About Gary Schwartz

Gary’s 18-year association with world-renowned theater educator and author, Viola Spolin provides the foundation for his work today. He is the only master teacher to have ever earned an endorsement from both Viola Spolin and her son, the legendary original director of Second City, Paul Sills. Gary resides in North Bend WA. He is founder of The Valley Center Stage, North Bend’s Community Theater and teaches theater games locally and around the world.

Improv as a Tool for Writers

This comes from writer / performer Eva Moon.   Improv as a Tool for Writers By Eva Moon One of the pleasures of writing fiction is falling in love with the characters you create - and then torturing the hell out of them. Bringing them to life and uncovering all the ways they might react [...]

By | 2017-09-15T21:42:47+00:00 September 15th, 2017|Categories: games, Improvisation for the Theater, Theory|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

I Have to Stop You…

Recently, I attended a master class by Impro creator Keith Johnstone. It was very interesting to watch how he conducted scenes with beginners and some of his wonderfully talented master students. I watched as he constantly stopped players from the outset when they made a choice that wouldn't work. I was also interested in how [...]

By | 2017-08-13T21:37:55+00:00 May 19th, 2017|Categories: games, Improvisation for the Theater, Spontaneity, Theory|Tags: , , , , |Comments Off on I Have to Stop You…

If You’re Happy and You Know it, Clap Your Hands!

Or Debriefing the Debrief Remember when we played for fun? I’ve been playing games most of my life. The games we play shape us as people and as a society. In the same way lion cubs and kittens, cavort, pounce and chase around, play equips them for being cats in later life, play makes us [...]

By | 2017-08-13T21:37:55+00:00 October 23rd, 2015|Categories: games, Improvisation for the Theater, Spontaneity, Theory|Tags: , , , , , |Comments Off on If You’re Happy and You Know it, Clap Your Hands!

But Was I Good?

Approval/Disapproval comes from an authoritarian based system. It starts with our parents, goes to our teachers and we internalize it so completely it becomes the fabric of our lives and of society. I'm not saying that Authoritarians don't get things done or are not productive. Dictatorships are very efficient. But the constant relationship of authoritarian [...]

By | 2015-07-20T18:27:59+00:00 July 20th, 2015|Categories: Creativity, games, Improvisation for the Theater, Theory|Tags: , , , , , , |Comments Off on But Was I Good?

WHEN & WHAT TO EXPLORE AND HEIGHTEN?

This post is an esoteric one, but an important one. I am always at a loss when I send out a side-coach and, in the words of Viola Spolin, it doesn’t penetrate. My first thought is to say it again or louder, but if it makes no sense to the players, I am only referring [...]

By | 2017-08-13T21:37:55+00:00 July 14th, 2015|Categories: Creativity, games, Improvisation for the Theater, Spontaneity, Theory|Tags: , , , , |Comments Off on WHEN & WHAT TO EXPLORE AND HEIGHTEN?

Biographical & Historical Information on Viola Spolin by Jeff Sweet

2010-09-09   Viola Spolin – Jeffrey Sweet Young Viola Spolin wanted to be an actress. She left her home in Chicago and went to New York to gave it her best shot. She got no work there.  She returned to Chicago and shifted her focus.  In so doing, she transformed the American theater.  (PS, she also [...]

By | 2017-09-15T21:41:41+00:00 July 13th, 2015|Categories: games, Improvisation for the Theater, Theory|Comments Off on Biographical & Historical Information on Viola Spolin by Jeff Sweet

An Improv Game for Writers

Viola Spolin’s Writing Game Any number of players and one sidecoach Materials: 4 pieces of paper or one divided into quadrants, pen or pencil Label each paper 1, 2, 3 and 4. Title #1 My Dream, #2 How To, #3 A Story and #4 A letter (or any 4 disparate subjects or styles of writing. [...]

By | 2015-06-05T15:35:18+00:00 June 5th, 2015|Categories: Creativity, games, Improvisation for the Theater, Spontaneity|Tags: , , , , , |Comments Off on An Improv Game for Writers

Transcending the Game

Giving our full effort is, in effect fulfilling our potential. By testing our limits we ever increase the possibility of going further and further. It is in our nature to explore via play. Remember that in all games, the rules are made to be broken – we forget this. The rules are established so we [...]

By | 2017-08-13T21:37:55+00:00 February 19th, 2015|Categories: Creativity, games, Theory|Tags: , , , , , , |Comments Off on Transcending the Game

The Four Game Progression

How to Improve your Improv The Problem: In working to create scenes from Who, What and Where, no matter what the game is, once the players establish their who, what and where, novices and players who come from the 'story' approach  to improv, invariably begin thinking 'what can I do to make this more interesting?' [...]

By | 2017-08-13T21:37:55+00:00 February 3rd, 2015|Categories: Creativity, games, Improvisation for the Theater, Spontaneity, Theory|Tags: , , , , , , , |Comments Off on The Four Game Progression

Playing Creates Community

  In our ever more complex and technological era, true person to person interaction is lost as we interact with each other via technology instead. (witness this blog) The technological revolution has brought us closer in one respect, but the need to interact in a wholesome way within our local community, person to person, is [...]

By | 2017-08-13T21:37:55+00:00 January 7th, 2015|Categories: Creativity, games, Improvisation for the Theater, Theory|Tags: , , , , |Comments Off on Playing Creates Community

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