What Happens Next?

By | March 15, 2019

Synonyms

Meanwhile. And Then.

Introduction

Please start a scene and be ready to freeze when called upon.

Description

Meanwhile is both an exercise and a handle. Discussed here is the exercise version of this structure.

The players start an open scene and the leader will freeze the narrative and literally asks the audience players  “what happens next.” The player doing the scene will immediately jump onto the offer given and continue until frozen again.  In reality it is the player audience who are doing the exercise in this structure. After each player offer the leader can briefly assess, even better ask the players to assess, whether the offer fit the narrative.

Synonyms

Meanwhile. And Then.

Introduction

Please start a scene and be ready to freeze when called upon.

Description

Meanwhile is both an exercise and a handle. Discussed here is the exercise version of this structure.

The players start an open scene and the leader will freeze the narrative and literally asks the audience players  “what happens next.” The player doing the scene will immediately jump onto the offer given and continue until frozen again.  In reality it is the player audience who are doing the exercise in this structure. After each player offer the leader can briefly assess, even better ask the players to assess, whether the offer fit the narrative.

This exercise is a fun way to identify the difference between advancing and expanding. The players are responsible for creating a full narrative arc in the scene. If things don’t feel right, then assess what parts of the narrative tool is missing? Learn Improv uses the narrative tool STEPS. So is the setting missing? Are the ties clear? Is there an obvious exploration being propelled? Was the exploration sorted too soon? What happens next is also an effective way to have players work on offer suffocation, or frequent zany disconnected offers.

Inevitably there will be a moment in this exercise where players will be endowed with terrible things to do to themselves or others. The leader should be prepared to initiate a discussion about the balance of trust versus comedy. Remind players that they are asking someone else to do something, and they are not choosing to do it themselves. Improv is best created in a safe and supportive environment.

Gimmicks

  • None.

Variations

  • And Then – The host simply says “and then” instead of “what happens next”
  • Meanwhile – Takes the scene to a whole new setting .

Credits

Fortune Teller’s Society of Upper Tarotown.

The players start an open scene and the leader will freeze the narrative and literally asks the audience players  “what happens next.” The player doing the scene will immediately jump onto the offer given and continue until frozen again.  In reality it is the player audience who are doing the exercise in this structure. After each player offer the leader can briefly assess, even better ask the players to assess, whether the offer fit the narrative.

This exercise is a fun way to identify the difference between advancing and expanding. The players are responsible for creating a full narrative arc in the scene. If things don’t feel right, then assess what parts of the narrative tool is missing? Learn Improv uses the narrative tool STEPS. So is the setting missing? Are the ties clear? Is there an obvious exploration being propelled? Was the exploration sorted too soon? What happens next is also an effective way to have players work on offer suffocation, or frequent zany disconnected offers.

Inevitably there will be a moment in this exercise where players will be endowed with terrible things to do to themselves or others. The leader should be prepared to initiate a discussion about the balance of trust versus comedy. Remind players that they are asking someone else to do something, and they are not choosing to do it themselves. Improv is best created in a safe and supportive environment.

Gimmicks

  • None.

Variations

  • And Then – The host simply says “and then” instead of “what happens next”
  • Meanwhile – Takes the scene to a whole new setting .

Credits

Fortune Teller’s Society of Upper Tarotown.

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