The Layers of the Onion

Silent Tension without Who, What and Where* It had been maybe two years of Wednesday afternoon workshops with Viola before we did an exercise called Silent Tension without Who, What and Where. “I don’t do this one right away.” she said to us. “But now that you have No-Motion and some games behind you, I.. read more →

Transcend the known and knock on the door of the Intuition

The Games of Viola Spolin are designed to teach more than theater. They are doorways into an unknown. And by playing, we go forth unafraid and with joy! read more →

Body – Mind – Intuition

 “If you can get it out of the head and into the body…Body, Mind, Intuition. This is what we’re after. Body, Mind, Intuition” – Viola Spolin The quote above was directed to sixty teachers in a workshop Viola ran and which I assisted. I’ve had the great good fortune to absorb this mantra throughout my.. read more →

Teacher, Coach Thyself

Sidecoaching is essential to a game and helps the player breakthrough his or her resistance(s) whatever they may be, and soar into that unknown area, their own treasure house of creativity and intuition where growth and transformation occurs. Sidecoaching is an art in itself and a necessary component of Spolin Games that gets to the.. read more →

Living in Our Head: Connected yet Disconnected by Technology

As individuals we are isolated from one another, full of limitations, fears, tensions, competitiveness, prejudices, and preconceived attitudes. If our openness is more than just a hope, a sentiment, a word, certain conditions must be met. The first of these we would call mutuality or trust. True playing will produce trust. – Viola Spolin –.. read more →

IMPROV and the ROI

“Bottom line, how will Improv increase our sales, improve our morale, or our team? What guarantees do we have that everyone is going to benefit from this training? What can we expect to see after your work with us is over? Will we be a more productive workforce? Can we measure that? Will our staff.. read more →

FOCUS – Process Creates Story

More commentary on Spolin’s Tips and Pointers Pointer # 9 — The energy released in solving the problem, flowing through the Where, Who, and What, forms the scene. Taken from “Improvisation for the Theater” by Viola Spolin; 3rd Edition, Northwestern University Press. Solving a challenging problem constitutes a strong FOCUS. Viola Spolin used to call.. read more →

Commentary on Spolin’s Tips and Pointers: Part 1

How we do something is the process of doing (right now!). Pre-planning “How” makes process impossible and so becomes resistance to the focus of the exercise, and no “explosion” or spontaneity can take place, making any change or alterations in the student-actor impossible. True improvisation re-shapes and alters the student-actor through the act of improvising itself. Penetration into the focus, connection, and a live relation with fellow players result in a change, alteration, or new understanding for one or the other or both. In time, during the solving of the acting problem the student becomes aware of being acted upon and of acting, thereby creating process and change within his or her stage life. The intuition gained remains with the player in everyday life, for whenever a circuit is opened for anyone, so to speak, it is usable everywhere. read more →

Story, story…LIVE!

The game of Building a Story is a staple with improv groups around the world. It is the essence of collaboration by building a story one word at a time and by sharing ideas using give and take and intense listening. Invariably, the challenge wakes you up and your focus becomes stronger. There are many.. read more →

Improvisation is an ideal way to practice the art of Crisis Management

Transformation: The Value of Emergency in Play or Creating Healthy Crisis “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” ~Albert Einstein How do you begin to effect transformation? What sparks change?  Answer – crisis. What happens during a crisis is critical for change. …reform is usually possible only once a sense of crisis takes hold. Good leaders.. read more →