Stagecraft: Improv

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This month we look at the art of Improvisation. The word ultimately comes from the latin: improvisus, which translates as unforeseen. When an artist is involved in the creative process, they literally can not see the terrain that lays ahead.

The creation of performance pieces and the development of new juggling tricks is a pure act of improvisation. We uncover the unseen and reveal the hidden. Although long and short form comedy improv on the whole stands apart from the variety arts, there are so many similarities that it bears a closer look. What’s more, there are many resources that can be found in print that can help us deal with our own issues, such as creative block, free association, and continuity of theme.

Many of today’s great improvisers such as Mike Meyers and Tina Fey got their start at a school in Chicago called Improv Olympics, a school founded Charna Halpern. She is also the author of a classic improv manual: "Truth in Comedy". Here is an excerpt of an interview we did last week.


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Brad Weston

Brad Weston is a professional variety entertainer, writer, and coach. He has appeared on many national television shows including The Tonight Show, Letterman, Ellen, and Ripley's Believe It Or Not. He writes an industry related blog at