Improvisor's Bookshelf
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This is an ever-growing list of improv and improv-related books. I aim to make it as comprehensive and accessible as possible.
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If you know of a book you think belongs on this list, please email me: valerie@hideouttheatre.com
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If you have additional helpful keywords/notes relating to any of the books listed, or know of editions in other languages, let me know!
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TitleAuthor LastAuthor FirstGeneral CategoryKeywords, notesLanguages
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Where Two Worlds TouchAngelicaJadeApplied Improvalzheimer'sEnglish
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Improvise This!
Cox, Jim Detmar, Mark Bergren
MollyApplied ImprovbusinessEnglish
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Auja - Autismus Akzeptieren Und Handeln
Dohler and Deniz Dohler
ChristianeApplied Improvautism, youthGerman
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Theatrical Improvisation, Consciousness, and Cognition
DrinkoClayton D.Applied Improvcognitive scienceEnglish
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Business ImprovGeeValApplied ImprovbusinessEnglish
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Savoir ImproviserGelyCyrilApplied Improvpublic speakingFrench
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Improvisation for the SpiritGoodmanKatieApplied Improvself-helpEnglish
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The Improvisation EdgeHoughKarenApplied ImprovbusinessEnglish
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58 ½ Ways to Improvise in TrainingJacksonPaul ZApplied Improvbusiness, trainingEnglish
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Drama Games for Those Who Like to Say NoJohnstonChrisApplied Improvyouth English
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Improv Yourself: Business Spontaneity at the Speed of Thought
KeefeJoseph A.Applied ImprovbusinessEnglish
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Training to imagineKoppettKatApplied Improvbusiness, trainingEnglish
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Improvisation, Inc.LoweRobertApplied Improv
business, education, training
English
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Improv WisdomMadsonPatricia RyanApplied Improvself-helpEnglish
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Improvise to SuccessParasharAvishApplied ImprovbusinessEnglish
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Executive Presence- Improv Style! SafranLisaApplied Improvbusiness, leadershipEnglish
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The Second City Guide to Improv in the Classroom
Scruggs and Katherine S. McKnight
MaryApplied Improveducation, youthEnglish
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Jill and Patrick’s Small Book of Improv for Business
Short and Jill BernardPatrickApplied ImprovbusinessEnglish
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Healing Improv: A Journey Through Grief to Laughter
SumnerBartApplied ImprovgrievingEnglish
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Innovation at the Speed of LaughterSweeneyJohnApplied Improv
business, idea generation, Brave New Workshop
English
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Yes And... Your Business
Van Bilsen, Cyriel Kortleven,and Joost Kadijk
GijsApplied ImprovbusinessEnglish
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How We Get AlongVellemanJ. DavidApplied ImprovRelationships, philosophyEnglish
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Improvisation: The Drama of Christian EthicsWellsSamuelApplied ImprovchristianityEnglish
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Games People PlayBerneEric
Creativity, Psychology, Philosophy
psychology, transactional analysis, relationships
English
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Open Space TechnologyBrooksHarold
Creativity, Psychology, Philosophy
communication, meetingsEnglish
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Daring GreatlyBrownBrene
Creativity, Psychology, Philosophy
connection, vulnerabilityEnglish
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The Talking Ape: How Language EvolvedBurlingRobbins
Creativity, Psychology, Philosophy
communication, languageEnglish
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The Artist’s WayCameronJulia
Creativity, Psychology, Philosophy
creativity, exercisesEnglish
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The Naked JapeCarrJimmy
Creativity, Psychology, Philosophy
humor theory, jokesEnglish
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The Most Human HumanChrisyianBrian
Creativity, Psychology, Philosophy
human natureEnglish
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Flow: The Psychology of Optimal ExperienceCsikszentmihalyiMihaly
Creativity, Psychology, Philosophy
psychology, flowEnglish
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Elbow RoomDennettDaniel C.
Creativity, Psychology, Philosophy
philosophy, free willEnglish
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Choosing Happiness: Life and Soul EssentialsDowrickStephanie
Creativity, Psychology, Philosophy
self-help, self-actualizationEnglish
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Postmodern MagicDunnPatrick
Creativity, Psychology, Philosophy
magic, communication, language, ritual
English
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Dancing in the StreetsEhrenreichBarbara
Creativity, Psychology, Philosophy
celebration, communityEnglish
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Inner Game of TennisGallwey W. Timothy
Creativity, Psychology, Philosophy
zen, psychology. sports, eastern philosophy
English
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The Chairs Are Where The People GoGloubermanMisha
Creativity, Psychology, Philosophy
communication, meetingsEnglish
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Buddhism Plain and SimpleHagenSteve
Creativity, Psychology, Philosophy
zen, eastern philosophyEnglish
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The Nurture AssumptionHarrisJudith Rich
Creativity, Psychology, Philosophy
psychology, human natureEnglish
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The Improvisation Studies Reader: Spontaneous Acts
Heble (Editor), Rebecca Caines (Editor)
Ajay
Creativity, Psychology, Philosophy
spontaneity, cross-discipline
English
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Zen in the Art of ArcheryHerrigelEugene
Creativity, Psychology, Philosophy
zen, sports, eastern philosophy
English
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The Tao of PoohHoffBenjamin
Creativity, Psychology, Philosophy
taoism, eastern philosophyEnglish
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Inside Jokes: Using Humor to Reverse-Engineer the Mind
HurleyMatthew M.
Creativity, Psychology, Philosophy
cognitive science, humor theory
English
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The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World
HydeLewis
Creativity, Psychology, Philosophy
creativity, economicsEnglish
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Brand LIke a Rock StarJonesSteve
Creativity, Psychology, Philosophy
branding, marketingEnglish
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Thinking Fast and SlowKahnemanDaniel
Creativity, Psychology, Philosophy
cognitive science, intuitionEnglish
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Steal Like an ArtistKleonAustin
Creativity, Psychology, Philosophy
creativity, exercisesEnglish
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FreeplayNachmanovichStephen
Creativity, Psychology, Philosophy
spontaneity, cross-discipline
English, German
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The Art of AskingPalmerAmanda
Creativity, Psychology, Philosophy
connection, vulnerabilityEnglish
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The Philosophy of ImprovisationPetersGary
Creativity, Psychology, Philosophy
spontaneity, cross-discipline
English
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The War of ArtPressfieldSteven
Creativity, Psychology, Philosophy
creativityEnglish
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Improvisation: Between Technique and Spontaneity
SantiMarina
Creativity, Psychology, Philosophy
Spontaneity, cognitive science
English
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The Neurobiology of WeSiegelDaniel J.
Creativity, Psychology, Philosophy
relationships, psychologyEnglish
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Trying Not to Try: The Art and Science of Spontaneity
SlingerlandEdward
Creativity, Psychology, Philosophy
spontaneity, eastern philosophy
English
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The Tools
Stutz and Barry Michaels
Phil
Creativity, Psychology, Philosophy
Creativity, self-helpEnglish
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Zen Mind, Beginner's MindSuzukiShunryu
Creativity, Psychology, Philosophy
zen, eastern philosophyEnglish
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The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are
WattsAlan
Creativity, Psychology, Philosophy
Eastern Philosophy, self-help
English
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Pictures Making BeliefsWingoCamille
Creativity, Psychology, Philosophy
cognitive science, ritualEnglish
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An Improvised LifeArkinAlanImprov History and Bios
bio, alan arkin, autobiography
English
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The Curriculum, Training Methods and History of a Competitive Improvisational Comedy Company
BradshawKevinImprov History and Biostheatre sportsEnglish
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The CompassColemanJanetImprov History and BioscompassEnglish
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Keith Johnstone: A Critical BiographyDudeck
Theresa Robbins
Improv History and BiosBio, Keith JohnstoneEnglish
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Long Form Improvisation and American ComedyFotisMattImprov History and Biosharold, ioEnglish
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Listen Harder: A collection of essays, curriculum and memorabilia on improvisation and educational theatre
GoldingMicahelImprov History and Biosapplied improv
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Guru: My days with Del CloseGriggsJeffImprov History and Bios
bio, Del Close, compass, second city, io
English
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Chicago Comedy: A Fairly Serious HistoryHicksMargaretImprov History and BioschicagoEnglish
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Whose Improv Is it Anyway?SehamAmyImprov History and Bios
chicago, second city, harold, io, comedysportz, annoyance, race, gender
English
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Something Wonderful Right AwaySweetJeffreyImprov History and Bios
compass, second city, oral history
English
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Causing a SceneToddCharlieImprov History and BiosImprov EverywhereEnglish
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Improvisation in RehearsalAbbottJohnImprov Theory and PracticeexercisesEnglish
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The Improvisation Book: How to Conduct Successful Improvisation Sessions
AbbottJohnImprov Theory and Practiceexercises, beginnersEnglish
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How to Improvise a Full-Length PlayAdamsKennImprov Theory and Practicenarrative, exercisesEnglish
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Del Salto al VueloArgentinoOmarImprov Theory and Practicebeginners, exercisesSpanish, Italian
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ImprovAtkinsGregImprov Theory and Practicescripted theaterEnglish
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101 Improv GamesBedoreBobImprov Theory and Practice
beginners, youth, exercises
English
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Acting Through ImprovBeltL.Improv Theory and Practicetheatre sports, johnstoneEnglish
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Jill Bernard’s Small Cute Book of Improv BernardJillImprov Theory and PracticecharactersEnglish, French
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Improvisation StartersBernardiPhilipImprov Theory and Practicestarters, scripted theaterEnglish
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Book on Acting: Improvisation Technique for the Professional Actor in Film, Theater, and Television
BookStephenImprov Theory and Practicescripted theatreEnglish
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It's About Tolerance StupidBoothbyIanImprov Theory and PracticediagnosticsEnglish
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Improvising BetterCarrane and Liz AllenJimmyImprov Theory and PracticediagnosticsEnglish
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Acting Games, Improvisations and ExercisesCassadyMarshImprov Theory and PracticeexercisesEnglish
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Long-Form Improvisation & The Art Of ZenChinJasonImprov Theory and Practicezen, eastern philosophyEnglish
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Truth in ComedyClose, Charna HalpernDelImprov Theory and Practiceharold, group mindEnglish
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Improv for ActorsDigglesDanImprov Theory and Practicescripted theater, exercisesEnglish
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Being PresentDixonRandyImprov Theory and Practicenarrative
English, German, Slovene
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Improvisation in DramaFrost, Ralph YarrowAnthonyImprov Theory and Practicescripted theaterEnglish
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Improv ComedyGoldbergAndyImprov Theory and Practiceexercises, beginnersEnglish
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Something from Nothing: The Technique of Improvisation
GoteriRichardImprov Theory and PracticeExercises, beginnersEnglish
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Impro I, Réflexions et AnalysesGravel and LavergneImprov Theory and PracticeMatch?French
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Impro II, Exercices et analysesGravel and LavergneImprov Theory and PracticeMatch?French
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Group ImprovisationGwinnPeterImprov Theory and Practicegroup mind, exercisesEnglish
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Art By CommitteeHalpernCharnaImprov Theory and Practicedel close, ioEnglish
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Long-form Improv HauckBenImprov Theory and PracticeHaroldEnglish
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Acting on ImpulseHazenfeldCarolImprov Theory and Practiceexercises, narrativeEnglish
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