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Make graceful and lasting change

Group Games-a-go-go

Cindy Tonkin - March 19, 2017

This morning I worked with Confetti Gun. We focused on group games.

Here is the list of games I made before we began:

  • we see 8 (see Bill Arnett’s new book, the Complete Improviser)
  • scene painting (like a Wes Anderson film, the set is just as important), o mighty isis
  • character painting
  • Monologues (true, character with or without dialogue, addressed to an offstage character)
  • Press conference (again, see Bill’s book p 114 for more on this)
  • Word association (standing still, moving, doing an action; words only, words and premises, A to B, A to C)
  • Documentary
  • Spoon/goon river, narrated story (be IN the story, don’t just tell it)
  • Invocation (it is, you are, thou art, i am)
  • “organic”
  • follow the pattern, follow the follower
  • cocktail party / lounge room / improvactually (as yourself, as characters: just remember everyone AGREES in a group game, and nothing needs to happen)
  • singing, machines, sound and movement

Here are some ideas we found useful (I’m again much indebted to Bill Arnett’s book for making much of this clearer to me)

  • group games are a “reset” mechanism, a palate cleanser; they are general agreement scenes, nothing needs to happen – you’re creating fodder to use later
  • the connections from the group game to the scene doesn’t have to be conscious
  • try the “school of fishes” approach to scene painting and character painting – maintain eye contact with your troupe
  • if you’re uncomfortable in a group game just mirror someone else on stage
  • build the object, don’t just talk about it
  • if you always find yourself at the end sticking out and not sure what to do dive in first (the first one in only needs one idea / gesture / word and everyone else does the rest of the work)

This blog is all my art, improv and even my collection of photographs of manholes. Click here for more posts on improvisation.

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