Author of Improvisation for the Theater
Viola Spolin is known as the grandmother of improvisation. Her book, Improvisation for the Theater, has become the bible of improv. Her son, Paul Sills, helped found the Second City theater in Chicago -- the most famous improv theater in the world.
Viola Spolin talks about the need to avoid competition in improv.
The life and work of Viola Spolin.
Viola's contributions to improv were phenomenal. She viewed it as more than a form of comedy. She viewed it as a means of connecting with other people, a way of becoming one. She desired to get rid of our desperate need for approval -- and, our similar need to avoid disapproval.
Her work is geared to helping you release your creativity. She avoids anything that puts your attention on getting laughs or making the audience like you. She wanted to release your childlike creativity. Young children play games and make up stories naturally. They don't worry about doing it right or wrong. They focus on doing what they want to do. Because of that, they naturally connect with you and are endlessly curious, creative and interesting.