Recommended Book: Improvisation for the Theatre

By: Viola Spolin


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Improvisation for the Theatre

By: viola spolin

ISBN: 978-0810140080


  • What does play look like?
  • How might we play our way past fixed attitudes?
  • In what ways might we engage more in the sensory world around us, and find a more present, rich sense of meaning and creative expression?



I don’t find it a bit surprising (or overstated) that the publisher describes this book as one that changed not only theatre, but many other disciplines as well. When I encountered Viola Spolin’s thinking, and then put those principles into practice while training at Piven Theatre Workshop, my trajectory as an artist transformed. Spolin taught me to stop trying and to start experiencing. She taught me the value of opening my hands and letting go, rather than insisting on controlling the creative process. Through her instruction, I learned that developing a player’s mindset takes practice, and that the time invested is entirely worthwhile. Improvisation for the Theatre contains a wealth of wisdom on the craft of creativity and the art of wholehearted living. No matter your art form, this book is a must-read (and re-read!)


Here is the thoroughly revised third edition of the bible of improvisational theater.

Viola Spolin’s improvisational techniques changed the very nature and practice of modern theater. The first two editions of Improvisation for the Theater sold more than 100,000 copies and inspired actors, directors, teachers, and writers in theater, television, film. These techniques have also influenced the fields of education, mental health, social work, and psychology.

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