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DRA 173 — Everyday Spontaneity: Improvising Our Lives

Quarter: Winter
Day(s): Tuesdays
Course Format: On-campus (About Formats)
Duration: 8 weeks
Date(s): Jan 23—Mar 12
Time: 6:30—8:00 pm (PT)
Refund Deadline: Jan 25
Unit: 1
Grade Restriction: No letter grade
Tuition: $515
Instructor(s): Patricia Ryan Madson
Limit: 26
Class Recording Available: No
Status: Open
ACCESS THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
6:30—8:00 pm (PT)
Jan 23—Mar 12
8 weeks
Refund Date
Jan 25
1 Unit
Grade Restriction
No letter grade
Patricia Ryan Madson
ACCESS THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
You will need to improvise today. We all will. Most of us, however, doubt our ability to navigate change with confidence. The study of improvisation can help us learn to trust our own ideas. This course will give you the tools to experience new ways of responding and adapting to change, and it can help you become more comfortable thinking and speaking spontaneously. Improvisation is not about comedy or being clever; it is about recovering and using our native common sense to solve problems. Improv basics include paying close attention to reality, learning how to work with a spirit of cooperation, and coping positively with mistakes. We can learn how to be kinder, more attentive, and more willing to take a chance. If you are eager to become a better listener, a more generous partner, and a more appreciative player, these ideas are worth considering. And if your purpose is the bottom line, it's possible that improv can help to shake up your business model or inspire your team to innovate. Our focus will be on the application of improv maxims in everyday life.

Students are required to attend the first class session.

Senior Lecturer, Emerita, Department of Theater & Performance Studies, Stanford

Patricia Ryan Madson founded the Stanford Improvisors (SImps) in 1991 and is the author of Improv Wisdom: Don't Prepare, Just Show Up. In 1998, she received the Lloyd W. Dinkelspiel Award for Distinctive Contributions to Undergraduate Education.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Patricia Ryan Madson, Improv Wisdom: Don't Prepare, Just Show Up (ISBN 978-1400081882)
(Recommended) Keith Johnstone, IMPRO: Improvisation and the Theatre, Any edition is fine (ISBN 978-0878301171)
(Recommended) David K. Reynolds, Constructive Living (ISBN 978-0824808716)