Resources for Teachers
Improv “opens up” the brain for writing. Sometimes it’s hard for writers to fill in details beyond plot that make stories richer. Here is a game Mopco translated for our youth troupe that you can lead with students of any age.
Story from the Inside-Out
Players: Four, plus a “Director,” (usually the teacher)
Player 1: Narrative - When called upon, this player tells the story with what happens next, without any descriptors of location or inner thoughts about the characters.
Player 2: Sound Effects - When called upon, Player 1 provides the sound effects of the story at its current point.
Player 3: The Senses - When called upon, this player provides adjectives to the story. What do things look like, smell like, taste like, etc.
Player 4: Inner thoughts/feelings – When called upon, this player describes the inner thoughts and feelings of the character(s).
Each player is assigned a role: Narrative, Sound Effects, Senses, or Inner Thoughts.
Director says to the audience (the class) “May I please have the title of a story that has never been written?” Class offers titles, one of which the Director chooses.
Director points to Player 1, Narrative, and says: “Narrative, (title of story). How does it begin?” Player 1 begins telling the story focusing on action only.
Director stops Player 1 during the telling, pointing to the other players to fill in their parts. It is fun to use both hands to mingle parts (Sound Effects and Senses, for example)
Director lets the story build until the climax and then asks the players to “show us how it ends.”
Players stop roles, and act out the end of the story together. Sometimes there are fewer characters in the story than players, so they have to think outside the box…maybe one continues to be a sound effect, and another becomes a tree, or other object of scenery.
At the end, everyone takes a bow to thunderous applause.