Improv games are a fantastic way to let loose, learn to work as a team, deal with anxiety, and make friends – among so many other benefits! Here are some of our favourite improv games to play.
One participant sits waiting on a “bench”. Before entering, the second participant decides what kind of character they’re going to portray and who the character on the bench will be (ex. the person waiting on the bench is a famous actor and they are a huge fan). They enter and sit beside the other participant on the bench. They might ask for an autograph or a photo with them and the first participant would have to figure out who both characters are based on the information the other participant gives them. The game ends when one of the participants feels the need to leave the scene.
Set up some chairs, one for the driver and a few others for the passengers. Have one participant start by sitting in the driver’s seat and mime steering the wheel. Another participant will enter the cab and sit in the passenger’s seat next to the driver. Whatever personality trait or emotion the passenger brings into the cab is what the whole cab has to adopt (ex. if the passenger enters and is having a horribly stressful day, everyone in the cab has to become equally stressed). As each new passenger enters the cab, they bring a different emotion or personality trait that everyone has to embody. Once the cab is full, the driver must find a way to drop off everyone off at their locations.
One participant acts as the host of the party and leaves the room while the others prepare. Three other participants ask the audience to give them characters to play when they attend the party as guests. When the host comes back, the guests must act as their assigned characters until the host can correctly guess who they are supposed to be.
Late for Work
One participant will play the boss, and one student will be the employee who is late for work. Two or more additional participants will play the other workers that will be miming behind the boss. The boss and the late person must leave the room while the others come up with a ridiculously far fetched scenario that caused the late person to be late. When everyone agrees on the story, the boss enters the room and waits for the late person to arrive. The other workers sit behind the boss working, prepared to mime the farfetched scenario when the late person enters. The late person arrives and stands in front of the boss looking at the boss and the workers. The boss asks, “why are you late?” and the late person must guess what the other workers are miming before their boss fires them. The boss is allowed to turn around and check on the other workers and fire them if they aren’t working.
One Word Scene
Write about 10 words down on different pieces of paper and display them on the floor in front of two participants. The participants get a scenario from the audience and then must improv a scene using only the words in front of them!
Improv can be really intimidating if you’ve never done it before, and it’s definitely always a bit scary even if you’re a pro. But the benefits are worth it – and once you get into, it can be endless fun!