MAJOR: Collaborative Research: Modeling Creative and Emotive Improvisation in Theatre Performance

Brian Magerko Investigator)
Celia Pearce (Co-Principal Investigator)
Mark Riedl (Co-Principal Investigator)

GA Tech Research Corporation - GA Institute of Technology
Office of Sponsored Programs
Atlanta, GA 30332 404/385-0866


This project studies creativity in improvisation in both standard theatrical techniques where a script's interpretation, including the physical performance, is improvised by an actor, and "improv theatre" where entire scenes are created by actors in real-time through improvisation. This research will increase the state of knowledge about improvisation, creativity, and intelligent agent design, as well as contribute meaningfully to theoretical and academic understanding of creative practice in theatre. In addition to integrating engineering scientific methods with the theory and practice of acting, this research will contribute cognitive and computational models of improvisation, emotion, acting styles, and problem-solving in the context of theatre. These models will pave the way to the development of more sophisticated synthetic characters, virtual humans, and other intelligent autonomous agents that can interact with humans and with each other for purposes of entertainment, education, and training.