The kids have been doing a lot of Improv exercises last year, and this year we’ve kicked it up and are doing full a run through of potential Improv Challenges they could get at the tournament.
This week’s Challenge combined the 4 following elements: (1) Improv Games: Quiz/Game Show, (2) Street Performance: Ventriloquism, (3) The Setting: NYC Subway and (4) The Situation/Conflict: Someone cut the cheese. The kids will have to perform three 2-minute improv sketches incorporating 4 elements (2 of which they can prepare for, 2 a surprise). They will have 1 minute ahead of time to quickly plan a narrative around these improv elements.
In addition to doing an Instant Challenge (this week build the longest bridge out of 2 sheets of paper) and a realistic Improv Sketch, we’re continuing to develop our acting and improv skills. This week we isolated on expression via voice and body language.
I came up with 2 acting exercises where they had to express specific emotions that the audience could tell just by using their (a) body language or (c) voice. For example, everyone had to walk up to a pen on the floor and silently pick it up wearing a mask (no facial expressions). I picked one of a variety of emotions they had to communicate in picking up the pen and the audience had to guess what it was.
I also had people using just their voice (turned away from audience and still without body language) and say “This is a pen. It is on the table”. They can to vary their pitch, rhythm, pauses, etc to convey an emotion I selected for them and the audience had to guess which it was. Like isolating muscles in a gym, I want the kids to realize and be able to convey expression in each of the many ways available to them as actors. It was all good fun.