Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 20 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter focuses on the recent work of the improvisation collective Improv Everywhere, assessing in particular how their numerous “pranks,” as they call them, have intervened in public space. By enlisting pedestrians in discrete one-time events that challenge protocols of public contact and that expand our understanding of public flexibility and empathy, Improv Everywhere offers an antidote to mainstream, hegemonic formulations of spectacle, virtuosity, and generalized expectations concerning the purpose of performance. The chapter looks specifically at their integration of trained and untrained performers, the kinds of space and sociality that they create, and the connections between their live and web presences in order to fathom what their work reveals about contemporary understandings of intimacy and the social fabric.

Keywords: improvisation, Improv Everywhere, spectacle, virtuosity, expectation, performance, pranks, empathy, intimacy

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.