Resource Center

Improv

 

The Improvisation  section provides acting exercises that will help you develop skills in a fun way.  We have created a number of games that will help you  develop your imagination, creativity,  intuition, team work,  presentations skills and much more.

 Improv will get you up on your feet in front of people and working with  others in an acting situation.  Who knows, with a lot of practice you may  even launch an acting career. 

If you have tried to act out a part in a movie or a TV commercial or even sing a song, you have done improv.  If you you have acted out something your brother, sister or friend has done, then you have done improv.  If you have acted out being sick for whatever reason, then you have done improv and you may already be good at it. 

Improv will help you develop skills you probably have never heard of, or even knew you had.  You will develop skills  in creativity, presentation skills, imagination, intuition, confidence, dealing with unfamiliar situations, team work,  learning to concentrate your energies and much more!

Just for interest, Improvisation was created by Viola Spolin to teach kids theatre.  Her teaching approach has inspired the Improvisation industry and we are even seeing these techniques being used by companies to teach their employees.    We have provided you with some games to start this section and we  are working on many more ideas for you to enjoy.

Another great resource is the book "Yes, And" by Kelly Leonard and Tom Yorton of The Second City.

 

Improv Games

Alphabet Game

Play this with at least two people.

If you have someone (audience) watching you play this game, ask them for a word to help you develop a scene.  The fun starts when the first word each person in the Improv group says, must follow alphabetically from the previous player.  So, if the person from the audience suggests the word "bug", and the first person begins with something like "a bug is on your nose", the next player must begin their line using the letter 'B', such as, "better get it off me!". You continue on as far as you can go starting your response with the letter C, D, E, etc.

There are many ways to alter this game. You could start on different letters, using more people and giving the player a time limit.

Telephone Game

Each player has a telephone call to make, so you begin by forming a semicircle in front of your audience. That audience then suggests a starting point for a conversation. (Example asking a friend about a movie) Once you have the suggestion, one person pretends to pick up the receiver (phone) and starts with "ring ring... ring ring" (you may find it helpful to point at the person you are calling if no one responds to your call).  Another player picks up the phone and says "hello", thus beginning the dialogue (conversation).  Many calls are made until the scene has resolved itself.

Ideas to start the game - Pretending to phone a store to see if they carry a certain music CD, organizing a party,  inviting some friends over, telling people about an upcoming event or choosing a movie etc.

Hesitation Game

This game needs two people and a number of people in the audience.  The game starts with a suggestion for a scene from the audience.  The players talk about the scene and as they talk they frequently forget words, pausing to prompt the audience  by clearing their throats with "ummm" or "uhhhhh", at which time the audience yells out a suggestion for the missing word, which the players use to finish their lines.  This game is a great one in which the players and audience can switch roles.  Try and stretch out your sentences and when you pause, make it at a point where your sentence can take a different direction.

News Game

Create your own news program. You may want to have an anchorperson, co-anchor, weather person and sports announcer.  Make the anchorperson the straight and serious type, while the others have all sorts of quirks assigned to them.  The sports person may yell like a spectator at a game,  the weather person may cry when it rains. You can produce your own show that is bound to be funny!

Advertisements Game

Someone plays an announcer that starts the game by calling out "and now a word from our sponsor".  The audience is asked who the unknown sponsor should be and also to suggest an idea for a product or company name.  This doesn't have to be a real company that people are familiar with. The players (usually two), then create a live advertisement for the unknown sponsor on stage.  You will find it to be more fun when your sponsor is a company that you have never heard of before.

Congratulations from TeachingKidsBusiness.com! You have develop another important business skill and taken another big step in preparing for your career!  Keep up the great work!!!