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

Yes, Let’s

Rules:

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.

Comments:

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.

Big Booty

A great energizer and impulse warm up; Big Booty is a positive way to get your group into the idea of failing joyfully while working that improv impulse muscle.

Rules:

Students stand in a horseshoe formation, with the student at the right hand end of the horseshoe dubbed Big Booty. Other students number off from 1, going clockwise starting with the player next to Big Booty.

Students stomp rhythmically, one foot at a time (1,2,1,2) while energetically singing the Big Booty song: “Big Booty, Big Booty, Big Booty. Aw, yeah.”

Big Booty starts from there, calling his/her own name, followed by “Number” and the number of a player in the horseshoe. For example, the first turn is as follows:

All: Big Booty, Big Booty, Big Booty. Aw, yeah.

Big Booty: Big Booty Number 5.

Number 5 would then pass to another player as follows, immediately: “Number 5, Number 7.” Number 7 then follows, “Number 7, Number 4,” and so on.

The call can be passed back to Big Booty, but there are no callbacks.

When there is a hesitation or an error, all players (continuing to keep rhythm by stomping) loudly and energetically call “Aw, shoot!”

The player who made the error then joyfully goes to the end of the horseshoe and becomes the last number. All other players move into vacant places left, adopting the number of the place in which they stand. For example, if Number 4 made an error, he/she moves to the end, becoming the last number (say Number 8). Number 5 moves into Number 4’s spot, becoming 4. Six becomes 5, Seven becomes 6, etc. Play continues.

Objectives:

To energize mind, body, and voice, to create group mind and introduce the idea of failing joyfully and supporting one another even in failure.

Comments:

In the outside world, your students will be expected to be right, to always do well, and to apologize for mistakes. Big Booty is a fun, high-energy way to take students away from the real world, where failing is bad, and thrust them into “improv world” where failing is joyfully celebrated.

Adaptations:

Once your students are pro at Big Booty, you can add a dance break to the mix. For example, if Number 4 receives the call, a dance break would look like this:

Number 3: Number 3, Number 4.

Number 4: Number 4, Number 4, BREAK IT DOWN!

The students then create dance music and dance around joyfully for four beats, at which point Number 4 gets things going again: “Number 4, Number 7.” Play resumes from there.

Exercises

Machines

A simple exercise in group awareness and physical responsiveness.

Rules:

One player enters and begins a repetitive sound and action. Once that is established, a second improviser comes up and takes a position relative to the first, beginning a different repetitive sound and action. Each improvisor enters and becomes part of the machine. After the machine is established, performers may freeze and identify the machine (i.e. “Oh, it’s a top spinner and tabbouleh mixer.”)

Objectives:

To increase group awareness. To practice making, incorporating and justifying physical offers.

Comments:

When in doubt, keep it simple.

Mirrors

Mirroring is often one of the first exercises improvisers learn and also, unfortunately, one of the first they discard. Mirroring is a fabulous connection device to get teams members working together. As players become more advanced expand mirroring into more adventurous territory rather than abandoning it as a beginner’s game.

Rules:

Partners stand facing each other . One player leads, the other mirrors (or imitates) the action simultaneously. Switch leaders upon moderator’s command without resetting physically.

Objectives:

To flex player’s ability to communicate through movement. To allow players to express impulses through movement.

Comments:

Players who are leading should try to allow for impulses for the entire body, using levels and different speeds. Variety will allow for greater control and focus. There is no rule that states players have to be 2 feet from each other, nor is there a rule that states that the leader cannot, after a little warm-up, alternate speeds in order to create a better mental workout for their partner. Followers should always be one fraction of a step ahead in order to keep the movement simultaneous.

Adaptations:

Follow the Follower: Players start by alternating leaders on the command of a moderator until the moderator calls out “Follow the Follower.” Each player, in fractionally anticipating the other players moves, will amplify their partners unconscious movement until the chain reaction creates fully extended movement. Mirror With Sound: Players can add sound when they feel they are ready. Sound should be as varied as the movement.

Practice Games

Inner Voices

Inner voices is a classic game normally used solely as a comic device. Teams have recently found it to be a great game to explore the life event.

Rules:

A suggestion is received from the audience (of the teams choosing.) Main characters do a linear scene about a pivotal moment. An additional player for each character within the scene “Shadows” and vocalizes the character’s inner commentary. Players give and take until the scene finds it’s conclusion.

Comments:

It is very easy for the inner voices to comment solely on the feelings of the character. It is important that the characters be allowed to show their feelings rather than have them be simply explained. The explanation can deflate a player’s ability to create characters we care about. The asset of having the inner voice is to be able to show the conflicting feelings we have in life.

Scene 3 Ways

A great way to play with many different styles

Rules:

Team plays a short neutral scene. The team replays the scene 2 more times coloured with the elements of a particular style or genre.

Objectives:

To improvise within many different styles. Create and practice the understanding of using an element of a style to prove a section.

Comments:

Many of the scenes will end up as mimicry and parody of the style, however, this game is excellent for finding a style the team enjoys. Experiment with many different styles, so that the team gets a feel for exploring the conventions of each one. Sometimes those conventions will call for a radical departure from the original neutral scene, but attempt to retain the key structural elements – even as you play with their detail and presentation.