Thea 366D Improvisation (4)

The art of improvisation has its origins in the early mists of time; according to Aristotle, the art of comedy originated in improvisation. The most famous theater form of the renaissance, Commedia dell'Arte was a highly evolved form of improvisation complete with stereotyped characters and stock comic bits. In the twentieth century British theater practitioners began to use improvisation to develop specific human skills and from that point on improvisation began to be adapted to serve a myriad of functions. Today the form is used to train applicants for job interviews, to "try out" possible solutions to difficult interpersonal situations, to develop scripts for production, to create interactive theater pieces for social action and, to create the performance art of improvisation as live theater. This course is experientially based, although it will briefly cover the history, theory, creation and uses of improvisation. Students will learn basic methods of improvising conversations, scenes, comic sketches and interactive pieces geared towards solving interpersonal miscommunication. There will be a midterm and a final public sharing of pieces created through improvisation. In order to become more familiar with the relationship between performer and audience, students are required to attend live theater productions as part of this course; a fee is required to cover the cost of the tickets and the transportation to the Twin Cities. A-F grading only.

Professor Kaarin S. Johnston Tuesday/Thursday 1:05-2:25 room number