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2014 Fundraiser

Raised $3,150 towards the $30,000 target.
We're raising money for new training materials. Learn more!
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Workshop Generator

Use this page as a quick and dirty workshop creator. Every time you reload this page, you’ll get:

  • 2 random Warm-ups
  • 2 random Exercises
  • 2 random Practice Games

This should give you a template for a fun workshop of 45 minutes to an hour.  This randomly generated template is a fun way to try out games and exercises you might not be used to.  This is, of course, no substitute for a well designed workshop put together to address the specific needs of your team, however this randomized template may open you up to skills or ideas you might not often address!

HAVE FUN!

Also, for portability, bookmark this page on your mobile device so that you can generate workshops on the go!

Warm Ups

Numbers/21

A quick and easy focus, group mind and teamwork exercise.
Rules:
Have students stand in a tight circle, shoulder to shoulder (or with arms around each others’ shoulders, if students are comfortable with one another).
Students look down and count to 21 by having one person at a time randomly contributing one number. There is no pattern to it, and students are expected to contribute the next number when appropriate (they may, for example, say two numbers in a row if the need is there).
If students speak at the same time, have them start over from one.
Objectives:
To develop group mind, focus and listening; to embrace the moment.
Comments:
Beyond the objectives, Numbers is also an opportunity to demonstrate that each performer is contributing to the success of the game, much like in scene work. There must be give and take by every member of the group in order to be successful. When the group isn’t working as a whole even something as simple as counting to 21 can be an enormous challenge. Numbers can therefore be a humbling experience for teams who think they’ve got it all together when they don’t. Numbers must be said with confidence, and no other talking or communication should be allowed. Watch for habitual patterns in the game, and try to change them.
A quick and easy focus, group mind and teamwork exercise.

Rules:

Have students stand in a tight circle, shoulder to shoulder (or with arms around each others’ shoulders, if students are comfortable with one another). Students look down and count to 21 by having one person at a time randomly contributing one number. There is no pattern to it, and students are expected to contribute the next number when appropriate (they may, for example, say two numbers in a row if the need is there). If students speak at the same time, have them start over from one.

Objectives:

To develop group mind, focus and listening; to embrace the moment.

Comments:

Beyond the objectives, Numbers is also an opportunity to demonstrate that each performer is contributing to the success of the game, much like in scene work. There must be give and take by every member of the group in order to be successful. When the group isn’t working as a whole even something as simple as counting to 21 can be an enormous challenge. Numbers can therefore be a humbling experience for teams who think they’ve got it all together when they don’t. Numbers must be said with confidence, and no other talking or communication should be allowed. Watch for habitual patterns in the game, and try to change them.

Circuits

A Brain Fry to the extreme—test your students’ juggling skills.

Rules:

Start with a single circuit: Students stand in a circle.

Students hold one hand in the air. One student points at another, and says, “You,” (or their name, if this is a familiar group). The recipient of the “you” passes it to another student whose hand is still raised, continuing until the last person with their hand raised points back at the first student. This is the first circuit. (It is very important that each student remembers who pointed at him or her and who he or she pointed at.) Repeat the circuit a few times.

After the circuit is established, repeat a few more times without pointing, using only eye contact.

From there, additional circuits can be built, by stopping and having the students put their hands up and pointing at a new circuit partner again. The circuits should start with the same player but continue on different paths. Circuits can be categories of things, or saying your own name to another player (challenging). Once a new circuit has been introduced and practiced, without pointing, the first player can reintroduce the initial circuit.

Continue adding in new circuits as desired (three is initially very challenging; over time as many as 5 or 6 can happen).

If a circuit gets dropped, the offer can be gently remade until it is picked up again. The entire circuit can also be begun again at will.

 

Objectives:

To hone focus, listening and trust; to fail joyfully and support one another; to accept and forward offers; to concentrate on how your small part benefits the whole.

 

Comments:

The director can watch for giggling, or lack of concentration, but allow students to gently keep the circuits on track by themselves (at least, after the first few times). This trains students to work together to keep scenes afloat, and to make clear offers and acceptance. It’s also beneficial in showing students how, even in complicated scenes, they can focus on their small part and still benefit the whole.


Exercises

Dating Game

A classic reinterpreted for character purposes.

Rules:

Played with four students. One leaves the room (or plugs his/her ears). Other students provide character endowments for the three others, like “nervous doctor,” “arrogant astronaut,” etc. The fourth player returns and asks three questions, with each of the three “contestants” answering. After the questions the “bachelor/ette” should guess what the endowments were.


Objectives:

To hone character; to make offers and accept them in character; to play the game of the scene.


Comments:

A fun and fast character game, which works best when played in the game show style. Feel free to add a “host” character to keep things moving.


Adaptations:

Several rounds can be played, and the game can be adjusted to include other “games” (seeing the first dates, Jeopardy-style rounds, etc.).


Transformation Game

The Transformation Game was the birthplace of the game we now know as Freeze. Unfortunately what is missing from Freeze is the Transformation Game’s amazing morphic energy based in physical communication and focus. The game is rooted in the transformation of the Who and the Where. The Transformation Game is also a great teamwork exercise in movement and listening.

Rules:

A group of players (3-8) start on stage performing a group activity based on a suggestion. Within the first scene a player will find a connection within their movement (or the groups movement) that will allow them to transform the scene into a new scene. The players will then continually transform the Who and Where until they arrive at a predetermined (by suggestion) final activity.


Objectives:

To teach group communication skills through movement.


Comments:

Players should make sure to connect the original movement as closely as they can. This can also be played as a partner exercise.


Practice Games

Word at a Time: The Practice Game

Rules:

Two players tell a story alternating players on each word. The players act out all action within the scene while it happens. The tell the story in a first person perspective .


Objectives:

To create group mind through cooperational storytelling.


Comments:

A lot of the time this game is derailed because of offers from space, ideas that are not organically found within the story. It is important to stop stories that are not working or cannot be understood and start afresh. It is through the process of stopping scenes that you will produce an intrest in allowing the story to write itself rather than trying to force it to be written.


Adaptations:

1,2,3, Word at a time: First cycle of players says one word at a time. The second cycle of players says two words at a time, the third cycle says three words, the fourth cycle says 2 words, and the fifth cycle says one word until the story ends (perhaps even on the last player.)


Animal Allegory

An interesting approach to character and narration (answer an origin question, self directed narration).

Rules:

Two students are onstage. Each is given the suggestion of a different animal to play. Additionally, the suggestion of an “origin question” is given (Why is the sky blue? Where do babies come from? Why is there a moon?) Students play a scene in which they are the animal (the animals are friends; this is a non-food chain world). They seek to explain the origin question through their character using self-directed narration (i.e.: The student playing the badger would say, “Badger sits on a rock, sunning himself. He turns to his friend alligator and says, ‘Alligator, I do enjoy the sun, but sometimes I wish I could have a break from it.’”) Through the actions and narration of the animal characters, the origin question is answered.


Objectives:

To incorporate and forward suggestions; to explore characters and narration; to listen, heighten and expand; to justify choices within a specific outcome; to multitask within scenework.


Comments:

Students should view the scene as an opportunity to play the character of the animal while also telling a story through it. As this is an origin story, it’s likely that the tone of the scene will either be Biblical or graphic novel-ish in nature. Those are both fine, as long as the student plays them to the hilt. Students might need an example of an origin story to get them going. Essentially, this game is about multitasking character, targeted narrative and the five elements in one go. A good way to expand minds.


Adaptations:

Genres can be put on this exercise as well, so that we might see something like a giraffe and a hare telling the film noir story of the birth of the sun. Stacking elements on one another and seeing how many balls students can keep in the air is the fun of this game. But it’s only fun as long as some creativity can still be found in the world created by all the suggestions.