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Impro: Improvisation and the Theatre [Keith Johnstone] on itpretcemare.cf *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. First published in Routledge is an imprint of. A leading figure in the theatre, Keith Johnstone lays bare his techniques and exercises to foster spontaneity and narrative skill for actors. Impro. Improvisation and the Theatre. By: Keith Johnstone Media of Impro PDF eBook (Watermarked). May 13, This books (Impro: Improvisation and the Theatre [PDF]) Made by Keith Johnstone About Books Impro: Improvisation And the Theatre To.
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Embeds 0 No embeds. No notes for slide. Improvisation and the Theatre [PDF] 1. Impro is ostensibly a book about improvisation and the theater.
Depending on where you are coming from, it might be no more than that, or it might be a near-religious experience. Mine has been shaped largely by rewarding ones. He loves teaching and is clearly unbelievably good at it; the sort of teacher who changes lives.
His life revolves around theater, while mine revolves around engineering, which are about as far apart as professions can get. I could go on, but you get it. Polar opposites on paper.
We seem to share two critical similarities. First, like me, he seems to stubbornly think things through for himself, with reference to his own observations of the world, even if it means clumsily reinventing the wheel and making horrible mistakes. Second, like me, he seems to adopt methodological anarchy in groping for truths. Anything goes, if it gets you to a valuable insight; no religious adherence to any particular methodology, scientific or otherwise.
There is also a connection that may or may not be important: I was active in theater for about a decade, from sixth grade through college. In school, I was mostly the go-to guy for scripting class productions, and in college I expanded my activities to acting and directing. I even won a couple of inter-hostel intramural to you Americans acting prizes, and was the dramatics secretary for my hostel for a year.
Not that that means much. It was pretty much a case of the one-eyed man being king in the land of the blind.
Engineering schools are not known for producing eventual movie stars. But though I was pretty much a talentless hack among other talentless hacks, in retrospect, my experience with amateur theater did profoundly shape how I think. I am pretty sure though, that experience with theater is not necessary for the book to have a deep impact on you.
It seems to have attained a cult status with a wide audience that extends well beyond the theater community, so if you like this blog, you will probably like the book.
The book, first published in , is a collection of loosely-connected essays on various aspects of improvisational theater.
The essays are not philosophical which is why their philosophical impact is so startling. They are about very specific details of stagecraft. There are exercises designed to teach particular skills, acting tips, short explanations motivating the descriptions of the exercises, and insider references to famous theater personalities the only name I recognized among all the references was Stanislavsky, he of the Method School.
This is what makes the non-theater reader feel so pleasantly blindsided. Chapter 1, Notes on Myself, begins with an exercise designed to get you seeing the world differently.
The effect he asserts, of doing this for a minutes, is that everything seems to come alive and acquire the intensity it held for you when you were a child.
Try it for a bit. It works, though I did not experience as much intensifying as he claims his students typically experience. The descriptions of the experiences are accompanied by deft insights into the nature of education.
This chapter includes the philosophical premise of the book, that adults are atrophied children, and that traditional education accelerates rather than slows this process of atrophy.
But the point is not made with any sort of political intent. It is simply presented as a useful perspective from which to view what he has to say, and why theater training has the effects it does.
Chapter 2, Status , is particularly spectacular, and the most accessible chapter in the book. Through a series of explanations and descriptions of startlingly original exercises, Johnstone illustrates the working of status dynamics in interpersonal interactions.
One that I found both enlightening and hilarious was this: There are other surgically precise exercises that are designed to teach how personal space relates to status, and how master-servant dynamics play out. One true Aha! Yet, others in the audience seemed to not get it at all, to the point of being bored.
Impro completely explained the play for me. The four characters, Vladimir, Estragon, Pozzo and Lucky, perform what amounts to a status opera.
Though a good deal of the content is nonsensical, the status interactions are not. Chapter 3, Spontaneity , describes exercises and acting principles that seem like they would take you perilously close to madness if you tried them unsupervised. Johnstone recognizes this, and he notes that the work described in this chapter is closer to intensive therapy than to learning a skill.
I am surprised nobody has invented theater-therapy. Actually, I take that back.