Site hosted by Build your free website today!
Improvisation Scenarios

Pair Playing
Each pair will become "roommates," who both want the remote control for the television. One has it' one does not. The only tactic that is not allowed is the using physical force to take the remote.

b. Small Groups (3-5)
This improv would be for 3 players. The improv would involve two parents and a child. The subject would be about the child (junior high or high school) wishing to extend the curfew.. The mother wants to protect her child, but she doesn't want to smother him/her. The mother and child have gotten along well in the past.. .The father doesn't want the child to stay past curfew because he believes it is dangerous. To top it all off; the child's "new friends" aren't the best of influences, and the father caught his child smoking while with them.

c. Individual roles
Have the class create a "town." Divide them into groups of three or four and assign them to different social groups in the town. For example one group is the governing body, another may be some local merchants. Each student must create a specific role in the group that they are assigned. Once that is established.. tell them someone is going to be murdered (leader will chose murderer and murderee)... and they must figure out who did it. In order to figure, who did the murder the students must interact with each other and develop their own relationship to the other townspeople as well as create their own character.

d. Ensemble
Make sure you have plenty of space.. create a horizontal barrier in the off center (i.e. closer to one end of the room than the other) of the classroom (or whatever space you are using) with chairs, desks, etc. On the side that has the greater distance from the barrier gather the players. Inform them there has just been a war going on, and the only shelter is on the other side of the room. The people who are able MUST help the people who are not get to the shelter. Assign some injuries to most of the players (such as blindness, broken limbs, etc.).

e. Solo
Player will improv a scene from a play that is not written in the script. For example, in the play Fortress one of the main characters, Billy, modeled himself the most powerful orphan of all time, Superman. Improv a scene where Billy comes to that realization, after finding out that he is adopted. Use the improv to explore the logic behind Billy's choice.

A. Pair Playing (simultaneous work, unshared):

        Jill: 16 year old girl who is dating Jim. She is very protective of Jim and wants everyone to think he is a great guy She never wants to hurt his feelings or let those who said he was bad for her to be proven right (even if she has to convince herself).
        Jim: I g year old boyfriend of Jill. He is very sensitive to criticism because of his low self esteem and often takes it out on other. Sometimes he thinks Jill acts funny and wonders what her problem is.

        Jim had tripped on the living room rug as he came into the room with some snacks. Jill laughed harmlessly but Jim became angry and grabbed her by the arms very hard and painfully as he yelled at her to never laugh at him again. They now sit on the couch watching t.v. Jill is afraid and very quiet. Jim is angry at her sullen mood and wonders what is wrong with her. Jim's parents are not home.

        The family room of Jim's house

B. Small Groups of 3-5 (practiced before it'S shared):

        John: a 16 year old boy who has two best friends Jody and Richard
        Jody: a 16 year old girl who is best friends with John and Richard
        Richard: a 17 year old boy whose best friends are John and Jody
            (More friends can be added for variation)

         These three have known each other for years and do everything together. John had noticed some different behavior from the two of them recently but chose to ignore what indicated their attraction to each other. Richard and Jody have decided to see each other as more than friends and John feels very uncomfortable about this and wonders how it will affect their relationships.

        A fast food restaurant after seeing a movie together

C. Individual Roles (each student portrays a specific character in an improvisation during whole class participation):

        Mother: mid forties, works in as an accountant
        Father: late forties, works in a bank
        Jasmine: 18 years old, preparing to go off to college
        John: 16 years old, in the 11th grade
        Grandmother: mid 60's, very old fashioned
        Aunt: late 30's, very modern in ways of thinking
            (other members of will continue to be assigned roles of different relatives with varying
            opinions on the subject)

        The family is talking about what is proper for girls and boys to do. Jasmine's parents find no problem with their son coming home late or drinking wine coolers at family parties however Jasmine is not allowed to do either although she is older. Roles of the sexes in relationships, etc. are also discussed (who should ask who out, etc.)

        A family get together/party for Grandmother's birthday
D. Ensemble (each student plays the same character or general character in an improvisation during whole class participation):

        Various teenagers between the ages of l3-19

        In a crowd outside of a rock concert venue

        The crowd was very excited about the group performing and wild dancing and  bumping occurred as they continued to get worked up. Some teenagers were crushed against the stage and some were trampled on. The teenagers talk about the experience, their fears and thoughts as it was happening to them and others.

F. Solo (one person improvises alone):

        a 14 year old who is having many problems at school with studies and fellow students

        Terry often sees his/her parents have a drink when ti icy come home from a stressful day at work or when they have a problem (They say it relaxes them). Terry's parents won't be home for hours and Terry wonders if he/she should have a drink of the whiskey he/she knows is on the kitchen counter.

        The kitchen of Terry's home
                                                                                            Created by Mark Schembri

a. Pair Playing (simultaneous work, unshared):

Using "nonsense talk" just random sounds, gibberish), the two participants must meet on the street. The problem is that they do not speak the same language. One of the participants needs something (i.e., directions to a specific place in town, help finding a lost child, protection from a potential mugger, etc. These choices can be left up to the participant, or can be assigned by the teacher. In any event, the participants should not share their objectives prior to playing out the Situation.). When one participant has succeeded in achieving his or her objective, the scene starts over, with the two meeting again. This time, the other participant must try to achieve his or her objective. (This sounds confusing, but if you ask each pair to decide who is "A" and who is "B" before you begin, you can simply give the direction to have "A" play his or her objective first, then "B.")

No props necessary. Students may work beside their desks, or space may be cleared in the classroom to afford more freedom of movement.

b. Small Groups of 3 - 5 (practiced before it's shared):

Two parents must tell their child(ren) that they will be separating. (Try varying the ages of the child(ren). Issues to consider might include: does this mean Mom and Dad are getting divorced? With whom will the child(ren) live? When will they see the other parent? Why are they separating?)

No props necessary

C. Individual Roles (each student portrays a specific character in an improvisation during whole class participation):

Improvise a talk show (possible topics could include teen pregnancy, drug abuse, interracial relationships, etc.). Teacher in role as the talk show host. Students are each given a slip of paper with information regarding their character (age, race, sex, and other details pertinent to the topic). Some students will participate as guests on the talk show, the rest will serve as audience members (all with a vested interest in the subject.)

Props should include: a microphone.

Set chairs in rows for the audience (with space enough between for the host to move about). Arrange chairs "on-stage" for the guests.

d. Ensemble (each student plays the same character or general character in an improvisation during whole class participation):

All participants are teachers at a emergency meeting that has been called in reaction to the recent rise in gang violence at the school. Known members of one gang were recently suspended from school. Since that time, the problem has worsened. Gang members wait just outside school property to harass students and faculty members. The school building and faculty members' cars have been vandalized. Last night, a faculty member was attacked and beaten, but is unable to identify the attackers.

Props should include: refreshments, napkins, cups. Participants should bring pencils or pens and paper for notes. If possible, slide projections of gang-related graffiti to show as "evidence" of the vandalism that has occurred.

Chairs should be arranged appropriately for the meeting. The teacher, in role as the school's principal, can lead the meeting.

e. Solo (one person improvises alone):

A teenager, arriving home late from a party, is afraid of being discovered by his or her parents. The party-goer must walk by the parents bedroom in order to get to his or her own room. The parents always sleep with their door open.

Keys make a good, noisy prop. Also, a purse or backpack may be carried.

Arrange the "living room" using available furniture. Be sure to mark the doors to each bedroom clearly. Use the classroom door as the door to the house.
                                                                                                    Developed by SNR

a. Pair Playing (simultaneous work, unshared):

Brother/Sister Conflict
The set-up: the sister is watching the only TV in the house. Sister's objective: A movie has just started that she has waited two weeks to see. She announced that she had exclusive rights on the TV for this movie.
Brothers objective: A huge boxing match is to be televised and he not only gets free 'pay for view, but also has the biggest TV screen of all his friends. They will be over in 30 minutes and he must have that TV.

b. Small groups of 3-5 (practiced before sharing):

1. Cast of characters:

Mom (mid 30's) is an alcoholic, doesn't work, neglects family responsibilities, and expects oldest child to do all the work.

Dad (late 30's) is a professional. Earns an upper middle class income but is rarely home due to his work. Has little contact with family, is unavailable emotionally.

Teen (mid teens) is expected to do all the house work and take care of younger sibling. Teen wants to partake in after school activities, but doesn't have the time. Teen is also embarrassed to bring friends over to house and thus, spends much time in isolation.

Sibling is junior high age and is constantly acting up in school.

2. Scenario:
The teen is putting dinner on the table when Dad comes home. Mom is drunk and soon the parents are bickering. The sibling tells the parents that he/she is in trouble at school and a parent conference is required. Teen decides to confront parents about Mom's alcoholism.
3. Options:

Have each group of four rehearse and play out the following options:
1. Dad refuses to recognize Mom's alcoholism.
2. Dad does recognize Mom's alcoholism.
3. The sibling acts up.
4. The teen refuses to carry the load.
5. The family recognizes their problems and decides to seek help.

c. Individual roles (each student portrays a specific character in an improvisation during whole class participation):

Create a scenario in which the planet has just experienced a nuclear holocaust. Each class member will be physically effected in some way (loss of hearing, loss of certain limbs, etc.). The object is to get to a safe area (a cave or building) with the help of one another. The safe area must be set up with chairs and desks and not be an area that one can walk to easily walk. As the exercise begins, let each student experience their physical loss before, through side coaching, the students seek shelter.

d. Ensemble (each student plays the same character or general character in an improvisation during whole class participation):

The entire class portrays a high school that has been faced with severe budget cuts. Cast both administrators and teachers. Each department must be represented as well as extracurricular activities. Teacher should be role leader (principal) and move the improvisation in a direction where decisions must be made.

e. Solo (one person improvises alone):

You come home very late at night. You put you hands in your pockets only to discover that your keys aren't there. It is cold outside and you must use the bathroom. Try to wake up a sibling without waking your parents.
                                                                                        Developed by J. Clay Lawson

a. Pair Playing (simultaneous work, unshared):

SETTING: The hallway of a junior high school, after the last class of the day has just let out.  Two students have just stolen Mr. White's algebra final from his desk.
PLAYERS: Student One: an honor student who went along with Student Two, but is regretting his or her decision.
Student Two: an average student who not only took the algebra test, but wishes to duplicate and sell it to others for profit.

b. Small Groups of 3-5 (practiced before it's shared):

SETTING: A movie theater in the evening.  It is a serious drama, but the couple of people behind you seem to think it is funny and proceed to laugh through the first half of the movie.
PLAYERS: Protagonist(s): a person or persons who have been waiting for this movie to come out for months, and this  is the premier.  The people behind you are being rude.
Antagonists: persons talking, laughing, and totally unengrossed in the movie.  They paid to get in and have every right to be there, but others keep trying to make them be quiet.

c. Individual Roles (each student portrays a specific character in an improvisation during whole class participation):

SETTING: a private conference hall in Beverly Hills.  Each student will be given a celebrity in which to portray.  It is a meeting to discuss what the celebrities want to do about the reporters always following them and how that has forced them to take action.
 d. Ensemble (each student plays the same character or general character in an improvisation during whole class participation):

SETTING: a deserted island, morning.  The students are the survivors of a sunken cruise ship and must decide collectively, how to survive  who will be the leader, where will they live, what will they eat, how will they get along with  each other until help arrives.

e. Solo (one person improvises alone):
SETTING: a car stuck in traffic, in the middle of the summer. PLAYER:  a person (they fill in the occupation, etc. of who this person is) whose plane to (fill in the blank) is going to take off in ten minutes.
                                                                            Created by April Novak
A. Pair Playing (simultaneous work, unshared)
Public circumstances: Two teens meet outside their history class the day of a big test.
Private circumstances: Teen 1 did not study and wants teen 2 to help him/her cheat on the
test. Teen 2 is a model student and would never dream of cheating.

B. Small Groups of 3-5 (practiced before it is shared)
The actors portray the sons and daughters of someone who has just been diagnosed with Alzheimer's. Their objective is to decide how to approach life with their parent. Possible suggestions include institutionalization, home care, assisted suicide, etc.

C. Individual Roles (each student portrays a specific character in an improvisation during whole class participation)
Sen. Jesse Heims has cut NEA funding. Your school can no longer afford to fund the theatre program. Several students become the school board, others are the theatre club and its supporters. The issue is money vs. art education. Both sides need to create coherent, supportable arguments for why their side is right.

D. Ensemble (each student plays the same character or general character in an improvisation during whole class participation)
On the floors of Congress, it is proposed that (insert a current hot-topic issue here). Each student would explore their feelings on the issue, and then, as a member of Congress, debate the issue before a bill comes up for a vote

E. Solo (one person improvises alone)
Each student anonymously writes briefly about their most embarrassing moment. The students then draw a sheet of paper and take a few minutes to create a solo improvisation based on that suggestion. After a little practice, the students present the improvisation as a monologue, having created a scene out of that suggestion.

Scenario: Clownin' Around (pair playing)

Shelly- is 14 years old. She is in the ninth grade and is extremely intelligent. She has been tutoring Kelly with her science class, for the past few weeks.
Kelly- is 14 years old. She is barely making it in the ninth grade. She is not dumb, but does not really apply herself to her school work. She has been threatened to be kicked off the cheerleading team if her grades do not improve.

Shelly is not very popular, mainly because the way she dresses and applies her make-up: many kids call her a clown. After the few weeks of working together, the two girls have grown to like each other and Kelly wants to help Shelly become popular, by giving her a makeover, without insulting her.

Kelly's bedroom just after dinner time.

· Shelly did or did not accept being made over?
· Shelly got extremely offended and hurt by the suggestion?
· Kelly changed Shelly's appearance, and made Shelly look better than herself?
· The chemistry of the make-up or fabrics caused allergic reactions on Shelly?

· What would be the most tactful way to suggest to someone that they need help?
· If the person gets offended, how would you recover and save that relationship?
· How far can a person go in suggesting something of this nature? Is it any of your business or is there a justification for deciding who needs help?
· Would it be better to just keep things the way they are and just befriend this individual, no matter what others think?

 Scenrio: I came to see a movie! (small groups)

Pat - is a leader type that likes to take control and win all arguments. He/she wants to see a comedy and has heard that Dumb and Dumber with Jim Carrey is hilarious.
Sam - just got into a huge fight with the ol' parents and still can't shake it out. A movie would be perfect, as long as it isn't anything to do with love or a cheesy comedy; maybe the Star Wars Trilogy.
Cindy - always gets left out of the decision-making and is just waiting to get her way once. She has been dating Sam secretly for the past two months. She loves to read romance novels and has seen previews for A Walk in the Clouds with Keanu Reeves (her dream guy - don't tell Sam).
Erin - will only see horror movies. He/she has to work extra, after school, to help the family out a little, so if money has to be shelled out for a movie, it is going to be a horror movie. Scream looks great.
Chris - is a theatre/literature buff and has to do research on Shakespeare. How about that, Macbeth with Mel Gibson is playing.

These five long-time friends came to see a movie but cannot agree on a movie to watch. Some have underlying issues, while others just want to  get there way. So, what movie will it be?

Harkins Centerpoint movie theatre, standing in line, waiting to buy tickets.

· someone gets upset and leaves?
· it comes out that Sam and Cindy have been dating? one of the movie choices gets sold out (for instance, A Walk in the Clouds)?
· one person forgot their wallet (for instance, Pat)?
· there is a special promotion going on surrounding one movie (for instance, Macbeth t-shirts and cups, or buy one ticket get one free)?

Does everyone have to see the same movie?
· What if Sam had just run away from home and everyone was to busy fighting to notice or care?
· Is it okay to want you own way and to push to get it?
· How far is too far when trying to persuade others to go along with your idea?
· Is it okay to date someone, without telling others, especially those closest to you?

Scenario: Musicians Unite! (individual roles)

Every student picks a musician to portray. It can be anybody: Pop rock, Jazz, Rap, Musicals, etc. the list is endless and everyone knows of at least one singer or musician.

WHAT: We, the musicians of the world, have come together to decide on accepting a new type of music genre. The name of this new kind of music is, "Hoopy-La-La". Many people are opposed to having such a stupid name for a music category, they are upset because there are already too many music forms out there, or they don't understand the music; while others want it because they like it, they believe in freedom of expression, or they think this new music will help both listeners and

Outside Capital Records building in Los Angeles Calif., 8:00 Monday night.

· The "Hoopy-La-La" band was asked to perform before the meeting, and they were good or bad?
· Capital Records was going to exclusively sign this group and cut back on a majority of the musicians they had contracts with (most of the class's characters)?
· The group consisted of space aliens and the lyrics and the music were only in that alien language? Therefore, targeting space aliens?
· N.A.T.O. decided that all the musicians of the world can only play
"Hoopy-La-La" music from now on and that anyone sticking with there old style music would be arrested and considered treasonous.

· Can anyone think of a situation that this would be similar to in real life? Has anyone read, seen or heard anything about Ebonics in the school system? Even prejudice itself.
· Would it change the situation much if at all, if we played ourselves and not musicians, in this situation?
· Does everyone have a right to be different, and what if being different is disruptive to others? What is disruptive?
· Who do those space aliens think they are? What if they were you, and a majority of people were fighting over your rights and your "music"? Where did the music we listen to today come from?

 Scenario: What's the Scoop? (Ensemble)

Reporters for the tabloid, Hidden Secrets (teacher plays President of the U.S.)

It has just been uncovered that the president of the United States has not only been running around the White House naked, ripping up every piece of paper in sight, relieving himself at every opportunity, uncontrollably scratching himself during peace talks, never brushing his teeth or bathing, lying around all day and screaming at the top of his lungs at night, but he tends to bite reporters too.

White House Conference Room, Level A, Room 12,10:00 am Saturday morning.

· The president is not the president but an impostor
· You, the reporters, were not from a tabloid, but a nationwide paper that has received many awards for its excellent journalism
· You discovered a plot to undermine the President with hypnotism, by the Swiss government, to take over the country
· You discovered that the rumors you heard about the President were accidentally mixed up with a story about Lassie, but now the President is furious.
· The President refuses to talk

Can you think of any situations out in the world today which are similar to this scene? How about Princess Di? Michael Jackson?
· If you are famous, do you think it is only natural and fair to lose privacy?
·  How important is privacy to you?
·  Do you believe everything you hear? Why?
·  Do you pass what you hear along, confront it, or go to the person who it is about? Why?
· What if you were that person that was being talked about? What would you consider fair or how would you feel?

 Scenarios: "I Remember learning to" (solo)

Student as their self

"I remember learning to..." the student has to remember something they taught themselves to do, learned from their family or were taught in school. They have to take about ten minutes to think about it. Then each student will perform their scene as if they are writing in an imaginary diary. This scene includes one action of the activity learned while stating the catch phrase: "I remember learning to...". Students will also have to relay all the thoughts they had about the process of doing the activity and how you felt while and after doing it. For example, I remember learning to ride my bike (get on an imaginary bike). I fell down so many times (fall down). It was in Wichita Falls Texas, and I was only four. My brother would come out and try to help me sometimes, but I just couldn't get it. I don't know if I had a problem with balance or what, but it wouldn't happen. One day, my dad was at work and my mom was talking on the phone, and I had been at it all morning trying to ride it. Then, I was about to give up when I got it for about five seconds. Wow, did that really happen? Five Seconds!?! So, I tried it again, my stomach was bubbling with excitement... Eight Seconds this time. I'm doing it, I'm doing it. The next time I stayed up longer. I had to get my mother out here to see me, but if I leave the bike, I'll forget how to ride it again. So. ..MOM! MOM! COME OUT HERE, QUICK!!!! I swear, my mother must've had a heart attack because she ran out that door as fast as she could, to see what was wrong. Needless to say, after that rush, she was not real impressed with me learning how to ride a bike. However, every day after that, I would practice more and more, until I became a master of bike riding.

Imagination and memory places

· What did you smell, hear, taste, see, feel?
· What stands out the most in your mind about that situation?
· Is there anything that you are unclear about? Place, Time...?
· Imagine, that you just got out of a coma in which you have been in since just before this "I remember" memory takes place - so that it never happened. I want you to visualize yourselves, the age you are now, doing that activity or learning how to do it, for the first time. How does that change things? How do you feel?
· What kind of feelings do you associate with learning how to do this? You do not have to share if you do not want to, but it is good to reflect on these feelings and understand them, for future growth.
                                                                                        Created by  Patrick McChesney