Applied Improvisation Zone

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Welcome to my applied improvisation page. Here are links to all my writings, experiences and created exercises for improvisational work. Some are hosted here, some on other sites.

You are welcome to use these resources in your own practice. Please reference the material back to here. Many more resources at the Applied Improvisation Network.

The Golden Rule of Applied Improvisation

The skilled applied improviser always improvises the improvisation they are applying.




Exercises and Activities

Aftermath – an exercise for exploring a difficult organisational or business change

A Rather Different Improvisation Warm-up – using simple drawing to tune into group improvising

Assertiveness  Scenarios – used in my improvisation sessions on this theme

The Breath Improvisation – an exercise in harmony/convergence, and a neat little breathing exercise for impro groups

Climbing down towards Naturalism – a quirky workshop activity to find the right level

Contemptuous Customer Care Theatre scenarios – for use in improvisation workshops

Crossing the Line – an exercise in unity, individuality, community and presence

Crystal Ball – an exercise exploring future into present

Dance of Breathing 1 – a pure improvisation activity

Dance of Breathing 2 – a pure improvisation activity

Dance of Breathing 3 – focus on attention

Dashing Duality – a high octane Energiser

DAWAW Panels – an improvisational devils’ advocate technique

Debriefing an Applied Improvisation Activity – practical advice

The Enormous Group Warm up  – an energiser for 100s of people

Exploring Originality and Cliche – two activities (Posted on AIN)

Exploring Resonance – an activity

Falling into Improvisation – a simple breathing activity that explores group focus and response

Finding Our Connection – a simple connector activity

Fingertip Connection – an activity exploring improvisation and texting

The Four-Word Poem – a fun, simple activity exploring creativity and writing (Posted in AIN)

Ghosts – an activity for exploring new organisational states

The Glass – a storytelling activity (Posted on AIN)

The Graveyard Activity – for exploring biograpphy, personal development and career

Hand on Hand – A Simple and Raw Improvisation Activity

Improvisational “Anchors” – some practical notes

The Improvised Banking Crisis – an activity exploring pitching and persuasion, investment and risk

The Improvised Vicinity Game – a fun and touching exploration of communication and stories (Posted on AIN)

Into the Woods – an Encounter Improvisation Exercise

Into the Dark – a collaborative improvisation exercise

Leap into Simplicity – an activity exploring “lean” and essence

Let there be Light! – the use of lighting in applied improvisation activities

Moments of Connection – an improvisation exercise

My Card! – a fun energiser

Not This – an activity for defining and clarifying

Portrait Gallery – a fun improvisation activity exploring stillness, meaning and interpretation

Our “basic” exercise – three rules for improvisation (inspired by Spindrift Theatremakers)

Personification – an experiment in personfiying problems

Rain – a lovely contact improvisation exercise

Scripted Improvisation – we can bring the quality of improvisation to our scripts in life and at work, meeting them anew, as if for the first time

Shadow Improvisation – an activity for finding the present moment (Posted on AIN)

Silence and Patience – a naturalistic improvisation activity

The Silent Story – a virtual improvisation activity exploring collaboration

Stand up, sit down, lie down – an activity for exploring organisational positions and conversational processes

Sweeping Away the Cobwebs – the importance of warm-ups and “clearing”

Theme Song Improvisation – an activity for presentation and speaking skills

The Moment after the Improvisational Moment – a strange activity

The Turnaround Game – an activity for exploring turnaround.

Tender Breath – An Essential Breathing Improvisation – contact at a simple level

The Upside Down Talking Stick – a powerful activity for exploring silence and leadership

The Wind of Change – an activity for exploring change

Verbal Tweeting – a fun activity exploring the idea that less is more


Articles, Ideas and Reflections

A More Profound Path to Creativity – a challenging view

Art and Critical Incidents in Organisation – a case for

Connectedness – a short essay

Connectedness in Theatre – an article

Defining Impro! – a naughty critique of the cult of Keith (posted on AIN)

Definitions of Improvisation – revisited (posted on AIN)

Evolutionary or Evollusionary Theatre – an intiguing view for theatre practice

Falling into Fear – improvising fear: some grand challenges (posted on AIN)

Falling into Positivity – the role of misery in Improvisation and also Insipid Positivity (posted on AIN)

Five recession-based themes for a recession based impro workshop

Focus and Gaze in Acting – a metaphor for managing in life and work

Getting Work in Applied Improvisation – a post-meltdown article

Having Decidedness – a perspective on spontaneity and facilitator

Icebreakers or Icemakers ? – the role of energisers at impro events (posted on AIN)

Improvisation and Scripts – notes from a theatre experiment

Improvisation, ghosts and exorcism as a method of change

Joyful Improvisation – a look at laughter and laughs

Justifying Arts in Business – an essay

Leadership “in the Moment” – a short essay

Let there be Light! – using lighting in applied improvisation

Moving beyond Left-Brain/Right-Brain (posted on AIN)

On Leadership – definitions and some reflections linked to improvisation themes (posted on AIN)

Overcoming Resistance to Change – a basic model for Impro Exercises (posted on AIN)

Soul Touch in Drama – an airy perspective!

Stepping into the Moment – my applied improvisation philosophy

Stepping into the moment before the moment!

Theatre – an Evolutionary Approach

The Danger of Games in Improvisation – a critical viewpoint

The Essence of Improvisation – a fundamental view

The Importance of Distraction in Performance (posted on AIN)

The Inner Attitude of Wonder – on authentic facilitation of applied improvisation

The Institutionalisation of Spontaneity – a challenging view of our field

Two New Principles of Applied Improvisation – breaking new ground here!

Unimprovisation – it’s importance a way of dealing with group chaos

Using Art and Theatre in Training – an essay – good for use in proposals and pitches

What is Spontaneity? Some questions and thoughts (posted on AIN)

What is to be done with Improvisation?  – a critique of institutionalised improv

Where do you stand? – practical tips on where an applied improviser should stand in a workshop room

Working, “living lightly” and negative innovation – an exploration of simplicity and improvisation


Virtual Improvisation – Activities and Articles

(I’ve posted the following activities and articles on the Applied Improvisation Network)

140 Character Conversation – A virtual improv activity, taking applied improvisation to the borderland between face to face and text-based communication

An experiment in virtual creativity – Notes

Dealing with the Invisible in a Virtual Improv Training Session – An article

Fingertip Connection – An activity exploring virtual connection

How should I speak on the phone? – Two Applied Improvisation Activities

Improvised storytelling as visual radio – A virtual improvisation activity

Reflections on a virtual improv session – December 2011

The Silent Story – A virtual improv activity