Patterns and Games Montage

I am immensely proud of this show and the group that created it. It comes from The Coalition Theater’s Fall Patterns and Games Class.

In a Patterns and Games, success and failure hinged on the collective performance of the group. And…this class succeeded. Watch them all support each other through a performance that runs the gamut of games – rubric and organic, shorter and longer, lots of folks and few folks. The show is well paced, varying the use of moves from scene to scene.  Most importantly, as you can see, the group clearly had a lot of fun performing in it.  And the audience loved it. 

When improvisers follow each other, committing to taking the next step together, confident they’ll find whatever end together, the audience leans in, along for the ride. That’s improv as improv does best. Especially impressive given the size of the group, the level of collaboration shown here by a 301 class is alone worth the watch.  Enjoy!

Players are: Gerard Antoine, Sarah Berday-Sacks, Kevin Clatterbuck, Michael Farmer, Patrick Gaskill, Zachary Mann, Shannon Rodriguez, Hannah Rumsey, Max Senu-Oke, Geoff Stone, Vince Sunga, Carter Tait and Elliot Wegman

An Organic Opening video example

The embedded clip is an Organic Opening from a Harold.

In it, the group establishes a progression through three vignettes: Frat Boys, Freshman and Senior Sorority Girls

They engage the environment and make interesting stage pictures.

They leverage verbal patterns of call and response.

And they follow each other.

Enjoy!

Want to learn more about the why and how of Openings in long form improvisation?  CLICK HERE.

My Three Rules – a pattern warm-up

MY THREE RULES – Everyone in a circle.  Here are my three rules.

  • Rule #1: To pass to your right or left, you turn to that person and say their name.
  • Rule #2: To return the pass right back to the person who just spoke to you, say YOUR name.
  • Rule #3: To pass to any player other than the players on your direct left or right, you lock eyes with that person and – in a character voice – say their name.

Have a player start with one of the rules. Guaranteed, the first time they play, they’ll use “my rules” but will not be thinking at all about establishing any rules for when to deploy each move. Continue reading

Pattern Save Example #1 – Lap Organic Game

There are no mistakes in patterns. If a progression builds A, B, C and Z, “Z” is not a mistake, it’s just something to be acknowledged and made part of the pattern. If A, B, C, and Z, then D, E, F and Y.

There are no mistakes in patterns. The clearer and cleaner a pattern builds, the faster it will heighten and the harder it’ll hit for the purpose of editing.

There are no mistakes in patterns.  Whatever happens, don’t give up on the pattern.  Follow whatever happens.

Watch the Organic Game from the Johnsons below. See how the pattern doesn’t build cleanly in a progression to a crescendo within the addition of the first four players on stage. Watch as Player Five enters stage with the proceeding pattern in mind and, rather than abandoning what’s happened, follows his predecessors with a move that secures a solid edit with the audience.