Here are Hoopla teacher Rory Vieyra’s favourite improv warm-up games and what they help with.
Everyone stands in a circle and someone says something. It can be a movie quote, song lyric or something from real life. The next person in the circle observes the person saying the quote and then mimics exactly what they saw to the next person in circle. Over time it will change and get weird. They key is to copy the person next to you and not anyone previous.
Good for being silly, listening and getting physical.
The goal is for two people to say things together until they reach the same word. It begins by one person saying “one,” the second person saying “two,” and then both people counting to three together. They then say anything at all – a person, place, idea, concept, phrase: anything. Then we think what the thing between those two things or associated with those two things would be. We repeat the one, two, three and try to use the two previously stated things to arrive at a third, common one. You free associate together, attempting to reach the same word, then everyone shouts Mind Meld and does a dance.
Good for forming a group mind, listening and building on others ideas.
Is a fun game where everyone in a circle starts chants ‘Two Penises, two penises, what would you do with 2 penises?’ The first person says ‘The first one i would XYZ.’ then the next person tries to rhyme with the final bit of the previous statement with the second penis ‘The second one I would XYZ.’
E.G. ‘The first one I would throw in the fire, The second one I would give to a liar.’
Then everyone chants ‘Two Penises, two penises, what would you do with 2 penises?’ together before repeating the game with the next people until you get bored or everyone has had a turn.
It’s good for being silly, listening to the other person and embracing the failure.
Can be done in pairs or as a group. Someone jumps into the circle and then someone on the outside says ‘8 Types of X.’ It can be anything Dogs, Cheese, space pirates it doesn’t matter. Then the person in the centre lists 8 things in the category while the people on the outside count them off.
Good for getting your mind in the zone, positivity and support
I’m a whisk
The players stand on the stage/around the room. Player A goes to the middle, strikes a pose and says who or what they represent. For example, he lifts his arms over his head and says ‘I am a tree.’ A second player arrives, adds to the picture, and also says who or what he is. A third player enters the scene and completes the suggestions from A and B.
Now that the scene is finished, player A leaves the stage taking one of the other players with them. The other player stays on the stage and repeats their sentence (without changing their pose) As a result he offers a suggestion for a new scene.
This exercise can take place with any number of players.
Good for physicality, supporting and Yes And-ing