Improvisation for the Theater Viola Spolin
Northwestern University Press - 15.95 USD
This work is a bit older than Johnstone`s and it shows, even though the
latest reprint has been revamped and a bunch of new games have been added.
Spolin (and her son Paul Sills) is for America what Keith Johnstone
is for Europe.
The book is less profound than Johnstone`s
Impro (although it does
contain a whole chapter on theory) and is far more oriented towards
Theatre in general.
That is probably due to the fact that Spolin started experimenting in the 40s,
about 10 years before Johnstone started his work. This book was a bit the
Bible for Second City in Chicago in the 50s. Although Second City was
founded about the same time Johnstone founded his Theatre Machine (and
later Loose Moose), this book really covers the fundamentals, which for
Spolin really originated out of a theatre education, and all that dates
from before the Era of Improv.
What happened after 1958 is a bit missing in this book. It contains an enormous list of games, but all these are really very basic.
This book is like the Bible for Christians, it may sound a bit outdated, but
it is still a must have.