Two actors on stage. They perform a scene in silence, no words or sound effects from them just movement and physical interaction. The scene is underscored by the host using movie sound tracks or other music played over the pa system. The actors match the emotion of the music and use the music to inspire their actions and story.


One actors is at a sink washing up. The other is drying up. Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata plays, creating a sad tone. The actors look each other and sigh, they look at the plate they are holding. They wash it, and dry it, and put it away in the cupboard one last time. The hug each other. They walk to opposite sides of the stage, look at each other one last time, sigh, turn and walk away never to live each other again as they leave the house they once loved together.

Teaching Purpose

  • Agreement and support for physical offers.
  • Seeing physical offers
  • Being present in the moment with the other person.
  • Building a physical environment and objects together.

Additional Tips for Playing

  • Slow down.
  • Slow down even more.
  • Look at each other.
  • Make your movements big, slow and clear.
  • Don’t walk through the imaginary furniture.
  • Try to compliment the other actor’s offer not negate it or conflict with it.


  • The ipod and music can be provided by an audience member if you want to make it more random.

Show Introduction

“This is called Underscore. Two actors will improvise a scene without any words while we underscore them with movie soundtracks to influence the scene. Please can I get a suggestion of an activity for two people to be doing together.”


We originally learnt this game from Charna Halpern at an iO theatre intensive.


This exercise is in the following categories:


Accepting and Building on Offers



Object Work


Subscribe to Our Newsletter

If you would like to receive our monthly newsletter containing helpful improv resources, improv exercises, casting calls for new shows and news about the UK improv scene please subscribe.

You can also follow us on our facebook groupfacebook page, twitter and instagram.

Hoopla are the UK’s first improv theatre and the UK’s biggest improv school with fun and friendly improv shows and classes every day of the week in London and across the UK. We provide fantastic ongoing performing opportunities to students from our courses and a warm, welcoming and supportive community to help make improv for everyone.

Share this article