Improv Games

**For Gorilla Games Players Only**

The following are a list of games that could be played during Gorilla Game matches. In addition, we have included the description of each game, and useful links of YouTube. Finally, below the games you will find a list of improv terms that can help you at rehearsals and matches. See you at the match!

 

Blind Line

Players leave the room. Others not playing get suggestions of famous quotes, lines of dialogue, sayings or even lines of advise from the audience and writing them down on slips of paper. Players are called back in. An idea is obtained i.e. location, relationship, conflict. The scene begins and at random times during the scene the players substitute the written lines for their dialogue. Example

 

Dating Game

Get audience member as contestant on a dating game with three players as the bachelors. Assign each player a trait/occupation/quirk. Example with Stephen Colbert

 

Exits/Entrances

Ask for a simple 'trigger' word for each player. The game starts with one player on-stage. When a player's trigger word is spoken, they must enter or exit the stage, justifying their movement. Scene ends when all players are offstage (i.e. when one player is left onstage, he says his own word). Optional: Play that the "trigger" word has no effect if spoken by the player with that trigger word. The entrances and exits can only be caused by other players.

 

Four Square

Four players have four team pairings: Players 1 and 2, 2 and 3, 3 and 4, and 4 and 1. Each pairing gets a suggestion. The first pair does a scene based in their location until the host says "rotate forward" and the next pair starts their scene. The host can also say "rotate backward" to go to the previous scene. Each pair continues their scene when it's their turn. 

 

Half-Life

Get a suggestion from the audience and perform a scene which is timed and completed in 60 seconds. The same scene is performed in 30 seconds and then again in 10 seconds. The results are hilarious

 

Highlander

This is a 4-Person Scene game. A short scene starts off of any suggestion. When the scene is done, the audience applauds for the players they think deserves a rest. Whoever receives the most applause will be eliminated. The remaining players do the SAME EXACT SCENE, but fill in the role of the missing player. Players are eliminated one at a time, each time replaying the exact scene and filling in the spots, until there is "Only One" who will replay the scene doing all four roles. It should be noted that a good improviser would get out first because they would be providing good support, gifting and not trying to steal the focus.

 

Movie Review

Ask the audience for a movie title. 2 players will be the critics reviewing the movie. As the movie is discussed, other players will recreate clips from of the movie. 

Noire

During a scene players walk downstage and give a small monologue revealing their inner thoughts like a film noir movie

 

Sit, Stand, Kneel

Host gets a situation from audience and gets three players to play the scene. At any point in time, there should always be one player standing, one player sitting and one player kneeling. As soon as a player changes position, one of the other players has to change also to maintain the three positions while trying to justify the moves. Example

 

Slow-Mo Olympics

5 players, and an every day activity (brushing your teeth, washing your car). In this game, the every day activity is performed as if it were done at the olympics or at a world championship. 3 players are the athletes competing in the olympics of this "sport", and the two others are the announcers. The competition is played in slow motion.

 

 

IMPROV VOCABULARY

Accepting: Embracing each offer made by other players to advance a scene. This is a good thing.

Advancing: The process of moving the scene forwards.

Blocking: Denial. This is opposite of accepting an offer.

Denial: See "blocking".

Driving: Taking over a scene and not letting other performers influence its direction.

Endowing: Assigning attributes to another performer's character or the world of the scene.

Focus: The audience can really only give full attention to one place at any given time; that place (or person) is the "focus" of the scene. If more than one thing is going on simultaneously, the focus is split.

Foundation: The who, what and where of a scene. The success of a scene often depends on having a solid platform. Once this information is discovered quickly you can spend your time and energy playing in this created world.

Gagging: Trying to make a joke or do something funny that doesn't flow naturally from the scene.

Group mind: The creative catharsis that occurs when a team or troupe is able to create and sustain the ability to instinctively and reflexively know what the others are thinking.

Hedging: Compromising and/or negotiating on important objectives instead of engaging in action.

Justify: Providing a reason for events in the world and character actions.

Long-Form: A form of improvised theater similar to a play or sit-com that involves numerous interconnected characters and story-lines. Scenes in long form tend to be longer, story-based, focused on developing character and theme.

Naming: Identifying characters, objects, places and so forth in the scene. The more specific you can be in labeling, the better.

Narrative: The story told by a scene (beginning, middle and end).

Objective: The thing that a character in a scene is trying to achieve.

Offer: Anything an improviser says or does on stage which advances the scene. Offers can be verbal, physical, emotional, sounds and more.

Pimping: Playfully getting another performer to do something perceived as difficult or unpleasant by the audience.

Space-object: A mimed object that's used in the scene. In general, anything that doesn't support weight (like a chair) can be a space object.

Short-Form: A form of improvised theater similar to sketch comedy that typically involves one or two characters in a 3-5 minute one-off scene. The scenes in short form are typically based on a game with a specific goal. (Think "Whose Line Is It Anyway?")

Status: When characters form a hierarchy the pecking order becomes clear and status relationships are formed. When the status of characters changes; there is a turning point and an advance in the scene. (eg. Cinderella is fitted with the glass slipper)

Waffling: Failing to make decisions. Talking about what you're going to do instead of doing it.

Walk-on: The act of entering a scene, making a strong offer that advances the scene, and then exiting.

Wimping: Accepting an offer but failing to act on it.

Yes, And: Accepting what has been offered and adding something that is connected. This is the foundation of Improv.