Applied Improvisation - Leading, Collaborating, and Creating Beyond the Theatre

Applied Improvisation - Leading, Collaborating, and Creating Beyond the Theatre $31.99

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Theresa Robbins Dudeck & Caitlin McClure - editors

Published by Methuen

This collection of Applied Improvisation stories and strategies draws back the curtain on an exciting, innovative, growing field of practice and research that is changing the way people lead, create, and collaborate

Applied Improvisation is the umbrella term widely used to denote the application of improvised theatre's theories, tenets, games, techniques, and exercises beyond conventional theatre spaces, to foster the growth and/or development of flexible structures, new mindsets, and a range of inter and intra-personal skills required in today's volatile and uncertain world

This edited collection offers one of the first surveys of the range of practice, featuring 12 in-depth case studies by leading Applied Improvisation practitioners and a foreword by Phelim McDermott and Lee Simpson

The contributors in this anthology are professional Applied Improvisation facilitators working in sectors as diverse as business, social science, theatre, education, law, and government

All have experienced the power of improvisation, have a driving need to share those experiences, and are united in the belief that improvisation can positively transform just about all human activity

Each contributor describes their practice, integrates feedback from clients, and includes a workbook component outlining some of the exercises used in their case study to give facilitators and students a model for their own application

This book will serve as a valuable resource for both experienced and new Applied Improvisation facilitators seeking to develop leaders and to build resilient communities, innovative teams, and vibrant organizations. For theatre practitioners, educators, and students, it opens up a new realm of practice and work


Foreword by Phelim McDermott and Lee Simpson

Introduction by Theresa R. Dudeck and Caitlin McClure

Section 1: Bringing Brands to Life

1. A Burger, Fries, and a Side of Improv by Gary Hirsch and Amy Veltman (On Your Feet, Portland, USA)

2. Candy in Karachi: Sweetening Market Research Through Play by Faris Khalid (Karachi, Pakistan)

Section II: Resilience and Connection

3. Oncology Nurses Creating a Culture of Resiliency with Improvisation by Cathy Salit (Performance of a Lifetime, New York, USA)

4. The Connect Improv Curriculum: Supporting Youth on the Autism Spectrum and Their Educators by Lacy Alana ( Hideout Theatre, Austin, USA) and Jim Ansaldo (Indiana University, Bloomington, USA)

5. Creating a Spontaneous Village: Community from Play by Brad Fortier (Oregon Health Authority, USA)

6. Practicing for the Unimaginable: The Heroic Improv Cycle by Mary Tyszkiewicz (Heroic Improvisation, Washington, D.C., USA)

Section III: Leadership Development

7. Tiffany & Co. Says Yes, And by Caitlin McClure ((New York, USA)

8. Action! Transforming Executives Through Improvised Theatre by Teresa Norton (StarMaker, Hong Kong)

9. The Fish and The Fishbowl: An Adventure in Using Applied Improvisation to Unleash Collaborative Intelligence by Julie Huffaker and Karen Dawson (Deeper Funner Change, Calgary, Canada)

Section IV: Higher Education

10. From Hell, No to Yes, And: Applied Improvisation for Training in Conflict Resolution, Mediation, and Law" by Barbara Tint (Portland State University, USA)

11. Decolonizing "Diversity" on Campus Using Applied Improvisation by Annalisa Dias (Producing Playwright, The Welders, USA)

12. Making Science Make Sense: Applied Improvisation for Public Communication of Science and Health by Jonathan P. Rossing (Gonzaga University, USA) and Krista Hoffmann-Longtin (Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis, USA)

13. On the Notion of Emergence: An Interview with Keith Sawyer (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA) and Neil Mullarkey (co-founder The Comedy Store Players, UK) by Theresa R. Dudeck

Appendix A. Key Improvisation Tenets and Terms

Appendix B. About the Workbook and List of Exercises




"Applied Improvisation is a world-class textbook for those who want to learn how to teach corporate and nonprofit groups improvisation skills. It's also an inspiring idea book for anyone who wants to bring the magic of theatre to their organization. After reading this remarkable work, you'll be eager to start on your own improv adventure" ~ Daniel H. Pink, author of To Sell Is Human, Drive, and A Whole New Mind

"Applied Improvisation triumphantly reveals to us, with passionate and fascinating research, by seasoned practitioners, over and over again how the power of this transformative art form can spread its positive and proactive influence over myriad walks of the human experience" ~ Keegan-Michael Key, actor, writer, producer, and alum of The Second City

"Actors often underestimate the phenomenal personal responsibility required of them when learning improvisation. Applied Improvisation demands a new understanding of what the improviser's responsibility might be, and as this book brilliantly reveals, it doesn't need actors or theatre spaces, but a new sense of purpose. This inspirational book will help you find it" ~ Geoffrey Colman, Head of Acting, The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, UK,

"Having used applied improvisation for ideation with design teams, I was inspired to read about the myriad other ways it can create positive movement and new practices. Improv opens pathways of possibilities where situations and thoughts seem locked and rigid. Twelve compelling case studies, plus practical tools anyone can use" ~ Katy Tisch, Vice President, Creative Director, Global Nike Retail Design

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