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Sonja Vilč: Collective Improvisation


Collective Improvisation reconstructs some of the most revolutionary ideas and concepts about theatre, art and life as they have been advanced by the pioneers of modern theatre improvisation, and shows how they offer an alternative approach to filmmaking and understanding film. Moreover, traversing the boundaries between theatre and film, as well as social and political thought, the author critically assesses impro as a cultural phenomenon, an artistic practice, an aesthetic principle and a political stance that challenges the ways in which we understand being and acting together.



Table of Contents

Foreword by Gregor Moder 7

Introduction 11

Collective Improvisation in the Context

of the Performing Arts


The Roots and Teachings of Modern Theatre 23


Keith Johnstone 24

The Improvisational Method 28

and Philosophy

How to Develop a Story 36

On Content and Control 36

On Men and Women 37

Johnstone’s Critique of How 39

Improvisation Is Being Used and


Theatresports 41

Viola Spolin 45

Chicago, The Beginnings 54

Del Close 66



Collective Improvisation in Film: 76

How It Works and Why Do It


Five Theatres – Different Takes on an 82

Improvisational Feature Film


What Is an Improvisational Film? 84


Starting Points, Structure and Freedom 90

The Role of the Actors 96

What, but also Why / Topic 106

The Role of the Director 110

The Role of the Cinematographer / Director 117

of Photography

Light 124

Sound 127

Music 131

Visual Aspects of the Film: Costumes, 134

Make-up/Mask and Set Design

Editing 139

Audience 146



The Promise of Improvisation 152

— 23-03-2016 : Collective Improvisation - Lecture by Sonja Vilč and Gregor Moder
AGRFT, Nazorjeva ulica 3, Ljubljana
AGRFT, Maska, Federacija & Kolektiv Narobov