Shuffle / Mix Tape
We first saw this format with The He Haas in Brighton, and later a similar one with Tea & Toast in Brighton. It now seems to be quite widely used around the world and known by different names.
We currently use it as one of the formats with our house team Shuffle.
Before the show the audience write down their favourite songs on pieces of paper. The host then collects these before the show starts, allowing enough time for the next step. The tech improviser then loads these songs into a new spotify playlist.
In the show one of the songs is played at random and the scene begins with no words, using the song as inspiration for the physicality of the scene. When the music fades down words come into the scene, and the scene is already halfway through. When the music comes back the scene goes back to physical only for a while until ending. If possible there are lighting choices to accompany this, for instance a blue only when the scene is in physical mode and normal lights when it is in physical and dialogue mode.
The music can cause inspiration in lots of different ways. For instance an emotion, a feeling, a relationship, taking something from the lyrics, a movement. The characters aren’t listening to the music in their scene, it is more similar to underscoring in movies.
Encourages improvisers to bring emotion to their scenes.