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TAPS 107 — The Art of Spontaneity: An Introduction to Improvising

Quarter: Winter
Day(s): Saturday and Sunday
Course Format: On-campus (About Formats)
Duration: 2 days
Date(s): Jan 27—Jan 28
Time: 9:00 am—3:00 pm (PT)
Refund Deadline: Jan 20
Unit: 1
Grade Restriction: No letter grade
Tuition: $380
Instructor(s): Daniel Klein
Limit: 40
Class Recording Available: No
Status: Open
ACCESS THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Saturday and Sunday
9:00 am—3:00 pm (PT)
Jan 27—Jan 28
2 days
Refund Date
Jan 20
1 Unit
Grade Restriction
No letter grade
Daniel Klein
ACCESS THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Welcome to the world of improvisational theater! Improvising skills are essential for delivering a compelling performance onstage, but they also empower people to navigate life's broader challenges, work effectively in teams, express themselves authentically, and much more. From empowering medical professionals to make critical decisions under pressure to fostering innovative thinking in corporate settings like Google and integrating relevant principles into education for more engaging classrooms, numerous applications across disciplines underscore the wide-reaching benefits of improvisational techniques.

Drawing inspiration from Keith Johnstone, Viola Spolin, Del Close, and Stanford’s own Patricia Ryan Madson, this fun and energetic course is designed to introduce students to the basic principles of improvisational theater and performance studies. The course is suitable for beginning and intermediate improvisers alike and will begin by focusing on core improvising principles: reimagining failure, building ideas, and prioritizing connection. With this foundation, we will develop the skills necessary to collaboratively craft and perform spontaneous stories and scenes. Students will leave the course with an understanding of improvising fundamentals that will unlock creative potential, enhance communication prowess, increase comfort with the unknown, and sharpen problem-solving abilities.

No experience in theater and performance studies is required.

Advanced Lecturer, Stanford Department of Theater & Performance Studies, Graduate School of Business, and Stanford d.school

Daniel Klein travels the world as a corporate trainer and creative consultant, with clients including Sun, Cisco, Oracle, Kaiser, Visa, Clorox, and Charles Schwab. He was a founding member of the Stanford Improvisors (SImps) and is the former dean of the BATS (Bay Area Theater Sports) Improv School. He teaches improvisation in the Stanford Department of Theater & Performance Studies, “Acting With Power” for the GSB, and Improv and Design for the d.school. In 2009, Klein was named Stanford Teacher of the Year by the Student's Association. He is the co-author of Obama’s BlackBerry, Weddings of the Times, and SkyMaul: Happy Crap You Can Buy from a Plane.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Patricia Madson, Improv Wisdom: Don't Prepare, Just Show Up (ISBN 978-1400081882)
(Recommended) Keith Johnstone, William Reay, Impro: Improvisation and the Theatre (ISBN 978-1350069039)