Creating Improvised Theatre: Tools, Techniques, and Theories for Short Form and Narrative Improvisation is a complete guide to improvised theatre for performers and instructors.

This book provides a modern view of improvised theatre based on the rapid evolution of this art form, shedding new light on classic theories as well as developing lesser known and emerging techniques, such as the Trance Mask. Instead of simply referencing classic theories, the book revisits them and places them in the context of contemporary improvisation techniques. Designed as a practical support, this guide contains over 130 exercises that allow its theories to come alive in workshops, rehearsals, and performance. The book is divided into four sections:

  • Nuts and bolts: The fundamental tools of improvisation to explore how to be spontaneously creative, build with your partner, and learn from masks to discover your scene instant by instant.
  • Short form: Techniques for scene work and short form performance, including how to get the most out of a scene, remain connected to the relational stakes, provoke change (physical, status, and emotional), and maintain a playful attitude.
  • Narrative improvisation: Theories to help navigate long form narrative-based shows with "narrative waypoints," generate variety, develop protagonists, work on genres, and manipulate creative transitions.
  • The bits box: Advice for warming-up before a rehearsal or a show with a collection of useful games.

Written to inspire creativity and provide the tools to develop innovative improvised shows and experiences, Creating Improvised Theatre is an invaluable source book for anyone interested in the art of improvised theatre, whether a beginning student or experienced performer.

chapter 1|12 pages


part 1|90 pages

Nuts and Bolts

chapter 2|1 pages

T‌he Basics

chapter 3|25 pages

Spontaneous Creativity

chapter 4|20 pages

Creating with Others

chapter 5|42 pages

Masks and the Art of Being in the Present

part 2|137 pages

Short Form

chapter 6|7 pages

Introducing Short Form

chapter 7|26 pages

What's the story?

chapter 8|13 pages

Playing the Platform and Detecting Tilts

chapter 9|18 pages

Riding the Rollercoaster to the End

chapter 10|20 pages

The Three Change Tools and Status

chapter 11|10 pages

Physical Change

chapter 12|19 pages

Emotional Change

chapter 13|22 pages

Mischief and Provoking Change

part 3|149 pages

Narrative Improvisation

chapter 14|2 pages

What Is Narrative Improvisation?

chapter 15|14 pages

Narrative Theories

chapter 17|24 pages

The Initial World – Calls and Protagonists

chapter 18|17 pages

Making Choices To Get in Trouble

chapter 19|9 pages

The Crisis – Ordeal and Understanding

chapter 20|12 pages

The Climax and the End World

chapter 21|14 pages


chapter 22|17 pages

Narrative Archetypes

chapter 23|7 pages

Final Tips for Narrative Improvisation

part 4|27 pages

The Bits Box

chapter 24|1 pages

Useful “Bits”

chapter 25|21 pages


chapter 26|3 pages

Over to You