Viola Spolin

"I didn't sit at home and dream them up. When I had a problem directing, I made up a game. When another problem came up, I just made up a new game.aE (Interview, Los Angeles Times, May 26, 1974)

Spolin's Theater Games are simple operational structures that change complicated theatre conventions and techniques into game forms. Each game is based on a specific focus or technical problem and is an exercise that militates against the artifice of self-conscious acting.

The playing or acting comes naturally and spontaneously. Such things as age, background, and content are irrelevant. However, one critic has written that the exercises are "structures designed to almost fool spontaneity into being" (Review, Film Quarterly, FallWinter 1963) By themselves, the games have liberating effects, within the theatre context, and each clearly adopts an aspect of performance technique. Theatre Games have many purposes. There are games that free the actors from tension, games to "cleanse" the actor of subjective preconceptions of the meaning of words, games building on relationships and character and games of concentration. From these examples it can be



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