2-3 improvisers start a scene based on a suggestion from the audience. Throughout the scene the host pauses the scene and asks the audience for a suggestion of a genre, the scene continues as the same story and characters but now influenced by that genre. Multiple genres happen throughout the game, one genre at a time rather than stacked on top of each other.
Archeologist: Finally what we have been looking for, the tomb of Tutankhamum.
Butler: Well done Ma’am. I had every faith in you.
Archeologist: Thank you Pembroke, I couldn’t have done it without you. Now please fetch me my spade.
Host: This scene continues in the style of….
Butler (menacingly): With pleasure Ma’am.
Archaeologist: Pembroke! Why are you looking at me like that? AAHHHH!!!
We mostly use this game for fun. I was about to write “just” for fun but fun and playfulness are the main things we want to encourage in improv, so we’re proud that this game is for fun!
I suppose it also helps character, as beginners will tend to get caught up in the genres and match strong character and emotional choices they wouldn’t usually make.
Additional Tips for Playing
- Try to establish location, relationship and characters as quickly as possible before the genre changes kick in, it will give you a helpful hook to keep throughout the genre changes.
- Emotional rollercoaster is basically the same but with changes in emotion instead of genre.
“This game is called Genre Rollercoaster. Two players will start a scene and we are going to change the genre of the scene as we go along. Please can we get a suggestion of a location to start the scene.”
No idea! It’s a very popular game so it seems to be played everywhere but we aren’t sure where it originally comes from. Maybe Whose Line Is It Anyway or Keith Johnstone. Let us know if you know and we’ll update this bit.
Hoopla courses we play this game in
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