Mike Nichols on how improvisation influence his directing style

What I really thought [improvisation] was useful for was directing… because it also teaches you what a scene is made of — you know, what needs to happen. See, I think the audience asks the question, ‘Why are you telling me this?’ And improvisation teaches you that you must answer it. There must be a specific answer. It also teaches you when the beginning is over and it’s time for the middle, and when you’ve had enough middle and it’s time already for the end. And those are all very useful things in directing.

Mike Nichols on how improvisation influenced his directing style (via the always excellent Heidi Saman)