Improv Beyond Rules: A Practical Guide to Narrative Improvisation
An inspiring, hands-on guide to narrative improvisation, by the co-creator and director of the Olivier Award-winning improv show Showstopper! The Improvised Musical.
Improvisation is a craft that anyone can learn. When freed from endless rules and rigid approaches and allowed to relax, react instinctively and work seamlessly as a group, improvisers can spontaneously create performances that thrill audiences with their liveness.
Drawing on the author's extensive experience teaching and performing around the world, Improv Beyond Rules is a fresh and exciting re-examination of the whole field of improvisation.
Starting with the fundamental principles that work for all forms of improvised performance – and the common traps improvisers fall into – it goes on to explore the elements of narrative improvisation, where performers create a story without any predetermined structure:
The Moment: How to be authentically 'in the moment' by listening and responding to your fellow performers, accepting their suggestions (not necessarily by always saying 'yes') and committing to whatever happens next.
The Scene: How to connect moments together to build a compelling scene and keep it moving forward; why there's no such thing as a mistake; understanding and working with audiences.
The Story: How to link scenes to build story and plot; what kids can teach us about storytelling; utilising dramatic structure; developing and playing different types of characters; key principles of staging.
Packed with dozens of games and exercises, Improv Beyond Rules will give you the tools to build your confidence, empower your performance, and unlock your creativity. Written for improvisers with any level of experience, this book is also the perfect starting point for directors, teachers, actors or anyone eager to learn how improvisation can benefit both rehearsal and performance.