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Applied Improvisation


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Table of Contents

Foreword by Phelim McDermott and Lee Simpson Introduction by Theresa R. Dudeck and Caitlin McClure Section 1: Bringing Brands to Life 1. A Burger, Fries, and a Side of Improv by Gary Hirsch and Amy Veltman (On Your Feet, Portland, USA) 2. Candy in Karachi: Sweetening Market Research Through Play by Faris Khalid (Karachi, Pakistan) Section II: Resilience and Connection 3. Oncology Nurses Creating a Culture of Resiliency with Improvisation by Cathy Salit (Performance of a Lifetime, New York, USA) 4. The Connect Improv Curriculum: Supporting Youth on the Autism Spectrum and Their Educators by Lacy Alana ( Hideout Theatre, Austin, USA) and Jim Ansaldo (Indiana University, Bloomington, USA) 5. Creating a Spontaneous Village: Community from Play by Brad Fortier (Oregon Health Authority, USA) 6. Practicing for the Unimaginable: The Heroic Improv Cycle by Mary Tyszkiewicz (Heroic Improvisation, Washington, D.C., USA) Section III: Leadership Development 7. Tiffany & Co. Says Yes, And by Caitlin McClure ((New York, USA) 8. Action! Transforming Executives Through Improvised Theatre by Teresa Norton (StarMaker, Hong Kong) 9. The Fish and The Fishbowl: An Adventure in Using Applied Improvisation to Unleash Collaborative Intelligence by Julie Huffaker and Karen Dawson (Deeper Funner Change, Calgary, Canada) Section IV: Higher Education 10. From Hell, No to Yes, And: Applied Improvisation for Training in Conflict Resolution, Mediation, and Law” by Barbara Tint (Portland State University, USA) 11. Decolonizing “Diversity” on Campus Using Applied Improvisation by Annalisa Dias (Producing Playwright, The Welders, USA) 12. Making Science Make Sense: Applied Improvisation for Public Communication of Science and Health by Jonathan P. Rossing (Gonzaga University, USA) and Krista Hoffmann-Longtin (Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis, USA) 13. On the Notion of Emergence: An Interview with Keith Sawyer (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA) and Neil Mullarkey (co-founder The Comedy Store Players, UK) by Theresa R. Dudeck Appendix A. Key Improvisation Tenets and Terms Appendix B. About the Workbook and List of Exercises Bibliography Index

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This timely collection of stories draws back the curtain on an exciting, rapidly growing field of practice and research happening in all corners of the world - Applied Improvisation - then shares practical strategies for Applied Improvisation facilitators, managers, leadership development specialists, educators, and others to achieve similarly powerful results by applying the methods and theories of improvisational theatre themselves.

About the Author

Theresa Robbins Dudeck is Keith Johnstone's Literary Executor and Co-Director of the Global Improvisation Initiative (GII). She is an improvisation and applied improvisation practitioner and scholar working in both academic and professional settings, and she is considered one of the foremost teachers of Keith Johnstone’s Impro System. Dudeck is the author of Keith Johnstone: A Critical Biography (Bloomsbury 2013). She received her Ph.D. in Theatre from the University of Oregon. Caitlin McClure has been applying improv to projects inside and outside of the theatre for most of her life. Based in New York City, she coaches, designs and facilitates experiential learning leadership development programs, worldwide. McClure received her M.A. in Adult Learning and Leadership at Columbia University.


Applied Improvisation is a world-class textbook for those who want to learn how to teach corporate and nonprofit groups improvisation skills. It's also an inspiring idea book for anyone who wants to bring the magic of theatre to their organization. After reading this remarkable work, you'll be eager to start on your own improv adventure.
*Daniel H. Pink, author of To Sell Is Human, Drive, and A Whole New Mind*

Applied Improvisation triumphantly reveals to us, with passionate and fascinating research, by seasoned practitioners, over and over again how the power of this transformative art form can spread its positive and proactive influence over myriad walks of the human experience.
*Keegan-Michael Key, actor, writer, producer, and alum of The Second City*

Actors often underestimate the phenomenal personal responsibility required of them when learning improvisation. Applied Improvisation demands a new understanding of what the improviser’s responsibility might be, and as this book brilliantly reveals, it doesn’t need actors or theatre spaces, but a new sense of purpose. This inspirational book will help you find it.
*Geoffrey Colman, Head of Acting, The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, UK*

Having used applied improvisation for ideation with design teams, I was inspired to read about the myriad other ways it can create positive movement and new practices. Improv opens pathways of possibilities where situations and thoughts seem locked and rigid. Twelve compelling case studies, plus practical tools anyone can use.
*Katy Tisch, Vice President, Creative Director, Global Nike Retail Design*

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