Illinois Authors

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Peter Gwinn

Connection to Illinois: Gwinn is from Evanston.

Biography: Peter Gwinn is a comedy writer and improviser. He was a member of Second City Touring Company and the founder of the musical improv group Baby Wants Candy. After over a decade of improvising and teaching in Chicago, he moved to New York in 2005, where he played with The Stepfathers and Arsenal at the UCB Theater. Peter has taught at the Improv Olympic and UCB Theaters. He worked as a writer for the Colbert Report in New York until 2014. He currently works for Wait Wait, Don’t Tell Me.


Primary Literary Genre(s): Non-Fiction

Primary Audience(s): Adult readers


Selected Titles

Group Improvisation: The Manual of Ensemble Improv Games
ISBN: 1566081386 OCLC: 69992397

Meriwether Pub Colorado Springs, Colo. : 2007

Who would have thought that participating in group improvisation could be so enlightening and rewarding! Over 40 improv games for developing group chemistry are included in this concise book, organized into sections: Bonding, Focus, Awareness, Creation, Energy, Dynamics and more. Every group, not just improv teams, benefits from increased communication, and author Peter Gwinn reveals many secrets about how to facilitate this connection in fun and creative ways. The many improv games and exercises he presents here, appropriate for high school age or older thespians, help heighten awareness, break the ice, increase concentration and wire brains together. Gwinn and his colleagues at the iO Theater in Chicago developed the concept of "The Group Mind" to create a synergy between team members. With this increased connection, your actors feel part of a greater entity, with a sense of excitement, belonging and importance that takes teamwork to a new level.