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Impro for Storytellers (Theatre Arts)

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  395 ratings  ·  18 reviews
Impro for Storytellers is the follow-up to Keith Johnstone's classic Impro, one of the best-selling books ever published on improvisation. Impro for Storytellers aims to take jealous and self-obsessed beginners and teach them to play games with good nature and to fail gracefully. ...more
Paperback, 388 pages
Published June 26th 1999 by Routledge (first published January 1st 1999)
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Sep 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I never wrote about Impro, the other Keith Johnstone book I read during my degree. And I feel like I had also already read this one, although maybe not the whole thing; maybe just bits of it for consultation. Because the thing is, with Keith Johnstone's books, although you read them, you don't really finish reading them; particularly if you do improv. They are excellent resources to look for exercises, for when you feel stuck, or when you're having a crisis of faith in improv...

But don't think i
Jan 19, 2011 rated it liked it
I started this book during one of my brief flirtations with Improv theater... something I have given up (yet again) because I am seeing very little improvement... I'm not usually much of a quitter but Improv is not somewhere I feel is really my forte. However since I was already about halfway through the book I decided that it was worth finishing, and I am glad that I did. This book was interesting and very amusing to read. I just love seeing his mind at work and the improv scenes he writes on t ...more
Goldie Katsu
Apr 23, 2012 rated it it was ok
Truthfully I couldn't really make it through the book. While Impro did talk about his history and his experiences I felt like those stories added to my understanding and taught some of the concepts of impro and what gets in the way of it. In this book as far as I could get myself to read it seemed to be all about what he did and how it was so wonderful and why other people's work was inferior and wrong. While the rest of the book might have borne out the promise in the intro the ego at the start ...more
Mar 03, 2013 rated it it was ok
Keith Johnstone is a genius. The only reason for my low rating is that I find his writing sometimes hypocritical and arbitrary. He seems to rely heavily on directing scenes and teaching fairly rigid habits for his performers to adhere to. This is purely a question of taste, and no doubt he is a much better improv teacher than me, and yet myself disagreeing with most of his lessons and conclusion about improv, and not in a progressive way that made me realize my own tastes, but in a frustration t ...more
Zimran Ahmed
Oct 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
In some ways even more remarkable than Impro.
Sasha Vaniev
Jun 27, 2019 rated it liked it
This book is definitely a must-read for actors-improvisers and (especially) improvisation theatre instructors to succeed in the field. But I am neither of them. So that's why I made my review not biased towards the author's achievements as a playwright or theatre director and I express my thoughts as a novice to improvisation and open-minded reader.

The book was suggested to me by fellow soft skills trainers, as it contained many improvisation activities that can be used during training, especial
Pedro Jacob
Apr 07, 2020 rated it liked it
Admittedly, I wasn't the target audience for this book. It has its good moments of shedding light on human behaviours and our brains work – so there's value in 'Impro for Storytellers' for storytellers and those interested in learning more about what makes people tick. But unless you're an improv afficionado, there's little else for you. ...more
Jay Szpirs
Sep 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is the definitive manual for theatre-sports training and games. Although light on theory or philosophy, Johnstone has already covered these subjects at length in his earlier work, Impro.

Where that book suffered from being too little a guide and too much a story, Impro for Storytellers suffers from the opposite: it is an effective guide but doesn't create the story of the games' development in a chronological way. To compensate, Keith has thoughtfully provided a detailed index, appendices,
Emily Fortuna
Jan 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Excellent again, Keith Johnstone. I will say I was a little misled by the title -- this book is primarily focused on improv exercises rather than the just building stories via improv (the two are clearly very closely related, but still).

I recommend starting with Impro first as it is has fantastic applications for any actor -- improviser or not. Impro for Storytellers is more purely improviser-focused.
Derrick Trimble
Mar 14, 2014 rated it liked it
If you are into improvisational theatre, this book is a must. Choc-a-bloc full of ideas after ideas, Johnstone offers insights as only a master improv instructor can do. Admittedly, I skimmed through several chapters (Procedures was a long and tedious section) but gained some wonderful tools for engagement. I gave this three stars only because it is more a reference playbook for a niche group. Now that I have a copy myself, it may become an oft referenced book on my shelf.
Jul 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a great resource book for those who are already dedicated to taking an improvisation approach to storytelling or teaching. The lengths to which Johnstone detracts from the other styles of improv (including the Chicago style) is tiresome, but can help to refine your own direction.

For more on the background and philosophy behind Johnstone's approach, read Impro.
May 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book and got a lot out of reading it. Some of the lists in the back of the book are outdated (particularly related to man/woman in a relationship dynamics, which has culturally changed a lot), but overall the book holds up extremely well and the advice is so useful. I'd recommend it to any improviser -- after reading his original book Impro of course. ...more
Jan 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theater
Keith Johnstone is a whack-a-nut in the best possible way. This is one of the books that Bonniejean teaches improv from. I used it a bit when I taught the teens this summer and "Whose Line is it Anyway" totally evolved from this book. It's like actor-gym. ...more
Ясен В.
May 02, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Very interesting exercises for improv artists but I expected something different than just games. Maybe more theory and concepts. It was still an interesting book, with many valuable bits of information even if I just skimmed through the second half of the book.
Dec 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I found that I tried to skim the book and it just didn't give the same flavor. He seems kind of cocky but when I got past that initial feeling, it is the best book on improv around and I fell in love with him. It just makes me laugh and I am now always trying to be boring. :) ...more
Brett Bavar
May 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
The perfect resource for improv game ideas! Keith Johnstone explains many, many exercises with easy-to-understand, practical examples.
Apr 15, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, theater
More of how to do the practice of improv as opposed to the theory behind it, this book is a must for all of us who love theatersports.
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KEITH JOHNSTONE is one of the few internationally recognized authorities in the field of improvisation, great chunks of which he created, including improvisation forms that include Theatresports™, Maestro Impro© (or Micetro© Impro), Gorilla Theatre™, and The Life Game©. Keith has written two best selling books about his Theatre and Improvisation theories and practices, in addition to several plays ...more

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