Improv Nation: How We Made a Great American Art

Improv Nation: How We Made a Great American Art

From the best-selling author of Fosse, a sweeping yet intimate?and often hilarious?history of a uniquely American art form that has never been more popular. At the height of the McCarthy era, an experimental theater troupe set up shop in a bar near the University of Chicago. Via word-of-mouth, astonished crowds packed the ad-hoc venue to see its unscripted, interactive, co From the best-selling author of Fosse, a sweeping yet intimate?and often hilarious?history of a uniquely Amer...

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Title:Improv Nation: How We Made a Great American Art
Author:Sam Wasson
Rating:
Genres:Nonfiction
ISBN:0544557204
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:464 pages pages

Improv Nation: How We Made a Great American Art Reviews

  • Andrei Alupului
    Dec 24, 2017

    Full disclosure: I won a free ARC of this book in a Goodreads giveaway. As you?d surmise, this is a history of the improv movement in the USA. Wasson presents it as an American artform--yes, there are antecedents in European traditions, but nothing quite like improv as the term i...

    really solid and entertaining history - the notes section alone is a trove of cool stuff to follow through on, videos to check out, interviews to read, etc. the writing gets a lil clumsy i think, proportionate to the author's enthusiasm. like based on how he described some of the sctv ...

  • Michael
    Dec 24, 2017

    Full disclosure: I won a free ARC of this book in a Goodreads giveaway. As you?d surmise, this is a history of the improv movement in the USA. Wasson presents it as an American artform--yes, there are antecedents in European traditions, but nothing quite like improv as the term i...

    really solid and entertaining history - the notes section alone is a trove of cool stuff to follow through on, videos to check out, interviews to read, etc. the writing gets a lil clumsy i think, proportionate to the author's enthusiasm. like based on how he described some of the sctv ...

    I can?t even begin to describe how much this book means to me. When I first started reading it, I assumed it would be the history of improv. However, this was way more than just a history book. This is the story (or should I say, stories) of artists we have come to know and love and ...

    Unlike the quirky creators of the art of improv and the many improvisors about whom the author so beautifully and lovingly writes, all of whom seem to know just what to say on the spur of the moment, I find myself at a loss for words to describe just how much I enjoyed this extraordina...

    This is the hilarious story of America?s largest dysfunctional family, since it seems everyone really has worked with nearly everyone else in the improv comedy world. If you have any interest in improv comedy or comedians or the process of creating humor this is a must read. I just l...

    Until I read Improv Nation, I had not realized how many comedians/actors I was familiar with had connections to Chicago's Second City. Sam Wasson starts in the 1940s with the birth of improvisational comedy and Viola Spolin and Del Close who taught classes in what was later to be calle...

    Sam Wasson takes on what is, by his own humble admission, a formidable task: an inventory of the development and influence of American-style improv, from its proletariat origins in 1950's Chicago to its imprint on today's ubiquitous political satire. In the spirit of the brave ad-libbe...

    This is one of the all-time best books I?ve read. Even if it weren?t about Improv, it is so well written and gave so many great perspectives behind the history of Improv. I have found a greater appreciation for artists that I didn?t love before, and was introduced to some artists...

    There?s a very thin line between improv and sketch comedy, and even standup comedy. Was son makes an admirable effort to establish improv as a unique art form but never quite succeeds, largely because his subjects tended to migrate away from improv. I did enjoy many of the profiles, ...

    Very informative and entertaining look at how improv really took root in America. The third section of the book I feel should have been part of a second, longer book because you can feel Wasson's laser focus starting to fade as he burns through a lot of information. Still, a very fun r...

  • Jeff J.
    Jan 14, 2018

    Full disclosure: I won a free ARC of this book in a Goodreads giveaway. As you?d surmise, this is a history of the improv movement in the USA. Wasson presents it as an American artform--yes, there are antecedents in European traditions, but nothing quite like improv as the term i...

    really solid and entertaining history - the notes section alone is a trove of cool stuff to follow through on, videos to check out, interviews to read, etc. the writing gets a lil clumsy i think, proportionate to the author's enthusiasm. like based on how he described some of the sctv ...

    I can?t even begin to describe how much this book means to me. When I first started reading it, I assumed it would be the history of improv. However, this was way more than just a history book. This is the story (or should I say, stories) of artists we have come to know and love and ...

    Unlike the quirky creators of the art of improv and the many improvisors about whom the author so beautifully and lovingly writes, all of whom seem to know just what to say on the spur of the moment, I find myself at a loss for words to describe just how much I enjoyed this extraordina...

    This is the hilarious story of America?s largest dysfunctional family, since it seems everyone really has worked with nearly everyone else in the improv comedy world. If you have any interest in improv comedy or comedians or the process of creating humor this is a must read. I just l...

    Until I read Improv Nation, I had not realized how many comedians/actors I was familiar with had connections to Chicago's Second City. Sam Wasson starts in the 1940s with the birth of improvisational comedy and Viola Spolin and Del Close who taught classes in what was later to be calle...

    Sam Wasson takes on what is, by his own humble admission, a formidable task: an inventory of the development and influence of American-style improv, from its proletariat origins in 1950's Chicago to its imprint on today's ubiquitous political satire. In the spirit of the brave ad-libbe...

    This is one of the all-time best books I?ve read. Even if it weren?t about Improv, it is so well written and gave so many great perspectives behind the history of Improv. I have found a greater appreciation for artists that I didn?t love before, and was introduced to some artists...

    There?s a very thin line between improv and sketch comedy, and even standup comedy. Was son makes an admirable effort to establish improv as a unique art form but never quite succeeds, largely because his subjects tended to migrate away from improv. I did enjoy many of the profiles, ...

  • Robin
    Jan 03, 2018

    Full disclosure: I won a free ARC of this book in a Goodreads giveaway. As you?d surmise, this is a history of the improv movement in the USA. Wasson presents it as an American artform--yes, there are antecedents in European traditions, but nothing quite like improv as the term i...

    really solid and entertaining history - the notes section alone is a trove of cool stuff to follow through on, videos to check out, interviews to read, etc. the writing gets a lil clumsy i think, proportionate to the author's enthusiasm. like based on how he described some of the sctv ...

    I can?t even begin to describe how much this book means to me. When I first started reading it, I assumed it would be the history of improv. However, this was way more than just a history book. This is the story (or should I say, stories) of artists we have come to know and love and ...

    Unlike the quirky creators of the art of improv and the many improvisors about whom the author so beautifully and lovingly writes, all of whom seem to know just what to say on the spur of the moment, I find myself at a loss for words to describe just how much I enjoyed this extraordina...

    This is the hilarious story of America?s largest dysfunctional family, since it seems everyone really has worked with nearly everyone else in the improv comedy world. If you have any interest in improv comedy or comedians or the process of creating humor this is a must read. I just l...

    Until I read Improv Nation, I had not realized how many comedians/actors I was familiar with had connections to Chicago's Second City. Sam Wasson starts in the 1940s with the birth of improvisational comedy and Viola Spolin and Del Close who taught classes in what was later to be calle...

    Sam Wasson takes on what is, by his own humble admission, a formidable task: an inventory of the development and influence of American-style improv, from its proletariat origins in 1950's Chicago to its imprint on today's ubiquitous political satire. In the spirit of the brave ad-libbe...

    This is one of the all-time best books I?ve read. Even if it weren?t about Improv, it is so well written and gave so many great perspectives behind the history of Improv. I have found a greater appreciation for artists that I didn?t love before, and was introduced to some artists...

  • Gregory Butera
    Jan 08, 2018

    Full disclosure: I won a free ARC of this book in a Goodreads giveaway. As you?d surmise, this is a history of the improv movement in the USA. Wasson presents it as an American artform--yes, there are antecedents in European traditions, but nothing quite like improv as the term i...

    really solid and entertaining history - the notes section alone is a trove of cool stuff to follow through on, videos to check out, interviews to read, etc. the writing gets a lil clumsy i think, proportionate to the author's enthusiasm. like based on how he described some of the sctv ...

    I can?t even begin to describe how much this book means to me. When I first started reading it, I assumed it would be the history of improv. However, this was way more than just a history book. This is the story (or should I say, stories) of artists we have come to know and love and ...

    Unlike the quirky creators of the art of improv and the many improvisors about whom the author so beautifully and lovingly writes, all of whom seem to know just what to say on the spur of the moment, I find myself at a loss for words to describe just how much I enjoyed this extraordina...

    This is the hilarious story of America?s largest dysfunctional family, since it seems everyone really has worked with nearly everyone else in the improv comedy world. If you have any interest in improv comedy or comedians or the process of creating humor this is a must read. I just l...

  • Dan Lalande
    Jan 02, 2018

    Full disclosure: I won a free ARC of this book in a Goodreads giveaway. As you?d surmise, this is a history of the improv movement in the USA. Wasson presents it as an American artform--yes, there are antecedents in European traditions, but nothing quite like improv as the term i...

    really solid and entertaining history - the notes section alone is a trove of cool stuff to follow through on, videos to check out, interviews to read, etc. the writing gets a lil clumsy i think, proportionate to the author's enthusiasm. like based on how he described some of the sctv ...

    I can?t even begin to describe how much this book means to me. When I first started reading it, I assumed it would be the history of improv. However, this was way more than just a history book. This is the story (or should I say, stories) of artists we have come to know and love and ...

    Unlike the quirky creators of the art of improv and the many improvisors about whom the author so beautifully and lovingly writes, all of whom seem to know just what to say on the spur of the moment, I find myself at a loss for words to describe just how much I enjoyed this extraordina...

    This is the hilarious story of America?s largest dysfunctional family, since it seems everyone really has worked with nearly everyone else in the improv comedy world. If you have any interest in improv comedy or comedians or the process of creating humor this is a must read. I just l...

    Until I read Improv Nation, I had not realized how many comedians/actors I was familiar with had connections to Chicago's Second City. Sam Wasson starts in the 1940s with the birth of improvisational comedy and Viola Spolin and Del Close who taught classes in what was later to be calle...

    Sam Wasson takes on what is, by his own humble admission, a formidable task: an inventory of the development and influence of American-style improv, from its proletariat origins in 1950's Chicago to its imprint on today's ubiquitous political satire. In the spirit of the brave ad-libbe...

  • Stewart Tame
    Nov 29, 2017

    Full disclosure: I won a free ARC of this book in a Goodreads giveaway. As you?d surmise, this is a history of the improv movement in the USA. Wasson presents it as an American artform--yes, there are antecedents in European traditions, but nothing quite like improv as the term i...

  • Mary
    Dec 26, 2017

    Full disclosure: I won a free ARC of this book in a Goodreads giveaway. As you?d surmise, this is a history of the improv movement in the USA. Wasson presents it as an American artform--yes, there are antecedents in European traditions, but nothing quite like improv as the term i...

    really solid and entertaining history - the notes section alone is a trove of cool stuff to follow through on, videos to check out, interviews to read, etc. the writing gets a lil clumsy i think, proportionate to the author's enthusiasm. like based on how he described some of the sctv ...

    I can?t even begin to describe how much this book means to me. When I first started reading it, I assumed it would be the history of improv. However, this was way more than just a history book. This is the story (or should I say, stories) of artists we have come to know and love and ...

    Unlike the quirky creators of the art of improv and the many improvisors about whom the author so beautifully and lovingly writes, all of whom seem to know just what to say on the spur of the moment, I find myself at a loss for words to describe just how much I enjoyed this extraordina...

  • Hannah Petosa
    Dec 31, 2017

    Full disclosure: I won a free ARC of this book in a Goodreads giveaway. As you?d surmise, this is a history of the improv movement in the USA. Wasson presents it as an American artform--yes, there are antecedents in European traditions, but nothing quite like improv as the term i...

    really solid and entertaining history - the notes section alone is a trove of cool stuff to follow through on, videos to check out, interviews to read, etc. the writing gets a lil clumsy i think, proportionate to the author's enthusiasm. like based on how he described some of the sctv ...

    I can?t even begin to describe how much this book means to me. When I first started reading it, I assumed it would be the history of improv. However, this was way more than just a history book. This is the story (or should I say, stories) of artists we have come to know and love and ...

  • Steve Lionel
    Dec 18, 2017

    Full disclosure: I won a free ARC of this book in a Goodreads giveaway. As you?d surmise, this is a history of the improv movement in the USA. Wasson presents it as an American artform--yes, there are antecedents in European traditions, but nothing quite like improv as the term i...

    really solid and entertaining history - the notes section alone is a trove of cool stuff to follow through on, videos to check out, interviews to read, etc. the writing gets a lil clumsy i think, proportionate to the author's enthusiasm. like based on how he described some of the sctv ...

    I can?t even begin to describe how much this book means to me. When I first started reading it, I assumed it would be the history of improv. However, this was way more than just a history book. This is the story (or should I say, stories) of artists we have come to know and love and ...

    Unlike the quirky creators of the art of improv and the many improvisors about whom the author so beautifully and lovingly writes, all of whom seem to know just what to say on the spur of the moment, I find myself at a loss for words to describe just how much I enjoyed this extraordina...

    This is the hilarious story of America?s largest dysfunctional family, since it seems everyone really has worked with nearly everyone else in the improv comedy world. If you have any interest in improv comedy or comedians or the process of creating humor this is a must read. I just l...

    Until I read Improv Nation, I had not realized how many comedians/actors I was familiar with had connections to Chicago's Second City. Sam Wasson starts in the 1940s with the birth of improvisational comedy and Viola Spolin and Del Close who taught classes in what was later to be calle...