Theater Pioneer Research Paper : Viola Spolin

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Theater Pioneer Research Paper Viola Spolin is one of greatest theater academics known to mankind. Along with being an actress and theater coach, she was also a mother to Paul Sills who has played his fair share in theater arts as well. Spolin was raised in a family who had a strong ties to arts which included opera members and charades. Although probably given the opportunity , Viola did not head straight for the stage. She intentionally trained as a settlement worker. She studied at Neva Boyd’s Group School in Chicago. Her education there strongly influenced her and helped her realize that traditional games affect social behavior. Spolin served as drama supervisor for the Chicago branch Work Progress Administration’s Recreational Project. Spolin looked for a new way to train actors that cross cultural and ethnic barriers. She wanted actors make spontaneous decisions on stage as if in real life. In an interview Spolin stated that “The games emerged out of necessity.” “I didn’t sit at home and dream them up. When I had a problem [directing], I made up a game. When another problem came up, I just made up a new game. (Interview,Los Angeles Times, May 26 , 1974). Spolin founded the Young Actors Company in Hollywood in 1946. She trained a range of children while still developing the theater games system. This lasted up to 1955 and Spolin then returned to Chicago. While in Chicago, she was the director of Playwright Theater Club and conduct game workshops. She worked with

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