WIT is taking submissions for the Chris Werren Memorial Development Grant to be awarded to a member of WIT as a study grant. The study grant will be awarded to someone who can give back to the WIT community.
Examples of a pitch for “giving back” would be producing a new show format to give our members the opportunity to perform for the public. Ideally the grant would be an investment in a new show. All submissions will be considered, however if none meet the committee’s standards the grant will not be awarded and resubmissions will begin again next year.
Submissions are to be sent into the WIT Co-Ordinator, Hayley Webster, at firstname.lastname@example.org. The cut-off for submissions is the 31st of March. Any submissions after this date will not be considered.
From a discussion in 2013 between some senior WIT trainers about “what skills do we expect Micetro players to pretty much have”.
Not a definitive list of course – we, as a group, regularly learn (or invent!) new shortform games, and some games fall out of favour over time, only to be rediscovered again a year or two later.
Basic object work
Entrances and exits
How to ask the audience for a suggestion
How to ask the director for a clarification
How to be a gracious loser or humble winner
How to be directed in a scene
How to narrate and share control of a story
How to gibber
How to speak in one voice
Generating characters (physical shortcuts, accents, attitudes etc)
Endowing partners (names, occupations, relationships, status)
Show structure, how it starts and ends
Simple songs, faking ‘em
Starting a scene with an activity
Story spine an starting in the middle
Voice – being heard, whispering loudly, being quiet
Do-ron/ Speed Do Ron / Elimination Do Ron
Experts (yes and)/ Arms Experts/ variations)
Gibberish switch (talking in gibberish for an interlude)
He Said She Said
Le Ronde (simple quick rounds)
Machine -> Wanky Poem
Movie in a minute, other replay games such as Replay Fairy Tale
Numbers of words
Oscar Winning Moment (It’s Tuesday)
Popup Story book
Quick large group games - Questions Only/. No Questions, No S etc, World’s worst
Reminiscences (Reunion, Old Folks’ home, Retired Superheroes)
Room of Death
Short scenes, especially the likes of death in a minute, ends with I love you, Who loves who the most
Silent scenes (e.g. bus stop)
Slo Mo Commentary
Speak in one voice
Spoon River, points of view story
Story story die
Tag Out Story / Tag out song
Touch to talk
Typewriter/ Myth/ Narrated story
What Happens / Next Evil Voice
Word at a Time
Year book photo / Family Photo
Establish characters with relationships, by checking into a hotel or a convention, and endowing each other. Five or more players. Game shared with WIT by David Innes, of Melbourne’s Impro Box at the 2013 NZIF.
The first player comes up to an (invisible) hotel receptionist, and faces the audience. They establish the location of the desk and where the receptionist is sitting. Then they name themselves, why they’re at the hotel or event, before naming and endowing a subsequent arrival. ["I'm Lady Fothersgill, here for the Taxidermy conference. Has my assistant Snivers arrived yet? That wretched girl is always late, with more hair than wit"]. They take their room key and leave. Continue reading
Players set up a shared environment and then interact with it. Any number of players. Game devised by David Innes, of Melbourne’s Impro Box, and shared with WIT at the 2013 NZIF.
The starting point is what David calls a ‘non-room shaped room’, something other than the usual improv kitchen/lounge/bedroom, for example a barn, a glasshouse, an abandoned church, a swimming pool.
Each player in turn comes into the room and points out some specific feature: a frayed Afgan rug someone might trip on, a heavy mirror over the fireplace that could fall, a poisonous Cymbidium orchid. Continue reading
(Slightly different versions of this have come to WIT from different countries – for example, “ticky-tacky” replaces “talky-talky” in some)
- Everyone in a circle
- Hands slap thighs to a chant of “oom chaa”
- The person who ‘has the bunny’ makes curled finger bunny ears at themselves, saying “bunny bunny”
- They then turn the ears outwards and ‘throw the bunny’ to someone else, doing the curled ears at someone, and saying “bunny bunny”
- The recipient then ‘takes the bunny’ and repeats.
- People either side of the bunny face them and rock side to side with their hands square from their elbows, chanting “ticky tacky ticky tacky” [alternate version, arms are scissored to a chant of "talky talky"].
- The oom chaas get faster. If someone gets it horribly wrong they may run round the outside to de-stress.
- If no one is getting it horribly wrong it’s not going fast enough.
Wisdom from Jill Bernard of Huge Theatre (Thanks Jen for finding this) Continue reading
You should be getting these in your inbox . . . but if you accidentally miss one, there’s a whole big fat archive of them online. .
Peter Hassall came and trained the heck out of us, and it was a bunch of fun: the trick will be to keep practicing until it’s all there ready to use when we step on stage.
Notes on things to remember:
- This will only work playing on stage with someone else who knows the game!
- Look your partner in the eyes and signal what you’re doing
- Take a step back so your punch or slap can’t connect. Angle your body so the audience can’t tell
- Go for the overly dramatic pull-back of a John Wayne style punch, look where you’re going to hit (or rather, where you would hit, if you weren’t too far away)
- Noise can be made by either victim or attacker slapping a thigh with the away-from the audience hand. This is called the knap.
- For contact moves, never make contact using sharp pointy bits of yourself – ie no elbows or knees. For example, use the flat of your arm to fake stomach blows, the flat of the top of your foot on the inside thigh to fake a kick in the goolies.
- Play the comedy of having the “wrong reaction” to a punch – a big person punched by a little one and being knocked for six, or the opposite, a staunch non-reaction. But usually, try for the “tick” motion of the head in the logical direction that it would have been driven by a real slap or punch. Careful of your neck there.
- For hair pulling, Attacker makes a fist and places it against the Victim’s head. They do not in any way grab any hair. Victim holds the attackers fist against their head, and is the one in control of everything. The exact opposite of what the audience think they are seeing.
- Nose leading-by and ear-pulling are done the same sort of way. Noses and ears are never pulled (gently cupped instead), it is the Victim who is in control and who keeps the Attacker’s hand in contact with them
- Strangling operates on the same principal, but be careful since throats are full of soft squishy bits that are easily damaged. So: attackers hands are below the throat, actually against the solid collarbone. Victim tucks chin down so audience can’t see. Attacker is actually pulling hands away from the Victim: it is the Victim who holds the Attacker’s hands against their throat. There is muscle tension: but the exact opposite of what the audience thinks.
- Since we’ll most often be committing violence with comedy effect, make use of comedy gimmicks like having a slow motion fight sequence
- Consider getting tricky with a predictable (to your partner) sequence of moves – the ol’ one two, or stomach punch/back blow combination.
The falling over moves I’m not going to cover in detail here – they need mats and physical practice, and won’t fit so easily into our Tuesday trainings. But some key things were
- Protect your head (tucking in your head when falling backwards, turning head to side when falling forwards)
- Reduce the height you’re falling from (crouch down before falling down) and
- Spread impact rather than having concentrated on a pointy part of yourself (ie, wrists, knees, tailbone). Roll down your back falling backwards, arms out slightly. Make a 45 degree ‘triangle’ with your arms going forward.
The Flint Podcast ”is a tri-weekly podcast for people who are passionate about improv and the passions improv conjures.”
Episode 22 features Christine Brooks talking about the Long Weekend
Episode 14 lets you hear voices from NZIF10, including Jen O’Sullivan and Merrilee Afton McCoy