These games will be scored using five 1-4 point scales measuring character, relationship, objective, mechanics, and environment. In each short-form scene, performers should: fully develop original characters, show how their characters are connected to one another, establish the world in which the scene is set, and follow the rules and restrictions of their game. One bonus point may be awarded if the mechanics of the game are used exceptionally well.
2 Line Vocabulary
One player performs freely and it is their job to keep the scene moving. Assign two lines to remaining players. Each player can only say the two lines that they have been assigned. This game works best when 2 Line Vocabulary includes one question and one statement.
4 Corners (Pan Left Pan Right)
The four players stand in a square on the stage: Down Stage Right (1), Down Stage Left (2), Up Stage Left (3), and Up Stage Right (4). The front pair (1 and 2) gets a suggestion. Then the cube rotates to the actors’ right and players 2 and 3 get a different suggestion. The cube rotates and players 3 and 4 get a suggestion and then finally players 4 and 1 get a suggestion. The scene begins with players 1 and 2 facing the front. At any point during their scene, a caller yells “Pan Left” or “Pan Right” to rotate and a new scene begins with the pair now in front.
This is a short form version of the Chicago-style Herald. This game starts off with all but one performer forming a back line. The performer not on the back line, will receive a suggestion from the audience. From this suggestion, the improviser will perform a short monologue. Once he or she is done with the monologue, the back line will perform a scene based on the monologue.
Each player is given lines they have not seen to put in their pockets. Then the players improvise a scene in which they must incorporate the lines.
One player is the talk show host of the show “Chit Chat.” This host will interview an up and coming playwright/composer that has just written and directed a new Broadway Musical (get the name from the audience). The interview will be about the play and the playwright will have brought two cast members to perform two numbers/scenes for the studio audience. The talk show host interviews the playwright about the Musical then introduces the two performers, who will perform a number from the show (you can have a few lines of dialogue to lead into the song if you want). After the first number, the host and playwright chat about where the storyline goes next and the second number is presented.
Choose Your Own Adventure
The scene can be paused by a caller who then gives two choices to an audience member. For example: “PAUSE! [points at audience member] What do you want to pop out of that box, an engagement ring or a break up message on a post-it note?” Choices should be equally viable options, but send the scene in different directions. Performers incorporate the choice into the scene and continue.
A scene is interrupted by a caller, who directs the action forward or backward in time or to other locations and events. The new scene can be either directly or indirectly related to the original scene. The caller switches scenes by saying: “Cut to [the time, place, or situation they want to cut to]."
A short scene (90 seconds) is performed from an audience suggestion. Then, a caller will take an audience vote to "kill" one of of the players. The same scene is then replayed, except now one of the characters is lying dead and limp on the floor. The remaining actors move their lifeless scene partner around and say their lines. Repeat this process until there is one actor left "alive" to do the whole scene while dragging everyone around and doing their lines. This game is very physical, and for it to be successful, the original established scene should have lots of movement.
Living Bodies (var. of Dead Bodies)
Same as above, but backward.
Actors create a short scene based on a suggestion from the audience. They then replay the scene two more times in different movie genres suggested by the audience.
Two players perform a short scene. Two other players watch the scene, but are unable to listen to the scene due to loud music in their ears. An iPod was a thing that could play music. After the first scene is over, the second pair tries to replicate the first scene after only seeing the actions and not hearing the scene. It is important to mimic the physical actions of the first pair and justify them in the second scene.
At various times during the scene, the referee will shout “Kick it!” after a line of dialogue. The actor that delivered the line begins the rap and the rap ends when the rapper yells “WORD!” Other players can join in.
From time to time during a scene, a caller shouts “New choice” and the actor must replace his previous line of dialogue or action with a new one. The caller may clarify what to replace. For example: “New way to enter” or “New response”.
All performers start off stage. Once the suggestion is given, Player 1 enters and begins a scene alone. After Player 1 establishes a scene, another player claps in, freezes the scene, enters, and starts a brand new scene with brand new characters, utilizing the frozen position of the other player(s). This continues, with each person entering one at a time, starting a new scene, and justifying the physical positions of the other players. Once the last player (Player 6) has entered and established their scene, they must justify a reason for their character to leave the scene. Once Player 6 leaves the stage, the scene then reverts to the scene that Player 5 started when they entered. The performers then continue “peeling off” the layers, going through the scenes in reverse order until they get back to the initial scene established by Player 1. The physical positions should be rejustified as the scenes are peeling off, as well.
Point of View (Rashomon)
A short scene is played by neutral characters. The scene is then replayed from each character’s point of view. The point-of-view character remains neutral, but the rest of the scene changes to show how that character perceived the original scene. For example: A parent sees the child as a pain and themselves as reasonable, then the kid sees himself as reasonable and the parent as heartless.
Sit Stand Kneel (Lie down)
At any time during the scene, there must be one player sitting, one standing, and one kneeling. An optional fourth player may be laying down. No two players can be in the same position at any time.
Slumdog Date Night
From a location suggestion, two players take the roles of people on a first (or early) date. We follow their date as they get to know each other, and throughout the scene, other players can support as passing characters or, more importantly, call for flashbacks for an individual character. (“Flashback CHARACTER NAME”) Like in its namesake film Slumdog Millionaire, these flashbacks are used to inform the present scene. The flashbacks reveal characteristics or histories that affect their behavior on the date.
Sounds Like a Song
At various times during the scene, a caller will shout “Sounds like a song!” after lines of dialogue. The actor who delivered the line of dialogue then breaks into song using the line as inspiration. The characters should sing to the other characters, who can hear the song and are allowed to join in.
Doesn’t Sound Like A Song
Same as above, but opposite. The actors will be singing the whole time, however at various times during this scene, a caller will shout “That doesn't Sound like a Song!” The accompanist will stop playing, and the actor who was last singing speaks their last sung line to begin a normal non-musical scene. Then the musician will sneak back in with music and when the actors hear the music come back in they will start singing again until the next time the caller calls "That doesn't Sound like a Song!"
The team performs a one-minute scene. One player is removed and the remaining members must perform the same scene again, covering all the important actions and dialogue. Performers can jump back and forth between characters from the original scene. Continue removing performers and repeating the scene until one person has to do the entire scene by themselves. Be sure to establish CORE in the original scene.
Each of the players in this game will be assigned a number between one and ten. Every sentence that the player speaks must contain their assigned number of words.