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Table of contents What's This?
  • Access to Collection
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Biographical/Historical note
  • Scope and Contents

  • Language of Material: English
    Contributing Institution: Department of Special Collections and University Archives
    Title: Keith Johnstone papers
    creator: Johnstone, Keith.
    Identifier/Call Number: SC1210
    Physical Description: 9 Linear Feet (6 cartons)
    Date (inclusive): 1953-2007
    Abstract: Original plays, writings, correspondence, theatrical materials, journals, and artwork..

    Access to Collection

    The materials are open for research use. Audio-visual materials are not available in original format, and must be reformatted to a digital use copy.

    Publication Rights

    All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from, or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections and University Archives, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, California 94305-6064. Consent is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission from the copyright owner. Such permission must be obtained from the copyright owner, heir(s) or assigns. See: http://library.stanford.edu/spc/using-collections/permission-publish.
    Restrictions also apply to digital representations of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.

    Preferred Citation

    [identification of item], Keith Johnstone Papers (SC1210). Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.

    Biographical/Historical note

    Keith Johnstone is a British and Canadian pioneer of improvisational theatre, best known for inventing the Impro System, part of which are the Theatresports. He is also an educator, playwright, actor and theatre director.
    Keith's ideas about improvisation, behaviour and performance appeal to a wide variety of groups. From actors to psychotherapists, improvisation companies to theatre schools and companies, business and management training specialists and humanities research institutes, universities and film production companies have invited him to come to teach them about his ideas, and how they might apply them.
    Born February, 1933, in Devon, England, Johnstone grew up hating school, finding that it blunted his imagination and made him feel self-conscious and shy. In the late 1950s, as a play-reader, director and drama teacher at the Royal Court Theatre in London, he chose to reverse all that his teachers had told him in an attempt to create more spontaneous actors. In the 1970s, Johnstone moved to Calgary, Alberta to teach at the University of Calgary.
    He founded the Theatre Machine Improvisation group in England in the 1960's, touring Europe and North America. Johnstone co-founded the Loose Moose Theatre, and invented his system of training that has been influencing practice within and beyond the traditional theatre for over 50 years. His system include formats such as "Gorilla Theatre", "Micetro" or "Maestro", and "Life Game". The latter has been seen at the National Theatre courtesy of Improbable Theatre, and on U.S. cable television. He founded The International Theatresports™ Institute in 1998.
    Johnston has written two books about his system; Impro: Improvisation and the Theatre (1979), and Impro For Storytellers (1999).

    Scope and Contents

    The materials consist of original plays, writings, correspondence, theatrical materials, journals, and artwork.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Comedy sketches
    Improvisation (Acting)
    Theatre -- History
    Close, Del -- Correspondence
    Coyote, Peter. -- Correspondence
    Beckett, Samuel -- Correspondence
    Johnstone, Keith.
    Pinter, Harold -- Correspondence