One improviser makes a strong character choice and drives a car. Another improviser hitchhikes and gets picked up by them. It’s the sort of town where everybody knows each other so the characters know each other. The improvisers identify each other and identify the relationship early in the scene. They then use the scene to talk to each other about each other. The director encourages them to talk about the relationship and cut to the chase and say how they feel about each other.
After a while the driver leaves, the passenger takes over, and a new hitchhiker joins.
We originally learnt this from Mark Beltzman who was one of the first members of iO Theatre Chicago and taught using the following terms for this game that were really helpful for this game and all improvised scenes:
“I identify you, you identify me” – Improvisers identifying each other’s characters and their relationship based on body language, movement, expression and feelings in the moment. It’s helpful if the teacher rewinds scenes and asks them to put this in earlier if they haven’t done it in the first 5 lines or so.
“Talk to each other about each other” – Using the dialogue of the scene to talk about the relationship between each other, what’s happening between each other right now, and how you feel about each other right now. Teachers can help scenes by steering them into the relationship by regularly saying “talk to each other about each other.”
“Cut to the chase” – Encouraging people to cut to the chase and say how they feel right there and then instead of overly bridging and building up to things. This can be hugely liberating and very funny. As a teacher you can often say “cut to the chase” or “say what you really want to say” without necessarily knowing what they are going to say to each other.
“Say how you feel” – Saying your real feelings through your character and putting them into the scene to give scenes instant depth and connection.
- As soon as they join the car, they mirror the choice of the first improviser, both playing a very similar character. When the scene is finished, the hitchhiker chooses a new character and becomes the driver and another improviser hitchhikes, etc.
- Can also be played where the passenger is deliberately very normal and close to the actor, to set up a straight guy/crazy guy type character dynamic with the driver.
We learnt this from Mark Beltzman from iO Theatre Chicago.
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