Improv! Game Descriptions

Evil Twin

Example

Rules

Four players stand onstage. Two players will improvise a scene. The other players serve as evil twins. At any point in the scene, the twin can shout, “Freeze!” after which he/she tags out their twin, and continues the scene by doing something “evil.” Once the evil act has been committed, the original player tags back in and continues the scene. Both onstage characters must justify the evil act within the scene as though the “good” character did it. It is then the “good twin’s” job to correct the evil within the scene. Play continues thusly, with the Evil Twins tagging in and out whenever he/she feels like.

Objectives

To accept and justify offers; to support and challenge your fellow player; to make choices that are true to the scene and the characters.

Comments

Great setups for this game are things like first dates, job interviews, meeting your in-laws for the very first time – situations where there is an accepted decorum of behavior. The game works best when the justification is true to the scene and the characters, not by blaming outside forces or “wimping” with something like, “I don’t know what came over me!” It can be challenging, but let your justifications become discovery about your characters. Give yourself some environment and character relationship to work with. That way, the justifications can come from those two elements.


Scene Three Ways

Example

A great way to play with many different styles 

Rules

A prompt will given by the moderator.  The team then plays a short scene based on that prompt, without any particular style. The team replays the same scene two more times colored with the elements of a particular style or genre given by the moderator.

Genres will be created using The Improv App website (http://theimprovapp.weebly.com/genres.html). Teams may use this free website to learn potential genres. Any inappropriate suggestions will be skipped.

Objectives

To improvise within many different styles. Create and practice the understanding of using an element of a style to prove a section. 

Comments

Many of the scenes will end up as mimicry and parody of the style, however, this game is excellent for finding a style the team enjoys. Experiment with many different styles, so that the team gets a feel for exploring the conventions of each one. Sometimes those conventions will call for a radical departure from the original neutral scene, but attempt to retain the key structural elements – even as you play with their detail and presentation.


Family Portrait

Rules

The team will be given a suggestion of a type of family. The suggestion could incorporate a type of behavior (“the Prankster family”), and way of feeling (“the Cranky family”), or even a location (“the space explorer family”). The moderator will count down from 5 to 1 and then say “Say Cheese!” at which point the team will form a static tableau of members of that family posing for a family portrait. After a few seconds (the portrait having been taken), they will break that tableau and interact in character according to the suggestion given.

Objectives

To develop physicality that can convey character, and to develop quick relationships between characters.

Comments

Keep in mind that the tableau you form is the first glimpse of your character, so make it specific and visible. Families are always messy, complicated groups of people, so make sure that your interactions with the other family members are varied. While you won’t know the suggestion of the type of family ahead of time, teams could prep for which of the family members they might play – the elderly family matron, the black sheep brother, the trying-too-hard cousin, and so forth.