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

Flock Dance

A physical warm-up that also works on group mind.

Rules:

Students arrange themselves in a “flying V” with one person at the front of the stage and the others staggered behind them, like a flock of birds.

Player at the front begins leading a dance (either to a stereo or to music that they hum or sing themselves).

The other players follow the leader, duplicating their movements as closely as possible.

After 15-20 seconds (or when the song changes, if you’ve got a stereo and a “DJ”), a new leader moves into the front until each player has had a chance to try leading.

Objectives:

To attack and commit to the moment; to be aware of leadership and to take initiative; to let go of habitual physicality and be aware of physical offers; to share the stage.

Comments:

Flock dance is about finding a balance between leaders and followers, so in as much as followers should be aware of the leader, so should the leader be aware of his/her followers and ensure that they are supported.

Safety is also a concern, as the flock will be watching the head bird.

Also, this is a silly physical warm-up. Stress the silliness and the commitment required to make it work.

Turning Circle

Group mind is a physical as well as a mental concept. The high energy of CIG events demands that groups be in tune with one another mentally and physically. Turning Circle is one way of approaching this idea.

Rules:

Students stand in a circle. On cue, they begin running (slowly!) in a clockwise direction, paying attention to one another and setting a reasonable pace.

At any point, any student may shout, “Go!” at which point the entire circle changes running direction. The goal is to not smash or bump into any other player.

Continue, with each successive “Go!” changing the circle’s direction.

Objectives:

To get physically warmed up; to get in tune with our fellow players physically and to find group mind; to work together to make the whole circle sustainable and keep it moving forward fluidly.

Comments:

This warm up is a nice metaphor for teamwork and group mind. Students should pride themselves on creating a flawless circle with no weak spots, but they should also fail joyfully and support players who trip up by helping them get back into the rhythm of the run.

Adaptations:

After running, it’s sometimes nice to see if you can pull of a Circle Sit, with all circle members sitting on the lap of the person behind them simultaneously.

Advanced groups can attempt different shapes, other than circles.

Exercises

30 Second Scene Starts

Two of five elements, drilled.

Rules:

Two students are brought up onstage. Players take approximately 30 seconds or so to set up the first two elements of the Five Elements (WHERE AND WHO). Exercise ends when students have established a clear Where and Who.

Objectives:

To establish a clear Where and Who; to learn about the beginnings of Five Element scenework; to give and accept offers.

Comments:

This is an opportunity for students to explore the beginnings of scenes without the pressure of finding problems and resolutions. Students should avoid hesitation and jump right into position, even if they don’t have an idea. It’s not about being funny, it’s about clarity—the clearer the scene start, the clearer the scene will be. The humour will come out of specific characters in a specific place interacting.

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

Three Rules

A simple introduction to games/rules in scenework.

Rules:

Three students stand on stage. Each is given the suggestion of a rule that will govern their scene, for example: “Sarah can’t say the letter S, Dan can only use the right side of his body, and Marika screams whenever someone talks about the weather.” A regular scene then occurs, with the rules incorporated.

Objectives:

To incorporate rules and games into regular scenework; to justify rules within a scene; to listen; to accept and forward offers within rule-based scenes; to support but challenge fellow players.

Comments:

Students should play all rules to their maximum ability. The scene is also an opportunity for students to challenge and play with one another’s abilities while also being supportive, and conversely is an opportunity for the director to show how this done well.

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.