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!
Also, for portability, bookmark this page on your mobile device so that you can generate workshops on the go!
December 10, 2009
A nice verbal and impulse warm-up that lets students flex their rap muscles.
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).
To commit to and sell an offer; to use impulses to create rhyming verse; to support fellow players by adding to their offer.
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!).
Players find a space in the room. A moderator asks the group to do an activity by calling out “Lets _____.” The group, in unison, all respond by shouting out “Yes, Lets!” The players then proceed individually and silently to explore the activity physically. When the moderator feels the activity has been fully explored the moderator calls out another activity. Objectives: To explore the entire physical environment of an activity.
Try this game without sound effects or any dialogue first. your students will be more focused and look at the game with less of an angle of performance.
November 2, 2014
An exercise that focuses on making mundane offers more important.
One player is on stage and another player enters, handing them a file with the dialogue, “Here’s the Johnson File.” The player who receives the Johnson File will then make a statement revealing how important this object is, “The Johnson File! The last piece of evidence that will clear my name!” Then the players switch roles and repeat the exercise.
This exercise shows players that any offer can be heightened and made vital to the scene. There are no bad offers, only poor follow-ups.
Make sure the players are being specific as to why the Johnson File is important to them. Try playing the game for an extended period of time, pushing the students past the point where the ideas come quickly and allow them to get creative and absurd with their follow-ups.
The game can be played with different opening offers as well, “It’s Tuesday” is a popular variation.
December 11, 2009
A classic game that explores character while encouraging listening and discovery skills.
A bench is placed centre stage. One improviser enters and sits on the bench A second improviser enters and begins to play a scene. The scene is over when the first character slowly adopts the second character’s characteristics and leaves the stage, The character that just entered remains seated on the bench a third character enters and begins a scene which ends when the second player exits having adopted the third character’s characteristics. Repeat until all players have been on stage.
To develop/practice the skills of characterization and character interaction.
Don’t let an improviser use the same character or tactic too many times, or you compromise the purpose of the exercise. Respect your fellow improvisers: the scene is over when the first person leaves, but the scene must still be played together. Even when you play an aggressive CHARACTER, remember that the good IMPROVISOR is always listening and aware of offers made and actions taken by EVERYONE on stage.
More than two people can be on the stage at one time
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 .
To create group mind through cooperational storytelling.
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.
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.)
December 10, 2009
A restriction game.
This scene has 26 lines. Each line of dialogue must begin with the next sequential letter of the alphabet. There is no real need to start with ‘A’. Ask for the starting letter from the audience.
To work within the limitations of the rule and still create a full story.
Don’t allow the rules of the game to dominate the scene – the “stunt” version over emphasises the letter progression. The challenge is to create a full STORY in which each consecutive line of dialogue just happens to begin with the next letter of the alphabet. Trust yourselves.
Every line spoken on stage must start with the next consecutive letter of the alphabet. This challenges the tendancy with this game to use long paragraphs of exposition to advance the story to avoid the structure of the game.
Each character on the stage gets a letter: all of their lines must begin with this letter.
Alliteration: each character gets a letter, then has to use that letter as many times as possible within the scene.