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

5 Things

A fun word association game.

Rules:

Students stand in a circle.

One student initiates by pointing at another and asking him or her to say 5 things as fast as he or she can based on a category of his/her choosing: “Five songs you like.”

As the student names off each one, the rest of the class will count along, cheering when five have been said.

The student who just named off five things will then point to another student and name a new category.

Objectives:

To revel in wordplay; to free your mind and commit to the moment; to support your teammates.

Comments:

Encourage speed and not cleverness; the more enthusiastic and attentive the player’s teammates are, the better the player will do. Support! It’s not necessary to be clever, either, or witty. Just to sell the idea and commit.

Old School

A nice verbal and impulse warm-up that lets students flex their rap muscles.

Rules:

Students stand in a circle, and begin by letting out a Beastie Boys-style intro (students might need to listen to a few BB songs to get the hang of the rhythm): “Ba da da da da da da da da da! Ba da da da da da da da da da!”

A player initiates with a verse, for example, “Woke up in the morning and I went to school,” (All: “Ba da da da da da da da da da!”)

The player to his/her left then rhymes a new verse: “But first I took a dive in my swimming pool.” (All: “Ba da da da da da da da da da!”)

Play continues around the circle, with players rhyming to the first verse.

If a player slips up, then the intro happens again, and the offending player starts a new rhyme.

Play continues until you win a Grammy (or as long as you want).

Objectives:

To commit to and sell an offer; to use impulses to create rhyming verse; to support fellow players by adding to their offer.

Comments:

Half the fun of Beastie Boys is performing your verse with the same boastful, rap-tastic presentation typical of a rap battle. Students should be urged to give 110% energy to this game, because they can sell a bad rhyme with a good presentation (a useful skill on stage!).

Exercises

Press Conference

Putting a character/genre in the hot seat.

Rules:

One student stands on stage and is given a character trait or genre of theatre/film by his/her fellow players. The player then emerges as though at a press conference, and introduces him/herself, his/her project, or whatever information the character wants to convey. Other students then act as the press, introducing themselves and their publications and then asking questions, which are answered in character. Take turns with a few students, taking on different traits or genres each time.

Objectives:

To create and make character/genre offers; to expand and heighten on characters through offers made by fellow players; to explore genre within a specific game.

Comments:

Students should be very mindful of supporting each other in this game, as one of them has been put in the hot seat. A good opportunity to teach students about making each other look good (i.e.: asking questions that elevate, not stump, the player on stage). Works best when the character trait/genre is echoed—complimented or contrasted—in some way by the “members of the press,” i.e.: If the character trait is nervous, a press member might be from the “Relaxed Gazette” or the “Paranoid Press.

Adaptations:

Can also be played as an audition, where a panel (consisting of director, producer, etc.) auditions characters for a “part” one by one. A quicker version, as a line of auditioners should be waiting in the wings to go next.

Story, Story, Die!

A game that increases narrative skill, teamwork and listening.

Rules:

Three to six improvisers form a line on the stage. The narrator/MC sits downstage of them, facing the line. The MC randomly points to players in the line. The player who is pointed at speaks. When the finger moves, the speaking improviser stops (mid-syllable if necessary) and the next improviser picks up EXACTLY where the previous one left off. If a player stutters, repeats a word or says something totally incongruous, the audience shouts “DIE!” The improviser “dies” and a new story begins. The game ends when only one person remains.

Objectives:

To develop awareness and spontaneity. To tell a complete story as a team within the restrictions of the game.

Comments:

Die with good grace: the audience takes their cue for reaction from the improviser. Keep it fun. Concentrate on the story – listen to each other and keep it simple. If the action advances out of hand, the story will lose coherence.

Practice Games

Entrances & Exits

Rules:

Each player is given a word, number or famous phrase (preferably not something said in every sentence.) Whenever the player’s word is spoken within the scene the player must justify an entrance or an exit.

Objectives:

To improvise and justify within the rules of the game while creating a scene.

Comments:

Players should be asked not to say their own word unless necessary to avoid the trap of “saying it for laughs.” Be sure to remember to create an activity and find a common focus for the players within the scene. You can also try to forward the story with each entrance and exit.

Object Game

Rules:

Object is chosen from a member of the audience. Scene is played using that object. It may or may not be used as what it really is (eg: credit card may be used as a pocket TV…).

Objective:

To improvise and justify a complete scene within the rules of the game. This game focuses on the teams abillity to create a story about the object.

Comments:

Let the object tell the story in one way or another. If the story isn’t about the object, the object should be a main character, or the solution of the problem, or the ultimate goal, or Big Brother, or…