Below are some exercise books that I use regularly and love. I have suggestions for other books with exercises in them, but fit better in other categories. Take a look in the "Devising" and "Methods" sections for more!


112 Acting Games: A Comprehensive Workbook of Theatre Games for Developing Acting Skills, Gavin Levy

There are more than 100 performance-tested theatre games in this unusually comprehensive collection. They were compiled after more than 15 years of workshops and study sessions. Included are a wide range of proven activities to assist in teaching specialized skills. The book is divided into 20 sections from Relaxation to Thinking Outside the Box. This is a flexible workbook designed to help instructors and participants mold and adapt many ideas to fit their needs. https://bookshop.org/books/112-acting-games-practical-and-performance-tested/9781566082006

Acting Games: Improvisations and Exercises, Marsh Cassady

Teachers love this four-section book of acting games and improvisations which assist students in developing their creative abilities. Section One includes games for relaxing and focusing. Section Two helps students discover new ways of seeing themselves, others, and the world around them. The third section demonstrates with improvisations how to use space to build scenes and create characters from imagination. Section Four features acting games to analyze and portray original characters as well as ones from existing plays. For everyone, all of the essential elements of acting and character development are explored. This is truly a working textbook for acting students of all ages. https://www.abebooks.com/9780916260927/Acting-Games-Improvisations-Exercises-Marsh-0916260925/plp

Improvisation Starters: Revised and Expanded, Philip Bernardi

Improvisation is an essential and invaluable technique for the actor's repertoire: It asks you to think beyond a script--and its memorized lines, movements, and facial expressions--to deliver a performance filled with honesty, insight, nuance, and verisimilitude.
Improvisation Starters Revised and Expanded provides more than 1,000 brand-new scene scenarios that will help you:

   • Depict conflict by focusing on differing beliefs, motivations, and needs
   • Use contrasts to show the clash of personalities and emotions
   • Creatively incorporate props and specific lines of dialogue within an improvised scene
   • Explore character relationships with various locations
   • Take on the role of inanimate objects and animals
From the classroom to the community theater group--and even in business, language, and technology classes--improvisation is the perfect tool for thinking critically, communicating clearly, building self-confidence, and developing interpersonal skills. With this revised edition of Improvisation Starters, you'll bring new vitality to the stage or set--and have fun in the process! https://bookshop.org/books/improvisation-starters-more-than-1-000-improvisation-scenarios-for-the-theater-and-classroom-revised-expanded/9781440347542

Through The Body, Dymphna Callery

A step-by-step guide to physical theatre in both theory and practice. The book is full of detailed exercises and inspiring ideas. There is also a bibliography and a contact list of training courses in the UK and abroad. Structured on a foundation learned from 12 years of teaching, Dymphna Callery's book introduces the reader to the principles behind the work of certain key 20th-century theatre practitioners (Artuad, Grotowski, Meyerhold, Brook and Lecoq, among others) and offers exercises by which their theories can be turned into practice and their principles explored in action. The book takes the form of a series of workshops starting with the preparation of the body through awareness, articulation, energy and neutrality. A section on mask-work is followed by further work on the body, investigating presence, complicite, play, audience, rhythm, sound and e-motion. The book culminates in sections on devising and on the physical text. https://www.bookdepository.com/Through-Body-Dymphna-Callery/9781854596307?ref=grid-view&qid=1590085770333&sr=1-1

Zoomy Zoomy, Hannah Fox

Zoomy Zoomy is a collection of dynamic, well-tested, and easy-to-follow theatre games, warm-ups, and exercises for leaders working with groups of all ages, including theatre teachers, directors, classroom teachers, and group facilitators. Author Hannah Fox has collected and, in many cases, invented these activities over years of facilitating groups and performing. She also shares her wisdom as an experienced group leader about how to use the exercises--when and why to select them, how to introduce them, and how to lead them. https://bookshop.org/books/zoomy-zoomy-improv-games-and-exercises-for-groups/9780964235083

Theatre Games for the Classroom, Viola Spolin

This best-selling book by Viola Spolin offers the most comprehensive theater instruction for all types of students, from small children to young adults. It includes over 130 theater games, plus exercises and instructional strategies. First developed by Spolin, the originator of modern improvisational theater techniques, these games have been tried and tested for over fifty years. https://bookshop.org/books/theater-games-for-the-classroom-a-teacher-s-handbook/9780810140042