Online Improv Resources - Improv & Acting Books - Improv Troupes - Improv Shows

Online Improv Resorces


Keith Johnstone Keith Johnstone's Web Page
Keith Johnstone - Author, Teacher, and one of the greatest minds ever in the world of acting and improv.

The Improv Page

A really complete site dedicated to the betterment of the Improv world. If you are interested in Improv you should check this page out. Grate Site!

Yes And .com

Bulletin Boards, Interviews, Info on Up Coming Improv Festivals, and Opinions about different aspects of Improv.

The Renaissance Faire Homepage

From tips on Street Performance, to learning the Accent. From Fonts from the time period, to up to date information on internal politics. A wonderful resource for those who act at Renaissance Fairs.

The New Improv Page

A Great Improv links Page with links to Improv Groups, Performers, Festivals, Workshops and Classes, Games, an Improv Bibliography, and even a section on Other Internet Improv Resources.

Bay Area Theatresports

Bay Area Theatersports now has a resource section on their website. It has notes on playing Micetro, notes from Keith Johnstone's lectures, and links to buying his books online.

William Shakespeare Online

How many times do you ask for a suggestion and get "Shakespeare" from the audience? Don't be caught with your pants down again. Study up with The Complete Works of William Shakespeare Online.

Shakespeare Crash Course

If you have to improvise a Shakespeare play tomorrow, but haven't take the time to know Shakespeare's works inside and out, here are some tips I've come up with to help make your life easier.


Rhyming Sites

Is that one time on-stage where you totally blanked for a rhyme still bugging you? I just added some links to help you exercise your rhyming muscles over on the Answer Page.



Hugh's List of Improv Handles

An in-depth listing of improv games. A really good site. Part of the Staircase Cafe Theatre.


The Living Playbook

An extensive listing of improv games. Lot's of games here. New framed version.


Monkey Games

Yet more improv games. Compiled by Fuzzy Gerdes, creator of The New Improv Page.

The Major-General's Song

Warming up is one of the most important things we do in the theater, and a good vocal warm up is key. Therefore I give you the best vocal warm up I know, The Major-General's Song. If you actually take the time to memorize it, you'll be doing yourself a huge favor as an actor. (and if you want to know what the hell all those words mean, here is a less accurate but annotated version)

How does that accent go again? Here is a website which lets you listen to people from all over the world speak English in their own special ways.

Some times finding all black shoes for the stage can be a daunting task. Well, why not design your own? lets you do just that. You pick how you want your shoes to be made and they make them for you. Sure they cost a bit much, but it's good to know you CAN design the perfect pair of shoes for your needs.

So after you messed up your voice by pushing just too hard, what besides not talking and hot tea can help your voice heal? Why, Thayers Slippery Elm Throat Lozenges of course. The only throat drop I've ever used that actually helps my voice get well again. Normal sore throat stuff just is a temporary patch. Slippery Elm is actually good for healing your vocal cords. A must have for any actor.

Improv & Acting Books

Books by Keith Johnstone:

Author and Teacher, Keith Johnstone has been pushing the envelope of theater and acting since the 1950's. He is the founder of TheaterSports, Micetro, & The Life Game, yet he still finds time to write and travel the world teaching and challenging the craft of acting & improv.

Simply the best book on Improv which I have ever had the opportunity to read.

Impro - The best book about Improv ever written.

This book is a must read for any actor, improviser, or person alive today. It covers how we crush our own creative spirit, how we relate to other people through status, how stories are told, and how to let go and become something greater than we ever thought possible.

IMPRO: Improvisation and the Theater by: Keith Johnstone - Routledge Publishing ISBN 0-87830-117-8

Impro for Storytellers - European Edition

Keith Johnstone's newest book, Impro for Storytellers. It has a lot of the same stuff from his newsletters, but it also has so much more (the thing is almost 400 pages long). If you order it through you get the good European cover (after the conversion rate and shipping it's actually 30 cents cheaper), but I'm sure if you went down to your local book store you could have them order a European copy for you too. ISBN: 0571190995. Or, if you ever find your self at Bay Area Theatersports, you can always pick up a US copy there.

How to order Keith Johnstones Newsletters

Before 'Impro for Storytellers' Keith Johnstone wrote 6 Newsletters which continued his work which he started in his first book. It's just like having another 3 chapters of 'Impro', and there's some really important information in them (even stuff which wasn't included in Impro for Storytellers). Here is the letter which the International Theatersports Institute e mailed me on how to order them.

Carol Hazenfield

Carol is truly an amazing teacher. I've been waiting years for her book, and low and behold, here it is. Carol focuses on pulling a higher level of theater out of the genre of improv, raising the bar from silly throw away games to truly great acting. When I walk out on stage, I probably use the skills I've learned from Carol more than any other teacher's I've ever worked with. Acting on Impulse is a must own for any improv actor.


Books by Patsy Rodenburg:

One of the leading vocal coaches of our time, not only focusing on singing, but rather on projection and using the vocal cords and the body correctly. Fortunately she's also taken the time to write several books, so that those of us who haven't had the opportunity to work with her personally, can still learn from her teachings.

The Right to Speak: I have many friends who consider this to be the bible of vocal work in the theater. She explores ways to brake the bad habits we've picked up throughout our lives, and helps you find ways to take control of your own voice. It's not only useful for actors or singers, but to anyone who speaks in public. This really is a great book.

The Need for Words: I have yet to read this book ( I have way to many books to read right now), but here is the Synopsis from 'The Need for Words' is about reclaiming language, relearning its art and rediscovering pleasure in words. In Part One she attacks the myth that there is only one correct way to speak by clearing away the blocks than can make language inaccessible. Part Two, a series of language and text exercises using the work of well-known dramatists, connects the voice to the shape and quality of individual words and phrases.

The Actor Speaks: Her newest book and a very good one at that. Again I'm going to rely on the words of for the Synopsis for they've done such a good job summing it up: 'The Actor Speaks' is a practical manual about speech and voice work, written expressly for actors and singers. Rodenburg takes the performer through a complete voice workshop (with exercises) with over 100 acting problems analyzed and corrected, including: breathing; relaxation; vocal projection; singing; movement; working on different-sized stages and auditoriums; and communicating with other actors and the audience.

Other Great Books & Authors:

Shakespeare Plays

If you want a Shakespeare play to walk around with, read at your own convenience, and you don't feel like printing out a whole play from the Internet, may I suggest The Oxford School Shakespeare Series. The text is really well laid out and easy to follow, the notes are printed next to the lines of text as opposed to below, and pages are large so the text is un-cramped and the character names aren't abbreviated. Oxford University Press has really made the whole experience of reading Shakespeare's plays more enjoyable. If you want, you can also get them through


Ok, so this isn't a book specifically about Improv, but in order to be well rounded one should always pull from different sources. Audition by Michael Shertleff is an amazing book about the pitfalls of acting which actors fall in, and how to make being on stage for an audition a painless experience. As improvisers, we tend to forget that we're actually actors too, so when a secret weapon this good for actors comes around, we should really sit up and take notice. From Keith Johnstone to Carol Hazenfield, every great Improv Teacher I've ever met has recommended this book.

The Art of Play

Speaking of acting at Renaissance Fairs, The Art of Play by Gary Izzo is a great book about Street Improv (which is much different than Stage Improv). If you've been doing Street Improv for a while, you probably know most of what he has to say already, but even so I found after reading it my performance improved and I've been doing street Improv for years.

Acting Interactive Theatre

This is Gary Izzo's companion book, Acting Interactive Theatre. It's a whole book of games and exercises for Street Improvisers, based on the Ideas brought up in The Art of Play. Gary brakes up the ensemble building process into 6 stages plus he covers casting and how to keep your group together. So instead of a bunch of games just stuffed into a book, Gary lay's out what games are good to start with, and builds to what games your troupe should end with.


Limelight Books
If your looking for a book on acting, the theater, film, etc. Limelight Books in San Francisco is one of the best stores in the Bay Area.

Looking for more books (inclding some of the best Shakespeare Books ever)? Check out My New Book Page.

Improv Troupes

The Fibbs

The Fibbs: One of the most fun troupes which I've ever had the opportunity to work with. Some of the stories which get told by this group keep me laughing for weeks. I love working with The Fibbs.

Want to know what I'm teaching and performing in?  Sign up to our mailing list while you're there...

So where did The Belfry go after they graduated from BATS Improv? The answer: The Un-Scripted Theater Company. San Francisco's new great improv company. Come see what all the fuss is about!

3 for All

Looking for some truly amazing improv? These guys are rasing the bar for the rest of us. If you get the chance, 3 for All is a must see!

Houseful of Honkeys

Even without Wane Brady, Housefull of Honkys still puts on some damn good improv shows. Definitely a great show to catch on a boring Friday night in LA

The Original Action Pack

I'm rather selective of what improv troupes I link to, but The Original Action Pack... good stuff!

Sound and Fury - Fakespearean Players

They perform a show called TESTACLESE & THE SACK OF ROME. Need I say more?

Get the low down on the San Francisco improv scene


Or if you are a troupe and you need a place to perform...

Improv Shows

With listings of Improv Troupes all over the USA, this is a great resource if you are looking for a fun night on the town. Support your local Improv Troupe!

Great Up Coming Shows (with me in them)

From The Fibbs to Bay Area Theatersports. If you would like to know when you can catch me performing, here's my schedule of up coming shows (and a few other dates of major Importance).

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Updated 09/23/02

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