- The Oxford Handbook of Critical Improvisation Studies
- Contributors to Volume 2
- Introduction: On Critical Improvisation Studies
- Improvisation Technology as Mode of Redesigning the Urban
- Lots Will Vary in the Available City
- Improvising the Future in Post-Katrina New Orleans
- Billy Connolly, Daniel Barenboim, Willie Wonka, Jazz Bastards, and the Universality of Improvisation
- A Computationally Motivated Approach to Cognition Studies in Improvisation
- A Consciousness-Based Look at Spontaneous Creativity
- In the Beginning, There Was Improvisation
- Landmarks in the Study of Improvisation: Perspectives from Ethnomusicology
- Saving Improvisation: Hummel and the Free Fantasia in the Early Nineteenth Century
- Negotiating Freedom and Control in Composition: Improvisation and Its Offshoots, 1950 to 1980
- Musical Improvisation: Play, Efficacy, and Significance
- Improvisation in Freestyle Rap
- Speaking of the I-Word
- Modernist Improvisations
- Diversity and Divergence in the Improvisational Evolution of Literary Genres
- Improvisatory Practices and the Dawn of the New American Cinema
- Brilliant Corners: Improvisation and Practices of Freedom in Sent for You Yesterday
- Improvisation in Contemporary Experimental Poetry
- Subjective Computing and Improvisation
- Improvisation and Interaction, Canons and Rules, Emergence and Play
- Imposture as Improvisation: Living Fiction
- Role-Play, Improvisation, and Emergent Authorship
- Bodies, Border, Technology: The Promise and Perils of Telematic Improvisation
- She Stuttered: Mapping the Spontaneous Middle
- Live Algorithms for Music: Can Computers Be Improvisers?
- Improvisation of the Masses: Anytime, Anywhere Mobile Music
Abstract and Keywords
This essay explores the notion of role-playing as a form of “emergent authorship,” a bottom-up, procedural process leading to co-created, unexpected narrative outcomes. The essay begins with an overview of role-playing practices in the context of what might be termed the “participatory turn” in performance and culture, providing examples tabletop and live action role-playing games. Goffman’s concept of “engrossment” (from his writings on games) is compared to Csikszentmihalyi’s notion of “flow” as applied to role-playing and emergent authorship. The relationship of character to role-play is also explored through Schechners “not me, not not me” paradox, in which a character is seen as a hybrid between the performer and the fictional entity. Finally, drawing on Goffman and Fine, I outline a series of sociological “frames” that describe the functions within role-playing, and conclude with further discussion of role-playing as it fits into the larger participatory turn in performance and culture.
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