The Improvisation of Presence
Each chapter of this book presents a single day of the twenty-day training which Ruth Zaporah developed into Action Theater, her investigation into the life-reflecting process of improvisation. This book shows through exercises, stories, anecdotes, and metaphors how to focus attention on the body’s awareness of the present moment, moving away from preconceived ideas. Improvisations move through fear, boredom, laziness, and distraction to a sustained awareness of creative options.
- Edward Espe Brown, Zen teacher and author of The Tassajara Bread Book
"Improvisation by its very nature is impossible to capture in words. There are few competent practitioners left in this cynical materialistic era. The need for "winging it" both on and off stage, of going out on a limb, "suspending disbelief," is of supreme importance particularly at this time. This is the value and healing property of improvisation, whether you're an artist or a business person. Ruth Zaporah is a master of this elusive and transformative art form. At last, after all these years we have a compendium of her exercises. This is a book of spells for your enchantment."
-John O'Keefe, playwright and actor, founding member, Blake Street Hawkeyes
"Those of us lucky enough to see Ruth Zaporah perform have anticipated this book with great eagerness. How has this genius of authenticity, this brilliance of spontaneity come into being? How does she do it? As countless students will tell you, Ruth Zaporah has been leading students in the direction of what she knows for a long time; she is an extraordinary teacher. And now, in a simple and wonderfully evocative telling, she has given us a record of how her work and its teaching takes place. This book will very soon become an indespensible classic, not only for studies in theater, but also inthe nature of life."
-Susan Griffin, author of A Chorus of Stones and The Eros of Everyday Life