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The Harold is a "long form" improv activity first developed in the 60s by theater director / teacher Del Close. Long form improvisational activities allow actors more time to develop believable characters and organic storylines. Whether the performance is a comedy or a drama is entirely up to the cast members. Long form improv can last from 10 to 45 minutes (or beyond)! If done well, it can be absolutely mesmerizing.
Games are incredibly useful in a theatre classroom; and not just acting or warm-up games – all kinds of games can be played to increase performance or creative skills. Most theatre games, and the recreational games that are best in class have no winners or losers. The participants work individually or with others to accomplish the goal of the game, and if the goal is not accomplished at the first try, the participants have still learned something from the experience. The games here are ones that I have created or that I have learned and could not be traced to a particular source. A great resource to check out is Hugh's List of Improv Handles , maintained by Hugh McLeod , which lists improvisation games and instructions for playing.
For this improvisational activity, the actors select a random setting (or receive a suggested location from the audience). Then, the actors perform a quick, relatively “normal” scene. Here’s a basic example of what might unfold: Setting: Driver’s Education Class Driving Instructor: All righty, welcome to Mr.
Most stage actors have been through this moment more than once: You are on stage, performing some big, important role in an extremely dramatic play. Your co-star delivers her line, and you know it is your turn to speak, but you cannot remember what you are supposed to say.
This improvisational activity requires at least four actors. Two actors stand center stage; the others stand off to the side. The two onstage actors ask the audience for a location. Once a setting has been selected, the scene can begin. The onstage actors speak in a fabricated language.
This improv game can be used as a light-hearted drama exercise or a theatrical party activity. Set Up: One person volunteers to play "Host." The Host leaves the room. Three performers serve as the "Surprise Guests." Each one asks the audience, "Who am I?" Remember, as with any improv game, encourage the audience to generate creative suggestions; the more outlandish the better!
For a good exercise in impromptu storytelling, try performing a well known fairy tale in one minute flat. Drama classes and acting troupes alike can use the “60 Second Fairy Tale” to sharpen improvisational skills. It's also a great game for families and kids. Here's How: Your cast size should be at least three people. (Four or five would be ideal.)
I have seen this game performed by children as well as sharp-witted members of Improv Groups. No matter what the level, it is fun to watch and fun to be in. Number of performers: 3 - 6
The Basics: "Freeze Tag" (also known simply as "Freeze") is an improvisation game is a great drama exercise for performers at any level. It works best in groups of eight or more. Two volunteers step onto the stage while the rest of the actors sit and wait for the right moment to join in.