Young people and improvisational theater should be a natural combination - so why do we so rarely find this combo in today's classrooms? According to Elizabeth Swados - playwright, director, composer, poet, author of children's books and of an acclaimed family memoir - improvisational theater is the perfect creative outlet for junior-high and high-school students . . . if only they can be given the tools and the guidance to make the most of this natural yet rigorous art form.
Drawing on her own experience teaching inner-city children in the groundbreaking musical Runaways and in teaching the techniques of improv theater in schools around the country, as well as on her own background in experimental theater, Swados provides a step-by-step guide to bringing out the natural creativity and enthusiasm key to young people creating - and enjoying - improvisational theater. Covering the basics - from freeing the imagination to learning about how to work with an ensemble, from how to master different forms of movement and sound to how to create different kinds of characters - this is the book for teachers and students eager to learn how to express fully the creative talent that all children are born with.
Elizabeth Swados is a playwright, director, composer, poet, children's book author, and memoirist. She lives in New York City.