Format – Battle of WITs

2003_bowThree (sometimes more) teams of 2-4 people compete in a series of improv games and open scenes judged by the audience.  An MC keeps the show moving and acts as a director of last resort – but effectively the teams are in charge of themselves.

Ideally form teams well before the show and train together, so that when you are on stage you know how to make the most of each other’s strengths, and what will inspire each other.  Give yourselves a team name, pick a team leader, even create a cute little pose or chant to introduce yourselves.

Typically there are four rounds for Battle of WITs, with eliminations after the second round and (if more than three teams) before the last round –  the MC will manage to the time available and the number of teams.  At the end of a scene teams stay on stage, as the MC asks the audience to judge “was that a 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5″.  The MC may also arbitrarily add or deduct points for any reason at any time.

  • First round is the Blind Draw – the team leader will pick a game from a hat.  These will be open ended suggestions that draw on base skill games – for example, the suggestion might be “a poem” or “word at a time” or “speak in one voice”.  As a team decide quickly how you will respond, for example if you get “a poem” you could choose to do a Wanky Poem, an Epic Poem or a Sea Shanty. There is a time limit for this round, the MC will let you know when your time is nearly up.
  • The second round is Team Favourite - what you will tell the audience is your teams chosen Favourite Game – actually have a few favourites to select from, as you don’t want to do anything that’s too similar to another teams’ pick, or to a game that appeared in the first round.
  • Third round is the Team challenge – the team leader from another team sets a condition for the scene, which will be an open scene of some kind.  Don’t make these challenges too restricting or gaggy, for example “take your inspiration from the word purple” is better than “everyone must speak in rhyming couplets”
  • Fourth round MC Challenge – at the whim of the MC.   This is usually the final round, depending on time.    As an example, the MC might require each team to use a member from an opposing team to start their scene.

Teams who’ve been eliminated may still come on stage to be props or furniture or a transient marching army if called for, but just remember whose scene it is.