Tutorial Tuesday: Circumstances

May 26, 2015

Everything is a game move on stage. Improvisers are always looking to expand their worlds and gift their partners. Today we look at how circumstances can do just that.

Our behaviors, actions and choices in a scene are influenced by the circumstance of a situation or set up. What do I mean by this? Let’s look at the example of getting dressed:

You have to change your clothes and the way you go about doing this differs if you are in the following circumstances:

1- your own bedroom

2- the locker room

3- a department store’s dressing room

A great solo exercise is to think about the differences you might have in each of these scenarios and write them down. You can then improvise those three scenes on your own once you determine how you would approach these circumstances. You also get some object work practice!

Circumstances can also carry a status. It’s not just people who have “low” or “high” status on stage. I, the performer, might interact differently with items such as telephones, desk drawers, and pens in one location versus another depending on the circumstances status.

An example of this is closing a desk drawer in my home office versus in the Oval Office. The Oval Office carries a higher status and chances are I won’t slam the desk

 

drawer shut when I can’t find my favorite pair of scissors!

Circumstances and status of these circumstances are tools to be used to the advantage of the improviser, their character, and their game. Expanding our awareness, vocabulary, and lexicon helps us to sustain, maintain, and expand relationship based game driven improv scenes!

 

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