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List of games for online improv
You will find here adaptations of face-to-face improv games which we have done online and worked well. Every set is for around two hours with a short toilette pause, is centered on one topic and has a couple of additional games for the case that your group jumps fast from one game to the other.
Our experience is that groups of up to 12 people can stays focused online. Ideally you have 8 students per teacher.
Be deeply interested! - 30.05.2020
We hear the most lively personal stories when we are deeply interested in the person who is talking. This builds rapport and encourages zim to unfold zir feelings and reveal zir secrets. We enjoy those moments as witnesses of something unique and specially given to us. Taking that interest on stage we create moving scenes, slow down and focus on emotions, being fully aware of richness of the offers we receive.
Working on awareness, silence and emotional moments, we will develop that interest during our scenes finishing with a long-form game.
PS: zim/zir > I tried some inclusive language. Here you can read more about gender neutral pronouns: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/gender-neutral-pronouns
- Circle up
Focus on your partner!
- Armando: Audience suggestion for a word
- 2 minutes monologue on that word. Suggestion: say a story you love to tell, rooted in reality and personal experience and full of details. Your favorite story. Don’t worry about being funny, just be yourself
- A scene inspired by the monologue for 3 minutes. The scene do not replies what happened into the monologue, but uses details and look for absurd or interesting detail about the story
- 2 minutes monologue inspired by the scene, based on what has seen
- 3 minutes scene inspired by the new monologue
- Memory circle
Silence is golden - 19.04.2020
Hallo Rice Grains,
“bla bla bla, bla bla bla”. That's what a scene too often looks like. As improvisers, we often fear the silence because we think that nothing is happening anymore. That's not true! Many times silence is the best line we can tell! More than 70% of communication goes through our body and our behaviour. Isn't it proof that words can be useless? Our actions, our look, our emotions, tell so much. And silence builds the tension and catches the audience…
Don't panic, we'll talk in this workshop! But we'll also learn to answer by silence. A living, deep and powerful silence, meaning much more than a verbal line…
List of games
- Circle up
- Let Me Show You My Room: an exercise about honesty, details and mime: Every players shows objects of their childhood room for 2 minutes
- Mirror, Action, Object: With a statement and also “emotional sound”
- Fantasy language and normal: After a while fantasy language is replaced with silence. No talk is allowed.
- Pauze The moderator must not interrrupt the scene, it is better that he shows when the 5 seconds have passed with this fingers.
- Distillation: The players perform a one minute scene. Repeat the scene but each player only gets 3 lines. Repeat the scene again and each player gets one line. Extremely difficult. For intermediate players.
- Memory game
Let's get loud, emotional and exaggerate!
Let's get emotional! Let's exaggerate! On Sunday we will meet again with our ebullient feelings and our surreal views on actions and objects. Non-reality is our aim!
List of games
- Chinese whisper with dancing: Players stand in a row all watching in the same direction. The second one turns to the firt one. The first player makes a dance. Now the third player turns and the second player imitates the dance. The game continues until every player has imitate the dance. At the end, the first player does the dance again and everyone laugh about the differences
- When played online all the players have their eyes shut until the moderator names them. When they open their eyes they see one player dancing. Then they dance for the next named player
- Increase and Decrease in a virtual order The moderators names the next person
- I, you, we The moderator makes two rows explaning who comes next on each row
- “Yes”, “ok”, “too short” and “I come along with that”: In pairs. The goal is that player B shows emotions
- Emotional improv circle: Players learn to keep the emotion going to get time before answering
- Responding emotionally on stage The players make to rows. Player A always gives an offer with a place, a character, an object or a relationship (CROW). Player B will:
- says emotionally yes or no. (1. Round)
- says emotionally jam or jak. (2. Round)
- talks normally emotionally (3. Round) Player A may add a final line of dialogue
- The goal is to always accept the offer and to also accept it with agreement or rejection
- Emphasizing movements with three players: The moderators adds many players to this games, each one has to exaggerate the last one who started playing
- Exaggerating scenes: 6 players are in pairs. The first pair plays a scene based on a audience's suggestion. The second and third pair must exaggerate or play it down It is difficult to get the details of the last scene because the image is small
- Laid out a conversation to an action choreography in pairs Depending on the concentration of the group at this point
- Statuskette (In German) with many players with and without place changes. Who comes, has always a higher status
- Be true to your emotional response always saying yes to the offer
- Listen and wait during the silences
Your improv telenovelas start here! - 05.04.2020
Let's train our spontaneity and accepting! - 29.03.2020
This session was moderated by Max.
- Finger snapping together
- Let’s dance: The moderator puts music and assign the two partners and they should mirror each other movement while dancing. Then all dance together, all mirror each other.
- Name game: In a round say something you like, something you dislike, describe your week in 5 words. Pass it to the next person
- Word ball: Keep your mic open. Pass a word by a person into the group, that person will answer with the first thing that comes to mind and pass another word to another person (also called “Association circle”)
- Simple rules for spontaneity Name three objects: Keep the mic open, we’ll do it all together and I tell you later why
- Point at objects into your space, your room and name them, say what they are. 60 secs.
- Point at objects into your space and name the last object you pointed. 60 secs.
- Point at objects into your space and say what the object is not.
- Feedback, which one was the most complicated to do?1)
- Convergence game: Object of convergence is to have two people say the same word at the same time. When you think of a word to say, you let the group know by saying, “one”. This will show that you’re ready and looking for a partner. When someone else in the circle thinks of a word they let the group know by saying “two”. Now we have the two players for the round.Together they say, “one, two, three” and where they would say “four” they say the word they have in mind simultaneously. Next round until the words converge.
Divide the group in two virtual rooms. Every person renames himself with the number given by the moderator
- Yes and Blocking
- iteration, 60 seconds for each round: Person A and Person B, you are going to a picnic. A proposes things you could do or brings. B kills every idea. B don’t just say no, really engage and deny it. Do it again with another pair
- iteration, 60 seconds for each round: Person B to accept the idea but is pissed off. Do it again with another pair
- iteration, 60 seconds for each round: Person B to respond with enthusiasm like is the best idea possible. Do it again with another couple
- Feedback: which one you think of the three iteration kind was the most funny? Show it with your fingers.2)
- ABC-Game / Alphabet: A to Z with 2 people (2 people at a time, in a round). In this game, two people have a conversation where the first word of each sentence must begin with the next letter of the alphabet. Players are given 90 seconds to go from A to Z. With this time frame there will be no time to think, and players will work on spontaneity. If a pair is actually able to finish it in 90 seconds it doesn’t matter, it is important to push the words out of your mind.
- How to play this game: Two people will have a conversation. For the first person, the very first word out of their mouth, must start with the letter A. When the next person responds, the first word they say must start with the letter B. When the first person responds, their first word must start with the letter C, and then so on, and so on, working their way to Z. Remember. Speed is important, just say the first word that come to mind starting with that letter and make it work.
- Expert interview (2 Rounds): In this game, one performer pretends to be the world's leading expert on some topic and the rest of the players will ask him questions about that topic. However, the expert will actually be given an area of expertise he really doesn’t know anything about.
- How to play this game: Assign one person to be the expert. Expert to go somewhere else, or mute the volume or put fingers in the ears so to not to listen what topic we choose. The expert should answer immediately, without hesitation, and with extreme confidence − since they are the world's leading expert. Everyone raise your hands up when you have questions and the expert will ask you to talk. Assign the expert a topic they don't know anything about.The topic should not be too in-depth or technical, but rather a common activity, object, or hobby. Everyone else starts asking open-ended questions one at a time.3)
- Ask, “Did you surprise yourself with any of the answers you gave? If you did, that's great, because that means you're accessing your creativity.
- Ask, “Did you find it harder to be the expert or to be one of the people asking the questions?”4)
- Gibberish translation (2 person at a time, 2 rounds with role changes): In this game, one performer tells a story using a fake, made up language, and another performer translates that story into English.
- How to play this game: One person is the storyteller. The other is the translator. The storyteller can only speak in Gibberish. Gibberish is a fake language of made up sounds. The storyteller must use gibberish, but they can also use physicality, mime, facial expressions, etc. The translator translates for the storyteller. The storyteller will give one or two lines of the story, then pause. The translator will then translate that into English for the audience. The storyteller will then say the next few lines in gibberish, then the translator goes, and they go back and forth until they reach the end of the story. 5)
A note on conflicts
Most improv is about storytelling, and stories are about people being changed, altered. Key for a conflict is that A changes B. If one character is altered by another, we perceive this as action, otherwise if characters remain unaltered, we get the feeling that nothing is happening. Type of conficts: Man vs man, man vs himself, man vs world, man vs nature, man vs society, man vs technology, man vs supernatural. In our scenes we usually play just man vs man.
- Count until 21 together
If there is still time for other games:
- The no S Scene: 2 people on stage, they cannot use the word S into their wording. Rest of the people with the mic open ready to shut ‘Dieeeee’, the next number gets in and take the place into the scene.
- Crab trees (what did you say ? )
- Sex with me is like being in a quarantine
- Status 1-4
Let's have fun online! - 22.03.2020
Let's use our online world to be creative and have fun. Let's will play a variety of short form improv games to have fun, be silly with each other, and make each other laugh.
- Increase and Decrease in a virtual order The moderators names the next person
- Picking gifts (close-up mimic and small objects) The moderators names the next person
- Samurai: Hi-Ha-Ho
- Award Ceremony: for strange characters with positive award with facial traits. The award giver names the next person
- Each participant renames himself
Silence is golden II - ??.??.2020
Extremely difficult topic for online improv
Do you find akward and weird when your partner answers with silence? Then look again, he has given you an answer! You must pay attention to his body language and interpret it. Accepting silence as a gift is the first step to calming down, take a positive emotion about it and integrating it into our scenes. Less talk with more emotion!
This session is based on an online version of Ella Galts Workshop "Silence, loud and clear". She is a perfecionist teacher who loves to explore difficult topics like the use of silence as a positive response of our partners on stage. Her positive energy teaching improv is amazing.
List of online games
- Call people using signs: Every player makes his own personal sign using his arms, head and shoulders. Every other participant repeats and tries to remember his name and the sign. Afterwards each player starts calling other one making first his own sign, then the sign of the named person. The second player makes his sign and then call other player saying his name and sign. After a while no names are said, only signs are used
- Solo scene: The moderator puts music and each participant plays a solo scene in front of the camera for 3 minutes.
- One line + a silence response: Divide the group in pairs. Player A introduces a place, relationship, object or character and player B answers with silence. Player B don't do any gesture, he just stares are player A. Then player A finishes the scene with one last silence interpreting B's silence.
- For A the silence will be akward and weird. All students must realize that silence can be a gift. Ella Galt believes that this comes from our improv lessons: Every player must answer “putting another brick for the castle”. The goal here is to consider silence as a valid answer
- After a while Player B starts an activity or changes the location (goes out, enters a room) or his position (sits down). Now it must be easier for A to find a meaning to B's offer
- Emotional rollercoaster with silence: Every student writes down a list of positive and negative emotions. Then the group is divided in pairs. Player A starts a scene saying two lines establishing the place, relationship or the characters. Player B answers changes his activity or body position in silence. A looks at his list and aswers with a line and an emotion of the list. Afterwards B chooses another position or action, after which A which answer with another line and emotion. After 3-4 minutes the roles are swapped. It is important that A and B don't play at the same time. This gives each player enough attention to interpret the silent answer
- Share the impression after this game. By now all players must see silence as a positive offer and see what freedom it gives
- 2-3 players with a talking stick: During the scene one player, holding a pen, can talk or mandate silence for everyone. When doing it online, all players have a pen nearby and the one holding it in front of the camera can talking or just wait (this generates silence)
- There is not need to be polite: The time holding the pen can be divided unequally between the players
Games on Sunday ?,?
- Pen friends
- 3 lines scenes: in pairs. Player B answers and at the end Player A must finished the scene
- Player A stars with a sentence like “Is that not a (crappy used car saleman?)”
- Player A says a lyrics of a famous song
- The moderator must tell make two online rows be telling every player who they follow
Silence is golden III
- Pasing a heavy or light brick around: Pasing other objects around. Each players mimics the movements of the last one. The moderator says who is next so everyone has to be focussed
- 32: Two or more players play a scene in a place given by the audience. They can't speak. Instead they have to count until 32, one number at the time. This helps the other players to listen and to concentrate in body language and entonation
- Silent Post: four monologues in a row with the other players outside the (virtual) room. To see how facial expressions and emotions are changed
- Gentle manipulation - dressage with an activity or action to guide the second player to guess what the action is
- Say one word in front of a supporting audience: All the players say the same word chosen by the moderator but we a different emotion
- Ask the group what emotion they got from the player
- 1, 3, 5 words. 3 players can only say 1, 3 or five words per sentence
- Good Morning Fucko Not for online improv