As improvisers who play relationship based game driven improv we look to expand and explore our games on stage. One way to do that is utilizing locations and the mood of these locations. Why do we need to be aware of mood in locations? It helps the improviser make strategic game moves for characters, scene partners, scenes, and forms.
The mood of a church is different than the mood of a large sold out soccer stadium. In fact, we can break this down even further and say different churches, stadiums, and so on have their own moods. For example, a small rural church set in an English country village differs from a large mega-church in an urban U.S. city.
The more we understand the mood of a location the faster we can make game driven decisions on stage and if we find ourselves without a game than it can influence the character’s game.
The mood of a location informs my character’s decisions. If my character is at the small English country church and my character is angry, I the performer, will adjust and modulate the anger to meet the mood of the location. In this case, I might angrily whisper or open prayer books with both frustration and care. The same character is now at a crowded sports event in a large stadium then my character might decide to punch the spectator sitting in front of me. The actions and the moods are a reflection of the location.
Viola Spolin discussed that an actor gains experience from workshops but also the accompanying moods of these workshops. I will add to this
and say that this is the same for the actor in their location on stage while improvising. Be aware of the mood and let it affect your relationship based game driven improv scene next time you are on stage!