You aren't playing alone: Trust other's ideas and be present

This page is based on Jeremie Daygliders' workshop "The I in team" and Ella Galt's workshop the gift of presence. Jeremie is a teacher which supports students in finding out what thoughts or feelings limited their skills. She is not only passionated about teaching improv theater inside the classroom but also outside it and I still remember her giving me advise on how to train character development after a long night show. On the other Ella knows a lot about how to improve scenes by just tweaking small details.

Length: 2 x 3 hours
Punctuality: Due to the nature of the topic, every participant must do exercises to be in the moment and accept their mistakes, I recommend to close the door after 20 minutes.


Scenes are teamwork. You have to be ready to listen to other players's ideas and find a compromise between your wishes and their offers. The greatest gifts you can give your scene partner and the audience is being present and trust in their ideas. This way you will fully participate in mind, body and spirit to tell a story as team on stage.

The key skills to learn are:

  • Solidify your confidence in your innate abilities as an improviser
  • Remove the fear of being following other ideas
  • Strengthen your creative team play
  • Learn what message your position on stage conveys
  • How to improve the stage picture


  • Ask the students to explain their expectations before starting the workshop. This helps you understand what they are looking for
  • Ask for feedback after each games to see if the students grasp the goals of them
  • A short break of 5 minutes after 90 minutes gives smokers the opportunity to go outside and reloads the energy of the group

Punctuality Gift (Group ritual, not part of the workshop's topic)

First three hours

Being in the moment

This goal of this game is that students get into the mood of thinking more about others than themselves.

  • Circle saying yes: All players stand in a circle. One player calls other one by name (or eye contact if he don't know the name). The called player says “Yes” when he hears his name. Then the first player start walking towards him and takes his place. The second player they calls a third one and waits for the yes to start walking. After a while the game is speed up. The main point here is that everyone waits for the yes before walking.
  • Storytelling in a circle in a chorus: All the players are in a circle and they have to tell a story at the same time. They have to read the mouths of the other ones and try to guess that word comes new. Usually a player will lead until a second player introduces a stronger idea. The word “but” is forbidden

Warm-up to be fearless about mistakes

Students learn not to care about making mistakes.

  • tap > name, name > tap: All players are in circle. Player A taps B, who then has to say the name of player C, player C has to tap player D, who has to name player E. If someone makes a mistake, the whole group congratulates who made the mistake and the games continues. The moderator may add new rules to make failing more probable. The group has to increase the speed when they get used to the rules

Be confidence with your own improvising skills

Students learn to follow the ideas of other players

  • Telling a story with the help of your partner: Players are in pairs. Player A tells a story in first person describing actions, emotions, places and wishes. Player B has to perform that story. After a while they change roles. :!: It can be noisy indoors
  • Telling a story: In pairs, always saying yes
  • Say one word in front of a supporting audience: Every student comes one on stage and the last student gives him secretly a word to say in front of the audience. When he says it, everyone applauses congratuling him. Afterwards he gives a word to the next player

Warm-up after the break

  • Holding the plate: Students move around the room randomly holding an imaginary plate on one hand. They can move around but the plate can't fall. They can pass the plate to the second hand and they must move their whole body in this game
  • Follow your Nose At the end students become a tiger, a mouse and a cocodrile from an scale from 1 to 10 (mix with human beings)

Meaning of group scenes I

The goal is to learn what meaning gives the position of the players on the stage

  • Naming the human sculture: One player goes on stage in an abstract position. A second players comes and complements him in a second position. A third one comes a look for another position. When five players are on stage, the last player names the human sculture
  • Explain the students what is upstage and downstage and why to change hands when holding objects. You can use a group of players to show this
  • Explain the students not to give the don't give the back to the audience and to calculate where are the sight limits of the audience depending on their position

Streghen your group scenes I

Students will be aware of the other players on stage. Because we in Rice Cookie mix beginners with experienced improvisers, I limit the numbers of players on a scene to three otherwise noted on the game description.

  • Armando: Initial monologue based on the suggestion of the audience. Then players in groups of three perform scenes related to the monologue. :!: Long form
  • Triple Play: 3 teams of 3 players tell 3 stories in three scenes
  • One for all / Einer für Alle (in German): The three initial players must remember the positions and speechs of the other one

Last three hours

Being in the moment II

Warm-up to be fearless about mistakes II

Be confidence with your own improvising skills II

Make strong offers

Warm-up after the break II

Meaning of group scenes II

The goal is to learn what meaning gives the position of the players on the stage

  • Space Jump: Freeze game with up to five players coming into the scene
  • Group scene with decomposition of subgroups and correction of weaknesses: Use the scenes with 4 and 5 players of the game “Space jump” to explain:
    • Balanced/Even numbers of players in groups easier for the audience to understand
    • One in front of a group, on a side of the group, behind a group means leading/caring, disagreement and exclusion respectivetily
  • Laid out a conversation to an action choreography: A group of 3-5 players do different actions on stage without talking for about 4 minutes. Afterwards they replay the actions, this time they can talk. Students will learn to watch the body language and positions on stage of their stage partners

Streghen your group scenes II

Students will be aware of the other players on stage. Because we in Rice Cookie mix beginners with experienced improvisers, I limit the numbers of players on a scene to three otherwise noted on the game description.

  • Action+emotion and complementing action: All players are in two rows. Players of row A start a scene with an action and a basic emotion (like happiness, sadness, eanger). Players on row B come to the scene an find a complementing action. They repeat it, until they are allow to talk.
  • Actions in two tempos on stage: Player A starts doing everyday activities on stage and changes the activity every five seconds while player B changes the activity every minute. Both players can talk with each other and justify the action change. The students in audience must observe what meaning conveys the tempo to the scene
  • Re-run with three players entering the stage. Every time they enter the scene is freezed and the newcomer describes what gifts he got
  • Emotional family: with four players
  • Countdown / Replay: we at least four players on stage

LOL The group enjoyed these games


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