The Wonder of Improvisation, a book by Al Wunder

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THE WONDER OF IMPROVISATION offers readers invaluable insights to improvisation as seen through the eyes of Australia’s grandfather of improvisation.
Al Wunder has been the mentor to two generations of improvising performers; Ruth Zaporah and Terry Sendgraff during the 1970s in the United States and Australia’s Born in a Taxi, Trotman & Morrish and Five Square Meters during the 80s and 90s.

The book starts with autobiographical snapshots revealing the events leading up to Al’s discovery and falling in love with improvisation. It details the influences his mentor Alwin Nikolais and partners Terry Sendgraff and Ruth Zaporah had in the development of his unique methodology that one of his students described as ‘teaching without teaching’.

Humanity, humour and hubris punctuate the various chapters. The relationship between teacher and student, especially within the performing arts, is discussed in great detail with an emphasis on experiential learning.

"For the past 35 years I have been developing a form of Improvised Movement Theatre that is unique in it’s teaching of performance as a means of communication between people. My philosophy is that performance is for everyone not just the highly skilled professionals. We all have our own stories, songs and dances to share with each other and it is this sharing that enriches us. A safe non-competitive environment is essential to allow our thoughts and feelings to manifest themselves in a theatrical setting. I try to instil in people the confidence to open up and explore through movements, word or sounds, our own way of being in the performing space. This space becomes not something to fear, but a source of power that allows us to look at laugh at and enjoy ourselves and our relations with other people."




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