The Arms

The Arms


A scene with two pairs of improvisers. In each pair one is the speaker and the other is the arms. One puts their arms through and under the armpits of the other. They do a scene, the speaker can prompt the arms to do things, and vice versa.

Teaching Purpose

This is a great listening game as everyone has to listen to offers coming from different directions. The improvisers on stage have to listen to each other and also pick up offers from the arms, and the arns improvisers have to pay attention to the dialogue.

It’s also great for teaching justifying mistakes and offers, as the game works best when the arms are reacted to and incorporated into the scene.

It’s also good for yes and as people have to accept the arms and allow them to alter the scene.

Additional Tips for Playing

  • Justify what the arms do, let them influence your scene.
  • The arms don’t have to behave themselves and always follow the words, sometimes they can do something random which can later be justified.


  • We haven’t done it yet but there is a version where there is someone else playing the legs too, and maybe someone else playing the head.

Show Introduction

“This is a game called The Arms. Two improvisers will play a scene where their arms are provided by the people behind them.”


Keith Johnstone.

Hoopla courses we play this game in

We play this in level 1, 2 and super short-form courses.


This exercise is in the following categories:


Justifying mistakes.

Team work.

Yes And.

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