© 2008

Theatrical Improvisation

Short Form, Long Form, and Sketch-Based Improv

  • Authors

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvi
  2. Jeanne Leep
    Pages 1-21
  3. Jeanne Leep
    Pages 115-131
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 175-186

About this book


Theatrical Improvisation provides an in-depth analysis of short form, long form, and sketch-based improv - tracing the development of each form and the principles that define and connect the styles of performance. Brimming with original interviews from leaders in the field such as Ron West, Charna Halpern, John Sweeny and Margaret Edwartowski, Theatrical Improvisation presents straightforward improvisational theory, history, and trends. Includes easy-to-follow resources on teaching improvisation, with assessment tools, exercises, games, and classroom assignments to enable instructors to incorporate and assess improv in the classroom. Leep offers a practical, essential, and engaging guide for anyone who wants to better understand the art, teach, or perform improvisation.


development Etch forest form pedagogy performance sketch teaching

About the authors

Jeanne Leep is an Associate Professor of Acting and Directing at Edgewood College, USA.

Bibliographic information


'Written in straightforward prose, Theatrical Improvisation outlines the basics of improvisational theory, history, and practice. While those already familiar with improvisational theatre probably won't find any groundbreaking ideas, the book is an outstanding guide through the improvisational forest for those with little or no improv background/understanding. Most importantly Theatrical Improvisation provides an excellent and broad base from which to further build and explore the field of improvisational theatre.' - The Player's Journal

"Leep's work is a scholarly, yet captivating look at the most critical theatrical development of the last hundred years. It's not a 'how-to' book. It's not a 'history-of book.'It's not a 'what-is' book nor a 'who-did' book. It's all those and more." - Ron West,Writer/Director of The People vs. Friar Laurence

"Leep's book is an excellent resource either for those just starting out or for improv veterans. It is a thorough comparative study of the history and application of different improv forms while also providing relevant advice on learning or teaching improv to newcomers." - Rick Treur, founding member, River City Improv

"If you are intrigued by the mercurial world of improvisation-this book is the most user-friendly and comprehensive guide you'll find on the market today. It will deepen your appreciation of the historical roots of improvisation, strengthen your understanding of the art form's core principles, and offer a colorful spectrum of games, rules, forms, and challenges that you can put to immediate use. The text is peppered with detailed examples and exercises. Through a sparkling series of interviews with the improv movers and shakers of our time Leep manages to demystify the work and inspire at the same time." - Lavinia Hart, Head of MFA Acting, Department of Theatre, Wayne State University