The Canadian Improv Games is delighted to offer these lesson plans created by our talented Artistic Advisory Committee. In two parts they work in tandem with the rehearsal schedule outlined in the Discovering the Moment manual. Be sure to download a copy of the manual and enjoy these lesson plans.
Coaching an Improvisation team can be a very rewarding experience. Improvisers are among the most energetic and positive people you’ll ever meet! As a coach, you want to set a tone which encourages team bonding, experimentation, and creativity. The more relaxed and safe your players feel, the more confident they will be as a team. The following introductory lessons are intended to build the skills that will establish a foundation of support and confidence.
It’s important for your team to begin the season learning basic improv skills: The Essentials. You want to start every rehearsal with skill-building warm-ups. Players will soon become familiar with all the improv terms which you can find in the glossary at the end of “Discovering the Moment”, but they don’t need to know them right away. While they may not be able to avoid falling into improv traps initially (such as blocking), players can quickly learn to identify these situations and start avoiding them as they develop skills through the lessons that follow. Likewise, players can begin to identify opportunities to contribute positively to scenes. Even the most veteran of teams work their skills at every practice. The basic skills are everything!
Each of the Introductory lessons is divided into two main parts: Warm ups, (for focus & physicality), & Skills (to introduce the building blocks of improvisation). To train your players, you want to strengthen their focus as a group first, then warm them up physically, so they will be ready to learn specific improv skills by the end of the lesson.
10 Introductory Lessons:
Each of the lessons is approximately one hour in length. They can be combined and adapted to work as two-hour workshops as well. Time suggestions for each game are offered, but are very flexible. Gauge how much time your group needs for each exercise. All games/exercises will move more quickly when players become familiar with them. Although there are different warm up and skills games in each of the ten lessons, it’s also a good idea to repeat games a number of times. Teams should become very familiar with a few favourites. As their skill at a game improves, their bond as a team strengthens as well. (And “team bonding” is crucial to their confidence in each other as players.)
Click a link below to download a lesson plan. Each plan is for a 1hr block, so feel free to combine plans to fill your entire rehearsal.
We would like to thank the amazing drama educators on our Artistic Advisory Committee for creating these great plans. A special thanks to Laurie Graham, Joedy Ebert, Ember Konopaki and Karen Towsley. Enjoy the plans!