When asked what audiences can expect from his improv show with The Board of Comedy on May 8, Jim Belushi explained, “We are not stand-up comedians. Our show is not a passive, sit-back-and-watch experience. Most of the fun we have on stage comes from our inclusion of the audience – we get suggestions from them to begin each scene we perform, and in certain instances, bring them on-stage with us to add to our performance. It’s less a ‘show’ and more a party. At least it feels like one to me.”
Want to host your own improv party and test your skills before seeing the pros in action on May 8? Try one of these tried-and-true improv games…
This game works with two people and requires them to create a scene while exchanging dialogue by using a particular letter of the alphabet. The scene would begin with A and move through to Z. For example: “Are we going to a movie?” “Before or after dinner?” “Can’t we just eat popcorn as usual?” “Don’t you think that’s a poor choice considering what the doctor said to you yesterday?” The goal is to use the dialogue to take a scene forward to its conclusion. If you get to Z and the scene isn’t finished, loop back to A.
This game works well for groups of 5 or more. Players gather in a circle, facing the center. One player starts by saying a word to another player in the circle and that person responds by immediately calling out their first impulse – no hesitating – and directing it to another player in the circle. And on it goes. The game challenges us to answer impulsively and not to over think our responses.
This improv game works well for groups of 8-10 people. Ask for a suggestion of a fairy tale story that they will tell as a group – one word at a time. The group has 2 minutes to get the job done, and the key is to go fast and add on to the word the person before you has just said. Guaranteed to produce hilarious results.