Improv Nation by Sam Wasson

Improv Nation

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, consciousness-raising style. From this unlikely seed grew the Second City...

Details Improv Nation

TitleImprov Nation
Release DateDec 5th, 2017
PublisherEamon Dolan/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
GenreNonfiction, History, Plays, Theatre

Reviews Improv Nation

  • Andrei Alupului
    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 crew's parties i could tell they were his favs cause it got a little cringey reading it - and then in the afterword it's like yep, they were his favs. but honestly ...
  • Steve Lionel
    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 called improv. We later meet Mike Nichols and Elaine May, who remain central to the story through the decades, but also many more comedians and others who flitted in and...
  • Maria
    well-written, just found that I like listening to improv more than reading about it
  • Andrew
    Improv is an indigenous art form and its evolution mirrors fundamental shifts in the American cultural fabric—from the uptight fifties to the liberated sixties and beyond—this is the first book that takes it all in , lays it all out and lets it hang out. Recommended.