We’ve heard these asked a few times…
A: There are several reasons:
A: Well, no one expects an athlete or a dancer to perform without warming up. Don’t expect to jump into an improv scene without taking some time to warmup. It’s a great way to transition from your day to your rehearsal.
We suggest that you have three parts to your warmup:
PHYSICAL: In all work in the theatre there is an importance to prepare the body for the work ahead. This is to prevent injury and allow ourselves to have more flexibility to create larger or more physically challenging characters. To prepare your students physically for the work you should start with a quick stretch, a vocal game, as well as a cardio game like “tag” or “maverick zoom”.
MENTAL: A series of “Brain-fry” games to get focus and impulse awareness to a heightened state is very helpful as it allows for good impulse based improvisation. Once your students are in a positive mindset it is much easier for them to create offers at an impulse level. A mixture of eliminating hesitation and allowing relaxation are major parts of this level of the warm up. Some examples of this kind of warm up are “Horseshoe”, “Mirror games”, and “Word-ball”. Be aware that some of the Games are not for beginner improvisers.
NARRATIVE: Its crucial to warm up the thought processes involved in story telling as the greater part of improvisation is this skill. Many times we miss this part of the warm up due to lack of time thinking that it will be worked on as a skill in skill building. Some great games for a narrative workshop are “Because”, “Word at a time story” and “Yes lets.” These are great ways of reminding students of the processes of storytelling.
Remember, don’t use a theme game like the Harold for your warmup. All of your theme performances will be then measured by your warm-up energy.
A: There is no score for “quantity of objects”.
We do however have points for staging, so make sure that you physically create your scenes environment to the best of your ability… but know there should be a balance between setting and scene. K: Giant bodies like ours creating tiny objects like a cell phone can destroy the reality of the scene, especially if that giant body has to walk around as the cell phone. So try not to physicallize tiny objects unless it’s integral to the scene.
A: No, you don’t lose points if you don’t use the boxes.
The boxes are on stage to help you create your environments and to be present in the world you’re improvising. If the boxes can help you create your scene’s setting then use them, if not don’t.
A: No, but you certainly look better and feel more confident with cool uniforms. It also highlights each players individual personality through their actions not their clothes.