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

Kitty Wants a Corner

A fun, physical energizer and Brain Fry exercise.

Rules:

Players stand in a circle, with one player in the centre (the Kitty).

The Kitty approaches one of the players and says, “Kitty wants a corner,” The player who was asked responds with, “Ask my neighbour” and points to the player on his/her left or their right. The Kitty then moves to ask the person the player has indicated.

At the same time, any two other players can silently make eye contact and (when they have connected) quickly switch places across the circle. This almost always occurs behind the Kitty’s back.

If the Kitty (who is busy asking for a corner) notices players switching places and is able to take one of their spots in the circle, the player who lost their spot becomes the new Kitty.

Objectives:

To have fun, to play, and to commit to a moment; to communicate non-verbally with other players and to come to an agreement to create something new; to sharpen awareness.

Comments:

Stress safety, commitment, agreement and fun.

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.

Exercises

Following

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.

Rules:

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.

Objectives:

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.

Comments:

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!

Adaptations:

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.

Arms Experts

Two improvisors become expert know-it-all’s on a subject of the audience’s choosing. The format can be an interview, talk show, lecture, debate…

Rules:

One improvisor comes up to play an expert on a suggested topic. A second improvisor stands behind the first. The front improviser wraps their arms around the improviser behind. The rear improviser puts his arms out as the front persons arms.

Objectives:

To encourage spontaneity, and the making and justifying of physical offers. Freeing the trust in ones impulses.

Comments:

The front improviser (the “voice” of the Expert) should include and justify all of the physical offers made by the “arms” (rear) improviser. The rear improviser should stay present, listen carefully to the front improviser and then add physical offers of their own. Take your time: relaxation will keep you in the moment, and that will be more interesting to watch than hurried or incomplete answers/statements. Confidence is both more interesting and more important than speed.

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.