Charles Publishes New Book on Improv

March 12, 2024

By Jessica Firpi ’11

Theatre professor David Charles has published The Improv Dictionary, a book on improvisational approaches and concepts.

Theatre professor David Charles
Photo by Scott Cook.

Theatre professor David Charles’ The Improv Dictionary: An A to Z of Improvisational Terms, Techniques, and Tools explores improvisational approaches and concepts drawn from a multitude of movements and schools of thought to enhance spontaneous and collaborative creativity.

This encyclopedic work pulls from a wide array of practitioners and practices, finding tensions and commonalities within diverse styles. Each detailed definition goes beyond the obvious clichés and seeks a nuanced and inclusive understanding of how art of the moment can be much more than easy laughs and cheap gags (even when it’s being delightfully irreverent and wildly funny). Entries include nuanced definitions, helpful examples, detailed explorations of the concepts in practice, and framing quotes from a leading practitioner or inspirational artistic voice.

The Improv Dictionary offers valuable insights to novice improvisers taking their first steps in the craft, seasoned performers seeking to unlock the next level of abandon, instructors craving a new comprehensive resource, and scholars working in one of the numerous allied fields that find enrichment through collaborative and guided play.

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