The ability to improvise a skilled performance while speaking scripted and memorized lines is of paramount importance to actors working in today’s film and television productions, which often allow very little if any rehearsal time. Through his innovative Improvisation Technique, Stephen Book shows the actor how to create a spontaneous performance by applying improvisation to traditional script-acting for film, theater, and television.
Learning Improvisation Technique begins with immediate training in how to improvise. Book’s fundamental principle of improvisation is “Acting is doing, and there is always more to do.” The actor learns what to do to keep himself in a spontaneous improvisational state.
This Improvisation Technique is then expanded to exercises with scripted lines, developing sophisticated improvisation skills for enhancing character, emotions, conflict, and agreement, as well as improving the actor’s audition process. Improvisation Technique also includes a unique process for breaking down scripted scenes into improvisation choices.
Book’s Improvisation Technique extends the work of Viola Spolin (author of Improvisation for the Theater). Book was Spolin’s student, assistant, representative, and her partner in the Spolin Theater Game Center in Hollywood, where he served as executive director and principal teacher in the 1970s.
The manual or text-book of Improvisation Technique is Stephen Book’s Book on Acting: Improvisation Technique for the Professional Actor in Film, Theater, & Television (Silman-James Press, 2003).