Who What Where Now
Improvising scenes with a focus on defining the following things pretty early on in the scene:
Who: Who the characters are and what relationship they have to each other.
What: What they are doing, what’s happening, what the scene is about.
Where: The location of the scene. Be specific.
Now: Making the scene about things happening in the present moment.
These can be done in any order and they don’t have to be done straight away.
They can also be done to increasing depth as the scene goes on. For instance the “who” isn’t just over in one line, who the characters are and what their relationship is like is something that is endlessly interesting and we should always be exploring that. Think Romeo and Juliet.
There are various ways to achieve this in a scene. It can be thought up and said out loud, but it can also be discovered in the moment through movement and emotions.
Canadian Who What Where
This is a version we learnt from a Canadian team that came over to London, but we can’t remember who! If this was you please let us know and we’ll update this page.
This version is about discovering the Who What Where from emotional connection with your scene partner, and helps stop Who What Where being a merely intellectual exercise of external ideas.
Two improvisers walk around on stage, experimenting with movement and spacing. When the teacher says stop they stop where they are and look at each other. They really take in the other person and observer their emotions, their expression and their body language.
The teacher assists by asking them things like:
“What do you observe about the other person?”
“How do you think they might be feeling?”
“How are they being with you?”
“How are you feeling around them?”
“What might be happening between the two of you?”
These observations are then used to inspired the scene, so getting the who/what/where from the connection with the other person.
Who What Where Now Support Team
2 improvisers play a scene where they are trying to establish who what where.
In the workshop there are 3 other improvisers as support team, one representing Who (Character Relationship), one What (Activity, What Scene About) and one Where (Location). Each time something happens in the scene that gives them what we want (who/what/where) the corresponding support team buddy raises there hand a bit. They keep raising it each time a corresponding line happens. When their hand gets to the top they say “I’M HAPPY!”. The actors are aiming to get all three of the support team to have their hands up, by covering Who/What/Where. The teacher can also ask the support team what they need more of to make them happy.
This can also be done with a fourth person representing Now. They raise their hand when the scene is about something actually happening now, and isn’t just talking about past or future. Scenes become electric when they are about something happening now.
Who What Where Mini Scenes
This is a quick way for the whole class to practice lots of Who What Where scenes. Everyone splits into teams of three. Two of the improvisers start a scene, trying to establish Who What Where. Once it is established the third person calls scene and says what the Who What Where was. They then start a new scene with one of the others. Repeat with lots of short scenes and people swapping over into new scenes every time the Who What Where has been established.
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