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

Rapid Fire Freeze

This is a variation on a classic performance game…

Rules:

Two players begin a scene. Once the scene is minimally established, an off-stage player yells “freeze”. The on-stage improvisors freeze in their last physical position. The off stage player enters, taps one character out, takes their exact physical position and then justifies it while establishing a new scene. Once this new scene is established, the process repeats itself.

Objectives:

To practice establishing scenes through exploration of environments or activities, and to practice justifying physical positions on the stage.

Comments:

Don’t wait for a great idea, call freeze as soon as the new scene has been established.

Adaptations:

Blind Freeze: Two players on stage, the rest in a line against the back wall. The first improvisor in line turns their back on the stage, and when it sounds as though the scene has been established they yell “freeze.” They then go in and take the position of one of the players, seeing it for the first time, and initiate a new scene.

Three Noses

Physical warm ups shouldn’t only be about students being prepared and comfortable in their own bodies; rather, they should also be about learning to be comfortable sharing spaces with one another. Three Noses tackles that notion head-on (pun fully intended).

Rules:

Students walk loosely around the room, with no specific pattern or aim.

The director or a chosen caller will announce a number and a body part (remind students to keep it clean and possible), for example, “3 noses!”

Students must then group up and touch the called body parts together (safety first!).

This can manifest in lots of different ways, for example: “4 right legs,” can be different than “4 legs.” Challenge your players.

Objectives:

To get physically warmed up; to connect with other students in the room and to be aware of space can be shared on stage; to joyfully and generously work together to achieve goals; to accept offers of all kinds, whether physical, verbal or otherwise.

Comments:

Stress that students should use good judgment and caution when coming together, but that enthusiasm is key. Students should treat the game like a “hot potato” situation—they need to jump on the offer of their fellow players’ nose or leg and joyfully add to it with their own nose or leg.

Exercises

The Room

An excellent game for creating shared environments.

Rules:

The first player enters a room and mimetically creates an object that defines the location. The next player enters the room, uses the first object and then creates a second one found in that location. One by one the rest of the players enter, use the previously created objects and create a new one.

Objectives:

To increase the ability to create detailed environments, and to eliminate the problem of having players “walk through tables.”

Comments:

Mimetic abilities are a great tool for the improvisor to create environments on stage. Players should work to achieve a level of clarity in expression without feeling that they need to master the art of mime. Some players tend to create elaborate stories in order to use all their objects, often times destroying the objects or combining the use of two objects in improbable ways. The focus of the exercise is to create a shared environment, not to be funny and creative (often a mask for a desire to avoid the exercise.)

Adaptations:

Have players remain in the environment as characters after they have created their object. Allow players to interact as their characters.

Crisis Situation

A great exercise in spontaneity and impulse.

Rules:

Students form a backline. Two players come on stage and approach each other with a crisis, and an object unrelated to the crisis. After each has presented his or her crisis and object, the other solves his/her partner’s crisis with his/her own object. Replies must be instantaneous. For example: Player A: I failed the big test and I just have this bouncy ball. Player B: I crashed my car and I’m stuck with this teddy bear. Player A: Here’s my bouncy ball, you can use it to distract someone so you can steal their car. Player B: Here’s my teddy bear, he’ll console you while you study for the makeup exam.

Objectives:

To connect with impulse and spontaneity; to accept and forward offers; to justify offers.

Comments:

Students should not be afraid of coming up with silly responses, as long as the offer is accepted and justified.

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.)

New Choice

A game that works on making offers without hesitation.

Rules:

Get a few players up to perform a scene. At any point during the scene, the audience or director can yell out, “New choice!” and the last offer that was made, whether verbal or physical, must be remade in a different way. It can be a slight variation on the original offer, or a completely different offer. “New choice” can be yelled out as many times as necessary until the audience or director are satisfied.

Objectives:

To get students out of their heads and in the moment of creating offers without thinking too much.

Comments:

The players have to remember that even if the audience is calling, “New choice,” they are still in control of the scene and should make choices that will result in a successful scene, using the basic scene structure.

If players get into a run of remaking an offer with only a slight variation, “I’m going to get some juice out of the fridge,” “I’m going to get a pop out of the fridge,” “I’m going to get some milk out of the fridge,” etc, coach them into trying something totally different, “I’m not thirsty.” This will often result in a big laugh and a lot of fun.

You can also get specific with which offer should be redone, “New entrance!” “New emotion!” “New dance!” etc.