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Impro Paperback – Jul 1 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Methuen Drama (July 1 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0713687010
  • ISBN-13: 978-0713687019
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.5 x 21 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 259 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #254,218 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

'A hundred practical techniques for encouraging spontaneity and originality by catching the subconscious unawares... here is an inexhaustible supply of zany suggestions for unfreezing the petrified imagination.' Daily Telegraph 'If you don't have this book - get it quick... Johnstone's insights are as powerfully clear as ever... It's a treasure trove of ideas and methods; it will ease and enrich work and studies... An invigorating read.' Reviews Gate (August 2007) 'For insight into a truly creative mind, read Impro.' Psychologies (February 2010)

About the Author

Keith Johnstone is an internationally recognized authority in the field of improvisation. His books Impro, and Impro For Storytellers, have been translated into many languages. He leads master classes in improvisation around the world.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 13 1996
Format: Paperback
Keith Johnstone is a maverick educator and theatrical innovator.
This book, first published in 1979, remains the most important book on improvisation written in English.
Johnstone divides the world of improvising into four categories:Spontenaity, Narrative, Status and Masks.
The stories about his own loss of creativity through the demands of public education set the frame for his illuminating description of what it takes to return us all to our creative selves.
This book is a must read for anyone involved in the creative process, for all teachers of the arts and anyone who has ever wondered where his creativity has gone.
Patricia Ryan,
Head of Acting
Stanford University
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By P. C. Brown on Aug. 22 2001
Format: Paperback
to study with Keith at the University of Calgary and to work with him at the Loose Moose Theater, and it had a tremendous impact on my life. His approach to education, to theater, to life all has a very liberating effect. This book carries a great deal of his spirit. It plants a terrific garden in your mind; some of the seeds sprout quickly while others may take a very long time to grow. This is a great book, for more reasons than I can say.
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I suggest that you follow Amazon's recommendation and buy it with the acompanying sequel "Impro for Storytellers"
Hmm...Let's see:
Once upon a time there was a brilliant little boy who lived in an alternative universe so he had mercifully never heard of Viola Spolin.
Therefore instead of following standard improv exercises such as 'mirror' or 'tug of war on the imaginary rope' He began creating his own.
These wre not dependant on the Spolin credo of agreeing on the 'Who, What, When and Where'. Rather our young hero was more fascinated by 'Why?' or in plainer English, 'Why should either the audience or the actors give a (expletive deleted) about this improv exercise? What's its value and moreover, could it apply to acting in general?
Consequently through experimentation, a contrary kind of courage ('My acting teachers told me never to make faces as it was untruthful, so I mugged whenever I could') and a curious interest in the transformative power of Mask work--which was out of fashion in The West since the fall of Athens--arrived at some startingly new discoveries for character work as well as Improv.
He then moved to Canada, opened his own troupe, and the rest, as they say is history . . .
Let's see, did I leave anything out? Oh Yes, a practical piece of advice and a cryptic remark to end this review:
1. If the library is burning and you have a choice of saving Stanislavski's trilogy or these two books, save Johnstone's
2. Beware of Boris (to say nothing of Igor)
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Keith Johnstone's book has influenced countless acting classes. Many artists who have not yet heard of this book are doing exercises based on his experiments in England with actors using improvisation to discover status operations within a scene, narrative structure, and the importance of structure and process over "content" (a sticking point for the improvisator, the public speaker, and everyone who has ever said, 'I can't think of anything.') It also provides one of the best short introductions to mask work around. So it might seem like an indispensable theatre book. And it is that. Indispensable.
Yet read Johnstone's first chapter - a memoir of his early teaching career, in which he discovered the process by which children learn to be uncreative as a tragic coping skill. This is not a theatre book. Theatre classes were the arena, but this is a book about teaching! This is about opening doors that have been slammed shut, and acquainting people with the creativity and exuberance that is everybody's birthright. The exercises, and analyses of his students' work with improvisation, along with Johnstone's unflagging faith in every person's imagination, have much to show us even on repeated readings and practice.
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By A Customer on July 13 1998
Format: Paperback
If you're in love with acting, then you'll be in love with this book. It's not one of those does and donts manuals, boring and technical, no it's full of life. Johnstone looks into your heart and will tell you about your blocks and fears and how to release them. His style is compelling and convincing and he won't shy away from making you feel bad once in a while, because he's telling the truth about acting. But it's not only about acting. reading this book you'll find out a lot about yourself and the way you behave/ act in life and to what effect you do it. The games he writes about can be played as such - namely games - with friends, or you can use them in school or in manager-tutoring (see the chapter about hirarchy) or as warm-up and instructional games before a rehearsal. The book will also broaden your mind and help you free your creativity, just by reading it! So it does all sorts of weird and wonderful things to you: Whatever you do in your life, this book will! ! make it better.
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Format: Paperback
I first came actoss this book when I first got interested in theatre in the early 80s in England, and I couldn't believe what I was reading. If theatre is a search for truth, then Johnstone exemplifies this with a fundamentalist's zeal.
Eschewing formula and "how to" guides, he presents improvisation on the stage as less of a craft and more a state of mind. His "bookending" of his practical advice with an angry account of his time spent as a teacher at the beginning of the book and his work on masks and trance in the last section underlines this.
Johnstone's book is a must for anybody wanting to improvise effectively on a stage, anyone wanting to use drama as a teaching or therapeutic tool, and an essential for anybody interested in the practical exploration of the subconscious mind and its workings.
It's a manual for creativity. It's an essential for an artist in any discipline. No: scrub the majority of that sentence. It's an essential, period.
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