Monday, July 23, 2012

it's #improv show time

july 29
 @madeuptheatre (MUT) 

yesterday evening MUT (on webfacebookyelpfoursquareyoutube) wrapped up our short form improv and advanced long form improv classes. this means SHOW TIME next weekend -
MUTers mean business!
justin, dan, andrew, nick, jacob, kyle, patrick kate
shirley, karin, jenn, tanu
(not pictured: carmen, will)

  • where: made up theatre - 3392 seldon court, which is off of osgood road (near fry's).
  • when: sunday, july 29
    • door opens at 7:30 pm.
    • show begins at 8:00 pm (pretty promptly) 
    • the show will run for ~75-90 minutes
  • how much: $5 per person (cash or credit card) - WHAT A DEAL! 
thinking of going? ... let me know, so we can make sure to set up enough  chairs. can't make it, feel free to leave words of encouragement! either way, THANKS for your support!

the rest of this post describes a bit of what we learned over the past 8 weeks, including a description of the games. with only 75-90 minutes, our first half will be long form, while the second half will be a sprinkle of the games listed. (yes, we may be rapping!)

meet SEAN
our show's host

what to expect at the show

part 1 of the show will be long form - a narrative and a montage. part 2 will be several short for games - with yet to be determined by our fearless leader, sean. YUP! sean has THE GAMES LIST and will be selecting those games that we'll be playing! MAYBE we'll know before sunday, and MAYBE there will be some SURPRISES!

while i did miss a week here and there, the bulk of this blog posts lists (and describes) those games that we learned. SCROLL DOWN for the RECAP of games. you can also check out blog posts for weeks 1-5. . . . week 1 over here (4 games) - acronym-mania, hostage negotiations, chain murder, one eighty five. week 2 over here (6 games) - blind lines, dime store novel, naive replay, no you didn't, what'd you get, last action hero/joke. week 3 over here (5 games) - rhyme it, irish drinking song, love song, one eighty five, no you didn't, last action joke/hero, world's worst, pick-up lines. weeks 4 + 5 over here included (for week 4) warming up with gibberish/mime, and there were 5 games, of which there were 2 new ones - foreign movie, five things - were introduced ... and included (for week 5) intense warm-ups with drills (of pairs and thengroups of four) practicing gibberish/mime (3 things ... as we work up to 5 things), and there were 3 new games introduced - four square, hey waiter, and i can do better. week 6 included chain murder, beastie rap, and several refresher games. week 7 included blitzkrieg, stage direction, boo yay, and several refresher games. week 8 included animatronic-jamboree, object freeze, and several refresher games.

see their SHOWS, take CLASSES, and HIRE 'em!
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RECAP of the short form games we have learned

the MUT fellows are committed! they have invested quite a bit of their time, creativity, and energy, so check out the games we learned this round of the short form improv class in categories of -
    . speed games
    . scene games
    . guessing games
    . stand in line games
    . rotation games


185 - speed game ... with an audience suggestion, a player says "185 *BLANKS* walk into a bar, and the bartender says "We don't serve *BLANKS,* so the 185 *BLANKS* say PUNCHLINE."

NO YOU DIDN'T - speed game ... with an audience suggestion, a player says "i kissed a *BLANK*" and other performers chime in "OH NO YOU DIDN'T? and the player says "yeah, then PUNCHLINE."

LAST ACTION JOKE - speed game ... with an audience suggestion, a player faces the audience, "kills" someone with the suggestion, and gives a cheesy action hero line.

WORLD'S WORST - speed game ... with an audience suggestion, and you provide the world's worst example of that suggestion.

"A -B -C-B," so says Bobby
HEY WAITER - speed game ... an audience member is seated onstage as a customer, and each player comes up to him/her. the audience member says, "Hey Waiter, there's a *BLANK* in my soup." You respond with a punchline.


LOVE SONG - singing, stand in line game ... players sing a song (ABCB) to an audience member based on the person's name, occupation, and hobby.

PICK-UP LINES - stand in line game ... an audience member will be brought onstage, and 4-5 players will deliver a pick-up line one word at a time, based on a suggestion. after the line, everyone together celebrates with a "YEAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!" the audience member will then give a thumbs up or down to the pick-up line.

IRISH DRINKING SONG - singing, stand in line game ... given an audience suggestion, players fake irish accents with each singing a line in an ABCB rhyming format; 4 lines make a verse; after so many verses, that's the end of the singing fun.

some short form MUTers
take this sh** seriously!
(not pictured: carmen, will)


ACRO-MANIA - scene game ... the host gathers acronyms or short words, and the performers do a scene. at anytime the host can call out one of the acronyms, and the performers must start their sentences with the acronym until another one is called. for example, given "LOL", the performer may say "let other little girls play with your friends ..." and the next performer may reply "let's open lemonade drinks for them ..." etc. ... after the acronym is used, the rest of a performer's dialogue is a free-for-all.

BLIND LINE - scene game ... lines of dialogue are collected and written on paper, while the performers are outside. the performers come back in and do a scene. every so often, a performer picks up a line of dialogue, reads it, and incorporates it into their scene.

STAGE DIRECTIONS - scene game ... just like blind line, but actions are obtained, maybe a line of dialogue, too (lines of dialogue would be written like, SAY: "You're fired!") so you do WHAT is written rather than say it (unless it says so). this game is just like blind line; it's now a part of the scene (but it doesn't control the scene).

DIME STORE NOVEL scene game ... one performer is at a typewriter/computer and starts to type/narrate a story based on a title given by the audience. after a set-up, the other performers start to act out the story and occasionally the focus and dialogue goes entirely to them. this game is all about Give and take of focus. go back and forth between narration and action. 

NAIVE REPLAY - scene game ... one performer leaves. the other players do a scene as though that person is in the scene. after the scene, the person who left comes in and puts himself in the scene. HINTS: performers doing the set-up scene - create a lot of action for the "guesser," avoid talking heads, use very little dialogue. you need to remember the scene line for line, so don't put a burden on yourself by talking a lot. everything you do, remains the same. of you are looking to the right, and the "guesser" is to the left, keep talking to the right as though he is there, and the "guesser" should quickly realize he should be to the right. don't adjust to the guesser, let him/her adjust to you.

I CAN DO BETTER! - scene game ... 2 People on stage do a scene, while other players offstage are looking for things in the scene that they can say "I Can Do Better!" to. The host will say a player's name, and the player will say "I can *VERB* better than *PERFORMER*." The host will either say yes or no. If yes, then the player taps out the performer being replaced and takes on his/her character, then does the *i can do better* action.

REPLAY - scene game ... a neutral scene is performed - just a straight scene based on a suggestion. after that, EMOTIONS and GENRES are received. One by one, the performers will replay the scene using the emotions and then the genres.

FOREIGN MOVIE - gibberish, scene game ... players performing a scene speak in gibberish; other players translate ("dub") in regular english. those translating can make statements that contribute to the scene's story as the players continue the scene in gibberish.

FOUR SQUARE - scene game ... four players begin with each at the corners of the stage. suggestions for each of the 4 pair combinations are sought from the audience. two-player scenes are performed between the pair of players that is in the front of the stage. each combination of pairs does a short scene based on the suggested words. the host directs the players to rotate (left or right) and the pair at front stage performs their scene (with time having passed).

RHYME IT - scene game ... a scene is being done. At anytime, the host can blow a whistle and say "rhyme it", and the person who just said something has to say something different - that rhymes with what the player just said, and thus taking the scene in a new direction.

BLIND FREEZE TAG - scene game ... to players on stage in scene, other players on the "side line"with their backs to the scene (e.g., only able to hear dialogue). when a side line player yells freeze, the 2 players stop/freeze what they are doing, esp. their positions. the side-line player goes on stage and tags one of the players that is frozen and assumes their position. when the scene begins again, the players can start a NEW scene that justifies the position that they are in.

short form MUTers all smiles!
(not pictured: carmen, will)


HOSTAGE NEGOTIATOR  - guessing game ... someone goes outside. a LOCATION, DEMAND, and WEAPON are collected from the audience. the guesser comes back on stage as a CRIMINAL, and the other performers are "clue-givers" who take on the role of NEGOTIATOR, HOSTAGE, and/or ACCOMPLICE . the clue-givers must get the criminal to guess the clues in that order but shouldn't/can't actually say the words. so, if the location was starbucks, the negotiator might say, "you've got a tall order to fill, buddy." clugive progressive clues, and nothing too obvious, so the audience has fun seeing the guesser figure things out.

CHAIN MURDER  - gibberish, guessing game ... this is like clue and telephone.  everyone but 1 person leaves. the one person gets "L.O.W." - a LOCATION, OCCUPATION, and WEAPON - while the others who left will ultimately be the guessers (who later become clue-givers). one-by-one, the guessers come in and receive the clues (in the L.O.W. order) through gibberish and pantomime. once the weapon is conveyed, the guesser will kill the clue-giver with whatever he thinks it is. the game continues until the last person comes in and kills the last clue-giver. everyone is brought back from the dead, and the host goes down the line and sees how far the clues made it.

5 THINGS - gibberish, guessing game ... one person leaves the room. 5 activities are collected. each activity gets one or two changes, i.e., for baseball, the bat is a jigsaw puzzle and the ball is a chihuahua. the clue-givers use gibberish and pantomime to convey the clues. clue-givers must get the guesser to do the activity before they can do it.

BLITZKRIEG  - gibberish, guessing game ... similar to 5 things, but this time, movies, tv shows, video games, biblical tales, books, etc. are received. the clue-givers try to put the guesser in these things using gibberish and pantomime, until the guesser figures it out and guesses. 

ANIMATRONIC JAMBOREE - guessing game ... think disneyland - it's a small world, pirates of the caribbean, etc. one person leaves the room, and a suggestion is given (e.g., movie, television show, etc.). each player assumes a position on stage that would make up the scene of that suggestions - a person or object. starting of "powered down" ("OFF" position), the guesser comes back into the theatre. the host "powers up" the players for a bit - moving in animatronic style - and then the host powers down the players. then the guesser is to guess the scene. if guessed correctly, one by one (or by two), the host powers up the players for the guesser to state what/who the player was in the scene until all players have been guessed. 
our MUT class
(not pictured: will, justin)


BOO YAY! - rotation game ... 2 players are front and center. an audience suggestion is given. one person is "Yay" (positive statement for audience to cheer "YAY!"), the other is "Boo" (negative statement to make the audience bellow "BOO!"). the two players go back and forth until someone gives a weird response or hesitates.

BEASTIE RAP - rotation game ... the performers are split into two teams. a rap track is played two people will be up front from each team with the other performers behind them. a NAME will be taken from the audience, and going with the beat, the person up front - the lead rapper - will deliver a rap line intending to have the name as the last word in the rap line - - - it is the other players behind the lead rapper that will say the last word - the NAME. the other team's lead rapper will respond with another line, ending with a word that RHYMES with the name - again, the people behind the front person must say the rhyme so the set-up has to lead them to say that word together. the game goes back and forth between teams, and the front person is rotated if he goes off beat, the back people say the wrong word, or any mess-up that the host sees.

yup ... if we perform "beastie rap"  at our show (and i hope we do 'cuz it's a fun game!) we'd be rapping to an instrumental of a beastie boy's rap.
enjoy a little thump-thump-beat instrumental over here

on sunday, may 20
after the first short form class - level E show!
ahhh, the memories (over here) ... 

OTHER GAMES from previous class ... just to round out the other short form games MUT has taught, they include - 

    . Story/Instruction Manual - rotation game
    . New Choice - scene game
    . Playground Insults - gibberish, guessing game
    . Dirty Hand Randy - rotation game with some speed
    . Home Shopping Network - guessing game
    . Siamese Twin - scene game
    . Say It Differently - scene game
    . Forward Reverse - scene game
    . Moving Bodies - scene game
    . Sound effects - scene game



  1. Wow, great post Shirl! I can't wait to learn those games. I finish Level I on Saturday and then start Level II two weeks after that. Fun, fun, fun!

    1. thanks! it took a while. fortunately, i got a head start with sean providing descriptions and have some from prior posts. but figured i'd group stuff so you can see some categories. i'll have a "post-show" post, also!


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