The Comedy Improv Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide to University Improvisational Comedy in Theatre and Performance

CRC Press
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The Comedy Improv Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide to University Improvisational Comedy in Theatre and Performance is a one-stop resource for both improv teachers and students, covering improv history, theory, maxims, exercises, games, and structures. You will learn the necessary skills and techniques needed to become a successful improviser, developing a basic understanding of the history of improvisation and its major influences, structures, and theories. This book also addresses issues associated with being a college improviser – like auditions, rehearsals, performances, and the dynamics of improv groups.
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About the author

Matt Fotis is an Assistant Professor of Theatre at Albright College where he teaches improvisation, acting, and writing for performance. He is the author of Long Form Improvisation & American Comedy – The Harold. His work has appeared in Theatre Journal, Theatre Topics, The Journal of American Drama & Theatre, The Encyclopedia of Humor Studies, The Encyclopedia of American Studies, and MLB.com, among others. He is also an award-winning playwright.

Siobhan O'Hara

is a graduate from Albright College and former president of Albright Improv. She is continuing her education and training at The Upright Citizens Brigade.
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Additional Information

Publisher
CRC Press
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Published on
Oct 14, 2015
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Pages
220
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ISBN
9781317390183
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Performing Arts / Acting & Auditioning
Performing Arts / Comedy
Performing Arts / Theater / Direction & Production
Performing Arts / Theater / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Stand-Up Comedy in Theory, or, Abjection in America is the first study of stand-up comedy as a form of art. John Limon appreciates and analyzes the specific practice of stand-up itself, moving beyond theories of the joke, of the comic, and of comedy in general to read stand-up through the lens of literary and cultural theory. Limon argues that stand-up is an artform best defined by its fascination with the abject, Julia Kristeva’s term for those aspects of oneself that are obnoxious to one’s sense of identity but that are nevertheless—like blood, feces, or urine—impossible to jettison once and for all. All of a comedian’s life, Limon asserts, is abject in this sense.
Limon begins with stand-up comics in the 1950s and 1960s—Lenny Bruce, Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Mike Nichols, Elaine May—when the norm of the profession was the Jewish, male, heterosexual comedian. He then moves toward the present with analyses of David Letterman, Richard Pryor, Ellen DeGeneres, and Paula Poundstone. Limon incorporates feminist, race, and queer theories to argue that the “comedification” of America—stand-up comedy’s escape from its narrow origins—involves the repossession by black, female, queer, and Protestant comedians of what was black, female, queer, yet suburbanizing in Jewish, male, heterosexual comedy. Limon’s formal definition of stand-up as abject art thus hinges on his claim that the great American comedians of the 1950s and 1960s located their comedy at the place (which would have been conceived in 1960 as a location between New York City or Chicago and their suburbs) where body is thrown off for the mind and materiality is thrown off for abstraction—at the place, that is, where American abjection has always found its home.
As the first study of its kind, Stand-Up Comedy in Theory, or, Abjection in America will appeal to a wide audience including those interested in cultural studies, Jewish studies, gender and queer theory.
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The compelling, inspiring, and comically sublime story of one man’s coming-of-age, set during the twilight of apartheid and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Michiko Kakutani, New York Times • USA Today • San Francisco Chronicle • NPR • Esquire • Newsday • Booklist

Trevor Noah’s unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents’ indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa’s tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle.

Born a Crime is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. It is also the story of that young man’s relationship with his fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother—his teammate, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life.

The stories collected here are by turns hilarious, dramatic, and deeply affecting. Whether subsisting on caterpillars for dinner during hard times, being thrown from a moving car during an attempted kidnapping, or just trying to survive the life-and-death pitfalls of dating in high school, Trevor illuminates his curious world with an incisive wit and unflinching honesty. His stories weave together to form a moving and searingly funny portrait of a boy making his way through a damaged world in a dangerous time, armed only with a keen sense of humor and a mother’s unconventional, unconditional love.

Praise for Born a Crime

 “[A] compelling new memoir . . . By turns alarming, sad and funny, [Trevor Noah’s] book provides a harrowing look, through the prism of Mr. Noah’s family, at life in South Africa under apartheid. . . . Born a Crime is not just an unnerving account of growing up in South Africa under apartheid, but a love letter to the author’s remarkable mother.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

“[An] unforgettable memoir.”—Parade

 “What makes Born a Crime such a soul-nourishing pleasure, even with all its darker edges and perilous turns, is reading Noah recount in brisk, warmly conversational prose how he learned to negotiate his way through the bullying and ostracism. . . . What also helped was having a mother like Patricia Nombuyiselo Noah. . . . Consider Born a Crime another such gift to her—and an enormous gift to the rest of us.”—USA Today

“[Noah] thrives with the help of his astonishingly fearless mother. . . . Their fierce bond makes this story soar.”—People
A New York Times Best Seller!

By the actress, writer, and one of the funniest women on Twitter, an outrageous, hysterical memoir of acting on impulse, plotting elaborate hoaxes, and refusing to acknowledge boundaries in any form

Jenny Mollen is an actress and writer living in Los Angeles. She is also a wife, married to a famous guy (which is annoying only because he gets free shit and she doesn't). She doesn't want much from life. Just to be loved—by everybody: her parents, her dogs, her ex-boyfriends, her ex-boyfriends' dogs, her husband, her husband's ex-girlfriends, her husband's ex-girlfriend's new boyfriends, etc. Some people might call that impulse crazy, but isn't "crazy" really just a word boring people use to describe fun people? (And Jenny is really, really fun, you guys!)

In these pages, you'll find stories of Jenny at her most genuine, whether it's stalking her therapist (because he knows everything about her so shouldn't she get to know everything about him?); throwing a bachelorette party so bad that one of the guests is suspected dead; or answering the eternal question, Would your best friend blow your husband on a car ride to dinner if she didn't know you were hiding in the backseat?
I Like You Just the Way I Am is about not doing the right thing—about indulging your inner crazy-person. It is Jenny when she's not trying to impress anyone or come across as a responsible, level-headed member of society. With any luck it will make you better acquainted with who you really are and what you really want. Which, let's be honest, is most likely someone else's email password.

The riveting, mega-bestselling, beloved and highly acclaimed memoir of a man, a vocation, and an era named one of the ten best nonfiction titles of the year by Time and Entertainment Weekly.

In the mid-seventies, Steve Martin exploded onto the comedy scene. By 1978 he was the biggest concert draw in the history of stand-up. In 1981 he quit forever. This book is, in his own words, the story of “why I did stand-up and why I walked away.”

Emmy and Grammy Award–winner, author of the acclaimed New York Times bestsellers Shopgirl and The Pleasure of My Company, and a regular contributor to The New Yorker, Martin has always been a writer. His memoir of his years in stand-up is candid, spectacularly amusing, and beautifully written.

At age ten Martin started his career at Disneyland, selling guidebooks in the newly opened theme park. In the decade that followed, he worked in the Disney magic shop and the Bird Cage Theatre at Knott’s Berry Farm, performing his first magic/comedy act a dozen times a week. The story of these years, during which he practiced and honed his craft, is moving and revelatory. The dedication to excellence and innovation is formed at an astonishingly early age and never wavers or wanes.

Martin illuminates the sacrifice, discipline, and originality that made him an icon and informs his work to this day. To be this good, to perform so frequently, was isolating and lonely. It took Martin decades to reconnect with his parents and sister, and he tells that story with great tenderness. Martin also paints a portrait of his times—the era of free love and protests against the war in Vietnam, the heady irreverence of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour in the late sixties, and the transformative new voice of Saturday Night Live in the seventies.

Throughout the text, Martin has placed photographs, many never seen before. Born Standing Up is a superb testament to the sheer tenacity, focus, and daring of one of the greatest and most iconoclastic comedians of all time.
Billions of you have watched their videos and millions of you have followed them on social media.

So here we go; it's time to back up because YouTube superstars, The Sidemen, are finally here in book form and they're dishing the dirt on each other as well as the YouTube universe.

There's nowhere to hide as KSI, Miniminter, Behzinga, Zerkaa,Vikkstar123, Wroetoshaw and Tobjizzle go in hard on their living habits, their football ability, and their dodgy clobber, while also talking Fifa, Vegas and superheroes. They'll also give you their grand house tour, letting you in on a few secrets, before showing you their hall of fame, as well as revealing some of their greatest shames.

Along the way you'll learn how seven of the world's biggest YouTube stars started off with nothing more than a computer console, a PC and a bad haircut before joining forces to crush the internet. And they'll tell you just how they did it (because they're nice like that) with their ultimate guide to YouTube while also sharing their memories of recording their favourite videos as well as a typical day in the life of The Sidemen.

You'll feel like you're with them every step of the way, smelling the 'sweet' aroma of the boys' favourite dishes in the kitchen, stamping your passport as you follow them on their trips around the world and kicking every ball as the boys gear up for the biggest football match of their lives.

It's going to get personal. It's going to get intense, and JJ is going to have lots of tantrums, so take a moment to prepare yourself, because this is The Sidemen book you've been waiting for!

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