Story and games bring out self rather than ego.
— Viola Spolin

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. Sills/Spolin Theater Works is registered with Fractured Atlas, a fiscal sponsorship organization.

Carol Bleackley Sills, Director
Aretha Sills, Associate Director

Outreach:

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

Contact us with inquiries.

Recent and Ongoing Projects:

  • Preparation of Sills and Spolin writings for publication and for their respective archives. We hope to publish several volumes of Sills' writings, anthologies of his shows, and Spolin and Sills' correspondence, which requires the transcription of a vast amount of material before editing.
  • Formation of Youth Theater Programs in Chicago and Los Angeles. To learn more or sign up for news, please visit here.
  • Maintaining studios in Wisconsin and workplace in Hollywood for ongoing archival work.
  • Ongoing improvisational Theater Game and Story Theater Workshops at Paul Sills’ Wisconsin Theater Game Center in Door County, WI, as well as in Los Angeles, New York, and around the country at schools and universities.
  • Editing of Viola Spolin’s updated Director’s Handbook, released by Northwestern University Press. Currently editing 4th edition of Spolin’s Improvisation for the Theater.
  • Advising curators of the Viola Spolin exhibit at Northwestern University Library. Delivering keynote lecture on the improvisational theater of Viola Spolin and Paul Sills. Coaching a Theater Game workshop for Northwestern students and staff. 
  • Direction of Story Theater productions by Carol Sills at New Actor's Workshop in New York, Central Methodist University in Missouri, and elsewhere around the country.
  • Delivery of keynote address at the 2015 California Educational Theatre Conference on the subject of Neva Boyd, Viola Spolin, Paul Sills and the emergence of American improvisational theater from the progressive education movement.
  • Adaptation of verses from Iceland’s Poetic Edda for a Story Theater production, Fish Creek, WI.
  • Direction of stories for New Jersey City Children’s Theater, with Kathy Hendrickson and faculty.

Paul Sills and Viola Spolin, 1974

Paul Sills and Viola Spolin, 1974

Donate:

Sills/Spolin Theater Works is registered with Fractured Atlas, a non-profit fiscal sponsorship umbrella organization that serves a national community of artists and arts organizations. Funds donated through Fractured Atlas for Sills/Spolin Theater Works are crucial to this ongoing work.

Your tax-deductible contribution may be made online, by mail or by phone.

To mail, send your check with instructions to Fractured Atlas, 248 W. 35th Street, 10th Floor, New York NY 10001.

To speak with Fractured Atlas’ helpful staff, please call 888-692-7878