Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Great Improv Resources

For something different, this week I thought I'd introduce you to some of the improv resources I like out there on the net. Some of these are collections of resources, some are forums, and some are blogs with pretty amazing articles on improv theory and technique.

Blogs


Musical Improv Comedy is a great site for anyone involved with music and improv. It is the brainchild of Michael Pollock, author of excellent musical improv books like Musical Direction for Improv and Sketch Comedy. The site has a lot in common with Musical Hotspot - articles on techniques for actors and musicians, recordings of musical games, and so on. (Plus a lovely plug for Musical Hotspot! :D ) The links page has lots of links to improv sites, classes, and improvising musicians. Musical Improv Comedy has been revamped lately with a new look, and it is definitely worth a visit.

Improv Bootcamp is a pretty new blog about improvised theatre. The author Lisa Ricketts (an Aussie, w00t!) has been improvising for ages, and is just beginning to get her performance wisdom out of her head and on to the page. I'm going to be watching her blog closely, it looks great.

Story Robot is a fun blog with lots of stuff on improv theory. I really like the posts on this blog, they're fun and interesting. The author Brendon Bennetts is another antipodean improviser, and I find him very easy to read with a great variety of stuff. Definitely worth the RSS subscription.

I'm not sure how I stumbled on to Without Annette, the blog for an improv group based in Montreal. The blog has lots of entries on improv theory (as well as plugs and reviews of local shows and festivals). I find their stuff a treat to read.

Forums


YesAnd.com has come and gone a few times in the last year, but it is back, bigger and better than ever. There are great articles from a variety of authors, and a busy forum with lots of good stuff.

Another popular site is the Improv Resource Center, a site that focuses completely on forums. These are some pretty busy forums!

Collections


The Living Playbook has been collecting improv games, terminology and info for 24 years! That's a long time. The most recent version I can find is dated 2001, so it hasn't been updated for a long, long time, but it is still a great list of games. (And... on the list of contributors... top of the list... who's that? I know that was from about 1995, but I have no idea what the submission was.)

The most complete reference of improv sites I can find is The Improv Encyclopedia. Fellow improvising musician Tom Tollenaere maintains a wonderful set of improv games and exercises (500+!), as well as other resources.

Yes, and...?


Keep an eye on the "Blogs of Note" widget on the right there; you'll see new articles on some of these blogs when they are posted.

Do you have a favourite impro blog? Or improv resource? Or do you just want to yell at me because I can't decide whether to call it "impro" or "improv"? Leave a comment ;)
Photo by Seb Joguet

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