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!
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!).
5 Element Game
The Five Element game trains and creates natural impulses for story telling.
The players get in groups of 3. Two players create a one minute scene while the third player calls out the elements of the Basic Scene Structure as they are created. One player starts by exploring the physical environment of an activity. The observer calls out “Setting.” The second player enters as a complimentary character, thus creating a relationship. Once this relationship is created the watching player calls out “Characters.” The scene partners then find a problem or obstacle to overcome. They raise the stakes, motivating a solution. Finally, the players find a solution (preferably one that arises from the environment or the characters.) At each step the watching player calls out what element of the Basic Scene Structure is created.
To create the instinct to tell stories within the Basic Scene Structure by focusing solely on advancing between elements.
Because of the one minute time limit, this exercise often results more in the narration of action rather than true physicalization. Although this is normally a bad thing, the value lies in the ability to reduce the amount of gags and gossip encountered in the creation of the scene. Raising the Stakes is normally the first element to be forgotten in the heat of the moment. It is therefore one of the elements you must be the most stringent about. You should also be looking for an organic solution. An organic solution comes from within the world of the scene; Deus Ex Machina is the improvisor’s easy way out.
Five Element Freeze: The Five Element game done with freeze called at the end of every scene and a new player taking a position of one of the frozen players. The player then justifys the position into a new environment/activity.
Gibberish 5 Elements: The Five Element game done while only speaking gibberish.
Silent 5 Element: The Five Element game done in silence (no sound effects.)
The act of Following is the next step in the evolution of Mirroring. Partners need not face each other in Following, which allows for an even greater range of possibilities for movement when leading and a greater amount of interpretation when following. Through this work players can communicate and connect without the need for sound.
Players, in partners, stand next to (not facing) each other. One player leads while the other player follows the action simultaneously. Upon the moderator’s command the leader and the follower switch.
To flex player’s ability to communicate through movement. To allow players to express impulses through movement. To allow players to explore the boundaries of simultaneous movement.
Players do not have to be two feet from each other, nor is it a rule that the follower must keep constant eye contact on (or with) the leader. In actual fact for the follower to get simultaneous movement they must anticipate the action instead of echoing the action. Be sure to play around with what it means to follow someone… Follow, create, enjoy!
Group Following (follow the leader): 1. One player is the leader the group follows. 2. Moderator calls for a switch in leadership. 3. Group finds new leader within group by following and amplifying first movements in group until one person is left leading.
Players begin a scene on a suggestion from the audience. A moderator the calls out different Styles or Emotions. When a new Style or Emotion is called out the players must continue the same scene justifying the new element.
To justify the transitions while creating a scene.
Try and keep the continuity of the scene steady and with purpose or this will become a listing game of the players knowledge of the different styles. When the style changes the characters will be altered slightly as well, do not allow this alteration to change who the characters
Get photo ID cards or business cards from the audience as well as a suggestion of a location or activity. Designated players mold/match their faces to the photos. They also use the name from the ID as well. The scene is created by showing the characters within the suggestions from the audience.
To create full characterizations from audience suggestions, and build a scene based on their lives.
This game thrives on discovery. The more the players explore the character they’ve unleashed the more the scene will benefit. Beware: many people don’t like to get their picture taken at the DMV so you may end up with fairly negative characters. Don’t let the character’s negativity give you the impulse to block or cancel offers. Remember to forward the action. Create fully rounded characters from the ID/business card and also from your impression of the person who donates it. Mocking them will draw an easy laugh from the audience, but it disrespects both that audience member and his/her suggestion (of themselves). Once again, a with a well-rounded character the story will evolve simply and organically from their traits, mannerisms and ideosynchrasies. You don’t have to recreate the person who makes the suggestion in exacting detail: but they are the jumping off point for YOUR character, which you will created in detail.