What do veteran performers do when they get a night off of performing? Why they go to acting class of course!
We had a free night during our visit to Davie/Cooper City Library this past week. So we sneaked away and dropped in on an improv class that we discovered on MeetUp.com. And boy did we have fun. Thought we’d share some of the games we played here, so you can try them in your classrooms or with a group of friends.
First of all, you need to know the first rule of Improv. It is “Yes, and…”. Simply put, that means that no matter what your scene partners do you must go with it. Not only do you try to avoid challenging what they’ve said or done, you also try to contribute something to it.
A, my name is
(Warm up/ice breaker) Stand in a circle. Everyone introduces themselves, but as they do the moderator/teacher gives each person a letter. Each person has to quickly think of 3-5 adjectives that start with that letter to say with their name. Example: “Hi I am Kimberly.” “B” “Beautiful Kimberly, Bouncy Kimberly, Brainy Kimberly, Bubbly Kimberly, Bountiful Kimberly.” And though it’s tempting to shout out words to help other people, the point is that each person needs to think up his or her own adjectives.
Two people are in a scene. The audience or the moderator/teacher suggests a location. Person A starts a sentence and Person B finishes it. Continue for a minute or two and see where it leads, then switch. Focus on keeping the sentences simple. To keep things moving in the classroom, have students line up and as soon as one of the performers makes a mistake or rejects what their partner suggests — or if time runs out — the next student takes their spot.
Two people in a scene. Again the audience can suggest a location. The players take turns speaking to each other in short sentences. When the moderator dings a bell, the speaker must change their last sentence to an entirely new idea. Example “Look at that elephant.” (ding) “Look at that umbrella”. (Variation for classrooms, when the moderator dings the bell a new person jumps in and takes over.)
A quirk, a job, a dream.
To begin have the audience suggest a list of jobs, a quirk such as “tries to see their own tongue”, and a dream (i.e., a goal). Teachers may wish to create this list ahead of time until the students have experience. This scene can have 3-4 people in it. Have the performers sit in chairs at the front of the audience at a “diner” and assign each their character. Let the scene play out and see where it takes you.