By Amy Harder
This week’s improv game sounds pretty simple on paper, but can really be a challenging concentration game! It is important that puppeteers (actors) are able to focus attention on lines and choreography and other characters no matter what is going on around them. Concentration games help build those necessary skills.
Set-up. This game is played in groups of two. It can be done standing or sitting. Players need to face each other. (And they hafta know how to count to three. Very important.)
Action. Players in pairs begin by counting to three over and over again, but they must take turns. Each player says one number at a time. So, player one begins by saying, “one”. Player two says, “two”. Player one says, “three”. Player two says, “one”. etc. Begin slowly and continue until players are comfortable with the process.
Now it’s time to increase the difficulty. Change the word “one” to a finger snap. Allow players to experiment with this version. (Snap, two, three, snap, two, three, etc.) Once that has had time to sink in, try changing the number “two” to a hand clap. Allow time to play. The final change will replace the word “three” with a foot stamp. If this is too easy, speed it up!
Variations. A fun twist on this game is to change the numbers to random words like “Pickle-Cow-Hurdle” or nonsense words like “Eep-Wah-Boo”. OR, instead of making sounds, try replacing the spoken numbers with silent motions. “Wave-Wiggle-Spin” has been a personal favorite for years.