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Impro “mpro isthe most dynamic, funny, wise, practical and provocative book fon theatre craft that [have ever read? (lames Roose-Evans). Keith Johnstone's involvement with the theatre began when George Devine and Tony Richardson, anistic directors of the Royal Court ‘Theatre, commissioned a play from him. This was in 1936. A few years later he was himself Associate Artistic Director, working as a play- reader and director, in particular helping ro run the Writers’ Group. ‘The improvisatory techniques apd exercises evolved there to foster spontancity and narrative skills were developed furcher inthe actors? studio, then in demonstrations to schools and colleges and ultimately in the founding of a company of performers, called The Theatre Machine Divided into four sections, ‘Status ‘Spontancty’, ‘Narrative Skil? and “Masks and Trane’, arranged more or les inthe order a group might approach them, the book set out the specfc techniques and exercises which Johnstone has himself found most useful and most ‘stimolnting. The reslt is bo an ideas book anda fascinating explora- tion ofthe nature of spontancous creativity. “The book's incredible achievement i is success in making improvise tion re-live on the page... Get Mr Johnstone's fascinating manual and ‘promise you that if you open atthe fst page and begin vo read you ‘will ot pur it down until dhe final pag.’ (Yorkshire Pst) "HR suggests 2 hundred practical techniques for encouraging spon- ‘aneity and originality by catching the subconscious unawares, But what ‘makes the book such fun i the teachee's wit. Here isan inexhaustible supply of zany suggestions for unftecaing the pettified imagination.” (Daily Telegraph) font cover shoe a moment from The Defeat of Giant Big Nose, on ited children's play presented ty Keith Johnson's Loote Moose ‘Company in Caleary, Alera. Photo ty Deborah A. foas- (ther books in tis seri IMPRO Clive Barker a ‘THEATRE GAMES Improvisation and the Theatre Jean Benedetti STANISLAVSKI: AN INTRODUCTION KEITH JOH STANISLAVSKI: A BIOGRAPHY JOHNSTONE Pater Brook With an Tnroducton by THE SHIFTING POINT IRVING WARDLE Tony Coult and Baz Kershaw ENGINEERS OF THE IMAGINATION The Welfare State Handbook Jerzy Grotowski ‘TOWARDS A POOR THEATRE John Hodgson and Ernest Richards IMPROVISATION Constantin Stanislavski AN ACTOR PREPARES BUILDING A CHARACTER CREATING A ROLE MY LIFE IN ART STANISLAVSKT'S LEGACY : METHUEN DRAMA s AMETHUEN PAPERBACK, First published in paperback in 1981 by Eyre Methuen Lid. Reprinted 1982, 1983, 1985, 1987 Reprinted in 1989 by Methuen Drama, ‘Michelin House, 81 Fulham Road, London SW3 6RB Originally published in hardback by Faber and Faber Lid in 1979 Corrected for this edition by the author Copyright © 1979, 1981 by Keith Johnstone Introduction © 1979 by Ireing Wardle Printed in Great Briain by Hazell Watson & Viney Limitod ‘Member of BPC Limited Aplesbury, Bucks, England ISBN 0 413 46430 x Contents INTRODUCTION 9 NOTES ON MYSELF 13 STATUS 33 SPONTANEITY 75 NARRATIVE SKILLS 109 MASKS AND TRANCE 143 APPENDIX. 206