Lynn Grasberg, Gina Oldenburg
Search Institute Press/Independent Publishers Group
172 pages. $16.95 paperback.
Full of teen appeal, these often hilarious original skits by comedienne/theater instructor Lynn Grasberg and playwright Gina Oldenburg encourage young people to learn the art of improvisation. A brief
introduction describes role-playing, improvisation, humor and active learning. A Facilitator’s Guide explains the principles of improvisation, with tips on choosing a skit, coaching players, involving shy participants and debriefing. Performance warm-ups are included.
Skits are organized in six chapters according to the skills they develop: imagination, teamwork, communication, motivation and leadership, integrity under peer pressure, and conflict resolution. For example, “Cook-off,” a takeoff on the “Top Chef” TV show, stimulates imagination. “Emotional Rock and Roll” teaches teamwork as four players start a rock group and perform a song. Improvs have no scripts; each fills a page or two with timing, number of players, props and costumes (if any), a description of skit action, coaching suggestions, discussion questions, and applicable assets from Search Institute’s 40 Developmental Assets. Leaders new to the asset concept will need resources beyond the basic descriptions provided.
A skit index helps to locate fitting choices. Less experienced facilitators might be intimidated by serious or elaborate skits; instructions can be sketchy. Seasoned leaders – especially those trained in dramatics – can take the plunge. (800) 888-7828, http://www.search-institute.org.