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The official website for Viola Spolin


The official website of Viola Spolin, originator of theater games and mother of improvisational theater. 

 

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The official website for Viola Spolin


The official website of Viola Spolin, originator of theater games and mother of improvisational theater. 

 

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Viola Spolin Biography


The official website of Viola Spolin, originator of theater games and mother of improvisational theater. 

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Viola Spolin Biography


The official website of Viola Spolin, originator of theater games and mother of improvisational theater. 

Biography

Viola spolin 

November 7, 1906 to November 22, 1994

Viola Spolin was an actress, educator, director, author, and the creator of theater games, a system of actor training that uses games she devised to organically teach the formal rules of the theater. Her groundbreaking book Improvisation for the Theater transformed American theater and revolutionized the way acting is taught. Originally published in 1963 by Northwestern University Press, it remains an essential theater text. Her son director Paul Sills, who is credited with popularizing her work, used her theater games when he co-founded Compass, Playwrights Theater Club, The Second City, and created Story Theater. The modern improvisational theater movement is a direct outgrowth of Spolin’s methods, discoveries, and writings.

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Viola Spolin Publications


The official website of Viola Spolin, originator of theater games and mother of improvisational theater. 

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Viola Spolin Publications


The official website of Viola Spolin, originator of theater games and mother of improvisational theater. 

Publications

improvisation for the theater

Viola Spolin's improvisational techniques changed the very nature and practice of modern theater. The first two editions of Improvisation for the Theater sold more than 100,000 copies and inspired actors, directors, teachers, and writers in theater, television, film. These techniques have also influenced the fields of education, mental health, social work, and psychology.

 

Theater Games for Rehearsal: A Director's Handbook

Theater Games for Rehearsal: A Director’s Handbook is a practical application of Viola Spolin’s famous method that guides directors and their companies step-by-step through all phases of the rehearsal period. Spolin shows in easy-to-follow detail how her techniques can be used for a variety of theater situations, ranging from selecting plays or material to be performed, casting, and building a harmonious company to warming up actors, creating stage space, and overcoming opening night jitters. 

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The Viola Spolin Archive at Northwestern University


The official website of Viola Spolin, originator of theater games and mother of improvisational theater. 

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The Viola Spolin Archive at Northwestern University


The official website of Viola Spolin, originator of theater games and mother of improvisational theater. 

archive

THE VIOLA SPOLIN COLLECTION AT NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY

Click image to read this issue of Footnotes

Click image to read this issue of Footnotes

Viola Spolin’s archive is housed at Northwestern University’s Charles Deering McCormick Library of Special Collections in Evanston, Illinois. Papers date from 1925 to 2003. To view the comprehensive online guide to the Viola Spolin papers, please visit HERE.

To make an appointment to visit the Spolin Collection, contact:

Charles Deering McCormick Library of Special Collections
Deering Library, Level 3
1970 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL
Email: special.collections@northwestern.edu
Phone: 847-491-3635

The archive also houses 32 videos including workshops, rehearsals, and performances.  A guide to the videos in the Viola Spolin Collection may be purchased HERE.

 

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Viola Spolin Theater Game Workshops


The official website of Viola Spolin, originator of theater games and mother of improvisational theater. 

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Viola Spolin Theater Game Workshops


The official website of Viola Spolin, originator of theater games and mother of improvisational theater. 

Workshops/outreach

Paul Sills’ Theater Game Center, Door County, Wisconsin

Offering week-long summer intensives in the work of American theater legends Viola Spolin and Paul Sills in Door County, Wisconsin, the world-famous vacation destination located on the beautiful peninsula in Lake Michigan. 


The Spolin Workshop, Los Angeles

Sidecoach Aretha Sills (granddaughter of Viola Spolin and daughter of Paul Sills) offers Spolin theater game workshops regularly in Los Angeles. Explore the transformational theater games of Viola Spolin to enhance your training as an actor, improviser, educator, director, writer, or to experience more play in your daily life. 


Outreach

Sills/Spolin Theater Works educators are available to bring workshops in Theater Games and Story Theater to your school or organization. We also direct productions, offer teacher training, and speak to groups about Viola Spolin, Paul Sills, and the history of improvisational theater in America.


Youth Program, Chicago & Los Angeles

Coming in 2016: A new youth theater program in Los Angeles and Chicago, offering a series of classes for ages 7 through 18. Viola Spolin’s Theater Games are a play-based system of actor training that educate the whole child. Theater Games promote awareness of self and others, problem solving, socialization skills, and the development of your child’s unique gifts. 

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Sills/Spolin Theater Works - Preserving and sharing the work of Paul Sills and Viola Spolin


The official website of Viola Spolin, originator of theater games and mother of improvisational theater. 

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Sills/Spolin Theater Works - Preserving and sharing the work of Paul Sills and Viola Spolin


The official website of Viola Spolin, originator of theater games and mother of improvisational theater. 

Sills/Spolin Theater Works

Mission Statement:

It is the responsibility of Sills/Spolin Theater Works to maintain the improvisational theater tradition of Paul Sills and Viola Spolin and to preserve and share their unique vision of American theater. This work includes bringing their approach to education and entertainment to the community through presenting Spolin theater game workshops, training in Sills’ story theater process, publishing of their writings, and managing their respective archives. Your tax-deductible donations help further this work. 

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Viola Spolin News and Information. Workshops, events, and more.


The official website of Viola Spolin, originator of theater games and mother of improvisational theater. 

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Viola Spolin News and Information. Workshops, events, and more.


The official website of Viola Spolin, originator of theater games and mother of improvisational theater. 

News

Learn about upcoming workshops, events, and more.

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Resources


The official website of Viola Spolin, originator of theater games and mother of improvisational theater. 

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Resources


The official website of Viola Spolin, originator of theater games and mother of improvisational theater. 

Resources

PaulSills.com is the online home of Paul Sills’ Wisconsin Theater Game Center, which has been offering Spolin theater game intensives since 1987. Also features articles and information about Paul Sills and Viola Spolin.

The facebook page of Sills/Spolin Theater Works posts current and archival articles, photographs, workshop info, and more on an ongoing basis.

VIOLA SPOLIN.ORG MEMES

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