This is one of our favourite exercises and we think we actually invented it, whoop! This exercise is great at simultaneously helping improviser find physicality and voice in their characters while also giving them emotional depth and realism. When playing a character on stage there is also a huge resource that goes with it –[…]

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Scenes Workshop Hoopla

A helpful exercise for learning about game of the scene and especially about how much potential there is in one line or offer. Two improvisers do a scene from suggestion. They start pretty normal to the suggestion, true to life. When something pops up that strikes one of the improvisers has unusual (also referred to[…]

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workshop smiles

A really fun exercise that helps with game of the scene, especially with escalating behaviour, character and emotions. Two improvisers start a scene from suggestion. Two other improvisers are off stage watching the scene. Whenever they spot something they think is fun they can say “play with…” and then say the thing they want the[…]

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This exercise is named after a really difficult 1980s UK game show called The Krypton Factor. One of the challenges in the show was for contestants to watch a video and then afterwards answer really questions about what happened. The questions would be really specific, like how many satsumas were in the fruit bowl behind[…]

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impro workshop

Everyone stood in a circle. One person starts by throwing an imaginary ball to anyone else in the circle while saying any word. The receiver catches the imaginary ball, repeats the word, and then says a new word while throwing a new imaginary ball to someone else. This continues around the whole circle in any[…]

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liam workshop

This is a great game to bust out if a team are being too competitive with each other on stage, creating too much conflict, or only ever playing high status characters. Everyone gets in pairs around the room. Announce that they are going to do a mimed tug of war between each other on the[…]

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Spotlight fight and match red and blue smoke background.

We love The Annoyance Theatre in Chicago. We first learnt this exercise from Susan Messing (The Annoyance, Second City, iO) when she came over to London to teach a series of workshops. For more about The Annoyance style  we highly recommend Mick Napier’s books. 5 or so improvisers lined up along the back wall. The[…]

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Spotlight fight and match red and blue smoke background.

This exercise is the ultimate way to fully understand making each other look good. One improvisers is deliberately being a “bad” improviser in the scene by blocking ideas, being unhelpful, being negative. Whatever they think of as “bad” improv is that is what they do. Their scene partner will attempt to still make the scene[…]

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This exercise is great for teaching scenes based on relationships and feelings. In fact a couple of improvisers we know use this as their main thing when performing scenes, and it creates beautiful relationship based scenes. One improviser can use any dialogue they want in the scene. The other improviser can only say “You look”[…]

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This is a really fun and effective exercise to teach scene structure. This exercise isn’t a rule of how to do scenes, it’s just practice, and you can play around with it a lot and work out your own variations. In reality in a show there are endless ways to do scenes, these type of[…]

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Hoopla beginners workshop

A classic Keith Johnstone exercise. In improvised scenes we try to accept and build on the offers of our scene partners, instead of block or negate them. Keith found that by asking people to first deliberately block ideas they were then more able to notice and control that behaviour and switch from blocking to accepting[…]

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Traffic Light Green

The whole group plays together. Anybody shouts something for the group to do and immediately the whole group shouts “YES LET’S!” in an enthusiastic way and then does that thing. Then someone says another offer and the group again shouts “YES LET’S” and does that thing. Ideally the offers are connected to each other and[…]

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