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Improve With Improv!: A Guide to Improvisation and Character Development [Paperback]

By Brie Jones (Author)
Our Price $ 13.56  
Retail Value $ 15.95  
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Item Number 125798  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   144
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.47" Width: 5.5" Height: 0.36"
Weight:   0.41 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 1, 2000
Publisher   Meriwether Publishing
ISBN  0916260984  
EAN  9780916260989  


Availability  0 units.


Item Description...
Overview
A guide to improvisation and character development by Brie Jones. This book is a complete improv curriculum program divided into twenty class-length workshops. Each workshop contains carefully selected exercises designed to help students focus on one aspect of a character's personality. Students learn how to create characters from their own imaginations through the use of solo and ensemble pantomime, physicalization, vocal techniques, props, and more. Gestures, facial expressions, voice and body language are studied in isolation. Many ensemble sketches are included. Also includes a class syllabus and guidelines, a character outline sheet to duplicate, character examples, and a recommended reading list.

Publishers Description
This book is a complete improv curriculum program divided into twenty class-length workshops. Each workshop contains carefully selected exercises designed to help students focus on one aspect of a character's personality. Students learn how to create characters from their own imaginations through the use of solo and ensemble pantomime, physicalization, vocal techniques, props and more. Gestures, facial expressions, voice and body language are studied in isolation. Many ensemble sketches are included, along with a final improv sketch with enough "roles" for all members of a large class. Also includes class syllabus and guidelines, character outline sheet to duplicate, character examples, and a recommended reading list. Sample workshops include: Improvisation, Character Development, Physicalization, Vocal Techniques, Pantomime, Entrances and Exits, Gibberish, Animals, Fantasy, Conflict, Commedia dell'Arte. Final: Wedding Improv.

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Product Categories
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Awful!  Mar 20, 2006
As a teacher of drama and theatrical improvisation, I can't stress enough how bad this book is. It teaches the basics of improv poorly, and at some points actively teaches the wrong things to do. The last few sections are incredibly longwinded dinner theatre plans that have absolutely nothing to do with improvisation.

Buy this book if you want to learn how to improvise incorrectly.
 
a way to live life better  Oct 30, 2004
If you can improv, you can live better. When you learn to think on your feet, turn a phrase without a blink, you can solve more of life's problems easier. Bree teaches how to be imaginative and to utilize your imagination. These exercises, elementary as they may seem, stretch you and make you think and react. It is fun, stress relieving, and mentally stimulating. Grab a group of friends and try some of the suggestions...it will be the best time you've had in awhile. And if you practice improv regularly, you will begin to use your brain to think with newness and with invention.
 
Not "Whose Line"  May 6, 2002
There is more than one purpose for improvisation. The term is now thought of synonymously with comedy, probably because of the influence of Second City and "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" However, it has also been used to create instructive lessons, socially motivated drama, and Augosto Boal's "Theatre of the Oppresed." And this book is none of these things.

Divided into twenty chapters, each intended as a free-standing lesson, this book provides an overview of improvisation useful in creating complex characterization, motivated movement, and good voice. In other words, this book is meant, not for improvisation players, but for conventional actors.

As a director, I've used improvisation to create good "straight" theatre. By making actors think about what the characters do outside the realm of the stage; by making actors think about what came before; by making actors become individual aspects of the character, a director can create a more complex, rounded stage picture. Most recently, I managed to create a one-act play this way, casting mostly untrained actors, with only twelve rehearsals, and produce a comedy so winning that people (including the director) laughed until their sides hurt.

This is where the value of Brie Jones' course overview here becomes apparent. Though Viola Spolin, the doyenne of improv, has already covered most of the issues in this book this lesson book remains valuable for high-school teachers and directors, workshop conductors, church youth-group leaders, and others who work with young actors.

The precepts of this book will be helpful for directors creating works like "Tony `n' Tina's Wedding" (guidelines for putting on a parody of this work are included in the back of the book), but for long-form character improv or the kind of games that are popular right now, this book is of little value.

 
Good but rather elementary  Oct 29, 1998
Good for a beginning actor interested in improv, but it doesn't have the range of Spolin, the energy/straightforward style of Atkins or the experience of Johnstone. Useful for teachers.
 
This Book Helps you with Every technique possible in Acting  Aug 12, 1998
I read this book last week. It was GREAT. It helped with all sorts of things. Like there was one chapter about Pantomime. So i skipped that chapter cause I thought it only taught you pantomime and i wanted to act. But when I was done reading the book I went back to that chapter and i read it. It was very helpful. It actually taught about character develpoment THROUGH pantomiming or even any body-language. They also have chapters like "Character Development" and "Vocal Technique" They were all so helpful that I took a highlighter and HIGHLIGHTED helpful parts in my book. I honestly recommend this book for the beggining actor or even the intermediate actor.
 

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