Who invented what? I posit that every game that the industry of improv comedy uses to train and play is as old as the hills. There have been summer camps longer than improv comedy has existed. There have been theatre schools even longer than that. Everything old is new again.
I do not have the intestinal fortitude to translate
Commedia dell’arte manuscripts only to find out that Japanese and Chinese theatre learned how to do it from the Egyptians. I am staying relatively in the present.
So when I research the credit of an improv structure I am limiting the scope to the history of the modern English language and the 20th century development of improvisational theatre. Yes that means the Spolins, the Johnstones, etc.
So in my duty to this task I recently emailed William at Improv Games dot com about whether it was true that LA Theatresports invented the long form structure Triple Play. Important points were made about whether it matters, etc. Eventually it was decided that LA Theatresports had created the variation on the Harold called Triple Play. However they do not have a trademark or copyright on the concept or name (title search not done).
I was relieved by this small success in historical attribution. Fast forward about 9 hours and…
That evening I was participating in a wonderful workshop with Scott and he introduced us to the Lotus. Which is another name for Triple Play. 🙁