Advertisement

Improvisation in Traditional Drama

  • Anthony Frost
  • Ralph Yarrow
Chapter
Part of the New Directions in Theatre book series (NDT)

Abstract

Improvisation is not just a style or an acting technique; it is a dynamic principle operating in many different spheres; an independent and transformative way of being and doing.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes

  1. 1.
    Martha Graham, quoted in James Roose-Evans, Experimental Theatre: From Stanislaysky to Today ( New York: Avon, 1970 ) p. 112.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Paul Gray, ‘Stanislaysky and America: A Critical Chronology’, in Tulane Drama Review vol. 9, no. 2 (Winter 1964) p. 25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Deirdre Hurst du Prey, interviewed July, 1978 by Peter Hulton, in ‘The Training Sessions of Michael Chekhov’, Dartington Theatre Papers 3rd. series, no. 9 (1979–80) p. 13.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Edward Braun, Meyerhold on Theatre (New York: Hill & Wang, 1969) p. 115 (and see especially Meyerhold’s essay ‘The Fairground Booth’ in the same volume, pp. 119-28). ‘Doctor Dappertutto’ is to be found in E. T. A. Hoffman’s Fantasiestücke Callot’s Manier, part 2.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Nikolai A. Gorchakov, The Theatre in Soviet Russia, trans. Edgar Lehrman (New York: Columbia University Press, 1957 ) p. 68.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Jacques Copeau, Registres (Limon, 1916).Google Scholar
  7. Christopher D. Kirkland, ‘The Golden Age, First Draft’ (on Théâtre du Soleil’s L’Age d’Or) in The Drama Review vol. 19, no. 2 (T-66, June 1975, Political Theatre Issue) p. 58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 7.
    Albert Camus, quoted in Michel Saint-Denis, Training for the Theatre, Premises and Promises, ed. Suria Saint-Denis ( New York: Theatre Arts Books, 1982 ) p. 32.Google Scholar
  9. 8.
    John Rudlin, Jacques Copeau (in the series ‘Directors in Perspective’) (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986) preface, p. xiv.Google Scholar
  10. 9.
    Jacques Copeau, Essai de Rénovation Dramatique (Paris, 1913) p. 72 (our translation).Google Scholar
  11. 13.
    Mira Feiner, Apostles of Silence ( Toronto and London: Associated University Presses, 1985 ) p. 38. This excellent recent publication, though primarily concerned with the roots of modern mime-work, devotes a chapter to Lecoq, as well as one to Copeau.Google Scholar
  12. 14.
    Jacques Copeau, ‘Notes sur l’éducation de l’acteur’, in Ecrits sur le théâtre ( Brient: Paris, 1955 ) pp. 47–53.Google Scholar
  13. 24.
    Adrian Kiernander, ‘The Théâtre du Soleil, Part One: A Brief History’, New Theatre Quarterly, vol. II, no. 7 (August 1986) p. 196.Google Scholar
  14. 25.
    Françoise Kourilsky and Leonora Champagne, ‘Political Theatre in France Since 1968’, The Drama Review vol. 19, no. 2 (T-66, June 1975, Political Theatre Issue) p. 52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 33.
    Paul Clements, The Improvised Play: The Work of Mike Leigh ( London: Methuen Theatrefile, 1983 ) p. 7.Google Scholar
  16. 37.
    Mike Leigh, An Account of the Development of My Improvised Plays 1965–69: An Application for the George Devine Award, 1969 (October 1969) (Leigh was the joint winner of this award in 1973); Bleak Moments, Abigail’s Party and Goose Pimples have all won major awards. Leigh’s account is quoted in Clements, Improvised Play, p. 15.Google Scholar
  17. 39.
    Abigail’s Party and Goose Pimples devised by Mike Leigh (London: Penguin, 1983).Google Scholar
  18. 46.
    Ronald A. Willis, ‘The American Lab Theater’, in Tulane Drama Review vol. 9, no. 1 (Fall 1964) p. 113.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 48.
    Lee Strasberg, A Dream of Passion ed. Evangeline Morphos (London: Bloomsbury, 1988) pp. 144ff.Google Scholar
  20. 49.
    Maurice Browne, Too Late to Lament (Bloomington, Ind., 1956) p. 165Google Scholar
  21. Travis Bogard, The Revels History of Drama in English, vol. 8, ‘American Drama’ (London: Methuen, 1977 ) pp. 29–30.Google Scholar
  22. 50.
    Viola Spolin, Improvisation for the Theatre: A Handbook of Teaching and Directing Techniques (Evanston, Ill.: Northwestern University Press, 1963) p. xi.Google Scholar
  23. 51.
    Caldwell Cook’s work was later continued by Douglas Brown: cf. Christopher Parry, English Through Drama ( Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1972 ).Google Scholar
  24. 55.
    Jeffery Sweet, Something Wonderful Right Away (New York: Avon, 1978; Limelight edition, 1987) p. 46.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Anthony Frost and Ralph Yarrow 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anthony Frost
  • Ralph Yarrow

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations