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August 20, 2007

Name That Monster

Posted in: Improv Games

itza monsterOK, puppeteers. It’s time to think fast. This game forces players to be spontaneous and creatively random… while working with a partner! Oh, the hilarity.

Set up. Pair up and set the scene by first determining a location. This can be anything… the surface of the moon, an amusement park, a dairy farm at sunrise, etc.

Action. With your partner, you will enter the scene and run into some kind of monster–it’s not really going to be there… just pretend. What kind of monster? That’s completely up to you. Imaginary, realistic, exaggerated, etc. After you see the monster, you need to let the audience know what it is, then run away.

Sound simple? Well, I haven’t told you the most fun part… this whole scene needs to be done with the players only saying one word at a time. You know, like this:

Player 1 - Oh
Player 2 - no
Player 1 - it’s
Player 2 - a
Player 1 - giant
Player 2 - evil
Player 1 - marshmallow
Player 2 - with
Player 1 - a
Player 2 - machete!

Heh heh heh…

Variation #1. This is a good one to try first with yourselves, then with your puppets. Remember good stage and movement techniques, puppetry basics, and character voices.

Variation #2. Or try taking this game one step further by actually having the players take some kind of action against the monster. But get creative! Don’t just pull out your anti-monster ray guns and blast it to smithereens, end of story. Why not grab a lasso and have some fun as you accidentally rope your partner in failed attempts to subdue the beast..? Or perhaps you only have rubberbands? Who knows. Have fun… and try not to get hurt.

Wrap up. Being able to put words to what you’re seeing is an important part of improv. This game will provide practice in this area as well as developing spontaneous creativity.

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