One of my continuing aims in 2014 is to continue to read more non-fiction. Most recently my non-fiction reading has mainly been on faith and history. 101 More Improv Games for Children and Adults by Bob Bedore is a change of theme for me but I thought it would be a really information read for me as through a local community theatre group I run weekly drama workshops for adults and children.
101 More Improv Games for Children and Adults is exactly what it says in the title! Bedore has collated a 101 games that can be used to encourage, inspire and create improvisations within a group of performers. 101 More Improv Games is broken down in the first half into advice chapters on Getting Started, Back to the Basics, Making a Scene Work, Creating a Character and Your World, Team Play, Guessing Games, Musical Games, Long-Form Improv and Performing a Show. Then the second half actually gets down to describing the games and how they can be used in chapters on Warm-Up Games, Single-Player Games, Basic Games, Character Games, Guessing Games, Audience Help, Team vs. Team Games, Line-Up Games, Musical Games, On Your Toes, Re-Scene Games, Bizarre Games and Long-Form. Each game has a simple breakdown of what ability, numbers and props may be needed to play them.
101 More Improv Games for Children and Adults is the first book I have read by Bob Bedore but as the title may suggest there was a book before this one; 101 Improv Games for Children and Adults. I haven’t read the previous book but with my drama background I hoped this wouldn’t affect this read for me which fortunately I don’t think it did. If you are newer to drama and especially improvisation then it might be best to start with the first book as it will perhaps have more introduction information for you. I thought 101 More Improv Games for Children and Adults was an interesting book of advice and games that a well established or a new group could use to create improv performances but I do think some tweaking would need to be done to the games to suit the community drama work I do. As our focus is participation rather than the audience. Bedore is open to this though because he offers quite a few ways each game could be tweaked to suit different numbers, age and ability which was interesting to see.
101 More Improv Games for Children and Adults is an interesting and informative book which could be great for future reference. I recommend to those interested in how to create their own improv performances.
Thank you to Hunter House for providing a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.
Have you read Bedore? Any recommendations for other books on performance?