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|Improvisation Books Worth Reading: To be quick to the point, if it has Viola Spolin's name on it, it may lean towards being a bit on the dry side, but it is definitely on the must-own and read list of any performer who is seriously considering taking up Improv. I spent a spell taking the Second City classes and did my brief stint on stage and found her books were helpful not only in understanding Improv better, but why the stupid games you play in classes are actually not so stupid. I have highlighted all of her books in the list below but some of these others might be worth checking out as well! If you are looking for more books on film check our Main Movie Books Index page.
Theater Games for the Lone Actor by Viola Spolin
Whose Improv Is It Anyway?: Beyond Second City
by Amy E. Seham
Spontaneous Performance: Acting Through Improv by Marsh Cassady
Improvisation for the Theater: A Handbook of Teaching and Directing Techniques (Drama and Performance Studies), 3rd Edition
by Viola Spolin, Paul Sills (Editor)
Impro for Storytellers
by Keith Johnstone
Improvisation: Use What You Know, Make Up What You Don't Brad Newton, Bradley R. Newton.
Improvisation for the Theater: A Handbook of Teaching and Directing Techniques (Drama and Performance Studies) by Viola Spolin, Paul Sills (Editor).
Theatre Games and Beyond: A Creative Approach for Performers by Amiel Schotz
Acting Interactive Theatre: A Handbook by Gary F. Izzo, Gary Azzo.
Let's Improvise: Becoming Creative, Expressive & Spontaneous Through Drama
Milton E. Polsky.
Drama Improvised: A Source Book for Teachers and Therapists - Kenneth Pickering.
Playing Along: 37 Group Learning Activities Borrowed from Improvisational Theater - Izzy Gesell.
Creative Drama and Music Methods: Introductory Activities for Children - Margaret Merrion, Janet E. Rubin.
Improv!: A Handbook for the Actor by Greg Atkins
Action Theater: The Improvisation of Presence by Ruth Zaporah
Playbuilding Guide for Group Creation of Plays With Young People by Errol Bray.
Truth in Comedy: The Manual of Improvisation by Charna Halpern
Interactive Acting: Acting, Improvisation, and Interacting for Audience Participatory Theatre by Jeff Wirth.
Rehearsals for Growth: Theater Improvisation for Psychotherapists by Daniel J. Weiner.
Acting Games: Improvisations and Exercises: A Textbook of Theatre Games and Improvisations by Marsh Gary Cassady
Improve With Improv!: A Guide to Improvisation and Character Development by Brie Jones
The Actor's Scenebook: Scenes for Beginning Actors to Create by Mack Owen.
The Best of Second City: Chicago's Famed Improv Theatre (Audio Theatre Series) The Second City Comedy Troupe, et al. Audio Cassette (January 1993)
Games for Actors and Non-Actors
by Augusto Boal, Adrian Jackson (Translator)
by Andy Goldberg
Comedy Improvisation: Exercises and Technique for Young Actors by Delton T. Horn
Improvisation Starters: A Collection of 900 Improvisation Situations for the Theater by Philip Bernardi
Theater Game File (Index Cards and Handbook)
by Viola Spolin
Impro: Improvisation and the Theatreby Keith Johnstone
Theater Games for Rehearsal: A Director's Handbook
by Viola Spolin
Theatre Games for Young Performers: Improvisations and Exercises for Developing Acting Skills by Maria C. Novelly
Improvisations in Creative Drama: Workshops and Dramatic Sketches for Students
by Betty Keller
Training to Imagine: Practical Improvisational Theatre Techniques to Enhance Creativity, Teamwork, Leadership, and Learning
by Kat Koppett
John Reed Hodgson, Ernest Richards.
The Young Actor's Book of Improvisation: Dramatic Situations from Shakespeare
The Young Actor's Book of Improvisation Dramatic Situations from Shakespeare to Spielberg: Ages 12-16