstage glimpse at the Annoyance Theatre, best known on the national scene for its production of The Real Live Brady Bunch. Readers will get the scoop on the recent work of players who, feeling excluded by early improv's "white guys in ties," created such independent groups as the Free Associates and the African American troupe Oui Be Negroes. There is far more to the art of improv than may be suggested by the sketches on Saturday Night Live or the games on Whose Line Is It Anyway?This history, an insider's look at the evolution of improv-comedy in Chicago, reveals the struggles, the laughter, and the ideals of mutual support, freedom, and openness that have inspired many performers. It explores the power games, the gender inequities, and the racial tensions that can emerge in improvised performance, and it shares the techniques and strategies veteran players use to combat these problems. Improv art is revealed to be an art of compromise, a fragile negotiation between the poles of process and product. The result, as shown here, can be exciting, shimmering, magical, and not exclusively the property of any troupe or actor. Amy E. Seham is an assistant professor of theater and dance at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota. In Connecticut she has served as artistic director of Performance Studio in New Haven and of Free Shakespeare on the Green in New Haven and Stamford.